Oh, the traffic in Kemang on Sunday evening is just lovely, how I wish this was the case everyday. Anyway, I went there with a date (let’s call this guy Mr. Kiwi). As we reached around 6.30pm, the parking area outside was already full. Thankfully they have helpful valet service there (ps: no fixed fee, but they’ll always welcome some tips).
As we got inside, we informed the maître‘d that we’ve made a reservation earlier. The place was nearly packed by this time, and I saw a mélange of crowds: Indonesian families with their little kids, Caucasian elderly couples, a group of young adults, etc. A crowded restaurant is always a good sign.
Much to my pleasure, we’re settled at the corner table, private enough for an intimate conversation and strategic enough to dart your eyes around the room in case your date’s boring you to death (LOL).
After deftly assisting us with the napkins, the waiter presented each of us with 2leather-bound menu books, small one for drinks & bigger one for food. So we started off by ordering drinks. I opted for the boring apple juice (yeah, too bad I was driving, otherwise some wine always goes well with Italian food) and Mr. Kiwi ordered…umm…shoot! I forgot what, but it’s liquor. (UPDATE: Mr. Kiwi just told me that it was called J&B Whisky =D)
Then we went to the bigger menu. To my dismay, I saw a paper with much more interesting drinks (mocktails, margaritas, daquiries, iced teas, etc.) neatly tucked inside! (Who’s smart enough to do that? Dang!). So Mr. Kiwi ordered his second drink from this list, a strawberry daiquiri, which tasted fresh without being overly sour & hits just the perfect level of sweetness. Too bad I’m not into blended beverages.
It took us sometime to browse the food menu. Initially I had a hard time deciding between the lamb stuffed-ravioli and the tortellini. My choice finally went to the parpedele, which was the only one on the menu that has truffle oil (I simply can’t bear to see someone not knowing what on earth truffle is! Mr. Kiwi must try it! Haha…). And he chose a rather curious pasta: gnocchi (small potato dumplings). On top of that, we decided to share a plate of bruschetta with tomato & onion topping as well as a cream of asparagus soup. But they’ve sadly ran out of the latter, so we had to change to mushroom soup.
The drinks came swiftly and were soon followed by a platter of complimentary bread with a small serving of herbed butter. We started digging in, and oh I love the crispy bread stick! Dipped it into the butter…mamma mia! (Um, can I take away the butter please? Haha)
After waiting for quite some time (a bit too long to start serving the mushroom soup which they supposedly only need to scoop into a bowl, right?), I enquired one waiter if any of our orders were ready yet.
“Ask & thou shall receive”.
Soon enough, came the bruschetta & the shrooms soup. The bruschetta was served on an oversized & doubly-stacked plate. Would’ve been nice if the bruschetta filled the entire plate (LOL). As I sliced my knife through, I could hear the crispness of the French baguette (should be a good sign, means the toast is not too chewy or solid). I fell in love at the first bite. Right on top of the bread was a layer of maroon coloured sauce (I didn’t notice its name on the menu… *sobs), which tasted richly salty. The diced fresh tomatoes & garlic (I’m not so sure, as it has the typical garlic-ky scent, but wasn’t too overwhelming) added the richness to each quarters I cut from the bruschetta. Thumbs up!
Next, the mushroom soup is the blended type, topped with a few crispy cubes of bread. Tasted pretty ordinary, so after just 2 scoops, I let Mr. Kiwi had the rest…I was trying to save some space for the main course…teehee :P
But where’s the main course? “What’s the rush? Do you have another date after me?” asked Mr. Kiwi. I was hungry, dude…Hell hath no fury like a hungry-woman’s scorn. LOL.
Unfortunately the main course took some time to come (again, I had to enquire the waiter before they finally appeared on our table). With one hand, I fanned the air above my pasta to smell the truffle, but I couldn’t identify the supposedly distinct scent! Oh no, where’s my truffle?! As I took the first bite, my heart sank. This pasta clearly could have used more generous amount of truffle oil, and no, I’m not asking for truffle shavings for the price I’m paying, just the oil! A little consolation for myself, at least the creamy sauce was well done. I’d rate it 9 out of 10 for a “creamy sauce”, but 4 out of 10 for a “creamy sauce with truffle oil”. I requested the duck meat that was originally meant for this pasta, to be swapped with chicken (choice between fried and smoked one, Ma’am? Obviously a nutrition-conscious people like me will opt for the smoked one). The shredded chicken was great, not too dry & tasted savoury.
After stealing glances at Mr. Kiwi’s gnocchi and hinting verbally that I could use a sampling of his dish, I finally forked one of those chunky dumplings. Quite an interesting pasta, the potato filling was well mashed and the tomato-based sauce was a bit sweet, but overall was an okay combination. Some people will surely like it, but I’m very partial for creamy pasta.
Knowing that I’m a sweet tooth, Mr. Kiwi politely offered to order some dessert. Unfortunately, I felt stuffed already (probably from the tight-fitting dress…lol). I read from someone else’s review that the chocolate cake here is a must-try. Maybe I’ll save it for my next visit.
I’d say the prices here were reasonable. Well, true, we didn’t order any alcohol, which would obviously have inflated the bills (Oh, why do the “ahem” impose ridiculously heavy taxes on alcohol instead of on cigarettes which kills people?? An elusive form population control, perhaps?) The only thing that peeved me was my under-truffled pasta, which had cost 80k (sans tax & service charge). As I know I could get something cheaper elsewhere that could actually satiate my penchant for truffle.
On a scale of 5 stars, I shall present Toscana with a 4. Future visits will be on my to-do-list for sure. Buon apetito. =)
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 120