Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Lily, Kevin and I went out to Thanksgiving dinner together. They’re Canadian, so their Thanksgiving is in October, but it’s not nearly as important in Canada as it is in the United States. It’s one of our major holidays. To them, it’s just a day off. So they celebrate mine with me when they can. We’ve never celebrated theirs. They don’t even notice theirs until it’s come and gone.

We went to Otto e Mezzo. This is currently one of the trendy places for the fancy people to eat in Hong Kong. It’s an Italian restaurant with 3 Michelin stars. There are lots of Italian restaurants in Hong Kong, but most of them don’t have any stars. I think the main difference is that this one is owned & operated by a famous Italian chef.

That’s really the main reason I wanted to go there. Non-Asian food in Asia is usually more Asian than anything else. Hong Kong has lots of Italian, French, American and Indian restaurants, but most of them are nothing like what you’d find in those countries. Everyone puts a little of their own style in whatever food they make. Chinese food in the United States is more American than Chinese and American food in Hong Kong is more Chinese than American. Otto e Mezzo is genuinely Italian. The Michelin people even said so.

It’s also very expensive. That’s what you get with a 3 star restaurant owned by a famous chef. Since this was a special occasion, we didn’t mind the price. I’m willing to pay extra for Italian food that actually reminds me of Italy. Paisano’s Pizza is pretty good, but it’s nothing like Italy.

What I really don’t understand is why these hip fancy restaurants serve tiny little portions on huge plates. I get that the portions are so small because you have so many courses, but what’s with the jumbo plates? It just makes the food look even smaller. It also must be murder on the waitresses to carry a single olive on a plate that weighs more than the entire tree.

I hate to say it, but the food wasn’t all that great. It wasn’t terrible, but you expect more from 3 Michelin stars. I had better food at restaurants in Italy that the Michelin people will never know exist – for a fraction of the price. The wine was good and the bread was excellent, but we definitely paid for the stars and famous chef more than for the food.

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