Tosca Trattoria Italiana @ Doubletree by Hilton, JB

We have now come to the last of my [Johor Bahru 2016] series of blog posts. I’ve saved (I think) the best for last. Also, I started with a restaurant in the hotel, so it is only apt that I end also with a restaurant in the hotel.

Today I present to you Tosca Trattoria Italiana @ Doubletree by Hilton, Johor Bahru.

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Tosca Trattoria Italiana

This restaurant is located on the 13th floor of the hotel, right next to the pool. As the restaurant’s name implies, this is an Italian restaurant. And if you think the name sounds too much like fine dining is in the offing, then you think right. Yes, this is an Italian fine dining restaurant. Hotel, remember?

Okay, well… if the term “fine dining” makes you balk, fret not, because not all is lost. On selected days/times, they do offer some relatively “value for money” options. Here, let me show you their promotional card.

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Value for money options

Unfortunately, our dinner timing did not match those promotional time frames, for we were here for a weekday dinner.

Fortunately, the company was footing our bill, so we were able to… quote my partner-in-crime partner-in-dine: 两个番薯仔一起fine dining! Two potato kids (ignorant kids) fine dining together!

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Appetizer bread

By the way, I learned an important lesson on fine dining here…

You know, our meal allowance allows us to spend on anything that can be categorized under [Food and Beverages]. There is however, one exception. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed!

So, we ordered food, but no matter how the waiter tried to induce us, we did not order any wine to go with our food. Because of this, I quickly learned that if you go to a fine dining restaurant and do not order wine, you will immediately be seen as a small fry (a.k.a kelefeh) and the amount of attention you receive will be immediately… well… you know. To make matters worse, out of all the non-alcoholic beverages available, we committed the cardinal sin of ordering 2 glasses of plain water.

Well, no matter. Normally, you get excellent service and immediate attention when you go to a fine dining restaurant. A slightly reduced level of services here is still a lot better compared to normal level of services in a typical restaurant.

And there’s another plus point. After I made my orders, I decided to wander around the restaurant. And then I asked the floor manager for permission to take photos. I didn’t expect him to give me a positive answer, so I certainly did not expect him to say to me: “Of course! Go ahead! Make sure to take the photos nicely for your blog!

For your blog??! What the…?? How the hell did he know that I am a blogger?? Or was he just randomly guessing??

Okay… anyway, since I was allowed to take pictures…

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Antipasto bar

Antipasto is basically, appetizers. This antipasto bar is a buffet. If my memory serves me right, the price is RM 40, or RM 25 if you have also ordered a main course. I have to admit, they’re very lovely to see. But I’m not a cold cuts or exotic salad type of person, so… seeing is enough for me. 🙄

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Pizza counter

See that pizza oven? That’s a Zesti Woodfired Oven. You may have seen something like this if you follow the MasterChef TV shows. This is a bad-ass oven that could go up to 700°C in a matter of minutes. If you talk to any proper Italian chefs who know their stuff, they would tell you that extremely high temperature is absolutely necessary to bake a very good pizza, so clearly the folks at Tosca knows what they are doing.

I did not really take a lot of photos of the restaurant’s environment. Most of the tables were actually occupied, and I did not want to intrude on other people’s privacy. So after a short walkabout, I went back to my own table and waited for my food obediently.

Or so I thought… After quite some time waiting, the head waiter came out of the kitchen and announced that there was a hiccup in the kitchen and our food serving will be delayed. As compensation, everyone in the restaurant was offered one complimentary (FREE) helping from the antipasto bar.

Fine dining or not, Malaysians will always be Malaysians. Immediately, everyone flocked to the antipasto bar. Including us. I did say those antipasto food is not my type of food, but… hey, FREE. So, a few minutes later…

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Watermelon cube with (I forgot what) Cheese
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From top right: Smoked salmon, roasted garlic, sundried tomato, anchovy, salad

I told you I’m an idiot when it comes to fine dining. My first act was to cut a piece out of the anchovy and put it straight into my mouth. That saltiness was super nasty and made me curse nonstop! But I’m a quick learner, I quickly realized the anchovy and tomato was supposed to be eaten together with the salad. Once I did that, they were pretty good.

I was also particularly impressed with the watermelon + cheese combo, they worked really well together to my surprise. But I have to say, the smoked salmon takes the cake here. If you are wondering where the salmon is, it’s actually that pile of creamy thing in the spoon. They turned the smoked salmon into a creamy mush and added who-knows-what, but it was absolutely delicious!

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Smoked salmon

Our main courses came shortly after we tucked in on those delicious appetizers.

The colleague had this…

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Tenderloin Steak (I think this is Angus beef)

Me? You know I don’t eat beef in Malaysia. Furthermore, I thought of those colleagues back in Penang who were constantly accusing me of: 你看啦 你看啦!Ah Lok 又要去吃 lobster 了!Look! Look! Ah Lok (me) is going to go eat lobster again!

It really pisses me off every time they say that. I’m here for serious work, and they keep making it sound like I’m here for vacation. Since they like to accuse me of eating lobster, I shall just go ahead and eat lobster for real!

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Grilled Seafood Platter

This Grilled Seafood Platter was supposed to be the Chef’s Special of the Day. There’s 4 main ingredients here, all grilled using the Zesti Oven…

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Prawn
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Mussels
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Cod Fish

and of course,

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Nah! Lobster!

I’m serious. I ordered this mainly to spite on my colleagues. Since you guys love accusing me of eating lobster, I’ll really eat lobster and show it to you!

Seriously though, this seafood platter was really very good. All the ingredients were fresh and seasoned with just the right amount of salt and pepper. I ordered it out of spite, but I did not regret it one single bit!

To top things up, I’ll also eat a lovely dessert to spite you guys even more! Because I can!

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Tiramisu
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Tiramisu!

Oh so so niceeeee!!~~~ Om nom nom nom!!~~

I think this was the most expensive meal I had from this trip. It was certainly the most enjoyable. 😀


And I have come to an end with my Johor blog posts. I hope you guys have enjoyed reading all these food posts…

30 Comments

  1. J says” wah nice food. Mana ni…”

    Aiks…food delayed till have to give free voucher…hmm… kitchen must have kaboomed jor….

    Its good la that the give compensation this way. At least hati sejuk a bit from the waiting

  2. I am so jealous! And it was company paid for! But good on you for indulging when you can. Perhaps you should have told the waiter you don’t drink, then maybe you will still get the atas atas treatment.

    The seafood platter there looked very good. I remember the last time I had something like that was a few years ago. Lots of fish, prawn, lobster, fish and so on and that night, my whole body was itching 😀

    My favourite Italian food is pizza 🙄

    • Don’t worry with this platter, it is fine dining-esque, so there’s only 1 prawn, 1 lobster and 1 slice of cod fish. You won’t get itchy with this one! 😀

      My favorite pizza is not a proper Italian pizza, so I guess I cannot claim pizza as my favorite Italian food. 🙄

    • I think my blog is probably so-so famous (some of my Penang restaurant posts are ranking in Google), but I am most definitely NOT a famous blogger in the company hehehe~

  3. You made me laugh lah! Honestly, I would feel very jakun going into a fine dining restaurant. My impression of fine dining is always big plates, small portions, big price. I mean, your Grilled Seafood Platter, I need to eat two portions of that to fill me up 😀 Now, that Tiramisu looks divine! What’s the red sauce on it? Strawberry?

    • Hmm… not strawberry. Cranberry sauce if I remember right.

      Strangely, the steak was of a good portion. The colleague almost could not finish the whole piece of meat. I think that was pretty good value for money. 😀

  4. Of course, he’ll know you’re a blogger…only a blogger would want to take photos of the place, others would just take photos of the food. I think it’s feta cheese too coz feta and watermelon is a classic combination. I’m glad you didn’t miss out on the Antipasti…what is an Italian meal without it, right? I can’t say I love every antipasto (not the cheeses and not all the cured meats) but I do like some of it (especially the cold cuts and salmon). The smoked salmon you had in a creamy mush is what we call salmon mousse (I like!) 😀 Your friend’s tenderloin looks kinda rare? If I had to pick, I’d probably go for the seafood platter like you. By the way, the prawn and lobster look almost the same size…either the prawn was very big or the lobster was very small…hehe! ;D

    • Hahaha, what would I know about an Italian meal? The only Italian meal that I have had when I was in Italy was in a highway Service Area. There was no antipasto there. 😀

      Hahaha, the prawn and lobster, they’re in between lah. The prawn was not very big and the lobster was not very small. 🙄

  5. You should pamper yourself once awhile especially working outstation.. try the best and expensive meals and then send the bills to the boss! Entertainment expenses… hahahahaa.. Your colleagues must be envying you while your mom’s eyes will grow bigger! hahaha..

    • What entertainment expense? This is just meal allowance 🙄 … Next month another few colleagues will be going also, my turn to accuse them with those lobster talks… 😀

  6. That cheese looks like feta cheese, but then again, I might be wrong. Judging from the post, I’m sure you had an awesome time having the meal. ^^

  7. I always have the impression that fine dining the food portion will be very small, cos they always like to “dress up”” the food but portion very small. But of course, fine dining cannot compare with buffet cos the standard is so much better.

    That creamy thing is smoked salmon? Absolutely does not look like, look left look right also cannot imagine that is smoked salmon, but most important is it is delicious.

    Oh mine! Look at the Tiramisu! I would love to have that.

    • Usually, if you go for a proper fine dining experience, you’d have appetizers, starters, main course, and then dessert, all coupled with wine. It is rude to call their portions “small”, I think they would prefer you to call their portions “carefully managed”. If you go through the full course of meal, you are expected to have eaten just the right amount of food for a meal instead of overeating 🙄 …

      Yeah, that salmon, when I saw the label on the bar, I was skeptical too. But once I put into my mouth, it was really salmon! 😐

  8. wah!!! I LIKE THIS, this should be the best meal so far for your JB trip.. i look at the bread and already got carried away, looked at the antipasto bar (yes, i am one “antipasto person“) and then all those you showed here, i want to @#$%^&* you already, hahahahaha!!! i want that steak and the tiramisu too!!

    you must be some big shot in your company that allows you to dine so finely on business trips..

    • It’s not exactly allow/disallow to fine dine. We have a certain budget for meal allowance daily which applies to everyone who goes on business trips, regardless of big shot or small fry. It just so happens that this particular meal is still within the meal allowance budget. The only reason we get to eat well is because I work for an American company which acknowledges that work travel is a sacrifice on the part of employees so proper compensation is required. 🙄

      I am most definitely a small fry who is at almost the bottom of the hierarchy. If I am a big shot in the company, I probably would be too busy/too rich to bother writing blogs 🙄 …

  9. You must be one heck of a very important person in your company to have this privilege on a working trip.

    Now you can also send this post link to the floor manager to tell him that they serve really good lobster 😀

    • Everyone from the company who travels for work get this “privilege” as you call it. Maybe you can say everyone from the company who travels for work are one heck of very important persons. I guess you have forgotten/overlooked my posts where I mention how stress we work when traveling. 🙄

  10. Damn… this was a good meal on the company’s dime! I’m not so much of a fine dining person either, and I think the cheap antipasto bar and dessert look the best :P.

    • No? Not even cod fish and lobster? I love these 2 items, fine dining or not. Well, anyway, since you’re going to go back to Europe later this year, I’m sure you will be able to feast on more authentic and delicious Italian food. 😀

  11. Top notch food! Only one complaint – is there all there is from the antipasto bar? – you showed us only 6 items from there.

    • I did not take everything lah. There’s some cold cuts and carpaccio stuff which I did not take, mostly beef stuff. Also, the salad is actually a mixture of different types of leaves which you can mix and match.

  12. wow…wahhhh!!!(in awe) that lobster!!!! and cod fish, mussels, prawns…yummmmmzzz…it seems like the four heavenly king of seafood! great choice! I tink I would order that too (if the company pays for it!) haha!

    • I’ll look forward to when you go for business trip again! (You will right? I read your previous trips too 🙄 )

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