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.
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.
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!
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…
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. 🙄
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…
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!
Our main courses came shortly after we tucked in on those delicious appetizers.
The colleague had this…
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!
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…
and of course,
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!
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…