New Hong Kong hotel restaurants: Theo Mistral in Tsim Sha Tsui – casual Italian
Theo Randall’s restaurant in the InterContinental Grand Stanford serves up Italian food in a casual setting. The dishes were tasty and the only letdown was a bland, overcooked, pan-fried squid with undercooked chickpeas
The design feature I remember most about Mistral in the InterContinental Grand Stanford is the hand painted plates that were displayed on shelves. My memory is hazy from those visits long ago, but I also seem to recall black-and-white photos of glamorous looking Italians, and a distinctive tiled floor.
The plates are there at the new incarnation, Theo Mistral by Theo Randall. So are the photos, as well as the tiled floor.
It seems much the same; the only obvious difference (that I see) is the restaurant no longer has tablecloths.
Theo Randall – an alumnus of The River Café, and who now has his own restaurant, Theo Randall at the InterContinental in London – is now in charge of the menu, and the concept seems more casual than it was when the place was known as The Mistral. The menu seems shorter than before: it’s now all laid out on one page, listing antipasti, pasta, pizza, mains and side dishes.
My guest and I chose a rather heavy, cream laden meal of two starters, a pizza, pasta and dessert.
Baked soufflé with romanesco, fontina cheese, spinach, cream and parmesan (HK$158) was just fantastic. It was more like a rich, creamy, cheesy flan, rather than an airy puff that the word soufflé brings to mind. I’d love this dish for lunch, with a green salad to clear the palate.
Our other starter was disappointing. Pan-fried squid with chickpeas, chillies, anchovies, parsley and chopped rocket (HK$228) sounds vivid and light, but it was bland and dull. The pieces of squid were overcooked and chewy, the chickpeas were undercooked and too hard. I made liberal use of the lemon wedge served with the dish, and wished for salt and other seasonings.
Cappelletti di vitello (HK$228) featured tender pasta wrapped around a dense, flavourful filling of slow-cooked veal and pancetta, with an intense, creamy sauce of porcini mushrooms and Parmesan.
The quattro formaggi pizza (HK$198) had a light crust and a nice blend of cheeses, with rocket to balance the richness.
For dessert, Amalfi lemon tart (HK$98) looked a bit dried out – the filling had cracked – but the flavour was tangy and refreshing.
Theo Mistral by Randall Mistral, Basement Two, InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong,
70 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2731 2870. About HK$450 without drinks or the service charge.
While you’re in the area: