The gang celebrated my 25th (ahem…) birthday on Saturday with a (surprise) dinner at Da Paolo. The place looked really pretty, being in a nice colonial bungalow and all, but everything sort of went downhill from there. (But guys, you generally agree with my assessment of the place/food right? This is in no way dissing the planning that you guys went to for me… thanks so much! *muah*) Anyway, back to the review:
First, the ambience – most of the seating is outdoors, which is nice but can get a little bit hot. What got to all of us was the lighting, or lack thereof. We could hardly read the menu, and when our food came, we could barely see what we were eating either. Service left a heck of a lot to be desired too. Took them ages to (1) stick the candles into a cake and light them, (2) cut 10 slices of cake, and (3) bring us our bill. That was the worst, think it took them about 10 minutes to bring the bill.
Food – nothing to rave about at all. The smoked cheese starter was bland; the braised vegetables that came with it were tasteless and hard. I ordered the seared tuna, which was served with some tomato salsa on top, and couscous. The menu said it was sashimi-grade tuna, but I didn’t particularly find it that good quality. You can get better quality tuna at Kuriya fish market. The seasoning of the tuna was also non-exisitent – it had no flavour at all, and it was overly seared so some parts tasted like canned tuna. A had the T-bone steak with black pepper, and the only thing going for this was the strong flavour of the US beef, which I guess is attributable to the beef rather than the cooking. We asked for the beef medium rare, but it came out more like medium, and some bits were seriously tough and sinewy.
All in all, really not impressive. Also, the food doesn’t really come with side dishes (except the tuna which came with a sprinkling of couscous); you’re supposed to spend ANOTHER bomb ordering sides separately. Don’t know about you, but for at least $30 per main, I’d expect at least some cursory vegetables or potatoes or something. Bread wasn’t free either – the waiter told us it was $4 per serving, though the menu said $3.
S said her rib eye was pretty good, and her only complaint was that there just wasn’t very much of it. Maybe we just ordered the wrong dishes. The rest of you, any comments on your food? Do share! : )
Food was average. Staff were surprisingly very friendly but service was super slow. I guess it’s more of a place to drink and look cool rather than eat. Not going back anytime soon.
J found his food to be decent but overall, it was a pricey meal. Company was great and we're all glad to see C turn 25 :) That said, J wouldn't be back anytime soon.
The Da Paolo in Club St is better in spite of the atmosphere there being no where nearly as "classy" as that in Rochester Park.
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