Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tableau Bar Bistro forgot my pasta sauce?

Tableau Bistro & Bar - Loden Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Smallish room, dimly lit, overall nice ambiance dominated by a lovely bar. Points for that.

Our table got to try a lot of things. I personally got two of the features of the day, so you will likely not experience them yourself, BUT there are lessons there that you should take note for your own visit to Tableau.

Free bread and butter after you have ordered. Not many restaurants do that anymore

(Pictures by a fellow diner at our table.)

Baked Cheese & Pasta Casserole ($22) blue cheese, gruyère & parmesan cheese
  • Yup, it's basically mac 'n cheese.
  • Strong but thankfully not overpowering blue cheese aroma.
  • For the price, go for something more interesting. If you're vegetarian then beggars can't be choosers, I guess. Maybe try going on $18 Meatless Monday instead.
  • Portion looked like 2 cups, possibly 3 cups max.
Feature flatbread ($12)
  • Today it was something about a roux base, ratatouille, and small cubes of chicken.
  • Where's my ratatouille? Someone forgot the veggies or what?
  • Cubes of chicken sprinkled over it.
  • Very thin and crispy crust which definitely helps in picking it up.
  • Since neapolitan pizza places are charging $12-$18+ for 11" pizza, I guess you can't really complain when they call it flatbread instead of pizza.
2015-Sep-20 Tableau - tagliatelle alfredo and beef bourguignon Sunday speciality - Beef Bourguignon ($24)
  • In the picture, it is the dish on the right.
  • Looks absolutely nothing like beef bourguignon, if you have had it before elsewhere or looked it up on wikipedia.
  • Looked like a few cubes of beef thrown into a stir-fry of root vegetables and a bit of pasta.
  • Where's the tasty brown stew?
  • Portion looked like 3-4 cups in total.
Feature Pasta #1 Tagliatelle alfredo "without the guilt"
  • In the preceding picture, it is the dish at the upper left corner.
  • Pureed cauliflower was supposed to substitute the fattening creaminess in the classic dish. Instead, there were a few sprigs of cauliflower but basically no sauce.
  • Maybe it didn't have to be slithering in sauce, but I think there should have at least been some clear sign, flavour, and texture of the noodles having been generously coated in the faux alfredo sauce.
  • Not sure how much this was, but probably in the $20's as everything else is. And price for what came to the table was definitely not worth it not just in lack of tastiness but also (to a lesser degree) portion.
2015-Sep-20 Tableau - tagliatelle alle vongole Feature Pasta #2 ($24) Tagliatelle alle vongole in rosso
  • I was initially very confused by what I got -- I was thinking, "where's my sauce?". But apparently that is the Italian-American style, and to not have it swimming in sauce is acceptable.
  • Not sitting in sauce is okay, but could the noodles at least taste clearly like they had some flavour other than noodle?
  • About 4-5 cups in total, excluding the shells of the small clams.
  • Portion is smallish but taste was the main reason for disappointment. For $24, I needed it to be somehow really tasty. For $24, totally not worth it.
 Steak Frites ($26) 8oz grilled sirloin, watercress, red wine sauce
  • Probably the best and most reasonable value on the entire menu. You also get a generous amount of french fries.
  • Fries looked too dark, so probably over-fried slightly. Also very salty.
  • Fries were mostly very short, maybe 2-4 cm. It looked intentional based on how the ends of the fries appeared to be cut, BUT visually it looked like mostly they put it together with short scraps from cutting fries from potatoes.
Overall, feeling extremely disappointed by my meal. Tastiness just wasn't there to justify price. Portion was disappointing for price, but that is an afterthought. Usually when prices start climbing over $15-$18 for a main, you get taste or you get portion. Here you got prices in the $20's but you got neither good taste nor good portions. We lost faith and went elsewhere for dessert.

And based on how many of us were surprised by what we got compared to what we were thinking we'd get (e.g., beef bourguignon), I recommend that you try to peek at what other people are eating, and don't all get the same thing in case you need to mix and match with your dining party.
They were remarkably clear and up-front about the 18% automatic gratuity for parties of 8+. In some restaurants they don't bother to tell you and you accidentally double-tip when you're using the machine. Here, they mentioned it during the pre-reservation call, before dinner, and when the bills are handed out.

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