gracecheung604 | write on time: Revisit: CinCin

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Revisit: CinCin

A few weeks ago, a friend from HK visited and wanted a fancy dinner out. We had gone to Black and Blue on his last visit and we thought a nice Italian place like Cin Cin would be a good call. Afterall, the last time I went a few years ago was quite successful.

We should have known that something was amiss when our waiter came over to tell us about the special of the day, and blanked out. He actually said "Oh, I forgot". When he did remember to tell us about the duck breast special, he could tell us about what the duck came with, but couldn't remember how it was actually prepared. 
IMG_2160 Someone, not our waiter, brought us some mini-buns, but I avoided it because I didn't want to ruin my appetite. From comments around the table, the bread was fair, it wasn't served warm but we did find out that it was made with spelt flour and accompanied by an olive tapenadeIMG_2166 We got a few appetizers to start and the first to arrive was the "spiedini di capesante e gamberi" aka Scallops and Prawns. These were served on what looked like a skewer, but it was actually a rosemary branch. The base of the dish was cannellini with a bit of gremolata. The scallops were big but I wished they had a bit more of a crust, same with the all just seemed undercooked, almost a little rushed. And the white beans were a bit to mushy to be enjoyed. IMG_2171bIMG_2172 The "tartare di tonno" was pretty good and the portion was quite large. I liked the chunkiness of the tuna ad the greens on top helped to lighten up the dish. I would have liked a bit more of acid in the dish, perhaps just a bit more citrus? And with the generous serving, we could have easily used more crostini.   IMG_2169 Another dish we tried for an appetizer was the "linguine al granchio", which we shared between two of us. The linguine was a perfect al dente and it was loaded with dungeness crab. I could have used a bit more heat in this dish, but the tomato and parsley kept it nice and light.   IMG_2174 The special of the day was the "Petto d'anatra" on a bed of polenta with some braised cabbage. The duck was cooked perfectly and the meat was quite tender, without any gaminess. However, the skin was chewy and almost a little bit tough. The polenta was very smooth, but most of its flavour came from the au jus. The portion size was decent though, and made it easy for everyone to have a taste.  IMG_2176 Both boys order the "bistecca alla fiorentina", a 16oz certified angus wood grilled t-bone. It was accompanied by a portobello mushroom as well as some slow cooked onions. We had ordered on medium rare and one medium. Given there were only two steaks at the table, you think they would have remembered which was which, but alas, no... IMG_2178 That was a little disappointing, considering the location and the price points, I really expected more of the wait staff. When we told him what had transpired, his response was "oh, really?". Putting the service behind us, we all tried a bit of the steak. It was tender and seasoned well, but the cut itself was fairly fatty. The cavolo nero (aka Kale) was nice as was the portobello. The steak was just a bit disappointing.  IMG_2187 And despite the fact that I'm usually a carnivore, I decided to go light and had the "filetto di carbonaro", a roast sablefish filet from the Haida Gwaii, accompanied by cipollini onions, some mashed sieglinde potatoes and braised kale. And this wowed me, I really liked how the fish was roasted and the combination of kale and mashed potatoes made this a very satisfying dish. IMG_2190 Because we had already decided to head to Death by Chocolate for dessert, we skipped it here. They gave us some chocolate cookies and a pear gelee candy with our bill though, so that was a nice touch.
Cin Cin isn't what it used to be though in terms of service, but I'd say the food is still on par with before.

Things to Note:

  • Room can get quite loud and boisterous (at least over the holiday season)
  • Staff are okay and seem attentive to the regulars (or pricey wine drinkers) only
  • This was Pre-Dine-Out so I can't even imagine the level of service/food during the event 

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