Café De Como – REVIEW BY SHAKEEL HAMEED
RATING: 8 out of 10
COST: 8,000-13,000 for 2
Café De Como AKA Paola’s Asian Diner, a new bustling restaurant opened by the same folks who own Paola’s. It has a variety of dishes primarily from the far east. The chef is from Sri Lanka who has cooked at various restaurants and a very nice humble man who is eager to impress and takes his food seriously.
The restaurant is mostly in open space with some seating inside. It is tasteful with various sculptures scattered all over the place among trees and plants. It has a little uppity crowd with a dress to impress vibe. The furniture is more like a café then a proper restaurant which makes the place more like a brunch spot then a fine dining place.
TABLE AND STAFF
The staff was extremely helpful and the manager is there to supervise and accommodate all the patrons needs. The table setting is ok and the crockery complements the food presentation.
Mushroom Truffle Soup
This soup isn’t on the menu and the chef Sarfraz wanted us to try it out. The mushroom blend with chicken broth was excellent. The small chunks of mushrooms offered a nice bite and added depth to the soup. The pepper was a bit apparent towards the end but it sat on the palate smooth and creamy with an earthy mushroom finish.
A staple Japanese appetizer of soya beans, something one should always opt for as a starter. We ordered the spicy option which is first steamed and then flash fried with chili garlic and sea salt. The shell is not to be consumed when eaten. The flash frying with chili and garlic presented a sweet and spicy chili garlic taste with a sweet soy bean bite. It is a great enjoyable appetizer.
Steamed Dim sum
Chinese steamed dumpling came with two pieces of chicken filled in yellow color, two of Shrimp in Pink color and one vegetable in green color. The chicken and shrimp filling were fine and held their ground with both offering flavorful mixtures of their kind but the vegetable one was flat and tasteless. The small bits of caviar in the shrimp dumplings were nice and salty but weren’t in your face as they shouldn’t be. The steam timing was little off and made the dough a bit pasty. If steam time can be corrected, this is a nice appetizer to be enjoyed. The sauce it came with was light and didn’t over power the dumplings so a slight dip was enough to compliment it well.
Wontons in spicy Soy
Chicken Wontons with scallions, fermented chili and sesame seed was by far the best dish. The wontons were cooked to perfection. The chicken filling mixed well with the fermented chili and scallion simmered sauce with a hint of black sesame seeds appearing. The scallion simmered in sauce were crisp and offered a lot of soya based crunchy flavor on its own. There was no need for the toasted peanuts as they didn’t do much to the dish, nonetheless an enjoyable dish.
Typhoon Shelter Shrimp
This is a signature Hong Kong dish. This dish is famous and is served next to a typhoon shelter in Hong Kong, hence the name. It came with a mound of fried garlic, chilies, bell peppers, onions and shitake mushrooms simmered in homemade chili vinegar base. There was a bit too much sauce in the mixture which over powers the sweetness in your mouth, toning it down will adjust the taste and will become more palatable. You only eat few bits of fried garlic with the bite or it will make the taste bitter. The dish overall is good and is slightly on the sweeter side then spicier.
Crispy Asian Fish Burger
Sole fish deep fried in batter and served with two different sauces. One Nuoc Cham which is Vietnamese and is a mixture of sweet, salty, spicy sauce and the other is go-chu-jang which is Korean made with red Chile pepper flakes, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. It was topped with Crispy crab rice and served with side of Asian Cole slaw. The fish was warm and crispy and the sauces mixed really well that no ingredient over powered the other. Itoffered fresh fish taste and hints of sauces appearing making it a fantastic burger. The crispy crab rice flakes added to the crunchiness. It is well worth the taste, well done.
Café De Como is an easy going stylish eatery where you can go all dressed up or casually dressed. There are enough tables to accommodate larger parties and smaller groups and the food is definitely better then Paola’s. The dishes are unique and prepared well for an enhanced palate. There is a big variety of dishes and they have done well to keep the consistency of the food. It is well worth a trip for not only the food but also for the atmosphere.