Monday, January 9, 2012

Modesto's, Vivocity

 It was decided we'd have pizza the night we met up with PJ+C. This meant Modesto's at Vivocity as it is near to   's workplace and a corporate discount applies. Personally I've been there once before and had pleasant-ish memories of the food - so did not hesitate to agree to another meal here this time around.

 Actually I asked PJ+C to pick a place and they just so happened to pick Modesto's :) I've been to Modesto's many many times for team lunches and their pizzas / set lunches are decent so yea what the heck.

 The restaurant was fairly empty when we reached a little after 7pm, and never really got that much filled up through the evening.

{ Pane Al Burro D'Aglio (Garlic Bread - $7.50) }
An all-time favourite garlic bread, spread with a special blend of black olives
and fresh garlic herb butter
 It didn't take very long for the garlic bread to land on our small table. It looked really good, the grill-marks on the bread got my stamp of approval, and I love details like this which seemed to suggest better flavour to me somehow. Eagerly we reached for a helping each - but to our dismay - the bread wasn't even warm! OK so this wasn't toasted to order. Took a bite and was made more disappointed when the bread wasn't crunchy as you'd expect from the deceiving grill-marks (clearly for decorative purposes only!). It was a bit soft / limp and the garlic didn't quite stand out. In short, it wasn't a great start. It looks a LOT better than it tastes! Give this a miss.

 Seconding the looking-a-lot-better-than-it-tastes, all four of us were quite literally excited when this plopped down on our table. Turned out to be soft, chewy, cold and little on the bland side. Bah!

{ Prosciutto Crudo E Rucola ($27.50 for Regular) }
Tomato, cheese, Italian pork parma ham and fresh rucola salad
 The last time I was here the parma ham pizza was pretty memorable, and so we decided to go with this again. Not a bad choice I suppose, but I wondered if the other flavours would have fared better. There was plenty of rocket here, which I love and is great, and I quite enjoyed the crust. However there was something a bit off for me. Can't really pinpoint it but it may have something to do with the topping. Somehow the flavour of the tomato and cheese on the crust didn't seem to gel with the parma ham. I'm not entirely sure, hmm.

 For me the parma ham / rocket pizza was always the winner, but after tonight I realized this might be the only winner for me here in Modesto's D: Generous with the ham and the rocket, but not exactly the cheapest pizza around either at almost $30!

{ Spaghetti Alla Carbonara ($20) }
Spaghetti with pork bacon, egg yolk and parmesan cheese in cream sauce

 We had to order the carbonara, just to compare it against the version at Avanti. As soon as we saw this dish, we knew it wouldn't come close at all (Avanti will forever ( at least for now) be the benchmark of mind-blowing carbonara). It looked and tasted a tad too wet and creamy. Taste-wise, I must say it was quite forgettable because honestly I don't remember now, lol, except that there was a bit too much sauce. I did not taste any bacon nor parmesan cheese. Not very impressed with this one.

 Having tasted a traditional recipe done well, this was just a big no-no for me. Saucy and sweet, call me traditional but this is no longer what Carbonara should be in my book! And at $20 ... yikes.

{ Fettucine Con Pollo Alla Cacciatora ($26) }
Fresh home-made flat pasta with slices of chicken breast, black kalamata olives,
mushrooms and oregano in fresh tomato sauce
 This fettucine dish was listed under the 'premium' side of the menu and is priced a bit higher. We thought it'd be nice to have a tomato-based pasta to balance things out. At my first bite I thought the olives were a little out of place. The second bite I took I thought the chicken suspiciously doesn't taste like chicken. The third bite in I decided this was very strange pasta. Even after liberally sprinkling chilli flakes it did not help. Again, I can't really explain why but it just didn't come together very well. Olives could have been sliced, chicken could have been in smaller pieces. The flavour was somehow unlike other tomato-bases I've had. Was simply strange, and confusing. Should have ordered the lasagne!

 Nope ... just nope. The tasteless chicken chunks were too large, seemed to be boiled (and overly so) and thrown in separately. The sauce was kinda ... strange, it tasted suspiciously pasty and lends me to think that a generic bottled tomato paste was used instead fresh tomato sauce.

 We had thought about ordering dessert there but after the lacklustre meal we adjourned elsewhere for coffee. If not for the 20% corporate discount, it would hardly be worth it. That said though it wasn't exactly value for money after the discount for 4 of us. It was disappointing to note the food quality wasn't really how    and I remembered it. Will think long and hard before returning!

 To be fair the set lunch at under $20 for a large portion of pasta, drink and ice cream is still rather passable in my book, but I'll think twice before returning here for ala carte. I do think their pizzas are well done and I have had decent pastas here before as well (can't quite go wrong with the Cannelloni or Ravioli) but strangely the 'regular' spaghettis and fettucini are just CMI.

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HGW Link :
Rating (out of 4) : 

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