Ee Da Le (CLOSED)
Time Out says
The ego has landed – but the flavours haven't
T8s can often bring out the worst in Hongkongers. Evidently they can also bring out the worst in customer service – we make a reservation at Ee Da Le (and leave our number) for the evening of what ends up being this year’s first major typhoon, but arrive at Harlan Goldstein’s new dining room, before the signal is hoisted to find an empty restaurant with the lights off. No callback to notify us. Not the best start.
We return when the restaurant’s doors reopen and, ironically, find that the service is probably the best part of the Ee Da Le experience as the staff are friendly and attentive. The first of Goldstein’s highly ambitious, highly bankrolled four-restaurant concept on Lyndhurst, this eatery serves classic Italian dishes in a setting that features warm colours and opera skirt-inspired hanging ceiling lamps.
Goldstein, who immodestly proclaims himself ‘Hong Kong’s only celebrity chef’, is known for his big flavours. Unfortunately, none of these are on show over the course of a bland and, at times, confusing meal. The signature meatballs ($108 for three) are cooked well but the meat is flavourless and the sauce is thin and uninspiring. A four-cheese risotto ($188) is topped with a perfectly done slow-poached egg, but this dish manages to be both too heavy and bland, plus the carb is undercooked. Likewise, the criminally overpriced disaster that is Mama Chu’s Signature Linguine ($488) features underdone pasta alongside a thin, underseasoned sauce and overcooked red prawns. The latter element is all the more disappointing as the quality of the crustacean itself is excellent. That the tiramisu ($75) is a texture-packed highlight only magnifies the rest of the menu’s deficiencies.
Value and cost are often mutually exclusive. We don’t mind paying $1,000 a head without alcohol when a meal is worth it. But this isn’t. Maybe we should have taken the hint when nobody was home the first time we came.