Before heading to Flying Fish for dinner we stopped off at AbracadaBar next door, which we don't recommend. The drinks were weak and the service was slow. However, we were hungry and ready for one of our most anticipated meals of the trip. Im summary:
🤔 Overall an okay meal but ended up sending things back
❌ Restrooms were in the AbracadaBar bar next door. There’s something off about leaving a quiet and relaxing restaurant, to then walking through another bar packed with loud people to use their restroom! It just seemed a bit jarring
✅ Lovely decor and atmosphere. Lots of little touches like fish scale on the cutlery
✅ Really good and fresh bread service
✅ Delicious pork belly starters. Not too fatty, not too salty, just right! So good!
✅ Server was professional. Kept our drinks refilled and was present throughout the meal
🆗 Both the New York strip and filet had WAY TOO MUCH salt on them. Filet was just about acceptable for me, but the New York strip was inedible, had to send it back. Replacement was better, but you know if you’ve had something bad you don’t want to eat anymore of it? Yeah.
✅ Espresso Martini was divine. First one I’ve had made with Joffrey's coffee, yummy!
💰 An expensive meal that we had high expectations for, and while they replaced the meal and took it off the bill, it did hinder the experience. Lay off the salt, chefs!
The atmosphere and ambience of the restaurant was really nice. The seats were comfortable and the design and features of the restaurant were incredible.
Because this was one of our "fancier" meals - and one of the ones we were most looking forward to - we ordered a bottle of champagne.
Our server Katie was great. She was present throughout the entire meal, friendly, and dealt with our problems in an acceptable and efficient manner in the best way she could. First, the bread service arrived which was fresh and delicious.
There wasn't too much on the starters menu that we wanted, so we both decided to go for the slow-roasted Pork Belly with spiced apple and cherry gastrique. These pork belly starters were really nice. They weren't too fatty, they weren't not too salty, they were just right!
Moving onto the entree course, I had the Filet Mignon (Asparagus, Sweet Onion Risotto and Truffle Sauce). The Filet itself was nice and soft and the Truffle Sauce was quite exceptional. I'm not usually a huge fan of Risotto but actually quite enjoyed it in this dish. A couple bites in though, I noticed the Filet was quite salty. For me, the salt level was just about acceptable. While I'd have liked it less salted than it was, it wasn't enough for me to send it back. However...
Our other entree was the New York Strip (Mille-Feuille Potato Gratin, Cauliflower Colors and Béarnaise Sauce). After a bite I noticed Lorna did not look particularly impressed. I asked what was wrong with it and she said it's way too salty. After already tasting my filet (but not yet saying anything about it) and coming to the same conclusion, I tried a bite of her New York Strip and it was like eating a fork full of pure salt.
I signalled to our server Katie and told her that the New York Strip was like eating pure salt and was completely inedible. She then took it away to be replaced. She asked how mine was, I told her it is salted too much, however I'm fine with it. Of course, the filet isn't a big meal so while we waiting for a replacement New York Strip I was very slowly eating my filet, but sadly managed to finish it before the New York Strip came back. What's worse, is they obviously knew it was taking a while to be replaced because the Potato Gratin (which was really nice on the first plate) was undercooked and inedible on the replacement meal. The replacement New York Strip was much better, but of course by then when you've had a bad dish and then a long wait, your appetite is gone.
After posting my reaction on social media many others commented saying they have experienced the overuse of salt here (and in some other places too). There might be some palate differences and I know Americans like salt over there, but this was by far the saltiest steak we had on this trip (we had Steak House 71 a couple days after this and was perfectly lightly salted). I'm not being dramatic when I say that the steak tasted like eating pure salt, though.
To finish we cleansed our palates with a glass of water and an espresso martini (made with Joffrey's coffee) each- which I have to say was one of the best espresso martini's I think I've ever had.
Our server took the New York Strip off the bill (which we didn't even ask for them to do), and the total came in to about $275 including tip ($100 of which is the champagne). If the New York Strip was included, our bill would have been around $350, or about $250 without the champagne. I can't say - even if it went smoothly - that would have been worth it, unfortunately. It's unlikely we'll return.
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