Thursday, May 5, 2011

Restaurant review: No Bite-Size Pieces at Marco Polo

Severally, I passed through Marco Polo Restaurant on Karim Kotun Street, Victoria Island, but the first time I stepped into the building was for a business meeting. I wasn’t that impressed, because it appeared like just another of its type, well, after my experience I could not pick any special thing or feeling from it all.

Although Marco Polo is aware of the sensitive nature of the restaurant, business, catering and food service in general, I think the restaurant pays too much attention to customizing everything they own. From the uniforms, badges, menu cards, table covers, crockery and cutlery. I wonder why they all kept shouting “Marco Polo!”
Customer service is on the average at Marco Polo as the waiters are considerably on call, although it seems you have to repeat the order to the waiter, at first I thought it was the particular one that attended to us. But not until I noticed the voice from the next table repeating for the second time, “How many times do I have to say that exactly?”
On the other hand, cleanliness is a big one at Marco Polo, the environs is simply charming, a good dash of colours, the colours and designs still stay clean and beautiful on the walls. The convenience is fresh and the atmosphere is just cool, for that I felt relieved. At least it’s said that a good atmosphere encourages a good dine.

There’s one thing though, Sushi at Marco Polo is simply irresistible, when I saw it, and I thought it was a crown of shame on us for dining there, but a first taste of the meal restored me back to life. Marco Polo offers a real alternative; the sushi is a welcome culinary addition to the other varieties on course, the fabulously fresh sushi and sashimi is made beautifully along with traditional dishes which makes the dining experience a fusionist affair, the menu is simply seasonal. The food was great as mentioned but my Chicken Tepanyaki was such a big chunky fillet, that I had to use a knife and fork to cut/eat it. I don't normally complain about there being too much food, but I always thought Japanese food should be small, bite-size pieces you can pick-up with chopsticks?
The intimate dining room is clean and crisp, with comfortable upholstered chairs and dark wood furniture squared up against a deep red wall. A striking tree sculpture, made from bamboo, spreads up the walls and across the ceiling, with lights dangling above the centre tables.

Hmm...I wasn't really impressed with this place at all. For a restaurant that openly boasts about winning lots of remarks, I expected award-winning food and service but the waiters and management seem to be out of the decent type. I really found this odd considering the wait-staff have a touch of snobbery. We ate beside the window to get a view of the beautiful street and the range of lovely cars parking in and out of the lot.

It seems all the things that made Marco Polo "Swell" are now gone? Now it is a typical sushi and tappanyaki on the Island. I don't write this to be mean or cruel the food is still good at Marco Polo but not what it once was. Maybe I will start eating somewhere else each Sunday since it seems there’ll always be a meeting at Marco Polo.

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