The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Monday, 7 March 2011

Antipasti Semi-buffet @ Cova, Hong Kong

It seems that antipasto buffets are quite the trend in Hong Kong. Generally this includes a range of all-you-can-eat antipasti and salads, and some restaurants offer the optional choice of main course and/or dessert course for an additional extra. I think buffets are quite evil, but this style of "semi"-buffet set-up is actually great for the health-conscious because there is the option not to have the optional extra courses. It is also great when you have to dine out with a toddler, and you need a quick meal but don't want to eat fast food junk.

Buffet table at Cova:

Last Saturday, we were in the vicinity of Harbour City around lunch time, so we headed in to look for food. This mall is huge and vastly popular - navigating around inside requires quite a bit of patience. We came across Cova in Ocean Centre and we were enticed by their sign advertising the lunch Anti-pasti Semi-buffet for HK$138. It included soup of the day, all-you-can-eat antipasti and salad on the buffet table, and coffee or tea. For those who wished to indulged in dessert, each piece of cake cost an additional HK$52. The buffet table was not large, but there was enough variety to keep the average diner happy. Appetisers included pate crostini, smoked salmon with capers, seafood salad, chicken salad, potato salad, grilled vegetables, smoked duck salad, and a number of cured meats like salami and ham. On the table were also three bowls with different types of lettuce and salad ingredients (croutons, crispy bacon, dressing) to build up your own salad. There were two hot dishes at the front of the buffet table: a potato gratin and a yummy chicken dish that Zak loved. Everything was fresh and they all tasted pretty yummy. We did let Zak eat the bread and the hot food, which didn't seem to contain any of the ingredients he is allergic to, and I was relieved when he did not break out in rashes later on (especially since we were scheduled for a photo shoot the next morning!).

Rob's first round:

Our only problem with this branch of Cova was the service. It wasn't that busy, yet we found it was difficult to get any of the waitstaffs' attention, not once, but twice - first time was to let them know they'd forgotten to serve us our soup, and second time was to get the bill. It was like they put us in a corner and forgot about us, which was amusing because strictly speaking there wasn't any corner. The dining area was actually in the middle of the shopping floor, cordoned off by belts, and the area could accommodate only a few tables. It was a pretty small area, and you would have to be pretty unobservant to not notice someone waving from any of the tables. In fact Rob had to walk over to two girls to get the bill, and he told me they were chatting and not paying much attention on the floor. Poor conduct on the waitstaffs' part, which is a shame because the food was quite good.

Soup of the day was minestrone, served after we were done with the buffet. The minestrone could have been seasoned better because it was still a little too tart:

My cappuccino, which we found was not as good as the cappuccino from the Cova branch in Pacific Place (Admiralty). Curiously, Rob's latte tasted exactly the same as my cappuccino:

Overall, it was a good dining experience, but the waitstaff needs to be better trained.

Ocean Centre
116A&B, Level 1
Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel. +85 2 2992 0720

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