Sun sea sand

Sun sea sand

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Pizza Uno is All Grown Up

It used to be Pizza Uno. Now it's just Uno restaurant, and the tagline is "Gourmet Comfort Food". My brother asked, as we were approaching the Taman Tun Dr Ismail outlet: "What does gourmet mean?" My immediate answer: "Expensive."

Yes, it's all grown up into a gourmet cafe, and the prices have expanded as well. Times change, of course, and a rise in prices is expected all around. From the restaurant called Pizza Italia I used to visit in Ampang for such  delicious pasta [the garlic prawn was memorable indeed], the go-to place then became Pizza Uno in Centrepoint, which offered more none-pasta dishes. Now it's Uno, in Taman Tun and USJ, and it has become a chill-out place for those who can afford it.

With soup at RM9, antipasti ranging from RM12-18, pasta RM16-28, pizza RM24-34 and tenderloin or the fish special up to RM48, it's now firmly in the mid-upper-level range. If you're not convinced, you only have to look at the soft drink prices of RM5 per can [of Pepsi, they don't offer Coca Cola].

Still not convinced? A meal with the small portions might sway you. The motto on the glass wall at the nicely done Taman Tun outlet says: Eat a little less. Enjoy a little more. I said to my brother, and I wasn't really kidding, "Eat a little less. PAY a little more."

I chose the RM24 beef lasagna, which the waiter assured me was freshly made. I specifically asked because I once paid RM28 at a boutique cafe for lasagna that came from a RM8 packet available at Tesco. At Uno, my lasagna was probably freshly made, but they made the cardinal sin of microwaving it before serving. At a mom-and-pop shop maybe, but at a gourmet restaurant, this is a huge no-no. As a result, my dish was nuclear-hot, and actually remained tongue-burning the whole 30 minutes it took me to finish it. Nuclear meltdown aside, the taste was just about similar to the instant lasagna at the supermarket, with no "wow" factor. Disappointing but edible.

My brother chose the RM24 fettucine carbonara, and it was tasty but otherwise bland, in the sense that there was merely the taste of the creamy sauce [which was a nice thickness] and beef bacon, nothing spectacular. Presentation wise it was also boring, with the little bit of scattered green [the same as on my lasagna] serving as the go-to decoration. Adequate.

On the plus side, the hot chocolate was delicious! So good in fact that I had two [although the size of the cup may have had something to do with it]. At RM8, it was just a bitter enough, while the foam, cream and chocolate topping gave it the taste of luxury. And it made the drink sweet, so do taste it before putting in more sugar.

Uno serves alcohol as beverages and in the food, so do be aware of what you're ordering. My brother was taken with the Lemon Spritz, and fortunately we were informed by the waiter that it was alcoholic [we didn't read the small print that it included limoncello]. Stated in the menu as under Other Beverages, below the water and soft drinks, it might be more mindful for the restaurant to put a little "with alcohol" sticker instead of relying on the waiters, especially with customers who can't read the fine print.

The waiters can't be expected to remember everything, after all. Our waiter spoke passable English, enough to the extent of taking our orders but perhaps not sufficiently to explain what our dishes were made from. They did, however, listen enough to change the spelling of the word "tenderloin" on their blackboards listing the April specials. It's the little things that count.

I expect there are some great dishes at Uno, but it would be hit-or-miss, really. Overall, I would return for a perfectly acceptable meal, while testing a few more dishes if I'm feeling adventurous. At RM77 for two, though [two main dishes and three drinks], it's a big ask to play russian roulette with my taste buds.

Uno. 55 Jalan USJ10/1A Taipan, Subang Jaya
  12 Persiaran Zaaba, Taman Tun Dr Ismail

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