Big steaks from a little Italian
Updated: 2012-08-27 13:16
By Li Xinzhu in Sh (China Daily)
Giant steaks are one of Il Bambino's biggest draws. Provided to China Daily
Another cozy Italian restaurant has opened on Julu Road in Jing'an district, where dozens of stylish eateries as well as designer boutiques are already gathered. But Il Bambino, with only 30 seats, is an intimate experience.
In a city where Italian restaurants are mushrooming in every neighborhood, Il Bambino stands out with its neat, clean image - bright white table linen and shining crockery and glassware.
It is also attracting diners with discount coupons that offer 15 percent off every portion of a 1 kg grain-fed Angus steak through an online restaurant-rating website, valued at about 500 yuan ($79). This is enough to draw the curious, although it is hard to imagine what that gargantuan portion is like, given that the usual largest serving size of steaks is about 400 g.
It is certainly good for dinner conversation while waiting for the giant steak to arrive.
The reaction of diners is always "Wow", and the serving staff are used to customers using the palm of their hands to measure the steak, either before or after they whip out cameras and phones to record the experience, or show off to absent friends.
"Many customers like to take photos before they eat," says Yang Fan, 30, the restaurant's owner. And well they may, for the size of the steak is almost one and half times bigger than an average male hand.
The whole idea of offering such large steaks was inspired by the world famous Tuscan-style 1 kg steak in Florence, Yang says.
Steaks are usually served with mashed potato and various sauces, but Il Bambino's presentation is a bit on the wild side.
The steak is served on a white plate, accompanied by cherry tomatoes, some green salad and a whole unpeeled garlic. The restaurant recommends a rare to medium steak.
The steak needs to be seared on the grill for a bit of color and it's then finished off in the oven, Yang says. At Il Bambino, their kitchen equipment is all imported but Yang says it's worth every cent.
Il Bambino's kitchen team is young, and the chef is only 27, although he has already worked in several restaurants in Italy for years.