Bistro the Home

January 29, 2011
This is a relatively new place on Alexandra serving Asian style pasta and pizza. The restaurant was bright and tidy, and service was quick and attentive. I originally wanted to order the Shanghai (spicy seafood) because it came with Shanghai bok choy, but was told that it would probably be too spicy for someone who's not crazy about spicy foods. I ended up ordering the Mare ($9.50) instead with fresh tomato sauce. There was a lot of seafood including shrimps, clams, mussels, squid and scallop. I normally don't like tomato sauce, but this one was made with fresh tomatoes and not just tomato cream. It was really good and tasted much better than commercial tomato paste.

My dad ordered the Vongole ($10.50) which was just pasta with clams. There must have been at least 10 clams; he could barely finish the dish.

We were using a LivingSocial voucher, so we each got a choice of soup or salad for free with our lunch. We got one of each so we could try both. The salad was a decent portion and although the lettuce and tomatoes were fresh, it wasn't anything out of the ordinary.

I was really impressed by the honey squash soup. The portion was really small, but it was sweet, rich and creamy. As you can see in the picture though, there was less than half a bowl.

Regular drinks are free during lunch time and only $1 during dinner time. I got an orange juice and Dad got a coffee. A big half of my glass was filled with ice cubes, so I didn't actually get much juice. The coffee wasn't that great either. But both of these drinks were free, so I have no complaints.

I think the value was great for the price I paid. This is not a bad place for lunch since the pasta portions are pretty big, and a free drink is included with the meal.

EDIT: Aug 9, 2011

I came back again for the pasta, and this time I also tried the bruschetta ($5.50). Surprisingly the presentation was really nice, and the tomato topping was very juicy and tasty. I liked the garlic bread soaked in olive oil with a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

As for the pasta, I feel that there isn't enough variety. Although there are around 10 different pasta dishes on the menu, most of them are very similar with small variations. Since I don't consider bacon bits or mushrooms as actual toppings, the only choices left are seafood and chicken. All of the pastas come with the same vegetable – broccoli. I ordered the Shanghai pasta that was supposed to come with Shanghai bok choy, but guess what I got? Yep, broccoli. I didn't bother asking about it because I actually ordered the dish with tomato sauce and got oil sauce instead, but the waitress didn't seem to care and just said that it's not possible to order the Shanghai with tomato sauce. I don't think I'll be coming back very often because I don't foresee myself having a constant craving for pasta with broccoli and chicken or seafood.

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