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Pegro at the Westin

Pegro at the Westin
Address: 44th floor of the Westin Hotel
Website: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/property/dining/index.html?propertyID=1706


Today we had lunch at a very unusual venue: 40 floors above the city! Well, we were grocery shopping at the mall underneath the train station and decided to head to the Westin for lunch. As soon as I saw that there’s a restaurant so high up, I demanded that we must check it out.

Pegro does have a pretty decent view of Tianhe, if you factor out the smog. Too bad today was so smoggy…well, most days in Guangzhou are smoggy, especially when the weather is warm. I bet the view is nicer at night, though, when TianHe turns into a panorama of lights.

The restaurant’s decor is pretty nice. Wow, I sure have really vague descriptions when it comes to anything non-food…You know what, since I don’t care much about decor, you should just judge for yourselves from the pic above.

Oh, and the waitresses had very casual uniforms…overly casual for this type of restaurant…

Anyways, enough said, onto the food!

Well, first of all, Pegro, even though it is listed as an Italian restaurant, serves an international buffet lunch for some reason. I was a little dismayed since buffets are usually known for their quantity over quality approach to food. Some high-end buffets in Guangzhou are exceptional, such as the one at White Swan Hotel, but they all have their hits and misses.

First I went for the cold appetizers. The grilled tuna was pretty decent. It had that nice, rare sheen. The jelly ladeled on top was interesting; it was slightly spicy. That, plus the juicy fish eggs, added a unique flavour and texture to the tuna.

The mango salad with sliced beef wasn’t that interesting. The beef was nice and thin but lacked flavour. The mango salad also lacked flavour. Yeah, uninteresting.

The bruschetta was pretty good. The tomato topping was flavourful but the bread underneath has definitely suffered from sitting under the lamp for too long; the olive oil and juices from the topping has made it a bit soggy.

Next to the bruschetta sits the green bean salad with quail eggs and dijon mustard. Not too interesting, though the dijon mustard did jazz up the otherwise mediocre mayo-based dressing.

Of course, and I also got sashimi! Pegro, unlike most other buffets, has a self-serve sashimi platter where you can take as much as you like. Awesome! However, the quality of the fish wasn’t that good. Too many tendons in everything but the salmon. ANd the octopus was too tough. Oh well.

Sorry, my cold appetizers are over yet. To sum up the first stage of the meal I got two freshly-opened oysters! They were fresh and tasted like how oysters should taste.

Ok, onto hot foods. The roasted pumpkin would have been good had it been warm, but alas, it was practically at room temperature. The Yorkshire pudding (I think that’s what that was…not sure…it was eggy and savoury) also suffered the same ailments. The roast beef was better, but too stringy in the well-cooked outter layer.

ABove is the random hot foods plate: clockwise from top right, we have a cheese and spinach baked oyster, rice ball, meat puff, and chicken tikka. The oyster was seriously lacking in flavour; one would expect anything with cheese to be pretty flavourful but NOO, this was not so. Don’t bother trying it out. The rice ball was all right, but it wasn’t as hot as fried foods should be. Take a look at the rice ball innards!!

Right. Back to the rest of the items on the random hot foods plate: the meat puff was pretty good. Well, actually, it didn’t have enough stuffing, and I couldn’t quite make out what the stuffing was (I think it was pork floss or something), but the pastry was very well executed. Very flaky with numberous identifiable layers…yum. Oh, but the chicken tikka, don’t even bother looking at it. It was the most bland, dry, and boring piece of chicken ever.

Wow, this has been a lot of food…I actually had a plate of vegetables that I forgot to take a picture of but they were nothing amazing. There was this mixed vegetable dish with egg yolks that was nice but the other stuff was just mediocre.

For my pre-dessert course I had cheese and bread. I love cheese, but one can not get good cheese conveniently in Guangzhou. The cheese selection here was pretty unique; instead of sticking to the boring cheddar, cream cheese, and brie combination found elsewhere, Prego had three strange cheeses that I did not know the names of! However, I only liked the soft cheese…the hard ones had really strong, sharp flavours that I’m not too fond of. Yeah, I guess I’m not much of a cheese connoisseur.

Oh, and you see a piece of salami there. I don’t like salami much so I shouldn’t comment.

Prego also has a nice selection of bread, but I only tried out the baguette and the grainy dinner roll. The baguette was too dry, probably as a result of sitting around for too long, and the dinner roll was too Chinese-bready (AKA sweet and soft and spongy). Alas, no good bread here…

All right, finally, after all that, came the most important part of the meal: dessert! I actually tried out almost every dessert that they had on offer cause I have no self-control. Haha.

The chocolate mousse was rather boring. Too monotonous in texture, and not chocolatey enough.

The chocolate mousse cake was nice though; pretty chocolatey. The cherry was unnecessary.

Walnut brownie with buttercream= The buttercream frosting was good: not too sweet and not over-powering. However, the brownie wasn’t good: overly dry.

Apricot tart: very nice. The apricot had a nice tartness that actually complimented the sweet crust quite well. And underneath there was this nice gooey layer of custard. Awesome textural contrast.

The creme brulee, on the onset, was highly disappointing, as you can see by its LACK of a caramelized crust.

Despite that great flaw, however, the custard underneath was awesome. Very creamy and not overly sweet.

I found that I liked the coffee cheesecake quite a lot since it wasn’t too strong. Yeah, I don’t like super pugnent foods.

However, although I don’t like the overly strong stuff, neither do I enjoy the overly weak stuff, and this mango cream thing fell into that category. I really don’t know the actual name of this concoction but it tasted like a dense whipped cream dome surrounded by mangoes. And the cream had absolutely no flavour.

All right, my last photo: walnut pie! It was awesome. Last time I tried to bake walnut pie all the nuts floated too the top of the pie, leaving the layer beneath a mass of corn syrup goo. Here somehow they managed to get the walnuts to disperse throughout the filling so that the layers weren’t so separated. Tasted awesome.

Wow, that was one long entry. Yeah, it was a long meal. Actually, I didn’t walk out TOOO full cause I did not finish all the stuff on my plates. I guess that’s the best way to enjoy buffets: take little bites of everything and only finish the stuff that I really enjoy. Pegro’s buffet was, well, average. There were hits and misses, as with most buffets out there. However, it’s not everyday that one gets to eat 40 stories up so if you’re ever in the area and are looking for a splurge, this may be the place to go!

November 30, 2009 Posted by | Guangzhou, Uncategorized | Leave a comment