1228 Beijing Xi Lu (????1228?)
With an interior awash with whites, yellows and blues, 1228 Mediterranean Restaurant & Cafe is a Greek restaurant but is very Chinese at heart – from the waitresses that are lovely, but can’t/won’t speak English and the seemingly cut corners that some of the dishes had. Perhaps it’s because the Greek owner recently bid goodbye to the restaurant (2 weeks ago I believe) and the quality and authenticity has gone down – who knows?
There were 7 of us dining and service was prompt and very polite, two thumbs up and absolutely no complaints. We were seated on the 2nd floor and there were a few occupied tables around us, but it was largely quite empty, perhaps due to being a weeknight and a rainy one to boot. The food all arrived swiftly but we found most of them hit or miss. The dishes certainly didn’t transport you to Greece, though most of them were tasty.
My Moussaka was delicious minced lamb and eggplant draped with lashings of buttery mashed potatoes and smothered with melted cheese. The taste was there, and it hit the spot, but it did look like it was pre-made and microwaved to heat it up before serving. It lacked finishing touches, something as simple as a spring of parsley or a dollop of ricotta cheese – anything! Scarily, it was also DRIPPING with oil. So much so that it was like soup at the bottom of my dish, and I had to tip the whole dish to pour out the oil (eeeeeek!). I was pleased though that the Moussaka was a pretty generous portion, so it did fill me up alongside all the other appetizers.
But of course, I still insisted on “DESSERT TIME!!!” even though no one else at the table was interested (boo). I ordered the Baklava, which was a wedge of layers of filo pastry sandwiching chopped walnuts, and drizzled with honey soaked with lemon and orange. It looked a little plain on the plate, and could’ve done with a boost of flavour from a scoop of quality vanilla bean ice cream. I found the whole thing a little on the dry side without the ice cream, and the textures and flavours didn’t gel well together. It was alright and I still ate the whole thing, but I wouldn’t order it again.
Perhaps the restaurant is still (re)finding its feet after the owner left, and I hope they turn the quality around and boost their dishes up by a couple of notches.
1228 Mediterranean Restaurant & Cafe
Little bagel/bread things – nice but not outstanding
Chicken pie with mozzarella cheese (18?) – they tasted good,
but we had no idea what was inside until the waitress told us!
Hummus – delicious and chunky
Chicken kebabs with baba ganoush (25?) – terrible. Small, tough and unbelievably salty
Calamari salad – didn’t have any, too boring 😛
Bruschetta (20?) – the bread was way too thin/small but the capsicum and tapenade were tasty
The man orders a whole (!) roast chicken (98?)
I helped him out with 1/4 of chicken. I doubt it was freshly roasted, it had
a very distinct ‘microwave’ flavour to it and wasn’t as juicy as anticipated.
Spinach and mushroom cannelloni (68?) – I didn’t have any of this, but it looked good!
My moussaka (67?) – A nice big portion, delicious, but it was dripping
with oil, I actually POURED the oil out of the dish onto another plate!
Nobody was interested in dessert, but me (ARGHHH!!!). I had the Baklava (25?).
The pastry was very crisp and nice, but overall the dessert didn’t blow my mind.