During Restaurant Week, Ling and I had lunch at Ai Fiori, Chef Michael White’s one Michelin starred restaurant offering Italian and French cuisine. The lobby space of Langham Place is stunning and pristine, then you slowly make your way up the stairs to Ai Fiori. It seemed like many customers were there for business lunches, but I also saw a few people there in t-shirts and flip flops. I know it’s hot out, but you can do better than when dining at a nice place like this.
I started with the baby lollo rossa and sucrine salad with manchego cheese, croutons and an aged sherry dressing. Overall, pretty good. I especially enjoyed the manchego cheese. Ling ordered the chilled corn soup with charred corn, calabrian chili, and basil. Lovely presentation. It’s one of those dishes where they pour the soup over the veggies at your table. She mentioned there was a distinct smoky corn flavor.
The tagliatelle was the only meatless entree on the Restaurant Week menu, and I was looking forward to trying their house made pasta. Chewy, al dente ribbons with mushrooms, tomato, and ricotta. The mushroom were nice, but then again, I always enjoy mushrooms. Overall, it was a solid pasta dish, but not the most remarkable or memorable.
Ling’s entree was the roasted chicken with corona beans, haricot vert, and pancetta. Overall, the food was very good, but I couldn’t help but feel a little bit letdown. When I visit Michelin star restaurants, even during Restaurant Week, I expect to be surprised and delighted. I want flavors that kinda punch you in the face. I wish our entrees had come out hot, not at room temperature. To be honest, the servers seemed overwhelmed by the lunch rush.
All that said, I think the desserts were the highlight of our meal at Ai Fiori, so at least it ended on a high note. We ordered one of each from the Restaurant Week menu so we could taste both. The Torta Di Cioccolato flourless dark chocolate cake was rich in flavor, but not too sweet. The meringue with lemon cream, berries, and crumble was a light summer treat with a good balance of sweetness and tartness.