Founded on Bà Triệu Street, Il Grill restaurant is an ancient house that looks very tiny compared to other neighbor’s houses. However, this restaurant does not have the appealing decoration, it even doesn’t look like an Italian restaurant at all from the outside. Walking inside Il Grill, I was not impressed and kind of disappointed actually. Even though it has the feeling and the atmosphere of a traditional Italian restaurant but it seems like it is trying too hard of putting everything on the wall.
For antipasti (appetizers), I have to go for Toasted Bread with Garlic and Butter. Along with normal breads that the restaurant gives us to dip in olive oil and vinegar, this dish is a must have in an Italian restaurant. Even though it looks like an easy dish but one step wrong and you can burn the whole thing. The amount of garlic needs to be exactly right. I bet people don’t want the garlic smell to stuck with them after the meal.
I also got the Clams Sauté in White Wine. I was expected to have black clams, not the Vietnamese’s clams. The white wine sauce was a bit strong and didn’t work for me and it left with the bitter after taste. I didn’t dig in this dish much with all the seafood smell was still there. Also, it was too watery to be called a sauté dish.
Creamy Mushroom Soup was tasty. The amount of cream and mushroom were perfectly balanced. It smells great, tastes good, looks nice then why not go for it?
I feel like we got too many appetizer dishes already. Here comes the last one, thin slices of raw Veal served with Olive Oil, Garlic and Parmesan cheese. This is another traditional appetizer dish in Italy cuisine but Il Grill’s chef was too generous with the vinegar that day, it was very sour. And what is going on with the plating? One lettuce leaf only hanging in a corner of the plate?
The next dish was filled dumpling of roasted Beef and Pork. Unlike its plain and boring name, this dish was colorful, rich and creamy. The agnolotti had perfect size and the beef and pork filling inside was not less not more, it was just enough to enjoy.
Il Grill’s lasagna with Bechamelle, Bolognese sauce, Parmesan and Cheddar cheese was a surprise. It even tasted better than the one I had in Italy, it had the golden effect outside and perfectly cooked inside.
Even though Italian food is not big about meat for a reason. The grilled Frenched Lamb Rack served with Sepcial Cream Sauce was not too bad but boring. Il Grill’s meat menu mostly focuses on veal than other proteins.
Squid Ink Spaghetti doesn’t include in Il Grill’s menu but don’t be afraid to ask for it. I personally call this Laughing Spaghetti because once you eat it, your mouth and your teeth will turn black and you just can’t stop laughing at each other. Other than the rare and strange color, this dish is just average. The spaghetti was bought from store and the squid didn’t stand out much when it was supposed to be the star of this dish.
Last but not least, I finished up with a Mozzarella, Tomato sauce, Salame Milano, and Oregano Pizza. This was how a pizza should always be; thin, crunchy and cheesy. I like my pizza to be simple and original and it is hard to find a place that makes this kind of pizza because in Asia, we like to add our own fusion on food.
I have been to Italy and trust me, the food plating at most of traditional Italian restaurant is not any better than this. I know Italian food doesn’t have the visual effect like French food but it is all about the quality than the look. Il Grill attracts a lot of Japanese customers and we all know that Japanese are the hardest when it comes to food.
Location: 8/10 Delivery: Pizza Only
Service: 6/10 Take out: No
Food: 5/10 Price: $$$
Until next time, stay freaky.