half_sushi on Infinitus Mall, 3/F, W08-10, 168 Hubin Lu, near Jinan Lu 6259 8671 Tomatito Price per Person: 300 Rmb
Atmosphere: Tucked away on the third floor of the Infinitus Mall next to Gaden, Tomatito definitely lives up to the self-proclaimed notion of a "sexy tapas bar." With locations in Manila & Saigon as well, it is easy to see how the El Willy Group concept would fit in with the Xintiandi crowd. The decor is bright, colorful, and has flair. The ambience of Tomatito is simple, yet sophisticated for the mall location and it certainly shows in their food & drinks.
Food: Since it was around early evening, we decided on a few tapas to pair with our drinks and we were quite lucky as each dish was on point & would recommend a try. The Croquetas de Ibercios were savory and the balance of textures is what you would expect from a deep-fried delicacy. The tartar de arun in crispy wonton skin was simple and a fresh contrast to the richer tapas. Lastly and without a doubt, the consensus favorite at the table was the cuttlefish. Even our out-of-town guest from San Francisco agreed that the cuttlefish with the citrus and savory components rivaled the seafood of the Bay Area. All in all, the food certainly shines at Tomatito and it is evident why patrons find their way to an obscure corner location on the third floor of a mall.
Service: This is where I was reluctant to give the full 5-stars. The food and drink were great, the atmosphere was lively enough to entertain, yet something was missing in the service. As mentioned in other reviews and in previously working in the industry, there is something to be said about the fundamental points of service. Timing & flow have a lot to do with the experience and just hoped for a quality of service that matched the food. Nonetheless, will be back for a complete dinner as the paella looked good when it passed us when we were on our way out the door.
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