The Athena

My family and I have paid many visits to The Athena for their set lunch. I can distinctly remember my father taking us there for the first time - we were amazed at the value for money that we got and the quality of the food that was served. We continued to visit the restaurant many times afterwards, but stopped a few months ago.

Last week, my parents and I found ourselves at the Pavilion once again, and seeing as we had not tried The Athena in ages, we thought we'd give it another shot. The Athena is located on the Ground Floor, in between La Bodega and Michaelangelo's at The Pavilion on Jalan Bukit Bintang. Our visit this time, however, was completely different from the rest.

Upon taking our seats, it took us 10 minutes for the waiter to come and take our order. We requested for warm water, but the waiter had told us that we were required to pay RM4 for a bottle of mineral water - eventhough other tables were clearly drinking water from the tap. A white lie right there...

For my mains, I had Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Smoked Salmon from the set menu. This was accompanied with with a Cream of Carrot Soup, worth RM19.90. The soup seemed fresh, and was of a nice consistency. The mallow taste left a nice feeling in my mouth, though the bread that it was served with the soup was slightly stale.

The Spaghetti Aglio e Olio was of a generous portion, though the spaghetti on the other hand, was overcooked - not al dente. There was also right amounts of oil and garlic, though way too much salt! The salmon was salty too, and that didn't help either.

I chose a Tiramisu for desert. The tiramisu was firm, with a nice ratio of cream to ladies fingers, and the chocolate that was drizzled onto it was a nice complement. The only downside to this dish was that it was way too small a portion. Before I knew it, I had finished the entire slice, leaving nothing to take a picture of.

My father on the other hand, ordered Chicken a la Pimentos from the set menu as well. He was served with Minestrone Soup as a starter - worth RM21.90. The minestrone soup lacked in flavour and was too cold. It almost tasted like flavoured water. The bread served with this, too, was slightly stale.

The Chicken was tender and the sauce (along with the mustard) complemented it very well. There wasn't, however, much potatoes - which were soft and fluffy, but not well seasoned. As for the vegetables - they were all cooked well, apart from the undercooked carrots.

My dad decided to try the Chilled Marscapone with a Spicy Strawberry Sauce and Balsamic. It was an interesting choice of dessert, with the subtleness of the marscapone, 'spiced up' by the spicy/sweet/tart flavour of the strawberry sauce and balsamic. The dessert, however, was only served 20 minutes after we had all finished our food.

My mother ordered the Seafood Salad from the a la carte menu, worth RM28. This dish was, in metaphorical terms, a big plate of shit - especially when considering the price we paid. It did not look great, and the dish was essentially boiled frozen seafood (yes,the fishy taste was there) on a bed of raw greens, drizzled with olive oil. For RM28,we thought to ourselves…wtf is this?!?

On the whole, it was rather surprising to see such a change in standard. Even though I have my doubts on if I choose to return again, I most probably will - and only then will I be able to make my judgement. Personally, I suggest that you try other places for lunch and save The Athena as a last resort - but in the end, its up to you.

Presentation: 6/10

Ambiance: 6/10

Service: 3/10

Overall Taste: 5/10

General Impression: 4/10





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