Risotto Spheres at the Moda Urban Dining Restaurant in Halifax
The Moda Urban Dining Restaurant on Dresden Row in Halifax appears to be closed now, and I can’t say that I will miss it overmuch. I remember wondering, after a singularly unimpressive meal there, what the ‘Urban Dining’ signified in the restaurant name and all I could conclude was that it was the same as ‘Rural Dining’ but without the good food. I had a ‘Gourmet Burger’ there, which was an epic fail, and the appetizer of ‘Risotto Spheres’ you see pictured above was very poorly done indeed.
Moda was very small, with the dining room being what was obviously the front room of a re-modelled Victorian residence. It was simply but tastefully fitted out inside, giving it a sort of minimalist sophistication, and the menu itself reflect the spartan décor by being very short and, rather surprisingly quite pedestrian, with fish and chips, and burgers being listed. I rather hoped, given the ambience, not to mention the prices, that the actual dishes would be prepared with novel culinary twists and flair, but, sadly, I was disappointed.
The Risotto Spheres were described on the menu as ‘Creamy mushroom risotto stuffed with Asiago, flash fried, and served with a rosemary tomato sauce ‘. Essentially, it turned out to be a variation on the popular Sicilian Arancini but this interpretation of what is a simple appetizer, was very poorly executed.
Firstly, the rice was not properly cooked (there were grains with hard centers), and the balls were prepared with very little binder with the result that they fall apart at the first touch of a fork. There were some Parmesan shavings atop each ball but, aside from this, the seasoning was minimal and the overall effect quite bland an uninteresting. The tomato sauce was okay, if a bit over sweet, but even had it been a good deal better than it was, it couldn’t have saved the Risotto Spheres at Moda.