Suzhou Restaurant Review: Airlio

By Tess Humphrys, October 17, 2018

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The Place

Airlio is one of a number of restaurants in the newly opened HLCC Mall. We were intrigued by European café-style décor and staff dressed all in black, complete with trendy floppy hats. 

The Food 

Leaning heavily towards French and Italian, the English menu with pictures makes it easy to order. A nice touch was the basket of freshly baked bread that comes with a side of real butter. 

Photo via Tess Humphrys/That's

We ordered the French meal set (RMB299) with sirloin steak and two accompanying dishes, plus a plate of onsen tamago (Japanese slow-cooked egg) and ham pasta (RMB79). The spinach, pear and avocado salad and the truffle mushroom soup from the set menu were served first, and both were very well-presented. The addition of walnuts and feta cheese added interesting textures to the greens, while the balsamic dressing tied everything together nicely. The soup, on the other hand, was earthy, rich and velvety, and the highlight of the meal. 

There was an unexpectedly long wait until the wrong pasta dish was brought out. While the mistake was quickly rectified, the incident dampened our impression of their service.

The pasta, when it arrived, was beautiful to look at, but it was our least favorite dish due to an overwhelming amount of sauce and black pepper, while the noodles were too chewy.

The sirloin steak was well cooked, tender and juicy, but too fatty. Fresh pink Sichuan peppercorns looked great and added a delightful flavor to the meat, while the roasted tomatoes made a simple and refreshing accompaniment. 

Photo via Tess Humphrys/That's

The Vibe

With Audrey Hepburn films projected onto the walls, Airlio is going for a nostalgic, romantic ambiance.  During our visit, however, the voices of a few loud diners reverberated throughout the spacious dining room and completely ruined the mood. 

See a listing for Airlio and read more Suzhou Restaurant Reviews

[Cover image via Tess Humphrys/That's]

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