Hong Kong restaurant reviews

Restaurant review: Spiga in Central – good seafood and great desserts, but avoid the pizza

A large, well-designed space, Italian restaurant offers dishes that sound tempting, but a poor excuse for a lukewarm pizza marred the meal despite the free desserts

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 April, 2017, 5:04pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 April, 2017, 5:42pm

Spiga occupies the large space that once belonged to Lupa – the Mario Batali establishment that was also managed by Dining Concepts restaurant group. It’s a lovely, well-designed restaurant – although it’s large, it has cosy corners, and the noise level wasn’t high, but that might be because it wasn’t full on the night we visited.

The tasting menu looked tempting but it would have cost HK$788 per person, so we decided to order a la carte. Deep-fried baby squid with artichokes (HK$198) was a lovely starter: the ingredients had a light, delicate coating and were not overcooked.

We also liked the linguini with Sicilian red prawns and green asparagus (HK$258). The sauce had an intensely seafood flavour, the prawn meat was very soft, and the head was full of rich juices.

We liked parts of the traditional Italian osso buco with saffron risotto (HK$298). The meat itself was a bit stringy, but we liked the rich sauce. The risotto was creamy but not heavy, but we couldn’t taste the saffron.

The main disappointment of the night was the white pizza with soft cheese and black truffle (HK$278). It was tepid, and when the waiter asked whether we liked it, we told him that. He offered to have it reheated, and when we agreed, he said he’d have to ask the manager. After several minutes, the manager came over and we repeated our complaint and were told us it was supposed to be like that. He offered another pizza but we didn’t want the first one to go to waste (although by that time, it had gone even cooler), so he said he’d give us free desserts. In any case, we didn’t like this style of pizza; the crust was too tender, without any chew, and it lacked char.

The free desserts were nice, though. Traditional tiramisu (normally HK$98) was light and mild, but even better was the chocolate foam with hazelnut cream (HK$118). It had an ethereal texture but intense flavour, and the ice cream was refreshing.

Spiga, 3/F LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Road Central, tel: 2871 0055. Dinner without paying for desserts about HK$345 without drinks or the service charge.

While you’re in the area:

Restaurant review: The Chin’s in Central – elegant, high-end Chinese food at a price

Newly opened TokyoLima in Central – Japanese-Peruvian fusion distils best of both food cultures

Restaurant review: Cochin in Central – quintessential French fare in a casual setting