Thursday, 7 February 2013

Spago, Beverly Hills

Another Saturday night looms and it's another head scratcher for what we're going to have for dinner. Whenever this occurs (and this often does) we go to our favourite resource, the Entertainment Book! And to make sure we choose a restaurant that is inexpensive but also good, we cross reference with Urbanspoon. A highly recommended method to use! 

My partner suggests Spago, an Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills which I had not heard of. I check out the menu on their website and it's small but everything sounds delicious. We make a quick reservation and hop in the car! 

There's a large strip on King Georges Road that is filled with restaurants door to door and on both sides of the road. We knew if there were any problems, there wouldn't be too much of a walk to get food somewhere else. But from the looks of things, I think Spago is the place to be!


Everything is neat and beautifully set out in the restaurant. But I have a strange vibe about it. The decor and arrangement doesn't scream Italian and I can imagine the set up to be more of a Japanese restaurant. There's just something about it that I can't put my finger on. 

Their signature dish is the lobster bisque risotto ($28.00) which I have to try, especially since I've recently discovered my love for it! A good risotto takes patience and I was pretty excited for Spago's! I couldn't choose between the risotto or the spaghetti marinara ($27.00), but I was so glad when my partner decided on the pasta which meant I could sneak some! We also ordered the rocket and parmesan salad ($6.00) just so we had some freshness and acidity to cut through our mains. 




Lobster bisque risotto: Arborio rice cooked in lobster bisque, blue 
swimmer crab meat, scallops & king prawns, $28.00
The risotto is great! The key ingredient is the lobster bisque which is rich in flavour and there is no second guessing that lobster is used to create it. Every mouthful gets a hit of lobster taste and you just have to keep going back for another creamy spoonful! But the serving is quite generous and I can't finish it, despite it being so tasty. Risotto is supposed to be served as a lesser portion because of its richness, only just covering the bottom of the plate (I learnt from Masterchef last year when they went to Italy). The fresh seafood garnished on top is cooked to perfection. The scallops were seared and caramelised on both sides leaving the centre still slightly raw. The prawns were not overcooked but a bit heavy on the seasoning. Everything was well in good but I was curious to know where my blue swimmer crab meat went. 
Spaghetti Marinara: Fresh black mussels, king prawns, squid rings, 
crab meats, scallops & Napoletana sauce, $27.00
This was another winner! Plenty of fresh seafood (but the crab meat was missing again), great Napoletana sauce and al dente pasta! My partner isn't a huge fan of mussels so upon ordering he asked if he could not have any. They substituted the lack of mussels with more prawns, seven big (also slightly over-seasoned) king prawns! The squid was cooked well so they weren't at all chewy or rubbery. Scallops were great. Generous portion too! 
Rocket & parmesan salad: Aged balsamic reduction, freshly shaved 
parmesan cheese & toasted pine nuts, $6.00
\Not a bad salad, but some improvement is here and there. The aged balsamic was too sweet, not at all acidic enough. There wasn't enough parmesan cheese to season the salad. It would have been a much better salad if they added a few thinly slices of pear just to jazz it up and cut some of the sweetness out. The pine nuts gave it nice earthy warmth. 



Spago is such a nice surprise and has unexpectedly great food! A bit pricey, but of course with the book, it takes the edge off. We're definitely returning to try out their other pastas and their signature lobster bisque! We left the restaurant full to our stomachs and satisfied with the Italian food we got. Great flavours and perfectly cooked seafood, definitely a thumbs up!

Spago
524b King Georges Rd, 

Beverly Hills

9585 0282

Spago on Urbanspoon 

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