(Sadly, no camera on my person at the time, so no photos.)
Wanted to arrange an intimate dinner for two with a view of the Harbour, so made a booking at Spasso after reading the reviews on Openrice. This, it turned out, was a mistake.1) How not to set up an online booking system
Spasso's website purports to have a page on which online reservations can be made. However, filling it in resulted merely in a pro forma
email saying that my reservation has been submitted and that my reservation would be confirmed "shortly" by email or by phone.
24 hours later, I received neither an email nor a phone call. A follow-up phone call finally resulted in a reservation, without any explanation of why I didn't receive any confirmation of my online reservation.2) How front-of-house staff should not behave
We arrived about 8 minutes late due to work commitments and were promptly shown to our table. Our waiter chose to make an excellent
first impression by scowling at a request for tap water (rather than bottled water). This set the tone for his attitude for the remainder of the evening. On being asked for wine recommendations for wine by the glass, he showed no hesitation in steering us - fairly insistently - towards the most expensive wines on the menu.
To complete the Bad Service Triple Crown, this waiter had the cheek to announce how much the meal cost when presenting me with the bill. As my dining companion remarked, a waiter should never tell the gentleman how much the bill cost in the presence of the lady.3) Oh yes, the food...
We ordered three dishes to share:
a) Timbale of eggplant and buffalo mozzarella;
b) Blue crab ravioli; and
c) Mallard duck breast in blood orange and caramel-duck sauce.
The eggplant timbale
was probably the best-tasting of the three, with the eggplant setting off the mozzarella beautifully. There was none of the filling sensation that one typically gets from dishes which prominently feature cheese (mozzarella in particular).
The blue crab ravioli
was also a strong contender. The ravioli came accompanied by a "green pea fondue" and roe (making for a slightly messy dining experience, in addition to the slipperiness of the ravioli itself). This being an Italian restaurant in the more traditional mold, pasta is not considered a main course - we received only 6 pieces between us.
The mallard duck breast
, on the other hand, was not the kitchen's finest hour. Most of the pieces of duck breast had a visible line of white sinew running through them; Daffy might have been healthy, but he wasn't exactly easy to cut through. The sauce, while decent, did not taste very much of blood orange. The carrot slices accompanying this dish were quite good; the mashed potatoes nothing to write home about (as one might expect from mash).4) The verdict
If you can get a table with a view of the harbour, some of the food here is actually quite good - assuming you can get past the contempt that some of the waiting staff appear to have for the rubes at the dining table. On the other hand, Spasso isn't the only restaurant in TST with a view of the Harbour, and there are far more compelling choices even within Harbour City.
Eggplant timbale,blue crab ravioli
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Mar 18, 2011
Spending per head: Approximately HKD390(Dinner)Other Ratings:
Value for Money 2