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After a long afternoon trotting about Harbour City’s endless shopping alleys, Spasso’s outdoor deck is a breath of fresh air, especially during the cooler months. The interior of the covered seating area is modern and boasts little Italian influence, save for the occasional Italian wine rack here and there. An open kitchen table running along the side gives the place some animation and activity, and the L-shaped room means you can dine in relative privacy.
Spasso does try hard in certain areas, but unfortunately the impressive menu list doesn’t hold up to legend. The pan-fried foie gras with wild cherry and apple puree was overly firm in texture, giving it an oily bite, and yet could have done with a few more seconds in the pan for that unique crispy layer. Another starter, the heavily sliced beef carpaccio, was marinated in sugary brine, making it a different but not altogether unpleasant dish. A shared platter of prosciutto was well received, proving that the simplest of Italian specialities can shine, although the hard bread puffs that accompanied the cured cuts didn’t seem a good fit. The seafood soup Tuscany-style on the other hand, was wholly satisfying and the bits of seafood thrown in were cooked to perfection; the salmon was buttery soft and the thin curls of calamari just the right texture. Unfortunately, the most expensive item ordered that night, the wagyu beef, lacked flavoursome juices (although ordered rare) and tasted more like an average sirloin than a well-marbled wagyu. The orange crème brûlée and tiramisu for dessert came with a complimentary shot of limoncello, which provided a nice finish. The crème was slightly stiff for our liking but the tiramisu was good, with silky layers of mascarpone and light dustings of cocoa.
The impressive wine list boasts reds and whites from all regions of Italy and other well-known winemaking countries such as France and Australia. Spasso offers a range of wines that are popular with crowds, making any pick from the list a failsafe option. Waiting staff are able to help with recommendations, and the unofficial house red – a spicy Veneto Ripasso Valpolicella red – goes well with just about anything.
Upon arrival, we were met with a rather flustered receptionist who seemed not to have our booking, but that was soon smoothed out by the various greetings from the manager, headwaiter and our own table waiter. Attention to our comfort and to our enjoyment was meticulous, and any complaints were counteracted with offers of alternative options and dessert.
At around HK$800 per head, Spasso is one of the higher end Italian joints in Kowloon. For the quality of food, unfortunately Spasso needs to ramp it up a little, but this is almost made up by the impeccable service and wine.