Spiedo Restaurant & Bar – Hardstyle Pasta
Up on the highest level of the Westfield food court lies Spiedo Restaurant & Bar, an Italian restaurant which I’ve often walked past without paying it much heed, until it popped up as a Sugar Hit for the Crave Sydney Food Festival. I was mildly pleased by their dessert offering, and decided to pay Spiedo a visit at the next possible opportunity.
On average, Westfield food court restaurants are of higher quality than most food courts in Sydney, as part of the new wave of fine food at food court-accessible pricing and locations. Of course, it’s not actually food court pricing so much as full-blown restaurants grouped together to call it a “food court”, but I digress…
I hadn’t had Italian in some time, so the cravings were there, how did Spiedo fare in satisfying them? Read on!
Date Visited: 22/11/2012
Address: Level 6, Westfield entry at 77 Castlereagh St Sydney, NSW 2000
Go-to dish: Spiedo beef burger – Fontina cheese, pickled cucumber, tomato, bacon & mayo
It’s a fairly fancy restaurant, with an outside and inside seating area (though both are ‘indoors’). The cover pic is showing the indoors area. Almost like fine dining really, it’s relaxing decor.
This was unexpected – using food as part of your candle set, pretty cool, but boy all I could think about was eating that pasta. Mmmmmm macaroni. Oh you’re smart Spiedo – getting us hungry before we even see the menu so we’d order even more. This may work!
We get our first entrée in the form of crudo, with my favourite type of crudo fish – rainbow trout! I always do love treating myself to salmon’s badass brother, and with good reason! Look at that texture and colour, mmm mmm. ‘Twas some great trout, fantastically soft and fatty in texture, which is backed up with the creamy tang of the sheep’s yoghurt. For palate cleansing, plenty of pickled goods are right there in the bowl. Awesome.
For the second entrée we have a selection of salumi with dry crispbread and grissini. The salumi include bresaola, prosciutto & salami. For the most part it was very enjoyable, though the salami was a bit too tough and dry, with not enough flavour. All else was pretty rad though – the prosciutto was smoked to delicious effect; the bresaola oily & sweet.
Not what you’d eat to be healthy, but if I wanted that I’d eat at home – simple.
Moving on we have a pasta main which ticks all the right boxes…except for the pasta itself. What was its problem? One that is unfortunately very subjective – hardness. I prefer my pasta hardish, but this was a bit over the line. My personal test for pasta hardness is that if I can’t help but chew it more than a few (perhaps three) times before swallowing, it’s too hard. I felt like I had to chew for quite awhile to get these maccheroni bits to swallowing size.
That quibble aside, the rest of the pasta is well-done – it’s slick enough but not over the top, the vegetables and crab were well done, and overall the flavour balance was pretty much spot on; not too lacking and not too intense.
Heh, eating burgers at Italian restaurants, how deviant of me. Still, the description left me wanting, so why not? It sure looks good, and its taste was pretty much on par with what I expected. The beef is decently-sized but could be bigger to fill the bun’s diameter – though it does taste full and not dry at all. The veggies are fresh, and the pickles a delightful – and necessary – addition to the burger to keep it from being too same-y.
I would actually like this burger, were it not for the glaring flaw that it’s so shottily constructed. While eating, the burger pretty much leaked all of its juices out (I was surprised it even contained so much in the first place), and the bread quickly fell apart in my hands and a quarter of the contents slipped out.
Ouch, that’s unforgivable.
Use a knife and fork if you’re getting this burger – you’ve been warned.
Fries were pretty good though – thin and thus crispy, the way I like it!
To finally round it all off, we got ourselves a pistachio gelato paired with biscotti. Becuase Max Brenner which is literally 20 metres away was too rich for our liking.
The pistachio flavour was a bit too strong in the gelato, but other than that its consistency with its texture is perfectly acceptable. The biscotti was a real treat – loved the almond flavour here and the crunch is very satisfying!
Oh man, I wish I had taken a picture of the inside of this dessert, as it looks so different to the outside. Alas, you’ll have to take my word on the fact that this is a really well made dessert – it’s so airy on the outside thanks to the toasted aerated meringue, but so rich and filling on the inside thanks to the breaded custard. It’s deceptively simple (well, for this kind of dessert anyway), but quite impressive in its presentation and its taste.
I’m also glad they showed restraint on not burning too much of the tips of the meringue – it would’ve been a fine line here!
Be sure to get this one if you visit!
As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three
The Good: generally great food, good decor, fairly reasonable prices
The Bad: burger construction FAIL, pasta a bit hard, choose your desserts wisely
I give Spiedo Restaurant & Bar a grand total of seven Caesars out of ten – 7/10