I love a proper Italian run restaurant. I also love more pizza than you could ever wish to eat. Combine the two = heaven (i.e. Da Spago).
Pizza is the main speciality of this place and it's served by the meter! If there's a group of four of you it comes out in a ginormous rectangle of pizzary goodness. The chefs make both the bases and pizza's to order and they're cooked in the brick wood-fired oven downstairs. Even if you don't want pizza, they have a variety of other italian dishes that are also as delicious.
The owners are very friendly, and as myself and a few others are regulars they often give us stuff on the house. Plus it's not really that expensive, especially considering you're a stone's throw from South Ken tube.
Simply go forth and and enjoy a tasty bit of Italian in London ;).
If music be a form of torture, then Spago is the Spanish inquisition!
REALLY ATROCIOUS Italian rock music from the 1980's accompanied our taste-free starter of deep-fried aubergine.
Our pizzas were truly abominable- like a Ton of cheap cheese on dough. This place has no link to Italian cuisine at all.
Waiters were friendly though!
This is a cute little dark Italian place in quiet South Kensington.
On the menu, I just had to order the unfamiliar: Crespoline - Pancakes filled with ricotta and spinach, baked with bechamel and tomato sauce. It tasted pretty good, but not unlike other Italian fare, which usually are tomato-based with some sort of flour-based starch.
For a summery dessert, I decided on gelato. I had the Strawberry and Pistacchio flavors - which is an odd combination, but it made for a pretty presentation and a sweet ending to this quiet meal.
Walking home from the tube station on Old Brompton last night, my friends and I spied Da Spago down one of the wee side streets. I had been craving Italian all day and I'd seen the name in one of my cheap eats in London books so I suggested we venture down.
The atmosphere was most welcoming, the host/owner was ridiculously nice, and the food was DELICIOUS. Our party of six was seated immediately and we ordered a large focaccia to share. It was one of those dishes that, though it looks good, was a lot better tasting than you'd think.
I got pasta bolognese, another friend ordered the ravioli and all the rest of my friends ordered pizza. We were surprised went the "pizza" came out. GIANT. All the pizzas (3) were fused together into one delicious yard-long pizza. Somewhere in the depths of the NYC sewer system, Michelangelo, Rafael, Leonardo and Donatello just shed a unanimous tear of joy.
I feel bad suspending a star because sometimes our table felt a tad ignored, but overall the staff was very nice. One of the girls tipped off the kitchen that it was my birthday so they brought out a tiramisu on the house. I think the owner must have seen that I only had a couple bites because he brought out a slice of chocolate cake (also on the house) with a glowing birthday candle stuck in it. It was lovely.
I will definitely be back. Despite the fact that our group was obnoxious, didn't order booze, and required an immensely complicated bill-splitting process, the place was accommodating.
This review is based on the opinions of my wife and cousin (I was not present) BUT my cousin's pizza was RAW and a slice of packet ham dumped on top! When this was brought to the owners attention he blew her off and the two of them ended up in a full arm waving disagreement in Italian. The customer is ALWAYS right, he should have apologised replaced it and parked a bottle of wine on the table for them.
My wife was unimpressed with her pasta but it was acceptable (and no better). The place was empty - enough said methinks.
I for one will not be going back there.
I went to Da Spago for Mad Mondays.
Any pizza for a fiver!
Da Spago is your essential Italian restaurant in South Kensington.
It is 2 minutes from the Tube and has a great atmosphere.
I was there for nearly 90 minutes, but the time flew by.
The food was a really good standard.
The Parma ham and cherry tomatoes have been a favourite topping of mine for years and they did not disappoint!
I'm giving this place 5 out of 5 because I'm very Impressed and I would defiantly recommend this to all my friends on Qype.
Revisiting our past haunts can sometimes be fraught with disappointment and make us wish we'd left the past where it was.not the case when I revisited Da Spago after a long long absence on Friday evening.
I had spent a lot of time, money and no inconsiderable effort having a ball in this particular restaurant for most of the 90's (I'm definitely getting old) and have extremely fond memories of it. It's a hidden gem of place then owned by a very handsome Italian man. rumour has it he enjoyed himself even more than we did, perhaps a little too much more and he, and his restaurant went into slow decline (wine, women and song will do that to a guy) until he sold it to another, it has to be said, very handsome Italian man, Gio. Buy this one has is eye very firmly on ball and we got a very warm welcome indeed.
We started a with glass of Champagne, always a good idea for a gossipy dinner with your best friend and a classic but simple antipasto to share whilst we chatted. The raison d'être of any antipasto in all its magnificent simplicity is tip top ingredients, this one comprised of soft, sweet Parma Ham, what I think was Culatello, a rare find in antipasto plates this side of Parma, roasted artichoke hearts, beautifully soft salame, a selection of olives and other bits and pieces which completed one the nicest antipasti I have eaten in the UK for a long time. We also ordered a Pizza Rossa to go with it, a crispy thin dough base smothered in the kind of Italian sauce you know has bubbled on the hob for 5 or so hours to give it that unctuous, melting sweet taste. Being a chilli head I asked for fresh chopped chilli on the side and it arrived in seconds. Yum.
It took us nearly an hour between chatting to demolish the antipasto and our Pasta main courses (one vongole, one lobster) when they arrived, showed no sign of being kept waiting, clearly the kitchen cooks to order, our pasta was perfectly al dente and generously dressed, with large chunks of fresh juicy lobster throughout and a good hunk of lobster in it's shell, amazing value for £12.50 (and I hasten to add the most expensive pasta dish on the menu) My friends pasta vongole must have been as good as mine cos we both actually stopped talking for while and chomped our way through it in contented silence.
The wine list is comprehensive and not pricy at all.we ordered a wine we hadn't tried before as the list recommended it with the Spaghetti Vongole and it was delicious.I can't remember the name but it starts with F and the staff will know it, highly recommended.
The restaurant itself is very pretty with tables nicely spaced. I recommend booking as, little wonder, they get rammed in the evenings. The staff were lovely and when they all sat down at the end of the night to share and joke and drink with Gio the owner I really wanted to join them.they all genuinely looked as though they were enjoying themselves and cared about the diners and the restaurant.
The last time I was this impressed with an Italian in London was Polpo which has now become a 'must try' on the London restaurant scene. I believe that Da Spago will soon be equally as feted, the food stands head and shoulders above most other Italian restaurants in London and this Italian girl will certainly be getting back to her roots again and again.
It's rather like getting back together with an ex boyfriend to find not only is he as good looking as you remember him, he's become a lot nicer.
Good little restaurant for the casual night out. After tasting pizza in London at a few different restaurants, this is the best I've found. The entrees are good as well, but we come here for the pizza. The atmosphere is nice and cozy! My young kids always come along as well, they love it.
Da Spago was a real disappointment. The food was mediocre, as was the service. We ordered bread, which they charge for. Ok. But they served without any butter or oil, or even bread plates. Had to ask for plates and oil to dip in. The mushroom soup was pretty tasteless. Just pureed mushroolms with little added flavor. The veal saltimbocca came with basically no sauce, and needed salt and pepper. The quality of the meat was decent but there was just no flavor or complexity. Pasta dishes were slightly better. The service was slow, unresponsive, and just flat.
Oh my, what a change. My wife and my cousin went to SPAGO'S last night. The place was empty and I had booked my favourite table for us. But, now that there were only two (I was unable to go) they almost refused to allow the two girls to use the booked table, for four, despite the fact that the place was empty.
The calamari was soggy and not cut into rings or slices, just big chunks. The pizza arrived, eventually (50mins!) and it was soggy raw and a large slice of ham had just been plonked on top. It was, apparently, indelible. Oh what a change. How sad that a restaurant I have been using for nearly 30 years has fallen so low.
My wife, to be fair, had Spaghetti with veal Ragu which she said was good. However my cousin and the restaurant owner had strong words - in Italian obviously! - and all that happened was the pizza was not charged for.
Gone it seems is the exceptional Italian food, gone too the first class service, just poor food, pre-made frozen pizza bases, and a singular lack of decent service. The place was dead.
If this is now the standard I cannot see it surviving long, and, frankly, if that is now the level of food and service - the sooner the better.
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