I'm going to start off by saying that I'm not a food critic but I do like good food and Spiga D'oro, otherwise simply known as Spiga to many of their patrons is sort of an institution of good Italian food in Durban. If you follow me on twitter, you would know this is one of my favourite places to have a meal with friends, in fact we regard ourselves as "Spiga Royalty" since almost everyone that works there knows us (and are probably tired of seeing our faces). The restaurant is synonymous to the Florida Road district and one can say it is a landmark of such for the area, hence when I got an invite to attend a special dinner at the new branch in Durban North, it did feel a bit strange to head out to my favourite Italian eatery but in an opposite direction to the vibrant night life and buzz that goes along with that part of Morningside.
The new branch as stated before is located in Durban North on Mackuertan Avenue, it is also quite a popular spot for the area with many other restaurants and bars located on the strip but unlike Florida Road which tends to attract the, younger crowd, this part of town is a tad bit more laid back and easy with the more middle aged/ family people. The first thing I noticed when I entered the new restaurant was the amount of space there was compared to the original branch, granted on Florida Road they are tight for space, given the design of the structure they're in but with this new establishment, the open design is very welcomed and the the roof with exposed trusses giving the spot a greater volume which adds to the roominess.
The menu's are more or less the same as the other branch which has everyone's favourites but after chatting to owner Marco Santoniccolo, he explained to us the broader scheme of things. They have installed a wood fire over, in which they intend of doing daily meal specials such as oven cooked meat dishes apart from oven baked pizza's and pasta's. They also plan on catering for every part of the day with proposed coffee bar/ bakery that opens in the early mornings to serve the early risers, coffee and a selection of the favourite breads or pastries. A little later in the day the sandwich bar opens that will serve a wide variety of sandwiches and rolls. At 11am the main restaurant will open for business for sit in dinning, there are a licensed alcohol vendor and have a fully stocked bar which serve Heineken on tap!
The purpose for our invite was to give honest feedback on the premises, during our time there, the one thing that stood out for me was how relaxed the atmosphere was. We're so used to the fast paced and loud hustle that goes along with Florida Road, this dinning experience on the other hand was so peaceful that one didn't have to raise their voice during conversation. But getting back to the important part, the food! We indulged on a full 3 course meal of starter bruschetta, a wonderful seafood marinara pizza and chocolate volcano for dessert. All bearing the same standards that one associates with Spiga D'oro to go along with the same friendly service that we are accustomed to.
On the whole, the place has potential to make itself a landmark of the area like its sister branch has done in Morningside. It's a different concept but still offers the same great food and service but with a more family orientated atmosphere. I'd like to thank Marco, Sergio, Karla and the team for the invite and wish them everything of the best for the new premises, we'll be sure to frequent this one as well so the new staff can get to know the members of the "Spiga Royalty" ;)