It’s been a while since a restaurant has swept me off my feet but I am definitely feeling woo’d by Spiga in Bangalore.
To be honest, I had never heard of Spiga before a month ago. I think a big reason for that is because they don’t have a social media presence – no website or even a Facebook page – which the marketing professional in me finds just wrong. But luckily fate stepped in. This is the favourite restaurant of two really good friends of mine here in town and I can understand why. I have been to Spiga four times in the past month now. The first time was with a few of my friends for their fun-as-hell Sunset Sessions on Sunday afternoon. For Rs. 1,500 they offer up an assortment of delicious appetizers and unlimited cocktails, wine, beer and even shots. A DJ spins a mix of commercial house and electronic music. We had a blast and I’m looking forward to going back again soon for another round of Sunday fun.
I’ve been for a lunch date with my laptop and sat at the bar while I ate my new favourite fish dish and wrote an article (it’s the perfect place to escape to for a little “me time” mid-day). I also went for dinner when a dear friend from London was in town visiting and we really enjoyed ourselves. Then I went back again just to eat the fish!
Spiga occupies the entire 4th floor rooftop of a modern building on St. Marks Road and was constructed in a way that it is partially covered so guests can choose to dine al fresco or indoors, which is nice. Although even the indoor seating feels like it is outside because of the open feeling of the restaurant with its tented roof and massive windows showcasing an unprecedented view of UB City, it’s fantastic.
The décor of the venue is wonderfully minimalist, with a white-washed wooden bar, white floors and white tables, and decorative iron accents. At night the place almost makes me wish I had a boyfriend because of their use of candles on the tables, soft floor lighting along the walkways, twinkle lights around certain pillars and windows and only a hint of lighting from a few cloth-covered hanging lamps – it’s romantic as hell. Yet interestingly enough, the place is always packed pretty evenly with a mix of couples and groups of friends. And what I like the best is that there are always tables of Indian girlfriends out for a bit of fun together, toasting with cosmos and other cocktails – go girls!!
Spiga is a bit different from other spots in town because it seems 100% targeted to the YUPPIES (young, urban professionals) of Bangalore. It’s refreshing to see a restaurant packed at lunch and dinner with this type of crowd. The ambiance set by the music is one of the primary reasons for this niche crowd. There is a DJ on hand who spins a super mix of energetic, fast-paced lounge music, electronic and house … all played at a healthy volume (yeah, by healthy I mean really loud). My Mom would hate it at Spiga because of the music. In my opinion, it really isn’t a place for kids or family gatherings that include quite elder relatives.
The food is delicious! Hand on my heart I have eaten the best fish in India to date at Spiga. The GM, a charming guy named Vishal, recommended it for me. It’s not on the menu but it should be because it’s damn good. The chef sautés white fish to perfection in a clear sauce that is both sweet and slightly spicy, prepared with lemon grass, dried red chilies, fresh basil leaves and orange rind. I’ve eaten it twice now in the span of only a week. Please do yourself a favour and go in and ask him for it, I swear it’s to-die for! Just ask for Vishal and tell him you want to try the fish from Angela’s blog, he’ll know which one you want. I’m hoping it becomes so popular that he permanently adds it to the menu so I can be sure to have it whenever I want.
Some of my favourite dishes there include the pumpkin soup, the Mexican chimichanga made with tender lamb (which was a new twist on Mexican food for me and I genuinely loved it) and their coastal curry prawns are delicious. They also make amazing salads, the Thai salad is my favourite.
There were a couple of things that I don’t love at Spiga as well. I know that in India the general feel is “the spicier, the better” but the prawn satay is made too spicy for my taste given that satay sauce is typically not spicy at all. The deserts are okay but not out of this world… and lastly, I am not a fan of using paper napkins in nice restaurants so that unfortunately made my list of things they could improve over time (the napkins are nice quality, custom-printed and branded but…they still don’t compete with cloth napkins).
Although it’s not massive, their cellar is actually pretty diverse. Guests can choose wines from France, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Italy, South Africa and – of course – India. And the best part is they have Champagne! I miss the benefit of living in Europe and being able to drink cava and Champagne anytime I want (it’s just too expensive here for me to buy frequently) so I love that Spiga offers up Mumm for just Rs. 5,500!
Ohhhh and they have rockin’ signs on the restroom doors, which is one of my silly passions. Spiga earns two thumbs up from me for the super saucy metal art that adorns the doors.
So glam up and grab your sweetheart or favourite mates and hit Spiga for their Sunset Sessions or for a lovely meal out. Then please come back and share your experience here, especially if you try the fish. I’d love to know if you like it as much I do.
(reviewer Angela Carson)