I first saw it on Facebook that Durban’s Italian restaurant, Spiga, was shutting down and thought it must be a rumour so paid it no mind. Because let’s be real, why would Spiga close?
It was only when I saw a post by food critic, Ingrid Shevlin, confirming the shutdown that I knew for sure.
I never thought I would see people being devastated by the closure of a restaurant.
When Colette Paris, a popular department store in Paris, France, closed down last year, many fashionistas openly mourned. I saw the same level of mourning when it came to Spiga, with even friends who now live overseas asking if it was true.
So, farewell Spiga. You were one of my favourite restaurants. There’s now no reason for anyone to go to Florida Road anymore. All the restaurants there are franchises, so why even bother?
The blow of Spiga’s closure was, in a way cushioned by the opening of Billy G, the new restaurant at Suncoast Casino, Hotels and Entertainment two weeks ago. The media were invited to check it out on Tuesday.
It’s definitely o Spiga, but for a buffet restaurant I was impressed. I have a love-hate relationship with most buffets. It’s probably the gluttony in me, but I just can’t ever not have second helpings of food and that derails my plan to watch what I eat – the food is accessible and literally begging me to have some, so of course I indulge.
There’s a fine selection of dishes. From your stir-fries and pasta, to vegetarian options, roasts, salads and dessert. They have vegetarian sushi, which is great for non-meat eaters who I feel always get left out when it comes to buffet options.
I decided to have sushi and salad as my starter and I’m happy to report that the salad leaves were fresh and crispy. Hated the olives – they were those small ones that are just basically a big olive pip with a bit of olive flesh. The sushi was edible, but not the best I’ve ever had.
Not that the expectations were high – it is a buffet restaurant. For mains I decided on a vegetable stir-fry, with some roast beef (a perfect medium) and mushroom sauce. That sauce was clearly made from scratch. It was perfectly creamy and the mushrooms were fresh. If I wasn’t watching my gluttonous side, I would have gone back for seconds.
For dessert I settled on a waffle with some Oreo crumbs, sorbet-like soft-serve ice cream and strawberry sauce.
The milk tart was also good – the crust was heavenly.
There wasn’t much variety, though, which was disappointing. The thing about Durban is that we are famous for our hearty food.
From Indian cuisine and some traditional African food, Durban is a food lover’s city.
I really would have loved it if there was some breyani, some samp and beans (or even creamy samp). I know that it’s a Tsogo Sun franchise restaurant, but maybe localising the menu to the city the restaurant is in would give it an edge.
Prices? It’s reasonable. Adults and children older than 13 pay R199, while pensioners pay R120 and children have their set prices. Three years and younger – free; 4 to 7 years – R50; 8 to 12 years – R100.
Is it ideal to come with family? Most definitely. For a date? No.