A Symphony Of Italian Flavours

Cayetana Moret Gual embarked on an enchanting culinary escapade at La Spiga by Papermoon, where each dish told a story of authenticity and exquisite flavours.

Stepping into La Spiga by Papermoon, nestled within the prestigious W Hotel in West Bay, I was immediately greeted by an ambience that set the stage for an exquisite dining experience. As I made my way through the lobby, the pulsating beats of cool music created an enticing club-like atmosphere, preparing me for the culinary journey ahead. Located on the ground floor to the left, the entrance to the restaurant beckoned with an understated elegance. On this special evening, the romantic aura was palpable, heightened by the delicate fragrance of red rose petals adorning each table and the enchanting melodies of live jazz-swing music.

On being warmly greeted and promptly seated, I was welcomed with a delightful bread basket accompanied by Italian olive oil and vinegar. A highlight was the freshly baked Focaccia, emerging warm and crisp from their special pizza oven, its aromatic rosemary seasoning tantalising the senses.

The menu at La Spiga is a blend of signature dishes available year-round and seasonal specialities crafted with the finest ingredients sourced globally. With a commitment to authenticity, the flavours reflect the true essence of Italian cuisine.

Starters included the Burrata Pugliese, a creamy cheese sourced from Puglia, sat atop a bed of thinly sliced zucchini, providing a refreshing crunch. Each bite revealed bursts of sweetness from the baked Datterini tomatoes, while the Taggiasca olives added a briny note. Fragrant fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil elevated the dish, creating a symphony of tastes that danced on the palate. The Parmigiana consisted of layers of tender eggplant coated in a light breadcrumb crust, interspersed with rich dried tomatoes and creamy mozzarella from Campania Fresh basil leaves added a burst of herbal freshness, while a drizzle of olive oil tied the elements together. Each forkful revealed a melange of flavours, from the sweetness of the tomatoes to the savoury richness of the cheese. The Battuto Di Manzo, beef tartare, offered a tantalising spicy kick, while the Insalata Di Spinaci, organic baby spinach salad, provided a refreshing interlude with its vibrant medley of ingredients.

Transitioning to the main course, and to cleanse the palate, I indulged in the ultimate comfort food with the masterpiece pizza, Pizza Porcini E Tartufo, a thin, crispy crust providing the perfect canvas for a topping of creamy mozzarella, earthy porcini mushrooms and delicate shavings of seasonal truffle. Each bite was a journey of flavours, with the umami richness of the mushrooms complementing the subtle earthiness of the truffle. A sprinkle of fresh herbs added a pop of colour and freshness to this indulgent dish.

With the arrival of the mains, I was transported to culinary heaven with the signature pasta dish, the Pappardelle Paper Moon. Homemade pappardelle flat noodles, cooked to perfection al dente, were coated in a velvety tomato cream sauce and studded with tender beef bacon. Each bite was a revelation, with the pasta absorbing the flavours of the sauce beautifully. A sprinkling of fresh herbs added a burst of freshness, elevating this dish to new heights of culinary excellence, emerging as a standout item for me. Equally impressive was the Gnocchetti, delicately crafted pillows of homemade ricotta gnocchi bathed in truffle cream and adorned with shaved black truffle and toasted hazelnuts. The La Nostra Milanese, a breaded veal chop fried in ghee, captivated with its crunchy exterior and tender succulence.

A highlight of the evening was the off-menu request for Cacio E Pepe, a culinary masterpiece. This classic pasta dish was prepared tableside with flair by Chef Valerio. Spaghetti, cooked al dente, was tossed in a Parmigiano Reggiano wheel, infusing it with the rich, nutty flavour of the cheese. Topped with a drizzle of truffle oil, each forkful was a delight, with the velvety pasta melting in my mouth. The simplicity of the ingredients allowed the quality of the pasta to shine, creating a dish that is both comforting and indulgent. A classic Italian offering and a true testament to culinary mastery.

Concluding the meal on a sweet note, the Italian desserts of Panna Cotta and Tiramisù were a fitting finale. The creamy indulgence of Panna Cotta melted in the mouth, while the layers of espresso-soaked ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese in the Tiramisù offered a harmonious blend of flavours and textures.

Throughout the dining experience, I had the option of choosing from a wide selection of meticulously crafted mocktails that added an element of sophistication and variety to the beverage offerings. In summary, La Spiga by Papermoon delivered an unforgettable culinary journey, blending the charm of Italian hospitality with the finest ingredients and expert craftsmanship. From the inviting ambience to the exquisite flavours presented in each dish, it was a dining destination that stayed true to its promise of delighting the senses and leaving a lasting gastronomic impression. ✤