I'm sure most of you are aware that there are Chinese versions of various cuisines via HK-style cafes. Hence, you see ketchup posing as tomato sauce and hot dog wieners doing their best breakfast sausage impersonation. However, what if I told you that there is something known as Japanese-style spaghetti? Well, that is what they serve at Spaghetei, one of Robson's newest restaurants. Don't worry, you won't find sashimi or wasabi in your pasta, but you will find unique flavours.
Whipping Girl and I made our way at opening to grab a nice window seat, but alas we were moved to a bigger table once they knew we were attempting to eat 4 different orders of spaghetti. Yes, we were trying to be ambitious as well as trying to sample as many versions as we could. They started us off with a Spinach Pesto Garlic Bread that was crunchy and garlicky. Loved the bright green hue. The first dish to arrive was the Clam Shellfish consisting of clam, squid & mushroom with ginger soy sauce. We found the spaghetti to be perfectly al dente. Normally, I don't use the word perfect, but this was indeed toothsome while completely cooked. There was a definite taste of the sea with just the right level of saltiness and a touch of ginger.
Being astute, they decided to bring out our pastas slowly as none would get cold while we ate through them. We had the Neapolitan next and it included chicken, bacon, sausage & vegetables in a mild ketchup sauce. This was somewhat similar to the HK-style cafe version but less saucy and more tart. The sweet onions added another layer of sweetness. We also had the Butter & Soy consisting of shrimp, shimeji & spinach with butter soy sauce. We really liked the silkiness of the "barely-there" sauce as it helped temper the saltiness of the soy. The individual components were prepared well with nicely wilted spinach and snappy shrimp.
Our last dish was our favourite being the Mentaiko tossed in spicy cod roe with shimeji and dried seaweed on top. Similar to the udon version, the cod roe provided a nice pop of seafoody flavour. The slight spice was a good compliment to the roe as well as the seaweed. Okay, I'll admit it. I went in with particular reservations, but in the end, I really liked their renditions of spaghetti. This is a must return in my books.
- It doesn't look like a lot, but it was enough
- Well prepared components
- Super nice service
- A touch pricey for some people, but okay for Downtown