Restaurant tucked up in Westfield’s loft is worth the climb

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Tucked away in the loft of the UK’s most exclusive shopping centre is an Italian restaurant waiting to explode.

The Spaghetti House, in Westfield Shopping Centre, Shepherd’s Bush, is a solid all-rounder in terms of price, quality and environment.

The poor signage to the restaurant gives us a sense of intrepidity in reaching our destination for the night but explains why it is not full, because after our experience you would definitely return.

The Spaghetti House is a small family chain which as the night reveals offers a consistently high standard but never too much.

Our host for the night is manager Mauro Scomerza, an Italian who knows his food and wine and takes us through the menu.

We decide it is best to follow his recommendations seeming a lot more cultured than ourselves and a good idea it proves to be.

For starters he suggests a great combination of: Antipasto Contadino, a selection of Italian meats, buffalo mozzarella, sundried tomatoes and fresh rocket; Calamari with a chilli and chive mayonnaise; Pane All’Aglio, oven baked garlic pita bread, and the amazing deep-fried olives stuffed with beef and pork.

This was wonderfully complemented with Mauro’s recommendation of a dry white wine Pinot Grigio Santa Maria.

For the main, our party of three ordered quite different courses.

I cleverly went for the special. A tender honey glazed lamb shank cooked over five hours that fell off the bone with a perfectly cooked mushroom risotto accompanied with a glass of Chianti Peppoli 2008 – again wisely recommended by Mauro.

For the purpose of the review my editor was treated to a serving each of spaghetti bolognaise with red wine and herbs, a seafood and shellfish risotto and his favourite Casoncelli - hand-made pasta with black cabbage, pork, beef, sausage and pear.

To add some balance to our fine eating the not so refined photographer opted for a ham and tomato pizza, which he was delighted with, accompanied with a sparkling glass of coca-cola (not Mauro’s recommendation).

Our choices were reflective of what Spaghetti House has to offer. It caters as well for a more selective palette as it does for more fussy children or those in a rush to the adjacent cinema.

In fact to meet that very demand a burger has been introduced, although not just any burger, made from ciabatta bread, fresh beef, Fontina cheese, rocket and roasted cherry tomatoes, which has became one of its most popular dishes.

After the fine eating we resorted to type and went for the more simple chocolate and vanilla ice-cream and a bread and butter panettone pudding with vanilla ice-cream.

Satisfactorily stuffed Mauro made once last recommendation; Averna.

A digestive from Sicily made from 33 herbs and a fair bit of alcohol but not too sweet – perfect.

Our evening at the Spaghetti House was a wonderfully balanced experience; the food, the service, the ambience and the prices.

As Mauro said: “I think people are fed up with fine dining and being told how to enjoy themselves. The decadent period has past; they are looking for something more simple.

“People these days are food conscious and intelligent but money conscious. People want to be looked after but not too much and the food should reflect this.”

For the chance to win one of three prizes of a meal for six, four or two people at Spaghetti House pick up a copy of this weeks paper out Thursday

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