Assaggio is my new favourite Italian restaurant in Adelaide. It’s just simply amazing! I can understand why this restaurant was voted the best Italian restaurant in 2012 and I’m mystified that I haven’t been here before.
Located on King William Road, this small to medium restaurant offers your classic Italian dishes and seats around 40-50 people. The decor here is stylish and bordering on ultra modern. I love the colour coordination with the leather seating, the padded walls and the light fittings. The combination of red, white and black is kind of bold, but it works. The dim lighting and the relaxing music playing in the background really set the mood for a romantic evening.
The service here is excellent. The staff were friendly and inviting from the moment we walked in. Our waiter was so down to earth and jovial, we actually didn’t mind engaging in conversation with him. He was always there when we needed him and he wasn’t too overbearing. Sometimes it’s the little things that count, and here they do exactly that. Everything from pulling open a chair for you to sit down, putting a cloth across your lap, filling up your glass with water every 20 minutes, clearing your plates in a timely manner, to opening the door for you as you leave.
The first dish was a complimentary appetiser; Cream Cheese with Strawberry Jam and Capers in Lemon Juice. It was certainly an interesting combination of ingredients but it worked; the subtle sweetness of the jam, the thick fluffy texture of the cream cheese, the salty taste of the capers and the zestiness of the lemon juice. It was a bit of an acquired taste but I certainly liked it. Who am I to complain? It was free!
Next up was the Ciabatta Slipper Bread with the Single Estate 2009 Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The bread nice and warm. You would have thought it was freshly baked. The olive oil was light, smooth and delicate. The flavours were subtle but not at all sweet. I must admit I’m used to balsamic vinegar mixed in with the olive oil, but then you don’t get to savour the quality of the oil itself.
For the main, I ordered the Guitar String Pasta with Blue Swimmer Crab Meat. One of the best I’ve ever eaten! Generous proportions of sweet blue swimmer crab meat with not a single crab shell. The pasta was al dente, while the tomato and shellfish sauce was outstanding. The sauce was of a nice thick consistency and had flavours of the ocean. I was almost licking my plate clean so that the sauce wouldn’t go to waste.
For dessert, I had the Tiramisu. The presentation was amazing. I took so many photos of my Tiramisu, the dessert itself must have felt like a celebrity. The combination of marscapone with the coffee soaked sponge layers were out of this world. The inclusion of Tia Maria sauce in the dessert was a match made in heaven. The dessert was light and not too rich. Just the way I like it!
But wait! There’s more! A complimentary dessert! The Orange Chocolate with Frangelico Panna Cotta. I really should have ordered this dessert because it was more amazing than the one I ordered. The orange chocolate was simply decadent and it reminded me of the cream filling you find in those mass produced biscuits. The hazelnut liqueur used to make panna cotta? Genius! The orange chocolate combined with the panna cotta was quite simply an orgasmic experience.
Pricing here is slightly higher than your average restaurant but it is so worth it! My dining experience here was flawless and an enjoyable evening was had by all. They even let us pay our bills separately! I absolutely love this restaurant. One of the best Italian restaurants in Adelaide.
WHERE: 92 King William St, Hyde Park