Immaculately polished tan floorboards and a soundtrack hung heavy with Norah Jones make for a bland introduction to the Bvlgari Il Ristorante complex. Thankfully, as we step out from the lift, the greeting is suitably golden. From the moment we take our seats, in fact, the service is perfectly measured: friendly without being obtrusive; delivered, to our surprise, in confident English throughout. Our waitress even takes a moment to lament the lack of foreign custom recently. Times are hard in Ginzaland, it would seem.
You wouldn't know it to look around you, of course. The Bvlgari building and it's equally glitzy neighbours are decked out uniformly with tinted glass and snazzy angles, making for a night-time light display well worth a look. This, of course, is when the La Terrazza bar comes into it's own. One of the highest rooftop bars in the capital, it is comfortably done out with low sofas and outdoor heating arrangements, guaranteeing an evening fit for anyone who aspires to be king, at the very least.
Following a small starter tray of tangy olives, freshly roasted almonds and crisp nori, we’re presented with a bowl of spaghetti pomodoro that is, thankfully, deceptively deep. A glob of ricotta cheese and shredded olives sits at the centre which, when mixed in with the spaghetti, layers and lingers with the faintly spiced tomato puree around it – a simple but inspired dish. Polished off with the freshly baked contents of the bread basket, we wash the whole thing down with a chilled and jaunty bottle of Messina, and we’re ready and eager to try the house tiramisu – surely the litmus test of any self-respecting Italian restaurant.
It’s not the best dessert we’ve ever had, truth be told, lacking even the slightest hint of liquor and weighed down with a dollop of ice cream that threatens to overwhelm a dish that was pretty much all cream to begin with. Not that we can’t finish it off, of course; more that we wish we hadn’t 20 minutes later.
Again, it’s the service that really seals the deal, the bill and the pleasantries rounded up with the sense that the waiting staff genuinely enjoy what they do – the kind of attention that would warrant a hefty tip in tipping countries, though, with our wallets considerably lighter, we’re kind of glad this isn’t one of them.
|Venue name:||Bvlgari Il Ristorante|
Bvlgari Ginza Tower 9-11F, 2-7-12 Ginza, Chuo-ku
|Opening hours:||11.30am-2pm, 5.30pm-8.30pm / closed Sun, Mon|
|Transport:||Ginza Station (Hibiya, Ginza, Marunouchi lines)|