Gusto (Century City)

I think I was divinely shunted into choosing Gusto as my next restaurant to sample and review. The name came up randomly at dinner on Friday with a group friends who have an absurd coincidence of the same names (3 doubles between 10 people), and then another friend who doesn’t share the same repetition of names suggested it by chance the following day, so I conceded to the greater wisdom of the food gods.

The vibe is bright and cheerful. When we arrived at eight-ish a solo jazz singer was finishing her set. When you notice the singer but you can still have a conversation because the music is just loud enough, that to me is the perfect live entertainment. I didn’t get her name but she was brilliant.

The food is upmarket Italian and the service is excellent. We ordered a focaccia and a Caprese salad for the table as a starter – do yourself a favour – order the Caprese salad – it was without a doubt the nicest buffalo mozzarella I’ve ever had, trust me. It’s home made, and fresh like I’ve never had before. For mains, stick to the pastas, pizzas and chef’s recommendations, and avoid the seafood. The girls had the gnocchi and the ravioli which were superb, and the boys had the prawns which we actually sent back, and replaced with the same as what the girls were having.

A little aside about sending food back – I’ve done it maybe three times that I can remember in my 55 years on this planet, so you must know that for me it’s a big thing to send a plate of food back. Okay, kitchens mess up, ingredients aren’t always fresh as they should be. It happens. If you’ve read my other posts and reviews, you know I’m all about second chances. The real test for me when a service provider of any sort messes up is how they deal with it. I can forgive anything as long as there’s been an apology. Because two of us sent the same dish back, I think our poor waitress nearly had a mild heart attack. We apologized for sending the dishes back more than she apologized for the same thing. There was no argument or dispute – the dishes were taken back without any fuss and replaced quickly. To me, that’s praiseworthy, notable and commendable.

Desserts were well executed. We had a crème brûlée and a tiramisu between us. There was a little debate about whether Cliff made a better tiramisu than Gusto, but the judge might have been a little biased.

The wine list is brief and pricey with a small local selection and some Italian imports. We brought a divine bottle of Invictus 2014 by Druk My Niet Wine Estate with us and paid corkage.

Gusto offers a bright atmosphere and a good quality Italian themed meal. Service is on point and friendly, and the live jazz makes for a great atmosphere where the music doesn’t overpower the social element of dining out.

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