It was just the last weekend, when we were out and about in the city, we decided to hop into a new, snazzy looking restaurant in town called, Vapiano- quintessentially Italian, with its busy-ness, the cheer, colour, the drama and aroma of sizzling olive oil and basil in the air. There was no way, one wouldn’t stop and take a look at what’s the noise all about. The ambiance was the deal -sealer in our case.
Located at the City Center Mall, the inviting, homely decor is likely to attract many food lovers like us. To see that the modus operandi of this Italian restaurant was unlike most others that we had been too, intrigued us further. The first thing that came to our notice was the head board which was a chalk board with a sketch of Sophia Loren and one of her famous quotes that went,
“ Everything you see, I owe to Spaghetti“
(I almost laughed out loud when I read that. She can’t be serious!!)
Right below the chalk board, we spotted a line of busy chefs in bright red aprons working their chef knives and skillets and dishing out delicious looking pasta. We were completely enamored. On entering we were handed over a charge card each which we were to use when we ordered our meal. The place was jam packed which served as an indicator that the people of Bahrain were starved for a new place to try. We found a seat with great difficulty and sort of shared it with another family.
We then went over to the chefs to order our meal. The menu wasn’t exhaustive but still had enough options to hold anybody’s interest to try out something they hadn’t before. I was thrilled to bits to know that they had wholemeal pasta as an option.
I ordered for a whole meal spaghetti with pesto (basil pesto, olive oil and pine nuts) and Insalata Mista ( small) which was a bowl of mixed lettuce cherry tomatoes and carrots, and small bottle of coco cola.
We were allowed to stand on the other side of the counter and had the previlege to see the chef prepare my dish. The ingredients looked fresh and everything seemed oh-so-posh. But the moment I had a forkful of pasta, I realized the pasta was totally under cooked to the point of being raw. It just tasted terrible and I am not exaggerating. Personally, I pride myself for developing tastes for any kind of food, however unpalatable, quite quickly. But this pasta was something else. Under cooked and the flavours all over the place; this was probably the worst pasta dish I had ever had. I didn’t go beyond a few forkful and left it untouched.
For the bowl of fresh salad was such a life -saver. The ingredients were fresh and having opted for a safer choice for salad dressing ( ceaser), I didn’t have to leave the restaurant completely starving.
The husband ordered a penne in pesto with some bruschetta ( toasted bread, tomatoes, garlic & olive oil) and a bottle of coco cola.
Unfazed by my pasta disaster, my hubby was quite optimistic about his. In all his excitement he sprinkled plenty of pepper and added flavored olive oil, and had a mouthful of pasta. His was as under cooked!! We were stumped! Was this the new way of cooking pasta?? I hope not, cause it tastes horrible. If this is what authentic Italian is all about then it is definitely not for us.
And our friend ordered, Fusilli in Pomodoro e Spinaci (Pasta in Tomato sauce & Spinach) with a bottle of coco cola
The food looked so good, but tasted just the opposite.
Even my friend’s dish was equally ‘meh’.
But the bruschetta was a quite good.
We didn’t dare order for dessert and quickly paid our bill which came to around 17.8 BHD which was too much for a crappy meal like that.
Once again, I was reminded, that all that glitters is not always gold!
This would be my first and the last visit to Vapiano!
For the verdict:
Food = 1/5
Ambiance – 3/5
Service – 3/5
I would skip giving Vapiano an overall rating because it was such a horrible experience and hence I see no point in doing so.