Vapiano is the newest addition to fantastico taste of fresh pasta, pizza and salad, officially opening in the Grace Hotel on the corner of King Street and York Street , Sydney CBD late last week. It’s organised and spacious, with wooden themed counters, card detection tabs, see-through glass walls in the pasta manifattura room and visible chef cooking- made to order.
As you walk through the door, one of Vapiano’s friendly staff will present to you a menu and chip card. This chip card makes me feel like I have a black titanium credit card because you swipe as you go when ordering any of their dishes, beverages and desserts. Once your stomach is satisfied, you pay at the front counter. It saves the hassle of waiting and embarrassment of digging down my purse.
Vapiano Chip Card
Made to order pizza
I become a bit too enthusiastic when chef’s cook in front of me. We immediately felt welcomed by Chef Kuz and not knowing exactly what he was going cook for us even though we ordered it ourselves. However with his infectious smile, hospitality and aroma of authentic pasta in the air. You will be tempted to visit again soon. Whilst Chef Kuz was cooking, he passionately informs us about the quality ingredients Vapiano puts in each dish and all the pastas are made daily from scratch. You can purchase their pasta for $3 a bag.
Chef Kuz at Vapiano
Can you believe it? This sexy chef can really get peoples eyes popping out by cooking 2 dishes at once. I should probably learn a few tricks from him. It is pretty spectacular to see a chef multitask.
Chef Kuz cooking 2 pasta at once.
So freaken happy Chef Kuz cooked for us. He totally knows how to bring sexy back for the silky pastas with a mind-blowing authentic Italian sauce. Even by looking at the pastas, my tastebuds already felt a tingle or two.
Chef Kuz’s infectious smile
Shaped like a half moon, the CALZONE FOLDED PIZZA ($19.50) is folded pizza
stuffed full of thinly sliced ham, chopped mushrooms, spicy pepperoni, olives, onions, herbs, melted mozzarella and our red tomato base. This wood fired pizza is a meaty tasting with a light puff handmade pastry crust.
CALZONE FOLDED PIZZA ($19.50)
Vapiano’s freshly made pasta is an addiction with a blend of textures including soft chewiness contrasting against silky pasta. Even the simple POMODORO FRESCO E BASILICO ($17.90) is enough to impress for those with impeccable taste. Experience the unforgettable combination of pomodoro with plump ripe cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.
POMODORO FRESCO E BASILICO ($17.90)
I am a sucker the the classic CARBONARA ($17.90) – A fragrant of onions, bacon and egg in a creamy sauce and garnished with grated parmesan cheese. It is a magical creamy balance with a hint of tender bacon every now and then.
A real highlight is the POLLO E SPINACI ($19.50)– Mixed with chicken breast pieces tossed with onion, pesto and a generous serving of baby spinach in a tasty cream sauce. Then garnished with crunchy bites of pine nuts. The baby spinach is a rightful portion allowing the pasta to absorb its lively fresh flavours.
POLLO E SPINACI ($19.50)
To ensure a perfect balance of flavours, why not toss and turn this pasta dish. You may find pieces of chicken breast hiding underneath. Though it was a shame, I turned into a meat freak when I couldn’t really find enough protein in this dish.
That’s right, I am showing you fettuccine porn. It’s best to witness this in person. Just look at this thick flat noodle- made fresh at Vapiano daily.
FILETTO DI MANZO E RUCOLA ($19.50) is a slight disappointment in terms of lack of delicious fillet of beef. However a reasonable portion of mushrooms, rocket, carrots, zucchini, spring onion and white wine sauce. This dish wasn’t as amazing in terms of flavour, HOWEVER the beef is so juicy and tender, I’d much prefer it on its own.
FILETTO DI MANZO E RUCOLA ($19.50)
We couldn’t resist the flower shaped pasta, gigli because it is rare in Sydney to be exposed to a variety of pasta types.
POLLO PICCANTE ($17.90) is a modern twist which offers chunks of chicken breast, fresh Chinese pak choi, red and green capsicum then sweetened by chilli orange sauce. Jammed pack with a mix of Asian and Italian flavours. Personally this dish is my favourite as it contains sweet flavours.
POLLO PICCANTE ($17.90)
POLLO AMATRICIANA ($19.50) contains tender chicken breast in a tomato and herb sauce with onion, mushroom and bacon. If you are a fan of tomato sauce pasta, then you’d be hooked with its over killing tomato flavours. Want to add some grated cheeeseee on top? Then sprinkle some parmesan cheese to include an additional texture.
POLLO AMATRICIANA ($19.50)
My obsession with pasta porn has got to stop…one day my friend…one day. Teehee.
We choose VAPIANO LEMONADE ($3.90) – A pleasantly old-fashioned lemonade that is refreshingly perfuming lemon goodness. This is just perfect for the summer heat.
VAPIANO LEMONADE ($3.90)
Determined to keep things lively, a display of potted herbs as decoration. It feels relaxing to see the colour green all around the tables. AND how cute are the mushroom shaped lights that are glued onto the tables ?
A tree inside Vapiano
I really wanted to lick clean the bowls but I was savory full as it is, I am glad Vapiano provides take-away containers. They are shaped exactly the same as the pasta dishes you’d order. I paused a few times when the staff passed me these containers as they look like high quality tupperware products you’d present and sell at a tupperware party.
About my stomach being overly full…well I can’t decline dessert. Full stop. We dip our spoons into a thick and creamy Italian chocolate cake – DEATH BY CHOCOLATE ($7) – With a dense, moist, delicious chocolate cake . Covered in a glossy fudgy chocolate ganache over the top. This cake is in between light and heavy, however consistency is just right. A word of warning, once you start taking the first bite , you will not stop till it is demolished.
DEATH BY CHOCOLATE ($7)
A very pleasant and delicate dessert is the PANNACOTTA ($5.90) – A smooth silky blend of vanilla accompanying raspbery sauce on top.
Saved the best for last is the TIRAMISU DELLA CASA ($5.90) – A slass cup of spongecake soaked in coffee and liqueur with a delicate blend of mascarpone cream and cocoa is quite small and intimate.
TIRAMISU DELLA CASA ($5.90)
Overall, I absolutely love the mother nature themed restaurant, chip card that allows you to tap and go, the infectious smiles of Vapiano’s staffs and their terrific quality of their house made pastas. I definitely know I will be back before I say hi to Santa.
Photos by Vanny Tang
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What’s with the weather gods lately? Hope everyone is enjoying the weather. I was very lucky enough to keep cool under the air-con. Anyways, not long ago I posted this place here and just so happened few days later Gareth the owner of Essenza Italian saw my post. OH MY GEEE!!! He is super friendly and invited me to discuss about my post. OFF COURSE I accepted his invite. After our conversation over the phone I appeared at his restaurant and had a face to face chat with him at our table. Feeling awesome!
For any hot given day the Peroni ($9) on tap is the answer, very light and refreshing beer.
Complimentary Crumbled Queen Olive is one incredible starter that is not on the menu but I personally think it should be. The queen olives just perfectly deep fried in bread crumbs and in the center of the olive oozes out a cube of goat cheese.
OH Gosh! Just look at the goat cheese ooze out of the olives…
I was very honoured to be the first few people to try (soon to be on the menu) the Complimentary Pollo Fritti with Romesco sauce that is one freaking appetizing pile of juicy tender chicken pieces battered lightly in butter milk served with warm seasoned potato salad. Romesco sauce is typically known as a salsa sauce includes a mixture of tomato, garlic, olive oil, roasted pine nuts and bitxo peppers.
I couldn’t get enough of the Fish of The Day ($28) – Barramundi cooked to perfection with a pot of puree rocket pesto that is best served with tomato, olive and fennel salad.
Excellent source of omega 3 in this dish.
With the fluffy potato pillows and creamy tomato based sauce, Gnocchi Prawns ($25) makes it a tasty and filling pasta with addition to prawns, olives and chunks of cherry tomato, basil and you’d never guess VODKA that adds a saucy twist. And if you’re wondering what to do with the leftover sauce, best to order sliced sough dough bread. So you can enjoy it all over again by dunking the bread into the tasty sauce. Ridiculously flavoursome dish!
Barely needs any introduction is the Spaghetti Marinara ($26) a pleasing spaghetti dish to eat. A classic Italian pasta with fresh opened mussels, prawns, fish fillets in a fabulously rich tomato based sauce served with a generous portion of al dente spaghetti. Mmmmm Spaghetti.
Yes, the Seafood Risotto ($26) does make a bold statement on the table- A traditional Italian recipe using rice and ink from a squid that creates the rice to appear black. Hidden inside the rice includes seafood atop with grilled calamari rings and tomato paste.
A statement dish worth remembering!
Stomach feeling cosy, I managed to finish their Complimentary house-made biscuits. A piece of biscuit that disappears quicker than you can utter yummy.
Ughhh when all the authentic Italian meals look that good, I definitely need to match a bottle of wine.
Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended as a guest of dined as a guest of Essenza Italian. Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.