Alex: Finding affordable, fresh and flavoursome Italian food in Sydney’s CBD is not necessarily an easy task. In saying that, a lot of city workers have no doubt heard of ‘Vapiano’. A restaurant that creates classic Italian offerings sourced from local Australian produce that pulls in crazy crowds at lunch and dinner. If you can stand the crowds at peak times then look no further, because you’ve found your perfect Italian restaurant!
A beautifully large open plan kitchen let’s you see all the action where you can watch your food being made right in front of you.
As myself and Bianca arrived, we were directed to the bar before we took our seats (no complaints here). Bianca opted for a ‘Raspberry Crush’ and in keeping with tradition for the past couple of months, I got the ‘Espresso Martini’. The Martini didn’t have that thick texture on the palate that a lot of other places have but the flavours were fantastic, with a lingering coffee flavour. The perfect pick me up as I was a bit flat until that point. (Also notice the pot plant behind the martini? That is actually fresh basil that can be used to garnish your dish. A great idea and the fresh smell of basil always reminds me of my grandparents garden!)
The first dish of the night was the ‘Classic Pumpkin Soup’ with your choice of parmesan, cream, croutons, and basil $6.9. We got the whole lot on ours and this was actually one of my favourites of the night. Warm, hearty and perfectly seasoned. It was impossible not to finish the whole bowl. The garlic croutons added a further texture that worked so harmoniously with the thick and creamy soup. Definitely a winner.
Only up to the second dish of the night and the pumpkin soup left little room for what was to come but next was the ‘Pizza Porporano’, a home-made tomato sauce and mozzarella base topped with bresaola, rocket, shaved parmesan, and a drizzle of truffle olive oil. $19.90. With such an array of different flavours, I was at first a little apprehensive as to what to expect, but I was blown away. Each element complimented the next perfectly and with a fresh, well cooked pizza base it was definitely a crowd pleaser. The bresaola (air-dried salted beef) that Vapiano uses is supplied by Speiss Australia. The meat goes through a lengthy process of seasoning, drying, fermenting etc. before it reaches the plate at Vapiano. Interesting to know how the meat gets its distinct flavour. It was a nice alternative to the usual prosciutto based rocket pizza’s.
When I saw the ‘Pasta Gamberi Con Rosso’ (freshly made pasta served with prawns, chilli, semi sun-dried tomatoes, and sun-dried tomato pesto) $19.90 come to the table I thought it’d be impossible to eat as it would’ve been to heavy, but as I started to take a few bites, I was surprised as to how light the pasta was. With no thick or creamy sauce in play, the dish was really fresh with the flavour of the sun-dried tomato being the stand-out.
The final savoury dish for the night was the ‘Risotto Pollo Levanto’, a creamy risotto with chicken, bacon, red onion, garlic, and chilli topped with parmesan and basil. $19.90. What a fantastic dish. The chicken had a slight crisp to it that complimented the little cubes of bacon, with a rich creamy texture to match. This vibrant, colourful and slightly spicy dish was the perfect way to finish and welcome us into spring!
Of course we couldn’t leave without dessert and what was brought to the table was a heavenly ‘White chocolate Cheesecake’ with Salted Caramel and honeycomb $5.90. The table was in silence as we all looked in awe at the gooey salted caramel and chunky pieces of honeycomb. The cheesecake was rich and creamy and melted in your mouth. At first I asked Bianc, “where’s the biscuit?”, but as I delved deeper I reached the biscuit base and alas, perfection was found. Each component worked so well with each other. By this point I was way past tipping point and thinking about walking back to the car made me cringe so unfortunately I couldn’t finish it off, but it was definitely a perfect way to finish a fantastic night off!
A simple but effective layout, with great, hearty Italian food to match. Vapiano sure has won me over.
Thanks to Vapiano, For Food’s Sake also has 4 vouchers to give away! Each voucher entitles the winner and a guest of their choice to a choice of a main from Vapiano’s Spring Menu as well as the delicious white Chocolate Salted Caramel that we had.
No booking is required, just show up to Vapiano and the team will be ready to help you out. The vouchers must be used by Friday 31st of October as that is when the spring menu finishes! The vouchers are for use at Vapiano Sydney ONLY, and For Food’s Sake will post the vouchers to each winner’s address.
You can enter the competition by going to instagram, following @4foodssake and @vapianoaustralia, and either commenting on our latest Vapiano post with your ideal Italian getaway, along with your favourite Italian dish, OR take a photo of your favourite Italian dish with the hashtag #getfreshwithvapiano and tag 4foodssake and vapianoaustralia in the picture.
Or for those that do not have instagram, leave a comment on this post, telling us your favourite Italian dish and where in Italy you’d like to be eating it. (Details will also be on our instagram on how to enter the competition) Have fun and good luck!
COMPETITION ENDS ON THE 25TH OF SEPTEMBER.
*For Foods Sake were invited to try Vapiano’s new spring menu, all opinions however are our own. A big thank you to the lovely Clare for the invitation.