Now that the weather has gotten colder, Vapiano in Sydney’s CBD (near Wynyard Station) has taken the opportunity to develop a special winter menu. We were invited to come, try and provide feedback on this new menu named “Winter Warmers“.
For those who are not familiar with Vapiano, they are one of the most popular Italian chains in Germany. When you check in, you are given a card and the food is served at a number of different, specialised stations. When you get your food, your card is swiped. Once you’re finished, you check out and the total bill is made up.
To start our meal, we were offered the Winter Warmer’s flagship cocktail, a spiced Chai Rum Cocktail. This was a very rich cocktail, being mostly milk with some chai spices and a good measure of spiced rum, topped with crushed nuts and, in true German fashion, pretzels It went down great but as much as we tried, I couldn’t stomach more than two of them!
Our first entree was a simple Tomato Soup. I found the soup to be delicious and perfect for this cold weather. The seasoning was done well however the cheese seemed to be clumped up in one huge hunk, meaning I ended up just getting a mouthful of cheese. The croutons were very crispy and if they broke the cheese up more, this would go from being a solid tomato soup to being excellent.
Our second entree was Vapiano’s take on the iconic Italian dish, the Bruschetta. Their version was crusty bread topped with a thick slice of mozzarella and some prosciutto on a bed of rocket. The mozzarella was really nice, being creamy and very soft however the way the prosciutto was cut meant that there was no elegant way to eat this. The meat just refused to fall apart! We were asked to try drizzling some balsamic vinegar on the bruschetta. The sourness brought out much more flavour so I encourage you to give this a go.
All pasta at Vapiano’s is fresh and made on the day and it showed. I found the pasta to be very smooth, soft and comforting. The sauce was prepared without garlic or onion to let the key ingredients of passata, anchovies and olives shine through. I’m normally not a fan of anchovies but I found these to be inoffensive. After adding plenty of salt and pepper I found the sauce to be well-balanced but I would have liked to try the sauce with garlic and onion as I’m sure the anchovies and olives would have been strong enough to shine through. Vapiano thoughtfully provided each of us with a packet of fresh pasta to take home with us which I really appreciated (and made full use of).
The star pizza of the night was the Pizza Vesuvio with beef, capsicum, red onions, cheese and a yoghurt topping. Vesuvio normally alludes to a spicy pizza however we couldn’t detect any spice in the pizza at all. All the pizzas also seemed to have the beef clumped in the middle, meaning we got a mouthful of beef in our first bite but no beef towards the crust. Yoghurt toppings are always hit and miss for me and in this case, I found it a bit too rich. If it were spicier and had the beef was spread out more evenly, I could see it working.
For dessert, the Vapiano Winter Warmers menu features a new Nutella Dessert Pizza with strawberries, banana and marzipan. We were given a thick-based and thin-based version to try and I greatly preferred the crispy thin-based pizza. The tanginess of the strawberries worked well with the sweetness of the banana and Nutella while the marzipan added just the right amount of creaminess. I could imagine coming here just to have the Nutella pizza.
Thanks again to Vapiano for inviting us to sample their new Winter Warmers menu. I walked out very satisfied and I really enjoyed seeing their creative solutions to the winter chills presented in their restaurant. It was great to see the senior management listening to our feedback and filling us in on how the menu has already evolved as a result of feedback received from previous menu tastings in Brisbane and an earlier sitting.
Sydney Tum Tum was invited by Vapiano to attend this tasting event.