"Buonissimo!" I heard that word from my husband, as he munched a slice of pizza at Vapiano, while my full attention was still on taking food pictures for Instagram. Yes, I'm one of those IG addicts who snap first and eat later. :) I grabbed a slice after I uploaded a photo online. My eyes widened the moment I had my first bite, I ecstatically said "Namit"! Though we said two different languages, Ed in Italian and I in Ilonggo (a dialect of my province), we both had the same satisfied expressions.
Vapiano at Dubai Mall is an Italian cafe and restaurant that we have ignored for several years; I know it has been there for 3 years or so. I just realized that we have been jumping from one restaurant to another and mistakenly neglected its presence.
Dining at Vapiano is like dining in a trattoria in Italy according to my husband. The only difference is that we used a chipcard upon placing our order at a station rather than paying directly in cash. We were quite confused at first, we sat and waited a few minutes for a wait staff to come and take our order. Then, we realized that we need to go to the stations directly with our chipcard.
How to dine the Vapiano way:
The Chipcard: present this card upon ordering at the live-cooking stations
Vapiano has four stations; live-cooking stations for salad and antipasti, pizza and pasta, and a bar for desserts and drinks. I always love to see a dish prepared before my very eyes. Watching the chef work on the dishes with fresh ingredients somehow tells me that I'll be having a good meal.
The Live-Cooking Stations
Every time we are in an Italian restaurant, my husband becomes a translator and a teacher. He translates what I couldn't understand on the menu and he teaches me Italian words. So, when it comes to Italian food, I often rely on him. As he suggested, we ordered a plate of Prociutto E Funghi pizza, that's beef ham and mushroom. We also ordered an Insalata Mista which means mixed vegetable salad in English.
Our Italian dinner up-close:
|complimentary Italian bread|
|Insalata Mista with Balsamic dressing|
|Prociutto E Funghi pizza|
Insalata Mista is a mix of lettuce, carrots and cherry tomatoes. The chef asked me which salad dressing I want, without a doubt I chose balsamic vinaigrette. It's light, tangy and zesty, with a hint of sweetness. Among the list of pizzas on the menu, we didn't went wrong in choosing Prociutto E Funghi. The pizza crust is thin and crispy; it didn't overpower the flavor of the toppings. The pizza only has beef ham, mushroom and cheese. It looked very simple, but it has that distinct Italian taste; something most pizza chains cannot offer.
We noticed the quotes, which seem to be chalk-written on a huge board, above the cooking stations. My fave is on the second photo, it says "Fear less, hope more, eat less, chew more, whine less, breathe more, talk less, say more, hate less, love more, and all the good things will be yours." Oh and I also love the Italian quote on the menu, "chi va piano va sano e va lontano"; in English, "Those who go slow and steady wins the race!" :)
The Bill for 2:
Insalata Mista: 20 AED
Procuitto E Fungi Pizza: 45 AED
Cola: 9 AED each
Total: 83 AED