With Garden City's refurbishment over the last several years, Town Square has been the location of numerous restaurant openings. One of which is Vapiano, an Italian restaurant that I regularly frequent in Albert Lane. Their opening in Garden City meant that I do not have to drive (and hunt for parking) to the CBD to get an Italian fix.
We arrived on a Friday afternoon to see the line was quite extensive.
But the service was still very friendly, and the pasta was being freshly made.
Despite the line being very long, we were given some pizza to eat during our wait. The crust was freshly made, and thin (though not as thin as Julius Pizzeria). It had olive oil and rosemary on top, which really accentuated the fresh doughy taste of the base, whilst providing light flavouring on top.
After ordering, we found or own tables in the upstairs dining area. As usual, there were pot plants on our tables, full of herbs. This evening, we had basil and thyme.
My main of choice was the Carbonara, which contains a comforting combination of bacon, cheese, and egg in a creamy white sauce in addition to chopped onions and garlic. The pasta was deliciously fresh, and cooked al dente, but the sauce was rich and thick in the sense that one feels quite full and bloated after several mouthfuls. Having said that, I found the bacon to be particularly tasty, and would have enjoyed it much more if there were more bacon in the dish.
My companion had the traditional Spaghetti Bolognaise. The sauce was definitely a lot lighter in comparison to the Carbonara, the tomato sauce was fresh and tasty, and the added pepper gave the dish a lot of zing, but there was very little meat to the dish. Whilst the sauce clung to the spaghetti well, more meat would have substantially improved the meal.
Whilst the meal was delicious, I could not settle without trying a desert from the inviting cabinet. Ever eager to try a rendition of my favourite desert, I settled on the obvious choice – Tiramisu. It is sponge soaked in coffee and syrup with a blend of mascarpone cream and cocoa. The cream and mascarpone was light and very delightful, and the sponge was strongly doused with espresso, which I always appreciate. The portion size was good for its price, and I consider it to have been one of the better commercial Tiramisus that I have tasted.
Overall I found Vapiano to be quite satisfying in scratching my Italian itch. The signature al dente pasta and live cooking of the pasta is still the strong point for the Vapiano chain and Garden City is no exception. I definitely look forward to my next visit.
Price Range: $20 - $30pp