While walking at Festival City, felt like pasta but did not feel like Dining at a restaurant for it. Thought of a few places and I couldn’t think of many but then.. Vanellis popped into my head!
For all those that may not know Vanellis; they have branches in many malls, they have ready Pizza slices and whole Pizzas, but mainly cook Pasta to order. That’s their main attraction.
At Festival city there are three burners, and the chef (Is he considered a chef? I think so..) can handle three pasta dishes at a time.
So how does it all work? Like this:
– You select your ingredients (These are in front of the burners).
From what I do remember they are: Shrimp, Calamari, Hot Dog, Chicken, Broccoli, Tomatoes, Mushrooms and a few more things.
– You then select (After the ingredients are cooked in some oil for a few minutes) your pasta of choice (or a mix of them all)
– Finally, you select the sauce you would like (White – Creamy Sauce, Red – Tomato Sauce, or both together) and add Cheese to your liking. Optional toppings of Chili Pepper and Oregano are there too.
I usually discuss Value at the end of the review, but there is an important point I need to explain. The charges for the Made-To-Order Pasta varies a lot. The main factor of price is your main protein. For instance; Pasta with Sausage is 29 Dhs and Pasta with Shrimp is 34 Dhs.
Adding Broccoli, Mushrooms and Tomatoes, Single or Mixed Sauce do not add to the price, but with every additional Protein, you get extra charges and Cheese is also an additional Charge. From our meal, the extras we had were:
– Cheese on top of the Pasta (Melted on top) – 5 Dhs
– Extra Squid (Calamari Rings) – 10 Dhs
– Extra Sausage (Cut up) – 5 Dhs
The important thing is, They do not mention this before ordering.
So, back to my dish!
I ordered a meal. The lady at the counter asked if I wanted a Salad or Drink (Not sure if the extra charges are the same or not). My dish contained Sausages, Shrimp, Broccoli, Mushrooms and Cheese with Mixed Pasta and Mixed Sauces. So how did it actually taste? Really good! It was cooked freshly in front of my eyes, I saw how it was cooked, what was put on it, and how it was served right from the pan to my plate. What more, in terms of standing there watching the food being cooked, is there?!
It was hot, the cheese had melted all over and it was really delicious (I had asked for a little Chili Pepper and Oregano)
The Pasta come Pre-Cooked from the Inside kitchen, and he finishes it off with the Protein, Vegetables and Sauce. It was done really well, nothing over-cooked and thankfully nothing under-cooked. I enjoyed it. The Hot-Dog is the usual frozen one found at the supermarket, the Shrimp are small cleaned and deveined (I appreciate that), the Broccoli was… well.. normal Broccoli but I realized I just had 2 pieces on my plate… where was the rest of my Broccoli?! and my Mushrooms disappeared in the sauce but I did occasionally meet one or two. Overall, no real complaints it was a good dish. After doing this once, you can definitely perfect your plate the next time.
Value: Pretty Decent. The above dish was 48 Dhs. 44 Dhs for the Pasta and 4 for the drink. It is cooked fresh in front of you, and tastes really good. The quantity is good as well, it is really filling.
Verdict: It is quite a good alternative to Fast Food I believe. It is entertaining to see your food being cooked in front of you and you get to add your own touch to your dish. If you want Pasta but do not want to head to an Italian restaurant, Vanellis is worth stopping by.
The Food: 7 / 10
I’d recommend this place. Just be careful not to get too creative, they will cook what ever you want, it’s you who gets to pay and eat it!