Friday, April 11, 2008

Bussola Revisited

Bussola Revisited
Mina Seyahi Hotel
Tel: 04 399 3333

Well I promised myself in the last review of Bussola that we would revisit and see for ourselves if it was a one-off aberration or if it was, as I had suspected, a general falling off standards.

Four of us visited on a mid-week night and the restaurant was full. I am the first to say that it really is a great spot and I do like the feel and ambience of the place. Which really makes the rest of it such a crying shame.

We dropped in to the Mina Seyahi for a quick bite and all of us ordered a main course only. The food arrives pretty quickly, the service is efficient and the waiters polite and the food actually looks quite attractive though the portions are very small. However, having pushed the food around the plate for a bit all four of us left our meals unfinished. I had a ravioli; the pasta was doughy and the stuffing tasted of cardboard. All of us found the food bland, boring, insipid and utterly without promise. It really was a disaster.

Our four unfinished plates clearly caused some consternation for first the waiter came over and asked what was wrong, then the maitre’d and finally Gianluca the restaurant manager. We repeated our tale each time and Gianluca was at pains to assure us that it was a one off. Well I am afraid I disagree, two trips, two really poor meals. All credit to Gianluca he handled our complaints very well, took the food off the bill, and tried to extract a promise from us all to return.

I really am very saddened with Bussola's decline as it used to be one of my favourite sots but since my visit I have canvassed a number of friends who I knew liked Bussola and without exception they all thought that their last trips there had been real disappointments. Even Time Out seems to share my views.

I think the GM Mike Scully and the Executive Chef Anston Fivaz have got a problem child on their hand and if Bussola is going to survive it really, really needs to pull it socks up.

I have to say to all readers avoid this restaurant for another six months or so and wait and see what happens but at the moment it is absolutely not worth a visit. Since the refurbishment the prices have gone up by 30-50% and the quality of food dropped to such an extent that it is almost inedible. Bad combination all in all.


sd-b said...

thanks for the heads-up as we live nearby as was just about to try the place.

the real nick said...

My words exactly. The pizzeria at Bussola had been recommended hy an Italian friend but we missed it and ended up downstairs instead - to our great disappointment, and expense. Not again.
But, I'm assured the pizze are still very good.

halfmanhalfbeer said...

Sd-B, this has been a public service announcement!

The Real Nick: I do hear that the pizza place upstairs is pretty good, I think I will have to give it a go.

Thanks for stopping by.


sd-b said...

just wanted to say that I went to the pizzeria upstairs this past week - and it was very good. service was fine and appetizers and pizza were served in a timely manner.

atmosphere was lovely too - wonder what will happen when it gets too hot...will it close down for the summer? i hear that the pizza at La Veranda (JBH) is pretty good too - off to try that next.