Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bar Roma, Edinburgh

It’s not very often that the Buddha Belly goes to the theatre. However, this was a special occasion as I had been to see my niece perform in her dancing display at the Kings Theatre in Edinburgh. I won’t name my niece as she will be totally embarrassed and mortified. But she comes from Livingston, is nine years old, she’s a star and she knows who she is.

After the outstanding performance, we decided to stop off at a restaurant that we had been regulars at a good number of years ago. It had been at least six years since we had visited Bar Roma, which is a stones throw from Princes Street, in the West End of Edinburgh. As we walked towards Bar Roma we could not help but notice that the restaurant had some what changed in its appearance both externally and internally.

We were greeted warmly by the Manager and seated quickly. As we began to take in the noisy and lively atmosphere my wife and I began to reminiscence of our earlier visits to Bar Roma when we had been much younger. You could see the look on our daughters face “Here they go again!”. We shared with her that Bar Roma had changed. It appeared lighter and brighter with the larger windows, ultra polished wood and chrome fittings. We liked it better when it was slightly dare I say duller. It had more character.

There is very little wrong with Bar Roma’s menu as it offers a wide variety of choice for the diner. For starters, we ordered two Bruschettes with fresh ripe tomatoes, basil leaves and extra virgin oil between us. For our mains, my wife ordered Tuna and Bean Salad. My daughter ordered Spaghetti Bolognese and I ordered Rigatoni Mario’s which was spicy sausage and green peppers in a rich tomato sauce. We also ordered one Insalata Mista. To drink we ordered a large bottle of mineral water and two small glasses of Pinot Grigio. Which at £5.50 a glass was a rip off!

It took some time for the meal to arrive. The Bruschette was fine if non-descript. The Tuna and Bean Salad was bit on the dry side, but my wife added extra dressing and struggled on with it. Both the Spaghetti Bolognese and Rigatoni Mario’s were okay. The pasta was little overcooked and we have had better elsewhere. As ever, my daughter wished a desert and after an eternity we ordered her a mango sorbet.

The reason that it took so long to order the sorbet was that the four different, yes the four different waiters that served us through our meal, were flirting with the women at the table next to us. Italian men have a reputation for giving attention and show their appreciation of women openly. But this was a display of shameless and solicitous flirting. It was clear that the waiters were keen to exploit their Italian charms on the female diners, rather than provide efficient and effective service to the rest of the Bar Roma’s diners.

The Buddha Belly may sound like a moaning old Buddha, but this is not the case. It was really frustrating and at best really rude to the other diners. With telephone numbers exchanged we eventually had our order taken. Oh and by the way, my daughter thought that the mango sorbet was okay.

The reminiscence of our previous experiences of Bar Roma was certainly better than the food served. Bar Roma has lost something. It may be something to do with the Buddha Belly’s nostalgic tendencies, but there’s something that’s changed over the years. Bar Roma describes its self as “The Best Italian Restaurant in Edinburgh...”. Well if this is best that Edinburgh has to offer then the capital city in big trouble in the dining out stakes. It is the Buddha Belly’s view that Bar Roma overcharges for what it offers. The meal was just under £60.00. I know it’s in Edinburgh, but I feel as though it’s taking the piss. Each dish is about 25% more expensive than they should be. With that stated it was an average rated meal. However, the service was as much a joke, as it was entertaining. Would the Buddha Belly go back? I doubt it.

Contact Details:
Bar Roma
39A Queensferry Street
Tel: 0131 226 2977

1 comment:

Paz said...

At least the theater performance was good. ;-)