Respond to Review of Ops! Cucina Mediterranea
Review: After a whole week of white bread, pasta pomodoro, and pizza marinara in southern Italy, I was so excited walking into this restaurant finding trays of glorious vegan goodies on offer. My partner and I ended up eating here twice - first time for dinner and second time for lunch - during our four days in Rome. It's an all-vegan pay-by-weight buffet with a diverse range of cold and hot dishes. They were mostly western/Italian with a few interesting Asian-inspired items featuring tofu, tempeh, and seitan. Both times we were there the spread was more or less the same except for a couple (hot) entrées. I thought they did an overall better job with western food - the pasta, the risotto, and the polenta were all delicious. So were the fried morsels of vegetables, croquettes, and patties. The coconut cranberry/pinto beans were also quite tasty and brought a change of pace. The curried seitan was good if not a bit too tame. The different versions of baked tofu I sampled during our two visits were only so-so despite the presentation. At €26/kg (US$11.8/lb), you will want to be careful with what you spoon onto your plate. First off I would skip the grain salads. The two I tried - one made of quinoa and the other black rice - were equally average and not worth the weight. The other chilled items were alright but I would keep these to a minimum and go for the hot entrées because that's really where the good stuff is and also where you can make your plate worth it. Price only includes what’s at the buffet station; bread, water, and desserts all cost extra, which is to be fair very typical in Italy. Water was from the tap, yet they charged for it, which was the one thing I didn’t like about this place. The bread was homemade but nothing special. The desserts, however, were divine. The chocolate mousse cake and the tiramisu were both excellent. As with most weight-based buffets, meals here can get pretty expensive, especially when you, like me, like to sample a bit of everything and can’t resist getting a second helping of the good bits. It can easily cost €20 per person, but they do prepare the hot dishes fresh just before the serving time, so there’s that. Also, service was very friendly and the décor clean, bright, and modern. They start putting out hot trays at 1pm for lunch and 8pm for dinner, and that’s also when people swarm in. Some of the food will be gone fast, so time your visit around these hours and get here early to make the most out of it.