I really struggled with whether or not to publish this review, which is why it wasn’t released until a few days after my visit. I have run a small family business and know how hard it can be to receive complaints, however this blog is simply a record of my experiences – in this case it was a bad one, and I stand by my comments. I don’t accept advertising or sponsorship, and I will always be honest in my opinions.
Today I received an email from Sapore’s owner apologising for our meals and promising to discuss my comments with his team. It’s really refreshing to see such a positive response to the bad feedback of a single customer, and maybe this will lead to a better experience for everyone. Even better, let’s hope they were just having an off-day.
I’m willing to give them another try, and I encourage you to do the same.
I moved to Belmont in the mid 1990’s, and lived there for seven years directly opposite the building that now houses Sapore Espresso Bar. In those days it was a fire station, and I can still remember being woken up in the middle of the night by lights and sirens!
Belmont Forum was expanding and Reading Cinemas was built during that time, although there weren’t any restaurants of quality nearby – Silks Bar & Bistro was the only exception, although it was very expensive and is called The Belmont now – so I was intrigued to hear about Sapore Espresso Bar, and was as curious to revisit the area as I was to try the food.
Sapore is surprisingly big inside, with plenty of space between tables and it’s a nice, casual environment. During our visit the group at the back were very noisy, which was quite grating at 8:30am on a Saturday. We did notice that a lot of the customers seemed to have come from the gym across the road.
Both of our coffees ($4 each) were very, very average – watery with little flavour. Not a great start.
At least one of us had to try the French toast with bacon, caramelised bananas and ice-cream ($17.90, also available with pancakes) and this was Renay’s choice. It looked amazing, but was rather underwhelming to eat. The banana was good, although the French toast was bland and the bacon was unusually tasteless – I’ve come to expect much better around town.
I decided to have scrambled eggs on sourdough ($10.90), adding an Italian sausage and potato rosti ($4 each). The eggs were very good, the sausage was nice enough although not really to my taste at breakfast. One of my pet hates is butter that’s too hard to spread, and this was as bad as it gets – I’m not sure whether it came from the freezer, but it was still rock hard by the time I’d finished eating.
As for the rosti…it came out after my breakfast on a separate plate, and it was bright green. It fell apart into a pile of shredded potato as soon as I touched it, and we both agreed that it tasted horrible, having a strange flavour we couldn’t identify. I was a bit stunned by this, actually.
I don’t take pleasure in saying bad things about restaurants, and the number of positive reviews I’ve seen about Sapore makes me think they were just having a bad day – we had a similar experience at No 4 Blake Street last year – however it doesn’t change that we were both really disappointed with our meals. I might consider going back for lunch if I happen to be in the area, but certainly won’t be returning for breakfast.