I've heard a lot of great things about Casa mia, how it was the most authentic and the best Italian restaurant in Sanya. But unfortunately my personal experience there was rather disappointing.
Let's start with the entrance - when we arrived at the restaurant there was not host/hostess, no one greeted us, no one paid any attention to us. We seated ourselves and picked menus from neighbouring table which either left before ordering or moved inside. Only 2-3 minutes after that someone came to our table and offered to move inside, which we did.
The menu was quite interesting and it was multi-lingual - names of the dishes were in Italian with Chinese, English and Russian descriptions. The Russian was not very accurate, but not bad, at least it was not some nonsence jibberish which was translated from Chinese using Google translate like some places have.
I ordered mushroom salad and porcini risotto, but unfortunately they didn't have the salad, so I ordered mushroom cream soup instead and my friend ordered same soup and a steak. About 5 minutes after we placed the order we received some bread - 2 5x5cm pieces of focaccia and 2 8cm long crostinis, which made the bread basket look quite empty. The staff didn't offer any beverages either, so we ordered 2 beers after receiving the bread.
I don't know if they were making the soup from scratch or what, but it took over 20 minutes for 2 mushroom cream soups to come out of the kitchen. And I'm not exagerating based on personal perception of time - I was looking at my watch most of the time.
When the soup finally arrived I was quite disappointed. Not because the staff was bit clumsy and stained the round rim of the bowl with the soup, but because of the soup itself. The soup had the mushroom flavour, but it had no texture. It was extremely watery, to be precise it had cloudy transparent colour. That is definitely not what I would expect when ordering a cream soup. They could have added some heavy cream or butter to make it richer and thicken it, or at least add some flour or starch. I don't want to offend anyone, but I can make better mushroom cream soup at home during those 20 minutes.
After the soup was cleared it took another 25 minutes for the risotto and steak to come out. I understand that risotto takes time to cook, but it just took way too long. My friend said that the steak was great, but the portion was quite small. My risotto was quite nice, I personally felt that it was a bit stiff, but maybe it;s the way it's supposed to be.
During all the time I spend waiting for my food I noticed few things about the restaurant.
First of all, unfortunately, the staff were not focused on the guests. On many occasions you could see every single on of them behind or in front of the counter checking the tickets. But despite spending so much time looking at those tickets, they still spend another good 30-60 seconds in front of the counter after picking up the food to figure out where should the plates go. I was sitting in the middle of the room and notices how on many occasions guests who were sitting at corner tables had to stand up or raise their hands for quite a long time to get staff's attention. I actually had to call the staff myself and redirect them to the corner tables.
The owner/manager, who is Italian, should be spending most of the time on the floor with the guests (since most of the guests were foreigners) or managing the team, but unfortunately he spent most of the time doing the service himself, including making cocktails.
In general it wasn't bad, bit unfortunately based on what I heard about Casa Mia before I came I was a disappointed.
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