Ever since I went to Berlin, I’ve been dying to actually try Italian restaurant, Vapiano.
When we went to Berlin, there must have been some kind of issue with communication. Well, when I say ‘must have’, there definitely was. Having never been before and it being a new concept, we asked for some assistance and were met with very little help. The restaurant was so, so busy and there were people waiting for around 30minutes at the stations for pasta dishes… After waiting around and still not quite *getting* how it worked, we left. Which was a shame, as when people did get their food it looked AMAZING.
But Vapiano in Manchester? A different experience altogether.
Located in the hub of culinary wonderment known as the Corn Exchange, Vapiano is almost like a ‘Subway for really posh people’ (as I overheard it being described).
When you enter the restaurant you are handed a card. This card makes you feel proper Barry Big Time, as you just go up to the stations, order from the menu and they make your meal right in front of you. You swipe your card and it keeps a record of everything you’ve ordered and then you pay on the way out.
When you choose your carb of choice, the chef will ask if you want extra chili… more garlic… which pasta… and a range of other options. They then throw it in the pan and the magic happens.
Despite being moderately busy, the time queuing and ordering probably took no more than 15minutes. Whilst my dining date for the evening went and got the pasta, I went and ordered a pizza to share. When you order a pizza they hand you a buzzer, so you can sit back at your table and go back to collect when the buzzer goes off. Once again, the waiting time was probably around 15minutes, but there wasn’t a queue like over at the pasta stations.
As you each have a card, there’s no drama at the end about splitting the bill either.
The food itself was delicious. I mean, you really cannot go wrong with pasta and pizza can you? The portion sizes are generous, so we went half and half and shared both main courses.
The flavours were fresh and everything was cooked to perfection – even down to the egg on the pizza.
Between two, the pizza and pasta combo was the perfect amount. It left us both just the ‘right’ amount of full. And when I say ‘right’ amount, I mean we actually had room for dessert…
Speaking of desserts, Vapiano have a range of desserts available from their Dulce counter. All prepared and ready to wash down with an Italian Latte. They’re probably best to share really, as the portion sizes are a little big for such a rich dessert. (I know right, complaining about TOO much dessert – first world problems).
So in conclusion, once you know how Vapiano works, it’s bloody wonderful. And I can confirm that the Manchester staff are MUCH more helpful than the staff we encountered in Berlin.
If you want a quick, delicious, fuss-free Italian meal then it’s the perfect place to go. The food
was quality from start to finish and the entire meal came to just shy of £50 for two – which included drinks and dessert.