I remember the excitment when I first discovered Vapiano back in 2009, where you use a chip card to order. This place is brilliant to go with some friends for lunch or dinner, since with their great idea of a chip card you have no fuss in spliting up the bill.
It is so simple, when you arrive at the restaurant each customers are given a chip card which is use to order food and/or drinks from the bar or any of the pizza, pasta or salads counters. You just need to go up to any of these counter and scan your chip card, then let the chef know what you want to order. They will prepare your food which you can eat at any of the tables on the ground or first floor. Once you have finish and ready to leave, you go to the till with your chip card to pay the bill. Since you each get a card, you do not even need to get a calculator to work out what each person need to pay!
The resturant has a layout that is smiliar to a food court that offers the world of Italian cusines. There are a range of menu cards – one for the food, wine list and a separate one for hot and soft drinks.
Vapiano is a great place that is casual and relaxing to have lunch or dinner. It has that atmosphere which is suitable to sit here for hours in the accompany of friends, which is probabaly why it can be busy on a Friday evening due to this attraction.
Part of Vapiano does remind me of a bar with their red sofa area. But then there are some area which make me feel I have step in to the countryside, especially with their little room that is filled with herb plants. You can go in and grab the different herbs to bring it back to your table and add it to your dish.
We did make use of these plants since our Basil plant soon got chewed up by the end of evening. But fresh basil taste so nice on pasta or pizza, it even brighten the look of any of these dishes.
My favouraite is ordering a pasta as I get to watch the chef cook cook the dish in your very eyes. At the same time you can let them know if you do not want nuts, cheese or garlic etc. You even get to choose the type of pasta (pappardelle, spaghetti, penne, linguine, conchigile, campanelle, fusilli, tagliatelle etc) you want to use in your dish, so you are in control. In minutes the chef will have a beautiful pasta dish served up.
From pasta group A – Funghi which is a pasta dish with oyster and button mushrooms in a cream sauce .
From pasta group D – Granchi di fiume that is a lobster sauce pasta dish with crayfish and vegetables.
From pasta group B – Carbonara
From pasta group D – Salsiccia con fichi which is a tomato suace based pasta dish with spicy Italian sausage and figs.
As well as salads, pasta and pizza, there is also a range of desserts including Death by Chocolate, Tiramisu, Panna cotta, Cheesecake etc.
With the dessert, how about enjoy it with a tea since you get it one of these fancy teapot or is a cup? Actually it is both which make it tempting for me to own one.
The cup at the bottom you would fill with hot water and the tea leave sits on top ready for you to pour in to brew the tea.
It make a great teapot for one and much easier to clean then a teapot!
Since it almost like a food court you cannot expect your food to be brought over to you. But it is a great experience and make a change for a night out in town.
One advice is that you should look for a seat before you make any order, that is why Vapiano is better to go with at least a friend, so one can guard the seat and the other can get the food.
(Above is correct at the time of dining)
19-21 Great Portland Street,