Vapiano is spacious, everyone seems happy. It is not one of those cosy, homey Italian places but it still uses quality ingredients and exudes calm.
As you enter, you are given a card each and the staff will briefly explain how the card is used. The card is sort of like a credit card for your entire meal there, pay the bill only when you exit. This is a good idea as there is never going to be confusion as to how the bill should be split amongst a big group. Just zap the card for what you have ordered and pay later. The restaurant concept is rather unique and systematic. There is a stretch on one side that is divided into sections where you order food. There are sections for pizza, pasta, drinks and dessert. Order pizza from the pizza counter or pasta at the pasta counter. Simple. It felt like ordering from a food court back home but done in an modern and elegant way. If you order pizza, you will be given a chunky numbered device that vibrates and gives you a jolt while you are chatting away. That means your pizza is ready for collection. For those who prefers pasta, it is cooked right in front of you, in a very systematic manner so the food is ready in minutes. Simple and quick. Trays and cutleries are conveniently arranged next to the food counter so everything is at arm’s reach.
The pasta dish of Salsiccia con Fichi with Linguine (spicy Italian sausage, fresh figs, tomato sauce) was very well cooked with a hint of spiciness, the way I like it. Their other food like the bolognese and calzone was as good as the rest of the pizza and pasta dish.
It is a self-service restaurant but when assistant is needed, staff are ever so helpful. There is always a jug of strawberry, mint and orange infused tap water by the counter. Water that resembles of transparent fruit punch, what a lovely touch. This restaurant is perfect for diners yearning for casual, good quality and inexpensive Italian meal.
A brilliant concept, well executed. Laid back dining. Fresh pots of herbs, olive oil and chilli on the table makes a good addition to the normal salt and pepper.
At checkout, there is even a big bowl of gummy bears for you to chew while waiting for your turn to pay. Another pleasant touch. Fast food at its best.
There is no Vapiano near me.
Will I return?
Of course. I have been back many times.
90B Southwark Street
London SE1 0FD
Tel: +44 (0)207 593 2010
19-21 Great Portland Street
London W1W 8QB
Tel: +44 (0)207 268 0083