So I got back from dinner with a friend tonight and just can’t get over how much I love this Italian restaurant! It’s called ‘Vapiano’ and it’s based on a self-service style restaurant with a twist.
I’ve been there 3 times now in the space of 3 months, which is saying a lot for me seeing as I’ve been out for dinner quite a few times since moving to London, exploring and trying out different places.
I have nothing but praise for this place – it’s like they’ve got it all thought out to the tee!
You arrive and you individually get given an electronic card – kind of like a staff card or an oyster card. So whatever you personally order during your time there – whether it be a Pizza, Pasta, Salad or any drinks, it all goes on the card which you pay for as you leave the restaurant at the front desk. This particularly works so well when going in groups – no fuss about splitting bills! Thank goodness for that!
The whole experience is just amazing – well, it definitely is for me. The menu is simple but ample. You take your card to your desired food counter – different ones for different types of food, and when you order, you wave your card in front of the machine and they charge it to your card.
The thing that most impresses me about this place is how fresh it all is – they make the pizza right in front of you (if you choose to wait at the counter like I always do) but they also give you a buzzer to let you know when to come and collect your order – hence the self-service element to it. The pasta is also made on the premises. And no matter what flavour you go for – you get to choose the style of pasta you want to go with it, whether that be penne, fusilli or spaghetti! There are soo many other options!
The portion sizes are generous as well, even if you’re going for a salad. But the great thing about this place is that it is soo reasonably priced, it’s unbelievable! My huge Pesto Con Spinaci Pizza cost £6.10 plus a drink for £2.00. My whole dinner cost £8.10! That’s how much your starter can cost sometimes at other places, it’s just ridiculous! But because of the great portion sizes and fast service – getting a starter here always seems unnecessary to me.
Each table has a basil plant on it – which you are free to tear off and add to your dinner! It’s incredible! It also has a bar and bar style seating areas both upstairs and downstairs – suiting different occasions. If you choose to sit downstairs, it’s usually a little more noisier, so upstairs is usually a good bet.
And most importantly – the food is amazing. Money well spent and very happy customers. I would recommend this place to anyone and everyone. The one I went to is on Great Portland Street, just off Oxford Street, but I think there are a few others too. Check out their website: http://www.vapiano.de/uk