Monday, 14 May 2012

Vapiano - Casual Italian dining



£6.10- 9.10 average lunch price without drinks.
Depends on the dish chosen – e.g. pizza and pasta dishes are high in carbs.
Vapiano London 2, 90B Southwark Street, London SE1 0FD
Tel: 020 7593 2010
Opening times
Mon-Fri: 11am- midnight; Sat: 12pm-Midnight; Sunday 12pm -11pm
Eat in/Takeaway:
Recommended dishes
Scampi pasta dish and pizzas
Vegetarian dishes
Yes – Salads, pasta and pizzas
Loyalty card
(See website for other branches and more details)

Lunch Analysis
Vapiano is an Italian international chain across Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and USA.  In London, it has 2 stores, one in Oxford Circus and the other in Bankside.
Colleagues invited me to lunch to try out Vapiano (Bankside) as they raved to me how brilliant this place was. This is not a sit down and we will serve you type of place, one must make a firm decision if they would like the pizza, salad or pasta option for lunch.
I found myself, queuing at the pasta queue before even realising there were different queues.
Whilst queuing at the till, the chefs are in front and are doing two jobs, taking your orders and then cooking right in front of you. I ordered the pappardelle pasta with the “Scampi” which is prawns, tomatoes and vegetables.
The quirk is that you can choose which pasta dish you fancy and they choose the pasta you want to match it e.g. spaghetti, linguine or fusilli can be chosen etc.
He then asks if chilli or garlic can be added etc whilst adding these while cooking your dish.

Although, I found this interesting and was satisfied the chef was attentive to cooking according to my tastes, I did not find standing there waiting for my food to be fun. Admittedly, I was surprised how quick the food was made as in about 10-15 minutes my pasta was ready!
By that time, I already had a lot of cooking aroma settling in to my clothes as a result of being so close to the chef and kitchen. (Please bear in mind, I was standing in the pasta queue, from what I saw at the pizza queue is that you order and then take a buzzer alarm and sit down.)
The actual cooking time was so speedy, I was anxious to know whether it was all cooked. However, whilst waiting in front of the chef cooking away, it was obvious why it was so quick. All the pasta had been pre-cooked and the toppings were all ready for the chef to throw in. All sauces had been pre-made and most of the dishes are quick stir fry like pasta dishes.
The efficiency is also down to different food options served in different queues and again it was a like a canteen but a more posh version.
Finally, I sit down and take my first bite and was impressed the flavours were fresh and tasted light. Sometimes, pasta can be very heavy and for a lunch it will send you straight to snooze status!
The sauce was tangy and the prawns were fairly big and firm still. The pappardelle was firm and not soft. On the down side there could have been more prawns thrown in the dish as at a cost of £9.10, it was not generous in the toppings.
My colleagues had pizza and it looked very tasty. I have yet to try but the base looked light and crispy and toppings fresh as well.
·         A quick and casual/modern style lunch with a lot choice in pasta.
·         The menus are the same throughout the day.
·         A lighter Italian dining experience.

                                         SCAMPI: king prawns, tomatoes, fresh vegetables

         PESTO CON SPINACI: spinach, pesto cream sauce, tomatoes, mozzarella




  1. I have been to Vapiano twice and have been impressed with the food. The first time I had the salad with a topping of chicken cooked with chilli. I got to choose the salad ingredients and was asked if I would like the chicken cooked with garlic or chilli. You can also choose from a range of dressings. The food was very tasty and a good portion size, although as above I had to wait in a queue while the chicken was cooked and the salad mixed together. The second time I had the pomodoro e spinachi pasta (simply pasta with tomato sauce and spinach). I enjoyed the pasta but again you had to wait while the food was cooked. Overall I would recommend the food, particularly the salad if you are looking for something healthier at lunchtime.

  2. Thanks for your comments Kim.