There are three branches of Vapiano in London – Soho, Southwark and Marylebone. The concept is good Italian food that is prepared and cooked in front of you. Slightly oddly, the restaurant was founded in Germany but has been a huge successful with branches all over the world.
I visited the branch on Great Portland Street near Oxford Street – although you can’t book in advance, there is plenty of space inside, both upstairs and downstairs.
The menu offers a variety of pasta, pizzas, antipasti and salads which are ordered directly from the chefs at the individual stations in the middle of Vapiano. The chefs prepare all of the dishes to order in front of the guests and therefore you can ask them not to include a certain ingredient. You may also choose your own pasta (around 5 choices).
The restaurant offers various wines and cocktails to accompany your meal – I love the aperol spritz. All food and drink is very reasonably priced – around £7-10 for a main and prosecco / aperol only £4.50. I had the pasta with spicy Italian sausage and it was absolutely gorgeous!!
The payment system is neat – you are given an electronic card when you enter the restaurant and you just tap it when you purchase food / drink and then pay on your way out. Great original concept from Vapiano.