Vapiano is quite unique in the style of restaurant, think canteen meets food court. It’s predominantly Italian, serving pizza and pasta dishes which are made fresh to order, right in front of you. I actually first visited Vapiano in Berlin almost ten years ago but I’ve always been keen to go back and try out one of the London restaurants (there are three across the city).
On your arrival, you’re given a little card and its swiped every time you order something straight from the chefs. You do this with every dish you order which you can do from the various different stations, including the bar and then your card is swiped at the end of the meal on the way out where you’ll pay your final bill. You’re also given one card per person which means its super easy for groups of friends so there’s no awkward figuring out how to split the bill as everyone pays for what they had.
The venue was bigger than I expected, we actually sat in the back part of the restaurant which was much brighter and a much more open space than the section by the front near the entrance. I really liked the contemporary decor of the tables; there were lots of bar type tables with stools, with wooden tables and marble features and lots of basil plants dotted about.
Vapiano – What We Ordered
After grabbing our table, we headed to the bar and after realising that it was happy hour, we decided to order classic gin and tonics (£5.95) which were on a two for one offer.
The open kitchens have different stations dotted across the restaurant ranging from pizza, pasta and salad. All of the dishes are freshly prepared in front of you, so you can tailor and customise them really easily to suit your individual needs, whether that’s gluten free, vegan or if you have any other dietary requirements. You can even choose the type of pasta from about nine different types! We ordered the carbonara (£10.50) and chose to have it with spaghetti. It only takes a few minutes for the chef to whip up your dish and then you carry it over to your table on a tray (don’t forget to grab some cutlery on your way!). There are quite a few people that won’t like this style of restaurant but it’s quite fun and a little bit different to a traditional restaurant. It was a surprise that the pasta came with a few slices of soft ciabatta bread and there was a lovely selection of oils and vinegars on our table so we poured some on a plate and dipped the bread into it – delicious! The pasta was tasty but it didn’t quite match up to the flavours at the likes of Flour & Grape or Emilia’s Crafted Pasta which are my current favourites for pasta in London.
We also ordered the BBQ chicken pizza (£11.45) which is similar to my all time favourite pizza, dominos Texas BBQ. The pizzas take a little bit longer to prepare than the pasta dishes so you’re given a buzzer when you order and then just a few minutes later it buzzes away for you to collect it. I thought the presentation of the pizza could’ve been a fraction better but it was really tasty, a crispy crust with a thin pizza base with plenty of topping.
It was pretty casual dining, so not ideal for a special occasion but good for a group of friends. I thought the food was good albeit it relatively average so I thought the prices were a fraction high for what it was, although the drama of having your food cooked in front of you made the experience a little bit more theatrical. What helped on the cost front is that Vapiano offer 20% off the total bill for all students if you’re able to show a valid student ID.
Vapiano – 3/5
The food was good, but average so I’m not sure I’ll be rushing back.
Food – 3/5
Service – 3/5
Decor / Ambience – 3/5
The total cost for two people was £23.59 including service and the student discount.
Have you visited Vapiano before? Feeling Inspired? Check out my London Restaurant Hit List!
Unit 2 One Tower Bridge
Potters Fields Park