Vapiano: Great Portland Street

I hope that my previous post has inspired a few of you to take a trip to Nosh & Quaff, Colmore Row! If you have, I would love to hear what you have to say about your experience-so feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section at the end of this post!

Today I will be posting about my experience at Vapiano-an Italian style eatery. This was the first time that I have had Italian food besides the odd pizza at places like Prezzo and Pizza Express. I have not really explored Italian cuisine as I had the misconception that it was bland and boring- but from what I ordered, my feelings towards Italian has transformed completely! There are only three Vapiano restaurants in London:

  • Vapiano Great Portland Street
  • Vapiano Soho
  • Vapiano Bankside

Their menu includes pasta, pizza and salad dishes that are all prepared fresh to order right in front of you. Prices for the mains range from £6.25 to £11.75 which is quite cheap. If you would like an extra portion of king prawns, chicken, beef or salmon in your pasta, it costs £3 more for a small portion. For the medium and large extra portions, prices vary depending on what you would like in addition to your selected dish- which is why my dish became more expensive (it was worth it though).

Opening times for Vapiano Great Portland Street

  • Mon-Thurs: 12pm-11pm, Friday-Sat: 11am-12am and Sunday: 11am-11pm

Vapiano is quite different to your average restaurant for a few reasons:

  1. Vapiano Card

Upon arrival, you will be given a Vapiano card which is used to keep track of your what you order and how much you have to pay at the end. Whenever you order food at a station, you will be asked to scan the card – Make sure you don’t lose it, otherwise you are sure to experience problems when trying to pay for your meal when you leave!

vaps card

    2.You’ve got to find your own seat

Normally when you go to any restaurant, there is a host who will lead to a vacant table. At Vapiano however, you have you have to find your own place to sit- sort of like a cafeteria where you can go and sit anywhere once you have your food. Vapiano has a modern feel, with smooth wooden floors, stylish wooden chairs with padded seats, high stools and red sofas with a colourful arrangement of cushions. Some of the tables were similar to breakfast bars, whereas others were low round tables that you can find in coffee shops. I really liked the vibe of Vapiano- it was very open-plan, bright and had  sociable atmosphere.

As it was a very busy evening in the Great Portland Street branch, we decided to find a table and just drop our coats on the seats to indicate the table is taken. I suggest that all of you who visit Vapiano do this because you may find yourself in a predicament where you are ready to eat but haven’t got a seat. This could be very frustrating as you may have to stand around waiting for a free table- and by this time, your food will not be piping hot anymore.

    3. You take your own orders

vaps setting

Now I know that many of you have been to Nando’s before and know how long the queue can be just to order. In the same respect, at Vapiano you have to wait in a queue to order, but you speak directly to the chef who will prepare your selected dish as you like it- giving you the option for the addition of garlic, chilli and cheese to top it all off (if you are having a pasta or risotto). There are different stations specifically for pizza, pasta and risotto and salads so make sure you queue in the right place. I ordered the a pasta dish called Gamberetti which has king prawns, tomatoes, spring onions, tomato sauce and fresh lemon, with a pasta of my choice. I was overwhelmed by the eight variations of pasta they had on offer:

  • Spaghetti
  • Penne
  • Pappardelle
  • Linguine
  • Campanelle
  • Conchigle
  • and Tagliatelle – which was what I chose!

The Gamberetti took about 7-10 minutes to cook, and the chef makes two dishes at once to ease congestion. Here, you can also order a range of beverages too, which is great because it saves you having to go to yet another station to quench your thirst.

vaps pasta

The prawns in the Gamberetti exploded with flavour in my mouth! Oh my goodness they were the nicest things ever! I wish I had chosen a different type of pasta like spaghetti though, because I found that beautiful sauce could not cover the Tagliatelle sufficiently for the pasta to retain the glorious moisture it carried when it was first cooked.  I loved the way Vapiano made the dishes so fresh to order- no shortcuts, nothing is premade. I even  made a mental note of  how to make Gamberetti at home – stay tuned…maybe one day I will give it a go myself and share it with you 😉

Overall, I have decided I am definitely going back to Vapiano to try some of the other dishes on the menu. I found it so difficult to choose what I wanted in the first place, but nevertheless I was very happy with my choice!

Thanks again for reading my post and if you do have any questions about my recommendation or there is something you are not sure about feel free to drop a comment below:)

Whose food? Rue’s Food!

Rue-Ann x

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