I was excited to see the opening of a new fresh and bright looking restaurant a couple of blocks away from our apartment recently. There were wooden benches and long tables being set up outside, large foliage displays inside and a bright deli style counter. The name ‘Vapiano’ was unveiled, which rang a few bells…
That weekend, Dan and I were thinking about what to do Saturday evening and I remembered to look up more information about this new place. It’s then that I remembered why it seemed familiar – I have visited its’ London venue. It’s an international (and I hate to use the word) chain of Italian restaurants with a slightly different twist. And here it is launching in Australia! There are now restaurants in Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
When you arrive, you’re handed a swipe card and a menu. The menu has a wide range of pasta and pizza dishes, including meats, seafood and plenty of vegetarian options inspired from across the globe. There are also a few salad dishes if you’re feeling well behaved. Most dishes come with a gluten free alternative.
Inside there’s a separate pizza and pasta counter where you can make your order, and customise if you wish. There are several different types of pasta to choose from. You can watch as the chefs prepare your meal especially for you, using fresh ingredients all laid out in the deli style counter. There are even individual fresh pasta portions on display, so you know your dish is made to order.
And boy can you taste the difference! Yes, this is not what you’d call fine dining as such – you order at a counter and collect when the table buzzer sounds – but the food tastes fantastic and so fresh. The bases are made that day, and the fresh pasta kept until it’s ready to be cooked. Every dish is less than $20 and in my opinion, much better than most other ‘pub grub’ or bar food places you’d find at this cost. There is also a bar and you take your card to the desk on your way out to pay the bill.
As you can see, we’ve already been several times now and count ourselves as new regulars. We’ve both had different dishes each time (as the captions read) and I can’t wait to try out a few more things.