Foodie Friday Lifestyle

Dinner at Vapiano, Manchester

vapiano03
Words & Photos: @oliverinstead

As soon as we walked into the establishment, it was a breath of fresh air… literally, as we were greeted by a live green wall, dainty little pots of fresh basil plant and just very simple, very stylish decor.

 

vapiano01 vapiano07The first restaurant in the UK outside London, I could already understand the success – Vapiano is no ordinary Italian. The self-service concept means there are no servers or table service. They don’t direct you where to sit. You simply walk in and collect a ‘card‘ at the front desk to which you’ll get charged as you order from the bar and open kitchen – by far my fav feature.

 

The vibe – 9.5/10

vapiano08As you might have noticed from my last restaurant review (here), I don’t do crowds. So we strategically chose to go on a Monday night so it would be quiet and get ourselves a nice table at a brilliant spot by the balcony overlooking all the snazzy, newly opened restaurants in Corn Exchange (none of them as busy as this cool little Italian place I might add). However, the chances are you might not be as lucky during the weekend… it looks like the sort of place where you’d have to fight for your existence.

 

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The service – 8/10

There wasn’t much of a service, which is the whole point!! Although I will say that the chefs weren’t terribly inviting… and if you’re going to make them interact with the customers, at least educate them on approachability and not to look so irritated when people turn up at the salad bar for some mozzarella.

On the other hand, the manager Gianmaria who showed us around each section and talked us through the concept was very professional and kept a friendly face on him from the moment we arrived ’til we stepped out the building so fair play to him!

 

The food – 8.5/10

vapiano02The entire meal was very pleasant. The stand-out for me would have to be the stir-fried spaghetti ‘Granchi di Fiume‘, with crayfish, veggies and lobster sauce. Amazing!! Slightly experimental but the oriental-inspired fusion of spices and cheese was right up my street. Italian and Asian are two my fav cuisines and this dish combines both of those so what’s not to love? Note that if you order pasta, you’ll have a range of freshly made pastas to choose from and I went for the spelt variety just because I like all things earthy, wheaty-tasting.

vapiano05 vapiano04The desserts weren’t the strongest course, which says a lot coming from someone who has the sweetest tooth. The lemon and vanilla cheesecake, although looked delicious, was a major let down. It lacked flavours (no taste of lemon or vanilla) and body, which felt almost like eating undercooked watery scrambled eggs, that’s not been seasoned. Would not recommend.

 

Having known the price range, it was a much, much tastier meal than I would’ve presumed. With a restaurant that offers fresh ingredients, cooked to order right in your face dishes, beautiful interior and upmarket yet unpretentious tone all at a reasonable price sitting in the heart of Manchester City Centre, I do not comprehend how anyone could settle for Pizza Express, Zizzi or Bella Italia?

If you want to know more about Vapiano, take a look on their website here and I hope to hear about your experience at one of their restaurants!

 

Myself and my little raviolo were invited to try out the dishes as part of the #EatPastaRunFaster campaign so all expenses were taken care of by the Vapiano team but rest assured all views are mine, and mine only.

 

Oliver โค

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Yvonne
    April 15, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    I love vapianos and so do the kids. Great fresh food that caters for even picky eaters like my little boy :)

  • Reply
    Freya Farrington
    April 15, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    I’m going next week to try out their new fitness campaign plan, sound far too naughty to be healthy!

    • Reply
      Oliver
      April 15, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      It can actually be healthy! There’s loads to choose from so you don’t necessarily have to go for the ‘naughty’ dishes, but the options are there if you feel a bit rebellious. Hah!

      Oliver x

  • Reply
    Nafisah
    April 15, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Oh I have herd so much about this! will have to venture here one day xxx

  • Reply
    Dean of Little Steps
    April 15, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    That looks like fab place to have a meal out. Restaurants like this one is one of the reasons why my husband and I try to visit cities once in awhile, apart from shopping of course ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Reply
      Oliver
      April 15, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      Then you guys must really pay Manchester a visit – it’s truly a great city for both shopping and dining!!

      Oliver x

  • Reply
    Bill
    April 15, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    You might have been a little too generous with your food score but I still want to try this place.

    • Reply
      Bill
      April 15, 2016 at 7:38 pm

      I meant to say because of the poor dessert.

      • Reply
        Oliver
        April 15, 2016 at 7:42 pm

        To be completely fair, the desserts brought the score down. I was perfectly happy with the rest of the meal ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ

        Oliver x

  • Reply
    Lindsay At Newcastle Family Life
    April 15, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I have never heard of this before, the food looks lovely. I love the decor of the place

    • Reply
      Oliver
      April 15, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      This might not be the nicest thing to say about an establishment that serves food but the decor was without a doubt my fav part of the whole place. :)

      Oliver x

  • Reply
    Lauren king
    April 16, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    I love Italian food I need to try this!

  • Reply
    Emma @ MaverickMammy.com
    April 16, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Sounds like a really interesting concept! Food looks fab, sorry to hear that desert was a let down – that’s always my favourite part!

  • Reply
    John Milnes
    April 16, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    You are finding some really great places to eat in Manchester. I really need to check some of these out. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks for Sharing

    John M

    • Reply
      Oliver
      April 16, 2016 at 11:02 pm

      Yes! There are tons, and I mean TONS of great dining places in Manchester right now and always new ones opening too!

      Oliver x

  • Reply
    Ana De- Jesus
    April 16, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    I have been to the one in London and it is pretty good! I have to agree with you about the deserts though as I tried the cheesecake and was left disappointed.

    • Reply
      Oliver
      April 16, 2016 at 11:01 pm

      Oh no! I thought perhaps it was just a one-off… looks like their recipe just isn’t very good! Reassuring to know that I wasn’t just being too fussy though!

      Oliver x

  • Reply
    Sam Rowswell
    April 16, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    What a fab concept! Shame about the eggy cheesecake, I’d of been so disappointed as that’s usually my go to dessert.
    Next time I’m in Manchester I’ll be sure to check it out.

    • Reply
      Oliver
      April 16, 2016 at 10:59 pm

      It was very disappointing because the whole meal built it up so high only to crash all the way down… ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration but for someone who dines for the dessert, it wasn’t the best ending to an almost perfect meal. :(

      Oliver x

  • Reply
    karolina
    April 17, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    more posts like this hun. i love your style.

    • Reply
      Oliver
      April 17, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      Thanks Karolina!

      Oliver x

  • Reply
    Chrissie
    April 17, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    I really like the fresh (literally) and bright lay out of this place. Interesting concept, maybe the chef’s will get more used to the interacting part after a while. The food sounds great, such a shame about the cheesecake.

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