Vapiano restaurants can be found in cities all over the world. Despite being an international chain, Vapiano do not have a central production facility but instead take the time to freshly prepare ingredients from the pasta to the pizza dough daily in-house.
I was very kindly invited along to have a taste as they have recently expanded their meat free options with their new ‘Vegitalian’ menu.
The Glasgow restaurant first opened its doors in January on busy Buchanan Street. It can look small from the outside but once inside you take the stairs or lift to the first floor to find the large open space with a lots of natural light and a fresh feel.
On every gorgeous oak table there is a beautiful marble tray with the expected salt and pepper and like any good Italian restaurant there is also some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. However they have taken condiments to the next level by having a mini herb garden on the table so you can garnish your meal with some fresh basil, rosemary or thyme – cleverly decorative and functional.
You place your order directly from the chefs at the open kitchen where they then make your meal fresh in front of you, I love watching chefs in action but this also means it can be cooked exactly how you like it so in my case some extra garlic and lots of chilli!
To start I had the bruschetta, the toasted ciabatta was piled high with a mountain of tomatoes marinated with garlic, basil and olive oil.
A new addition to the menu is the Risotto Vegitalia which is made with asparagus, vegan cream, vegan cheese, cherry tomatoes and chives. I was very tempted to try the risotto but since Mr.Johnson was getting pasta so did I to avoid missing out! We ordered the arrabbiata and the funghi bolognese, both were cooked perfectly but if I had to pick a favourite it would be the bolognese as it had a really delicious depth of flavour thanks to the soy marinated onions and fresh herbs.
When you are ready to leave there is no hanging around waiting for the bill thanks to their nifty card system. When you arrive you are given a card to swipe when placing your order which you then swipe again when leaving to pay, I love this concept as I hate waiting around but it would also take away the awkwardness of trying to split a bill between a group.
Our meal was complimentary but it would have cost just under £35 for our two bottles of beer, a bruschetta each and the two pasta dishes which I feel is reasonable as everything was cooked fresh and they certainly don’t skimp on portion sizes.
Vapiano is the perfect setting for a relaxed dinner date and the Glasgow restaurant is walking distance from Cineworld cinema so ideal for a pre or post film meal with a cheeky cocktail.
They also deliver via Deliveroo if a night in is more your style.
I really enjoyed our visit so in the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back”.
As always, I hope I have made you hungry and make sure you follow me on Instagram @veganfoodie_gems for lots more food inspiration.