Parents week: Vapiano

Have you ever been at a restaurant and thought to yourself “I wish this food would hurry up?” and “I wish I could get my littlen involved a bit more?”. Well Vapiano heard us and they have created a restaurant that is fast, efficient, totally interactive and absolutely yummy. If You Love the European Lifestyle, You Will Love Vapiano.

So how does it work? Well, you get given a chip card as soon as you enter the restaurant, you will be asked if you have been there before (if you have, you can go on in and get to it) if its your first visit then you get a grand tour and explanation of how the system works. They do this to make sure you understand what you are are doing as this is such a new and exciting concept to England. I have never seen anything like it before and I was a little daunted at first, but after a couple of minutes I totally fell in love with it.

So you have your chip card, your seat and now what? You take your chip card up the booth and order your food! Simple really. The only thing you need to remember is to go to the right booth for the right thing. So for example if you want antipasti then you would probably queue at that booth first and order and then move onto your main. I ordered pasta and Dean ordered a pizza, so I ordered Deans pizza first so that it was ready at a similar time to mine. You can’t really go wrong as the different booths have great big signs above to let you know where you need to go and there are a few pasta booths, for when it gets busy!

I ordered drinks and bread along with our antipasti to begin with, the bread is free and you get a good portion of bread with your meals. I thought this was a great idea as I love bread and it meant I could give Noah something to eat quickly whilst we waited for his pasta to be cooked. Noah’s meal was a basic pasta with sauce in a small size, you can ask for a child’s portion at the booth and they will sort it out for you.

When ordering your food, you get asked what you would like in your meal, for example chilli and herbs, cheese – some people do not like all the ingredients that would normally come in a meal. So the great thing about Vapiano is that you can specify to leave ingredients out, and obviously add to as well, I did ask for more cheese! They cook the food right in front of you and you can see everything that is going on, I was fascinated and also it amazed me how quickly it all took place. I was really loving this experience.

We were so impressed with our meals, they were really well presented. I would even go as far as saying that the presentation was better than some other restaurants I have eaten in and these guys cook it quickly and in the spotlight. So they have added pressure upon them and they still delivered, everytime. We all enjoyed our meals, Noah ate quite a lot of pasta and didn’t complain, so it must have been good. Noah’s approval is gospel in our house, if he doesn’t like something, he will literally throw it out of his seat. So it was a winner all round. The Vapiano trademark with main pasta dishes is to sprinkle the cheese in a line across the meals and top it with a sprinkle of herbs. Doesn’t it look yummy? And it was!

As you can see it gets really busy at lunchtime, but the queues do not last long because of the efficiency of how this restaurant works. Order / Cook / Eat. I didn’t feel like I was in a fast food establishment, well not what I would call a fast food place anyway! I felt like I was in quite an up market restaurant, that had a quirky twist to it – that twist being you can order the food and watch it being prepared as you wait.

The presentation of the dessert was equally as amazing as the main meal, the coffee even came with a V for Vapiano on the top of the cream. They do this on every coffee, its a trademark I guess! The dessert was yummy, just enough to really fill you up and Noah loved his special ice cream. He was loving the fact it came in a special Noah tub, just for him. Mummy and Daddy loved their chocolate and strawberry dessert too. It was a perfect ending to our experience at Vapiano.

Once you are finished, you take your chip card to the till by the entrance, pay and off you go. It really is that simple and efficient.

Vapiano restaurants have high chairs, baby changing facilities, wide walkways for buggy’s and a variety of seating areas, so you can choose the most appropriate place to sit with your family. There was a woman breastfeeding in the corner of the restaurant when we went in there, she was tucked in the corner of the comfy chair section – you wouldn’t have noticed her (if you wasn’t analysing everything of course). It makes you realise what kind of restaurant it is, great for families, a fantastic experience with the all important amazing food.

The only thing that I would advise families with smaller children, like Noah, is that do make sure on your first visit you allow time to have a tour around and get to know the place! Noah occupied himself with crayons and annoying Daddy, but I am sure if we had gone in the restaurant any later, we would have had tears and tantrums.

You can visit the Vapiano website here: http://www.vapiano.com/. Make sure you give them a visit when you are in London – or even abroad, they have restaurants in many countries!

You can like them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Vapiano and follow them on Twitter: https://twitter.com/VapianoUK.

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