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vapiano wardour street

The Vapiano Experience

I recently had the pleasure of being invited to review Vapiano as their guest with a companion. I was excited to receive this invitation as Vapiano had been on my list for a while, having seen it come up on my timeline organically on numerous occasions. It seems to be a popular restaurant, particularly with millennials in London and since I’m technically a millennial (anyone born from 1981) I had to be part of the Vapiano cool crowd too! Vapiano specialises in fresh pasta and pizza, made to order while guests wait so there is a “self service” element. Orders are paid for by smartcard so every guest gets their own bill which means that there are absolutely no awkward “split the bill” moments.

We arrived at the Wardour Street branch and were welcomed warmly with a full explanation of how the system works:  after deciding on your table and reviewing your menu you go to the appropriate food station and make your order with the chef who then cooks your order in front of you. You can make specific requests pertaining to ingredient inclusion which means that they can adapt dishes to your taste.

vapiano wardour street

vapiano wardour street

I had olives to nibble on before eating my strawberry spinach salad which consisted of fresh spinach, strawberries, goats’ cheese, red onions, pine nuts, raspberry-maple dressing. This was a surprise favourite! I had no idea that strawberries would work so well in a salad.


My companion had a hearty looking Caesar salad with generous portions of chicken.

Here’s a clip from the pizza station!

My risotto gamberetti e pomodoro made with king prawns, onions, tomato sauce, fresh basil pesto, a splash of white wine and Grana Padano D.O.P was tasty, wholesome and moreish. I requested for mine to be extra spicy and it certainly lived up to expectations.

vapiano risotto

The simplicity of each dish combined with the fresh ingredients makes their dishes a winning combination.

Vapiano doesn’t purport to be a high level Italian food connoisseur brand but they do good food well at a very reasonable price with fresh tasting ingredients and really generous sized portions. I eat with my eyes (which is why as a child my mother would sometimes say that my eyes are bigger than my belly), when I see food being prepared I just want more of it.

For me the next thing that Vapiano needs to do is launch an onsite hotel/BnB service so that I can live on the premises for a day or 2 and just eat. I wanted to order everything but alas time and physical restrictions meant that I couldn’t!

The atmosphere is warm and comfortable and layout is very easy to navigate. The service was very good and not just for me (as a reviewer), I made a point of taking notice at how other customers were being treated and from what I could see there is a generally friendly and prompt service.  It is perfect for casual dining, quick lunches, catch ups with friends and family.

Visit the Vapiano website to find out where you can try the Vapiano Experience.

Simple Simon's Perfect Steak and Ale Pie

Simple Simon’s Perfect Steak and Ale Pie

According to the American Pie Council the very first pie recipe was published by the Romans and was for a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie. Early pies were predominately meat pies and originally appeared in England as early as the twelfth century. British Pie Week  is a celebration of this historic meal that has brought so much joy to so many food lovers. The beauty of pies is that they are literally pastry packaged meals and you can fill your pastry with pretty much anything you like. I for one love my pies filled with meat which is why I was so excited to receive these Steak and Gunner ale pies from Simple Simon’s Perfect Pies as a gift to review.

Made with  chunks of Scotch Beef casseroled with Gunner Ale, carrots and set on potato this is a wholesome, hearty pie. The crust taste delicious, flaky and fresh. The quality of the meat was really good, there was one chunk of carrot which probably could have been sliced up into smaller chunks. But even the minor imperfections like a chunk of carrot actually prove how authentic these pies are. The pies taste homemade!

Simple Simon’s Perfect Pies was established in 2005 in Coulter, a tiny village in the south of Scotland and sends pies across The UK. With a great range of pies there’s something for everyone, from meat lovers to vegans!

Visit www.simplesimonspies.co.uk to find out more.