Working in Soho, lunchtimes tend to be grabbing a salad from one of the local cafes, meeting a PR or contact for lunch or going to some press days. Either way, time is short and speed is of the essence, so with this in mind I was keen to try out new venue Vapiano, an Italian restaurant in the style of an American fast food joint…but with one key difference, the food is cooked from scratch.
Queuing up to get our food, you place your order then receive a buzzer which lets you know when it’s ready. Within minutes our starters were done, anti-pasta meats and bruscetta. Although you pick-up the food/drinks yourselves, there are still waitresses and staff milling about to help out.
The starters were good, for the price and speed, but don’t expect the selection of Parma hams and meat cuts you would get from a more upmarket Italian restaurant. However, Vapiano is not pretending to be anything else: it’s basic, fresh, Italian food served quickly – perfect for the lunchtime work market. You can be in and out in 20 minutes, without feeling rushed.
The Italian dishes for mains were again fresh, well cooked and served within minutes. Offering your standard dishes but also some lovely specials, we opted for a chicken pasta dish in a cognac, bacon and cream sauce, which was very tasty. The portions were pretty big though, so you could easily share a mains and salad.
Desert was a highlight, if you can fit one in at lunch. On the manager’s recommendation, we tried the baked cheesecake with strawberry coulee, which was delicious.
84 Wardour Street, W1F 0TQ
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