In recent years Edinburgh City Centre has been going through a big of a facelift especially in and around St Andrew’s Square. I have walked past Vapiano a few times and always fancied it and so I was so excited to be invited along for a meal.
Vapiano is an Italian restaurant, my ultimate favorite food! I love pasta, pizza, antipasti plates, Italian bread; everything Italian! The basic concept of the restaurant is that everything is cooked to order in front of you so is fresh and exactly how you like it. You are given a card that tallies up your bill and you pay when you leave. There is a menu provided to give you some ideas of what you can have but ultimately you can have whatever your heart desires!
Vapiano Edinburgh is set across three floors, with the main entrance, pizza and antipasti counter being on the top floor, the middle floor has the bar and the bottom floor has the pasta counter. There is seating on each level and you can choose where you want to sit. I would say this initially put me off a bit; we opted to sit on the bottom floor but had to walk up two flights of stairs to first order our Antipasti and then again to collect. There is a lift available but there was something a bit strange about taking your food in a lift. I suppose the idea is to sit where the majority of you plan to eat. It is a small price to pay for the city centre, fresh dining.
We started with the shared Antipasti plate, which included meats, cheeses, bruschetta, and bread. It was gorgeously delicious. I especially loved the mozzarella with pesto. The portion was big enough for two to share and was a great starter. The bruschetta was so fresh and beautiful! The thing I liked about the tables in the restaurant is that they all had fresh pots of rosemary and basil, as well as oil, vinegar and chilli oil, on the table so you could add them to your dish.
We went on a Friday night and so it was quite busy with people waiting for pasta; although the queues went quite quickly which was also great to see. We went and ordered our pasta. My husband went for the Ravioli and I went for the carbonara with extra fillet beef. The chef asked what type of pasta I would like and made his recommendations. They cooked my beef to my preference and as they were making up the pasta sauce they were asking whether I would like chilli and garlic added in. I loved this element of the meal is completely personalised and cooked fresh to your liking. The portion sizes were very large, a little too much for me but a good amount for my husband with the ravioli. The pasta was so delicious though and so incredibly tasty.
There are a few cocktails on offer on the drinks menu as well as an extensive beer, wine, and spirit list. I opted for the Cloud Bay Sauvignon Blanc and it was perfect. It was a lovely light wine that went so well with the creamy pasta. I am not normally a wine and food pairing person but it worked so well.
For pudding I opted for Raspberry sorbet which came in a wee tub, so would be perfect for takeaway. After the heavy creamy pasta, this was the perfect dessert for me and rounded off the meal nicely. My husband ordered the Chocolata Foresta Nera – which was described as layers of white, milk and dark chocolate with Nutella, Italian Sponge Fingers and topped with vanilla cream. However it wasn’t like this, instead, it was more like a chocolate moose. It was nice but a little disappointing.
Vapiano is a great addition to the city centre of Edinburgh. I will without a doubt be back and think it’s a great place to go for a quick lunch or even to grab a takeaway. It would be a great place to go with larger groups as there is something for everyone here and there are plenty of large tables that everyone can sit around. There is a nice and relaxed atmosphere in the restaurant and the staff were extremely helpful.