Vapiano, CBD

6/23/2013 , 2 Comments

Vapiano is an Italian style restaurant located on Flinders Lane, right near the CBD Huxtaburger, in between Elizabeth and Queen St. The first impressions I had of the place is the sheer size of the restaurant- there's two levels, with all the seating and ordering taking place on the second level. Upon entering, we were presented with a menu and what looked to be a gift card for Vapiano. As my friend had been before, we went straight upstairs to order our meals. 

The interesting thing about this chip card was that it had a $75 value on it that you present upon ordering. There are multiple different 'stations'; one for pasta, pizza, salad and drinks. The way it works is that you go up to a station and order your meal, and it is cooked right in front of you in a matter of minutes. When you collect your order, the chip card is placed on a metal surface, which deducts the value of your meal from what is on it. This takes away the hassles of split bills, as each person gives their card to the staff for their own orders. At the end of your meal, you simply present your card to the staff member at the counter, and pay for whatever you have ordered. I thought this was a really good idea, and it definitely speeds up the payment process. 


Vapiano doesn't take bookings unless you have over ten people, but because of the amount of space available, this isn't really a problem anyway. There is over 250 seats available in the restaurant, and each table comes with a few pots of herbs as well as salt, pepper and olive oil. The herbs are all freshly grown by the restaurant, and can be added to your dish as you like. There is a warm, lively atmosphere to Vapiano, and even though there were many people there when we were, there wasn't a need to really raise your voice in conversation. 




For the pasta dishes, the menu consists of several types of tomato and creamy based dishes, and there is also a range of different pastas to choose from. The restaurant caters for gluten free, and such dishes are indicated on the menu. To order, you simply go up to the station, and your dish is made right in front of you. The chefs also give you the option to add chilli and garlic to your pasta when they cook it, and you can also have two slices of bread to go with your dish. The dishes we chose were the Gamberi and Spinach Fettucini ($20.90) and then Funghi Fettucini ($16.90).




The Gamberi and Spinach dish consisted of prawns, pesto, onion, and baby spinach in a cream suace. There were good flavours, and you could really taste the pesto, but the prawns felt slightly overdone, and the pasta was a bit hard and stuck together in big chunks. My friend has visited this place a number of times, and she admitted that her dish was least satisfactory this time, which was disappointing. 


The Funghi dish consisted of onions and mushroom in a cream sauce, with a dash of nutmeg. Like my friend's dish, my pasta also stuck together, making it a bit difficult to eat. Despite it being a creamy sauce dish, I couldn't really taste the sauce, nor was there any distinct nutmeg flavour. The chilli and garlic added good extra flavour, but weren't overpowering, and the caramelised onions were delicious. 



The portions of the dishes were definitely more than enough, and with the bread, ensured you were left feeling very full. There is only one size for both the pasta and pizza, but pizzas give you an option of adding extras. I felt that the dishes were slightly on the pricey side, though this is made up by the speediness which your meal is made, and the freshness of all the ingredients, a vast number of which are made in-house. 

Despite the slight downsides to the dishes, I will probably visit Vapiano again, perhaps to try some of their pizza selections or other pasta ones. I would definitely recommend this place for anyone wanting a good Italian meal!

2 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great place to try - I'm loving the ambience itself already! And don't get me started on the food - your descriptions are mouth-watering despite clumpy pasta and the likes :P. I'll definitely check Vapiano out when I'm back in Melbourne for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, please keep up the great blog posts! I love the quality of your photos and you are very informative - this place is an excellent resource for foodies like meee <3 ! Thanks!

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  2. Thanks, Viv! I just approved your blog claim. Now your Urbanspoon profile picture is displayed on your blog page. You can upload a blog-specific photo if you prefer, and can change a few other blog settings there. Also, if you vote for a restaurant that you've reviewed on your blog, we now show your vote next to your post everywhere on our site.

    http://www.urbanspoon.com/br/71/11241/Melbourne/Melbourne-Delicatesses.html

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    Greg

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