Over the past year St Andrew’s Square has become an exciting area due to a range of new restaurants opening up. Vapiano is actually situated on South St David’s Street, but it’s right around the corner from The Ivy, Dishoom and the other new Edinburgh recruits. The group of restaurants here are very diverse and Vapiano is the perfect addition, offering up a range of Italian foods. After opening last month, I was lucky enough to be invited along to try my very first Vapiano experience!
Sam and I braved the cold and headed along to Vapiano last week. On arrival, what struck us most was the size of the restaurant. Initially, I thought it was just what you see from street level, but there are actually 2 additional floors below. Because it was our first visit, we were greeted with an explanation of how the set up works. We were each given a card (similar to a credit card) and we were informed of the different stations on each level, where you order your food and scan your card, you then pay your card balance when leaving Vapiano. We took 2 menus and found ourselves a seat, so that we could look over our options before picking which stations we would visit.
I love a sharing platter, so I was instantly pulled towards the antipasti selection and we chose the Piatto Antipasti to share, as well as the Estivo pasta and prosciutto and mushroom pizza. Ordering your food yourself means that you can take your time and order course by course or you can have everything come together. We decided to order everything and enjoy it all at once. I made my way to the pasta station, where you let them know what you would like, as well as which pasta you would like to have it with and then the chef cooks it in front of you.
I decided on the Estiva, pasta with chicken, ginger, chilli, mint, rocket, sun-dried tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. You can customise any of the meals from the menu and because Sam’s not a big fan of rocket, we took advantage of this by asking for it without. I picked the flavour, so Sam chose the pasta and opted for Fusilli; this was a great choice for us because it was easy to share. The chef added cheese to the top and I couldn’t wait to tuck in. I really enjoyed the pasta; I found the flavours worked well together, especially with the mint. I would definitely have this again, but I would be a bit more adventurous with the spice (the chef asks how spicy you like it).
The Piatto Antipasta platter consists of prosciutto tip Parma, salami, chorizo, roasted vegetable, pesto, Grana Padano G.O.P. (similar to parmigiano), buffalo mozzarella and bruschetta. It was a tasty selection of meat, cheese and vegetarian and great to pick at whilst we sipped our Apperol Spritz. Although I was pretty full, I managed to try Sam’s pizza, which had a crispy base with plenty of toppings.
As a first time visitor Vapiano was quite overwhelming because of the different levels and large selection of foods, but what we ordered was lovely and the layout is ideal for large groups or a casual after work bite.