Flinders Lane, Melbourne
(Ph) 9620 3335
I had been to Vapiano in Brisbane a few times before and remembered how awesome it was, so was super excited when they opened one in Melbourne! They were doing 2 days of free lunches while the chefs and waitresses were in training but I unfortunately missed out on it. They gave buy-1-get-1-free pizza/pastas vouchers for those who missed out to be used before end of April, so P and I came to try it out on a Sunday lunch.
So new and nice inside! Downstairs is just the entrance counter, the restaurant and kitchen is all upstairs.
They gave us each a Chip Card at the counter - you swipe your card to record all your food and beverage purchases so there's no problem of split bills at the end, smart =)
It was pretty empty when we were there so we got awesome service =) There's a pizza area, a salad area and a long pasta area. Plus a dessert area which wasn't really open yet.
Most of the tables are high tables with stools - not particularly comfortable if you want to hang and chill. But there are some lower tables up the back too - it's quite a big restaurant =)
At each table there were bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and herb pot plants! Mainly basil which you add to your own pasta or pizza =)
At the salad bar there's bread for you to try the salad dressings - the dressings were really flavoursome but we weren't hungry enough for a salad as well. Would have liked it if there was parmesan cheese for us to help ourselves to though!
At the pizza bar they give you a buzzer so you don't have to stand around to wait. The screen on the bottom is where you swipe your Chip Card to record your purchase.
Big clean oven which on this day had some issues and the pizza took forever to come out. After apologizing to us, the manager was kind enough to say they'll give us the pizza for free for our inconvenience.
There were quite a few pasta counters 'cause the chefs cook it right in front of you =)
You choose your pasta type and the pasta sauce, and you pick whether you want garlic, cheese etc.
The packets behind them are the many different types of pasta they have on offer =)
Complimentary ciabatta bread =)
Tada! Our Pollo e Spinaci - chicken breast, onion, pesto, baby spinach in a cream sauce with pappardelle $20.90
It was deliciously fresh and cooked al dente - the sauce was delicious and even though they weren't that generous with the chicken it was a perfect ratio - less is more =)
Yay the pizza buzzer finally went off!
Barbecue Pollo - chicken breast, barbecue sauce, onion, smoked cheese, tomato base, mozzarella $20.90
This was one of the best pizzas we've ever had, maybe 'cause we waited forever for it =P Super thin crispy crust, super cheesy and not much chicken - less is more again!
So because they gave us the pizza for free, we didn't get to use our buy-1-get-1-free voucher, and since it was such an awesome meal, we came back again a few days later for dinner. We still ordered one pasta and one pizza.
Filleto di Manzo e Rucola - fillet of beef, mushrooms, rocket, carrots, zucchini, spring onion and white wine with campanelle $20.90
This was more like a dry pasta and was quite different to what we expected, kinda like a stir fry with pasta. Was still quite tasty but I guess I would have preferred a pasta with a sauce.
Gamberi e Rucola - prawns, olives, rocket, tomato base, mozzarella $20.90
This was super awesome too - they were surprisingly very generous with the prawns, and they were big and juicy too! Like the other one, super thin and crispy base =)
Vapiano is one of the new gems of Melbourne, it will get very busy very soon here! Bonus is when you pay, you can help yourself to a handful of gummy bears! =)
8/10 - super awesome and fresh, love how they cook your food straight in front of you =)
4/5 - very attentive and polite here
4/5 - cool place to hang out, imagine it will get very busy here when more people know about it!
Will definitely be back =)