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Lunch at Vapiano Soho:
I wasn’t entirely certain that I would be ‘target market’ for Vapiano Soho. A pasta and pizza restaurant that is part of a German group sounded just a little unlikely. So, I dragged my 19 yr old God Daughter out for lunch, confident that if it wasn’t right for me, it would suit her well.
The concept is quite different to anywhere I’ve tried before. When you arrive, your own ‘order’ smart card lets you run a tab. And, you queue to pick drinks, starters, salads, pasta and pizza, all made to order for you. When things take a while to cook you get a buzzer so you can go back to your seat while you wait.
It all feels quite cutting edge, although in truth all you are doing is ordering food and then waiting for it to be cooked. It’s partly the decor and partly the smart card and, of course, partly the location in the heart of Soho. When we arrived a little before 1pm it was relatively quiet, but by the time we had checked all the options and enjoyed a glass of prosecco and some olives it was packed, with queues at every station
The food, once we’d chosen turned out to be excellent.
My pizza came seriously laden with parma ham and chorizo. The base was very fresh, perhaps just a little thicker than I prefer, but nevertheless delicious.
My God Daughter picked Pasta Arrabiata – a generous portion of perfectly cooked pasta with a delicious spicy tomato sauce, fresh parmesan and basil.
Main courses here are mostly between £8 and £10, so if you are hungry this is a good working lunch option. And I suspect many of the people who turned up for lunch were local workers looking for something just one step up from a sandwich. The food is very good and fresh – a main course would be enough for me for a main meal of the day. I did order a salad too, in the interest of research. Although this was the smallest on the menu, it was plenty to share and would work well as a lighter lunch option.
By the time we’d worked our way through the main courses and salad, both of us were too full for dessert, although I enjoyed a good coffee.
Would I go back? Definitely for lunch if I was in the area. Perhaps if I was hungry and wanted something to eat before a show. It’s ultra clean, fresh and offers a wide range of uncomplicated and unpretentious dishes. And, in the most expensive City in the world, it’s refreshingly good value too. While it might not have Soho hipster appeal, I can’t see how anyone could complain about the food. And, self-service means there’s nothing to question about the service either.
84 Wardour Street W1F
W1F 0TQ London