Situated on what people are now referring to as Edinburgh’s ‘cuisine quarter’*, you’ll find Vapiano – a new addition to the multinational chain of Italian restaurants. The space is part of the St Andrew Square development, which comprises The Ivy on the Square, Gaucho and Dishoom amongst others.
While the restaurant appears rather small from the street, appearances can be deceiving. When entering the 8,770sq ft. space, it quickly becomes apparent that this Italian tardis is here to make its mark. The space is truly a modern urban, delving deep into the foundations of Edinburgh – two storeys down. We take a seat on the ground floor which is light, airy and complete with urban green wall. (And a lift.)
For those of you who haven’t heard of Vapiano, (and we hadn’t either), the concept is simple; customers are provided with a plastic card similar to a credit card, they then order food at ‘stations’ throughout the restaurant, swipe their card and the Italian food is made in front of their eyes. The total bill (cards can be linked or separated as you wish), is paid at the end.
There is a huge choice of all things Italian and guests are encouraged to speak to the chefs to find out more about the ingredients. For instance, pasta is made fresh daily, as is dolci, with pizza dough and all sauces made in house. Diners are encouraged to enhance meals with living herb gardens at the end of the tables.
The recipe is tried and tested – the first Vapiano restaurant opened in Germany in 2002. Since then, the business has developed a group of 186 Vapianos in 31 countries on five continents.
Phil Sermon, Managing Director at Vapiano, said: ‘We’re very excited to be opening our doors and introducing our unique take to Italian food to not only Edinburgh but to Scotland.
‘Vapiano’s great central location is ideal for post-work and weekend entertaining, celebrations and those simply wanting to jump out of the office for a quick lunch. We’re passionate about our fresh, made to order food and look forward to welcoming the city through our doors to experience what we’re all about.’
We thoroughly enjoyed Vapiano – a perfect place for a casual lunch with friends, and ideal for groups and families. We can’t comment on the service, as customers order and queue for their own dishes, but it was fun, quick and quite delicious.
While it may not be the place to go for authentic, home cooked Italian food with the atmosphere and smells of Florence, the food is fresh and tasty and the apace is elegant, clean and modern.
A Glasgow opening is planned for the beginning of 2018.
*St Andrew Square, as nice as it might be, is not Edinburgh’s culinary quarter. We are so lucky in Edinburgh to have a thriving food scene consisting of many independent eateries of all descriptions, costs and origin.