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Vapiano: A Rather Alternative Restaurant

Published by Saiesha M — 8 years ago




Situated at the front of the brand new shopping centre in Lyon, Confluence, that opened its doors earlier this year, is a rather swanky two floor restaurant, called Vapiano. Many of the proper restaurants, (those that aren’t fast food outlets) that one can find in Confluence tend to be of the rather expensive looking sort, where one may expect to spend almost twenty Euros on a dish, not an entire meal.

As my friend and I weren’t particularly feeling going all the way into the heart of the city and wandering the many, many streets of a restaurant that would suite our tastes, we wandered around the modern shopping centre in search of something reasonable. Starting from the end of the building, furthest way from the tram stops, we looked at the menu of each restaurant we passed. Just as we were about to give up hope, we eventually came across Vapiano, and lo and behold, the prices were incredibly reasonable.

Vapiano is a bar and restaurant that offers a range of Italian food, such as pizza and pasta.  Prices for main courses start from eight Euros ninety cents, which certainly isn’t bad considering a few moments earlier we had come across a restaurant, just outside of the main shopping centre offering a standard Margarita pizza for twelve Euros- that must have had to have been one good pizza.

Anyway, back to Vapiano, the thing that stands out most about the restaurant it’s the peculiar way in which you are ‘served’ and how you get your food. Our only interaction with a waiter came when we entered. We were asked if we had been there before, and promptly started to explain the system of the restaurant. At first you are given a card, you take a seat, you chose what you want, you go to the kitchen bar to order, you pick up a tray and cutlery and your foot is cooked there and then for you, you may have to wait five minutes or so.

We were early enough to get a table by a window to ourselves for a while as you can fit about ten people per table, though the set up is much like Wagamama in the United Kingdom, where one doesn’t really enjoy the privacy of having their own table. In the centre of the table there are pots of herbs such as basil and several other condiments and oils one may wish to add to their food.

It didn’t take an awful long time to decide what to eat, though we were a little confused at first by the whole situation regarding ordering our meals. Fortunately the restaurant was only just starting to get busy, so there wasn’t much of a wait to be seen to when we did make our way over to the kitchen. I had decided to go for the pasta with a mushroom sauce. At the kitchen area, I was given a choice of what type of fresh pasta I would like. I’m guessing the pasta is made in the restaurant each day as, as we were leaving, we spotted a large pasta machine.  I was given as choice as to whether I wanted onions, parsley, parmesan and olive oil in my meal, I said yes to all. The meal was prepared there and then, right before my eyes. I found it rather fascinating to see my meal be put together so quickly and I was rather pleased to have a bit of control over what was going into my dinner. Here I also ordered my drink, a bottle of Coca-Cola priced at three Euros fifty. Once everything was competed, I was required to tap my card against the machine, much like one taps their Oyster card against the yellow Oyster card reader when using public transport in London. It was pretty simple.

My friend had ordered a pizza, and as that required a bit of cooking, he was given a pager and when it was done, several minutes later, he was notified several minutes later on a pager.

Initially I was really enjoying my meal and it was rather tasty, though much like the pasta with a mushroom sauce I consumed in Vieux Lyon, last weekend, I found it soon became rather dry and I didn’t really want to have to buy another drink.

To pay, once on decides to leave, one simply returns to the desk by the door and presents their cards. The card system works rather well, and enables too you have the option of paying separately without any fuss. In all, both our meals came to a mere twelve Euros, forty cents, which isn’t bad at all, especially from the perspective of a student.

Despite incredibly swanky and rather posh looking appearances, the restaurant certainly does appear to be rather inaccessible in terms of price; however that certainly isn’t the case. The restaurant certainly does aim to create and maintain a cool and hip reputation as a DJ provided us with a rather club like soundtrack for the evening. Though that sort of music doesn’t always particularly float my boat, I didn’t find the loudness and continuous beats an issue. However, given the name of the restaurant, I must admit I was expecting there to be a piano somewhere and that we would be listening to the soft tones of a piano whilst we ate, though nevermind!

It was also nice in a way not to be so dependent on the waiter. One does not have to wait for them to come over so you can order food or ask for the bill, so one is able to get on with things in their own time, giving you a sense of freedom which is rather enjoyable.

Would I return? Why, yes, I most certainly would. I like its alternativeness, its accessibility and rather good prices. I most certainly liked the ability to have control over when you decided to go for your meal, and what goes into it. I would most definitely like to return, though I perhaps wouldn’t go for the same option on the menu again.

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