So, I’m pretty new to Manchester…. I know how to get to the main shopping area, in the centre, and the public transport stops nearest my friends flats. But I am already getting to know the some vegan food spots in the city…
Finding restaurants that can cater for any/all of my friends tastes, and that offers vegan food that consists of more than a salad can sometimes be tricky without a little forward planning! Which is why this one in the Corn Exchange in Manchester was a happy little find – and super easy to get to on the Metro.
The Vapiano Concept
They have a very interesting concept at Vapiano. They give you each a card on arrival, and you present the card to your server when ordering drinks and they just get added to your bill, easy! Suddenly splitting bills becomes an easy task, rather than a dreaded one.
It works very similarly when ordering your meals – you go to the relevant counter (Salad, Pasta/Risotto, Pizza) and tell the chef which item you’d like, and then present your card. Boom!
But here’s the bit I found a bit odd: OH wanted pizza, I wanted pasta. I queued for pasta, OH ordered the pizza and got a buzzer that would go off when it was ready… We swapped so I could take a photo…
…and then we waited for pasta. Ordered Bruschetta, received that. And waited. And after 15 minutes of still not getting to the front of the pasta queue, his pizza was ready… so we bailed on my dinner, and shared his.
And then queued for about another 10-15 minutes before getting to order my pasta, which we shared again.
What about the vegan food then?
Now, the good thing: the pasta was brilliant. You can choose which pasta you want (including a choice of kids shapes, wholemeal and spelt options, as well as various regular pasta shapes). I was sorry to have to share it! The lentil sauce was full of flavour and the pasta was cooked to perfection.
I also like the bruschetta, which was clearly fresh and literally made in front of my OH’s eyes! You get two quite big pieces so it’s a great dish to share in my opinion.
The pizza was… clearly somewhat hastily prepared. Apologies again for the photo, I was holding the OH back with one hand to stop him from eating it!
Personally, I would of liked all of the toppings to be a bit more evenly spread out, and perhaps a stronger flavour profile throughout. There’s no denying it was a good pizza. The base was crispy and thin, just how I like my Italian pizzas, but personally I would of wanted something more from the toppings. Either sweeter, or spicier or something. Perhaps chargrilled peppers, or sundried tomatoes? Not sure.
Current vegan specials at Vapiano
The vegan options change at Vapiano, as any good menu should, so check with your local branch before going to see what’s available. At the time of writing, they had the following vegan menu:
Delicious ragout made of mushrooms, carrots and celery in our homemade tomato sauce with onions marinated with soy sauce and fresh herbs. This was my favourite!
Risotto Zucca Caramellata
Creamy risotto rice with a homemade sauce made of Hokkaido pumpkin, orange juice, coconut milk and with a hint of vegan white wine, ginger, sesame & lime.
Pizza Con Cipolle Balsamico
Homemade tomato sauce with fruity balsamic shallots, zucchini, eggplant, fresh basil and rosemary.
Would I go again? Totally, yes. As long as you order the same as the other person, and don’t go in a large group, I think it’d work really well! Plus, hello vegan choices. Next time, I am 100% getting the airplane pasta! Or the risotto, if it’s still on the menu.
Disclaimer – we received our meal for free at Vapiano. However, as you can see I am 100% honest in my reviews!