Imagine my delight when I was invited to sample the new vegan menu at Vapiano, the Manchester branch. It’s not the first time I’ve been to Vapiano, we had lunch a couple of months ago, I’ve been to a blind taste test and I’ve been involved in their Eat Pasta Run Faster campaign. Not only I think the food is great, but I also loved the idea of the vegan specials. I’m vegetarian, but I try to incorporate as many vegan meals as I can, daily.
These are the vegan options. The thing I loved most about these dishes is that they made sense. Sometimes with veg*n options you end up with something puzzling and not in a good way. There wasn’t any vegan cheese and I liked that a lot. It’s very easy to take the meat out and replace the cheese with vegan cheese and call it a vegan meal. These three dishes aren’t anything like that.
I’m going to talk a little bit about the restaurant and then I’m going to talk about each dish.
The food at Vapiano is prepared from scratch in front of you. This is the pizza station. There are two options, you can wait to see how it’s prepared or get a pad that will light up when the food is ready to be collected. With pizza it’s better to get the pad, but I stayed and looked at the way the pasta and the risotto were cooked. It’s a treat in itself if, like me, you love cooking.
Because everything is prepared then, you can chose the type of pasta you like. The pasta is made fresh everyday in a huge machine which can be seen. Not only that you can pick if you want spaghetti, fusilli or penne, but you can also choose spelt if you fancy that option.
Zucca Caramellata. The risotto was my favourite and my husband said the same thing; he loved the risotto too. The risotto is made with a homemade sauce of Hokkaido pumpkin, orange juice, coconut milk, white wine, ginger, sesame and lime. It was fab, I would gladly eat that again and again. It also inspired me to use a veggie two ways for a risotto dish (puree and shredded). The coconut milk gives it a lush creamy texture, it’s just a stunning dish.
Funghi Bolognese with ragout made of mushrooms, carrots and celery in a tomato sauce with onions marinated with herbs and soy sauce. It was delicious too. I liked the sauce a lot with all the yummy veggies. It’s a really nice vegan pasta dish. The only downside was, when asked, if I want chilli I said yes. They were cut a little too thick and it was too spicy when I had one. Next time I’m skipping the chilli.
Vegan special pizza Con Cipolle Balsamico. Pizza crust filled with tomato sauce with fruity balsamic shallots, courgette, aubergine, basil and rosemary. A delight to eat. I loved the shallots and the veggies, still had a crunch, exactly as I like them. No cheese on the pizza and it didn’t need it at all. All the veggies were so delicious that there wasn’t any need for any type of cheese.
This is the Special Vegan Menu at Vapiano. If you want to eat something different and you are in Manchester, do stop by Vapiano.
*We were invited. All opinions are my own. I wouldn’t recommend their new menu if I wouldn’t want to eat there again myself.