With over 120 Vapianos all over the world, we were overjoyed when we learned that the Italian concept opened its doors to local diners in Kuwait. Located at The Avenues, Vapiano thrives on the Italian proverb, “Chi va piano, va sano e va lontano”. This translates to “If you have an easy-going and relaxed approach to life, you’ll live more healthily and longer”. This is what this establishment aims to deliver, an environment that allows people to meet to share their love of life and food in a relaxed setting that celebrates positive vibes and amazing quality.
Prepare to fall in love with the long oak picnic tables, where conversations flow freely, and you can clearly see the magic happen behind all of the designated Pasta, Antipasti and Pizza stations. The design of the restaurant is uncomplicated at its core, and positively cosmopolitan. The constant action that is actually happening behind the cooking stations keeps you entertained, and the majestic branches of the grand olive tree positioned in the middle of the restaurant give you a sense of serenity. We absolutely loved all of the planted herbs throughout the restaurant, from the commanding “Green Wall” of living plants, to the small pots of basil, oregano, thyme and even rosemary placed at each table, fresh for the picking. Large wooden panels placed over the cooking stations display entertaining information about Vapiano’s food, cooking, enjoying life and lifestyle, as well as referencing Kuwait City. Originally designed by internationally renowned Milanese architect Matteo Thun, Vapiano’s design is inspired by the simpler things in life: The love of eating, of freshness, and of preparation—all presented in a light, fresh and uncomplicated interior.
The fun immediately begins as soon as you arrive at Vapiano, as your choice of pasta, pizzas, antipasti and salads can be ordered directly from the chefs at each individual cooking station located toward the back of the restaurant. You firstly receive your Vapiano card, and then once you’ve decided on your order, it is swiped. This technological method allows you to have full control of your meal. If you like that Penne All’Arrabiata extra spicy, for instance, ask the chef to pile on the chilis. Behind all of the cooking stations, row upon row of drinks are also available, such as tasty Orangina and Arizona in a myriad of flavors. Once your order is ready, you pick up your tray and add additional condiments, cutlery and napkins to your dish. The stations include Antipasti and Salads for your starters, Pasta and Pizza for your main, and a separate café area for coffee and desserts. Amazingly, all of the dishes take an astounding 5-7 minutes to prepare, so long waits are a thing of the past at Vapiano. At the end of your meal, you can pay your bill with ease, as you know exactly what you ordered.
It is Vapiano’s brand ethos that states, ‘Fresh tastes best.’ This is why all of their pasta sauces, let alone the many different types of pasta, are prepared in house, specifically inside the glassed-in Manifattura. The best part is that you can choose the type of pasta you desire with the various sauces that range from classic Italian, house specialties and even internationally inspired creations. If you’re unsure about which pasta to choose, then the expert chefs, or Vapianisti, behind the Pasta stations are there to help! We opted for the house specialty of Filetto Di Manzo E Rucola, tender beef fillet cooked to perfection with the crunch of fresh vegetables and zesty rocket along with their recommendation of Campanelle. We even dared to venture, and tempted our palates with an Asian inspired rendition of Pollo Piccante that included tenderized chicken breast, pak choi and bell pepper! The Asian-infused Pappardelle is tossed in a gently spiced, heartwarming orange-chili sauce. Otherwise, you can go for Scampi with Campanelle pasta or a classic Ravioli with rocket leaves. Vapiano’s flexibility and variety will instantly put you at ease, given that customization is a breeze and never a complicated matter. If you’re looking for a lighter option, choose from whole-wheat spelt Spaghetti or Fusilli.
If, like us, you’re in the mood for a pizza as a side for your pasta, then all you need to do is to head on over to the designated Pizza counter. Make your order then swipe your Vapiano card and you receive a funky buzzer that lets you know when it’s ready! Like everything else at this establishment, the pizza dough is prepared fresh from yeast, pine flour, pure water, a drizzle of plant oil along with a little sugar and sea salt. If you don’t believe us, then wait around and watch it happen right in front of your own two eyes. The toppings are all customizable, but as with the Pasta selections, feel free to choose from classic Italian options like Margherita or Salame, house selections like the signature Vitello Tonnato, or internationally inspired flavors. Honestly, the Bruschetta Pizza was one of the best pizzas we’ve had in a long, long time! Its simplicity, tomatoes marinated in garlic and extra virgin olive oil with rocket, Grana Padano cheese on tomato sauce and mozzarella, makes it faultless. The pizza itself, expertly prepared to handle the toppings in a weightless manner, offered a surprise of textures and fresh aromatic flavors that included basil, zesty tomatoes and a gently spiced tomato sauce offset with the sharpness of the Padano cheese. On an international note, we absolutely loved the BBQ Chicken pizza, perfectly balanced with red onions and smoked choose, tomato sauce, mozzarella and bruschetta tomatoes. Every bite gave us that almost zingy barbecue flavor, and commands you to come back for a second, if not a third or fourth or fifth, slice.
As with any dining experience, we always recommend that you leave room for a sweet nibble of dessert. If you’re especially tempted by cute desserts prepared in mason jars and pretty glass cups, then come really hungry. We absolutely loved each and every dessert we tried, from the creamy goodness that is the Panna Cotta (you can choose this with or without a fruity strawberry coulis) to the addictive Crema Di Fragola, homemade mascarpone with fresh strawberries. More berry goodness waits for you, as the blueberry cheesecake is served up as a trifle, where layer upon layer of crunchy oatcakes, cream cheese and fruity blueberries make for a beautiful marriage of textures. They even have a dessert called Death By Chocolate, which for its name alone, scores high in our bazaar books.
If you’re casually strolling through The Avenues, and found yourself wanting something sweet but didn’t wish to wait forever to find a table at your dessert location of choice, Vapiano’s layout and efficient concept allows you to directly head to the Café area and order your desserts, sans the wait! Satisfying sweet cravings in record time? Check!
Vapiano is located on the second floor near The Mall area at The Avenues. For more information, please follow them on Instagram @VapianoKuwait.