Food: Vapiano, Manchester Corn Exchange

I have two main loves in my life: food and drink. And judging from a lot of the content that goes up on What Emma Did, you probably already guessed. One of my faaaaaaavourite types of cuisine hands down is Italian: pizza, pasta, risottos, bruschettas, foccacias, tiramusu’s, pannacottas… I could do on. And it’s even the drinks: cappuccinos, Italian coffees, Aperol, Martini’s, Bellinis… but can you believe I’m yet to visit Italy?!

Anyway, as I haven’t yet been and experienced the food and drink myself, I make the most of it by often opting for an Italian eatery when I eat out. Luckily, Manchester is a very good city to be from, as there are soooo many high quality Italian restaurants in and around the city.

One of my new favourites is Vapiano, situated in Manchester’s Corn Exchange. I know a lot of people out there say that ‘pasta is pasta’, but seriously, when you eat the best quality pasta dish made to perfection, you know it. Take my word for it!

This is exactly what I experienced at Vapiano, and I’m assuming it all down to the fact it’s all cooked freshly and ‘live’ in front of you. Often something you’d expect to see more often at an oriental place, it’s quite a new concept for Italian cuisine in Manchester

We arrived at the brand new restaurant on a Saturday evening, after we had spent a few hours at The Oast House exploring their new tepee set up. The bright, airy and downright huge space was one of the first things that struck me about the place; it was also really laid-back and relaxed with a truly great vibe to the place. You could just turn up and find your own table – no being led anywhere.

We found a table overlooking the rest of the inside of the Corn Exchange, and was handed a Vapiano card, which we used at the various food stations throughout the restaurant. The card is used to tally up what you order, a god send for large groups when it comes to the dreaded bill split, as you only pay for exactly what you ordered. You simply just hand it over when you place an order!

From starters to mains and all that in-between, all of the food was cooked freshly in front of us; antipasti, salad, pizza, pasta and deserts, freshly prepared before your very eyes. There’s something satisfying about watching a chef make the pizza dough! Although I actually opted for a pasta dish.

We both selected the prawn bruschetta starter platter to share, before opting for a pasta dish each. Mine was a vegetarian option (I’m not a veggie but they were out of the meat version due to it being a busy Saturday night) called Rucola Ravioli, with ricotta, rocket, butter, onions and pine nuts. It was so satisfying watching the chef drain and cook the pasta, before throwing in all sorts of ingredients to create a smooth, rich sauce.

You pay around £8-£11 for a pasta dish, depending on what meats and toppings etc you opt for. It’s hard to explain when writing in words, but I literally can’t explain just how good the pasta tastes. It’s like pasta like no other. I can’t compare it to the Authentic stuff they rustle up in Rome, but for a Manchester based Italian, it’s to die for.

It’s SO great to see the Manchester Corn Exchange housing some truly wonderful eateries and really showcasing such a stunning piece of Manchester’s Architecture. If you love Italian food and are ever in Manchester, I urge you to head down and check out Vapiano. I’m totally going to try a pizza next time…

(I’ll just cut in and apolgise for the purple tinged photos – our sitting was at night with purple tinted lights!)

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