Thursday, 16 December 2010

Conceptual eating

Taking my mind off things, last night we went out for a final goodbye meal with our friends who left Berlin today to return to Derby. Stevie has been desperate to try out Vapiano which is a chain of restaurants across Europe selling pizza and pasta. There is one not far from where we live and every time I've passed it it has been really busy. As you walk down the street you can look in the window and see chefs making the pasta by hand, and that has made me quite keen to try it too.

So that's where we went as our friends hadn't been there either. When we arrived we noticed that most of the seating is at high tables with high stools. Not ideal really for a 2 and 3 year old (complete with sledge). But we were also pleased to note that the place was mobbed - that's got to be a good sign when eating out, right? We eventually found a table with seats at a height that would not cause spinal injuries if the kids were to fall from them and a lady at the front desk gave us 4 swipe cards and menus and nicely explained to us how ordering worked. The menu is split into price bands (totally pointless to be honest) and once you have decided what you want you queue up at any of 5 or 6 stations to place your order and watch it being made right before your eyes. Everything about it was just a bit gimmicky. I think you are meant to be impressed by the 'coolness' of standing in a queue to watch your food being prepared, but 1 minute in you can't help but think it's an awful lot like standing in a queue in McDonalds and that's not really that cool.

Once you get to the top of your queue you get to watch your very own meal getting prepared. Again this is fun for about 30 seconds. The sullen chef asks you to select which pasta type you want and then you get to watch him take it from a shelf and tip it out of a takeaway container into a wok-like thing. Once he's made your meal you hand him your little swipe card and he adds the cost on to it. I was queueing with my friend and Hamish and I got my food first along with the kids. I went back to the table and then the guys went up and ordered their pizzas. By the time my friend got back to the table with her meal I had finished mine. And 20 minutes later when the pizzas were ready she had finished hers. Call me old fashioned but I quite like eating together and being served by someone.

The food was ok though, there was just a bit too much concept going on.

Oh and then I thought I got my purse stolen. But it turned out I'd left it on the sofa at home. But not before I 'may' have cancelled my Commerzbank card and got confused by the German recorded message on the 'cancelling your card' phoneline and then went upstairs and disturbed my neighbours and got them to phone the Commerzbank to make sure it really was cancelled. Then we got disturbed by Stevie at the door, who it turned out had been sitting looking at my purse the whole time. But it was worth it because I got to check out the inside of their flat which I hadn't seen before. (Sparse, nice wood floors, extremely large abstract art on the walls, and a running machine in the corner - in case you're wondering)

1 comment:

  1. I love Vapiano- we eat there often with the kids. -- They will give you kid size portions of pasta if you ask and deliver the pizza to your table. Upstairs they have lower cushioned sofas that are easier for little ones (at the two in Berlin and one in Munich I have been to). Their salad with beef is good and their arrabiata is very good.
    Sorry for the problems around the visit:(.


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