On Monday night, after chilling out for a while in the Selfridges Library, Sherin and Susie took me for dinner at a great Italian just off Oxford Street, Vapiano.
I loved the laid back style of the restaurant, you can't really get anything like it in smaller towns like where I'm from. When you walk into the restaurant you get handed a charge card. There are menus scattered around the restaurant where you can choose pasta, salad or pizza.
You got up to the corresponding area and order straight from the chef, watching them cook you food if you want and you swipe your card. You can pay for everything; food, drinks and desserts you put on your card when you leave the restaurant. The seating is an open plan mix of bar are and stools and booths at tables over two floors so you can choose to sit wherever you like with your food. I absolutely loved the laid back, relaxed and cool atmosphere.
I was slightly in love with the decor.
I had one of their homemade pizzas topped with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. I added the oregano myself, and after I took the photo I added torn fresh basil from the pot on our table (I love that little extra touch for an Italian restaurant) and some chilli oil. I had not had a proper pizza in ages, and though you can get better pizzas, this one was faultless - just what I fancied!
Susie had a simple Caesar salad, which looked absolutely perfect for someone who was just after a quick light meal, like she was after having eaten quite a bit that day already!
Sherin had this amazing looking pasta which also smelt pretty great. I've decided that I'm already going back for another meal, maybe at lunchtime when the music will not be so loud (it was by no means too loud, we could still talk fine, but I like a quieter atmosphere for my meals in general) to try one of the pasta dishes.
I loved how the desserts were displayed by the bar, and I was really tempted by the vanilla panna cotta with strawberry sauce.
However, when I went up to the counter to order I spotted the death by chocolate, it was the natural choice! It was rather excellent, but not up to the absolutely faultless standard of my pizza.
The meal was excellent value, my pizza, dessert and a beer coming to £14. A bill that you pay while munching on a complimentary bowl of gummy bears.