Thursday 21 April 2016

#EatPastaRunFaster @ Vapiano, Manchester

On what would have been a very ordinary Monday evening (dash from work to the gym, sprint it out, dash home, cook, tidy, shower, watch some alright TV before sliding into bed...), I wound up in Vapiano for dinner as part of their #EatPastaRunFaster campaign.

The ethos behind it is to debunk the myth we've been bombarded with over the past few years that carbs are the devil and to show that you can (and should) enjoy carbs as part of a healthy, balanced diet, *especially* if you're training.

I've been upping my running game over the past few weeks, sneaking in two ten milers and a couple of shorter, speedier runs too (#bragger). Now the weather is getting nicer and the evenings are lighter it's much easier to slot running into my workout schedule, and I love it.

I find it such a powerful means of stress relief and I get a real sense of achievement when I've reached a new distance or found a new running route. I've also recently been listening to TED Talks rather than music on long distance runs; I find them really inspiring and 'wholesome' to listen to - you should give it a go!

Anyway. Carbs.

We started off with a tour of the restaurant and got to know how the place works. You're given a chip card, and once you've chosen what you fancy eating, head on over to one of the chef stations and they cook it in front of you.

We had a good choice for seating and chose a high table with an olive tree in the middle.

Despite it being Monday night, the place did start to fill up and there was a lovely, chilled vibe to the place (I imagine this is different on a Saturday lunchtime or if there's a gig on at the Arena, though!).

To start, we went for the Insalata Caprese and the Piatto Antipasti. Oh my god. The mozzarella in the salad took me straight back to a restaurant called Mimi e Coco in Rome; so creamy and perfect against the fruity tomatoes and tart balsamic. I could've eaten that three times over (despite the portion size being HUGE), it was that good. The antipasti was amazing too; a generous helping of grana padano, roast veg, chorizo, salami and Parma ham, as well as a delicious slice of bruschetta. It was the perfect amount and we were both very impressed.

For the main carb fest affair, James went for the calzone (ham, spicy sausage, mushrooms, tomato sauce, mozzarella and chicken).

I went for gamberetti with a tomato and chilli sauce, and spelt spaghetti. Spelt is an ancient grain (a 'cousin' of wheat, if you will..) and so-say boasts more B-vitamins and iron than traditional pasta.


The campaign isn't called #EatCheesecakeGetLean, and we definitely didn't need pudding, but our lovely waiter highly recommended that we try their baked cheesecake (lemon and vanilla cheesecake, baked, served with a strawberry sauce). I also let slip that I was a salted caramel fan, and so out came the Cioccolata bianca (white chocolate and cream on a biscuit base with a salted caramel sauce and honeycomb). We also ended up with white chocolate icecream too, because, why not...

My favourite was the Cioccolata bianca, it was delicious.

I thought I wouldn't like the self-service element to the restaurant but I actually didn't mind it; in fact, it was nice to be able to choose your food at your own pace and I really did enjoy the fact that all the pasta is made fresh right in front of you.

Vapiano kindly treated me to dinner, however as ever, you know the drill, all opinions are very much my own.

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