I love Christmas and especially love it when restaurants take the time to adjust their menu and create a special one, ready for the festive season. Pizza Express is no exception, and I took a trip to my local branch after I was kindly invited to review their new Christmas menu.
The Christmas menu at Pizza Express has two options; two courses for £14.95 or three courses for £19.95 which includes an apertif to start and a limoncello to finish. We opted for the latter.
To start with, the OH opted for the bruschetta which is a personal favourite of his. The bread was still warm and had a delicious softness to the bread. The toppings included pesto, tomato and basil, the flavours usually associated with Italy.
I decided to go for the christmas special; contadino which was an italian stew served with dough sticks. The tomato sauce had a rich flavour which tasted delicious with the warm dough sticks. My only niggle was that the starter was a little too big for one person and is more suited to share between two.
For mains we both decided on pizza, the OH ordered pollo ad astra; chicken, peppadew sweet peppers, cajun spices, garlic oil and red onions. The pizza was on the sweeter side with the peppers and red onions and balanced well with the spices. However, I personally thought the pizza was a little on the bland side and could have done with more cajun spices.
My main course of choice was the porchetta pizza, a Christmas special, which consisted of roasted pork belly, fresh sage and mozzarella on a scrumpy cider apple sauce, finished with pork crackling. Sounds perfect unfortunately the pizza wasn’t available. Our waiter informed us that we could choose any pizza off the main menu as part of the set menu so I instead I opted for the chef’s special; calabrese.
The pizza is not for the faint hearted and an avid spice lover will love the spicy Calabrese sausage D.O.P and hot soft n’duja sausage. To add more heat there’s also finely chopped red chillies along with the usual toppings of peppers, mozzarella, rocket, pesto and oregano. This pizza is my favourite at Pizza Express and it certainly wasn’t a let down.
The OH chose the chocolate fudge cake with ice cream. The fudge cake was light and still moist. It was tasty but not the best cake I’d ever had and a little heavy after eating a whole pizza.
I on the other hand wanted to try a dessert a little more Christmassy so opted for the mulled winter fruit crumble which was by far the superior dessert. The crème anglaise melted into the fruit crumble, the fruits had a tart taste that balanced well with the sweet crumble and custard.
As a foodie, it’s easy to turn your nose up at chain restaurants and assume the food isn’t as good, although in most cases I’ve found this to be true, Pizza Express is an exception and does good food for a reasonable price and if I’m ever craving pizza I know that I’ll get a decent meal. The Chistmas menu is excellent value however it was a shame that the Christmassy pizzas weren’t available. Even so the meal was a great treat and I’d highly recommend the menu to anyone who is a pizza lover.
I was kindly invited to review Pizza Express.
– Pizza Express, Barbican