Friday, 19 February 2010

Pizza Express fixes up.

Pizza Express have got Francesco Mazzei on board and he's created some pretty decent pizzas for them *gasp* I was in the King's Road branch (ok, yah) meeting a friend and her little niece Tilly (20 months) for lunch, we went for PE as it's really child friendly and Tilly 'really likes it there'. I'm not sure when I started letting a toddler decide my lunch location, but it worked out pretty well.

Hailing from Calabria, Francesco has brought some stonking ingredients from his 'hood to the pizza chain, including Calabrese sausage and Calabrian oregano and olive oil. He's also brought some fancy pants bits and pieces like truffles, grana padano and oyster mushrooms to the party, which is pretty cool since all the items on the menu come in at under a tenner.

I had the Rustichella (roasted tomatoes, pancetta and grana padano, topped with rocket leaves and a splash of salad dressing) which was like a really nice caesar salad on a pizza base. The pancetta was good and smoky and really crispy, but still with a bit of chew. I was pleased.

My friend Naomi had the Mia Sofia, a big white pizza covered in a good quantity of earthy wild mushrooms and allegedly truffle paste, but I couldn't detect any. She was impressed but said that mine was nicer. I wish I'd gone for the third pizza in the new selection, the Calabrese, a spicy rectangular pizza with TWO KINDS of sausage (I'm pretty easily pleased).
I will probably go for it next time. Yes, I can say with my hand on my heart that I will return to Pizza Express for these pizzas. They are cheap and tasty and mark a definite step in the right direction for the ubiquitous pizza chain.

(For the record, Tilly had dough balls, a side salad, bolognese and a strawberry sunday. She ate it all but baulked at the bambinocino.)

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