Monday, 2 June 2014

A Classic Taste of Great Food At PizzaExpress

Family food - testing the quality
PizzaExpress menu
Incredible as it may seem PizzaExpress has been obsessed with pizza ever since its founder Peter Boizot opened the first PizzaExpress restaurant on Wardour Street in London’s Soho in 1965, nearly 50 years on, I checked out Newport's new PizzaExpress restaurant at Newport's Spytty Park.

I have to admit, I am not the biggest pizza fan in the world. Infact my experience of enjoying pizza is rare. It’s a food, my family experiment with no end, usually taking me as a passenger with a  non committal “well I’ll eat it if everybody else wants it”.

Dough balls proved a favourite
with the children
So I can honestly say I was hardly excited about visiting Spytty Park's PizzaExpress accompanied by a few other equally fussy eaters (two of my children) one Sunday afternoon recently, especially fuelled with the memory of not so successful recent visits to other pizza restaurants.

The first thing that dawns on you when visiting PizzaExpress however is that you are presented with a more up-market dining experience. Clean tables and neat presentation are always a plus but as friendly staff members guided us to our seats even the children felt they were visiting somewhere special.

Romana Menezlana
Our starter was a delightful selection of roasted tomatoes bringing a touch of savoury to the proceedings, something the parents definitely enjoyed and that the children weren’t too afraid to try.

The children enjoyed the dough balls served with, garlic butter and n’duja, an Italian favourite of spicy softened sausage and olive oil. A delightful way of sampling new tastes and scoring full marks for pushing the boundaries of "I don't want to try it" resistance.

Keeping The Heat - The Calabrese
The Bruschetta Originale "PizzaExpress" was a winner with parents and children alike comprising tomatoes, red onions, garlic, fresh basil and pesto. Rachel opted for the Romana Menezlana as her main course, a mild but tasty combination of Red onions, capers, olives, sultanas, pine kernels.

For the main course , I fancied something with a bit of heat and our waiter Caladin suggested Pizza Express’s own Calabrese inspired by food from guest chef’s Francesco Mazzei’s home town in Calabria.

The Calabrese features Spicy Calabrese sausage D.O.P, hot soft n'duja sausage, finely chopped red chillies, roquito peppers, red & yellow peppers, mozzarella, rocket, pesto, oregano, topped with a Gran Moravia cheese. I found the Calabrese very satisfying keeping its heat with an onmipresent kick that allowed you to enjoy the food without having to cross the pain threshold.

There was lots to choose from too for the children with the great value Pizza Express piccolo menu and all three of our children were pleased to encounter a menu with choice  featuring Baked dough balls, side salad, pizza or pasta, with a choice of dessert.

On completion of a very pleasant meal I was startled to note everybody including the children had cleared their plates and were ready for dessert. Rachel finished with chocolate fudge cake, while I sampled the Banoffee Pie, very tasty and a perfect follow up to the Calabrese.

The PizzaExpress experience is something I certainly intend to repeat on my next weekday off with  tasty soups to perfectly proportioned pizzas, forming the new menu has been designed to give busy people an excuse to escape for a quick and inexpensive lunch. All items are available to eat in or take away from
Monday to Friday and main dishes range from £3.45 to just £5.95.

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