Pizza Express is a high street staple, bringing their take on traditional Italian pizza to the British Isles. Recently the Clapham branch had a bit of a re-vamp, so I was invited down to take a look.
The restaurant itself looks refreshed, with a relaxed, family style. The decor is what I would call ‘classy hipster’, with exposed brickwork and halogen bulbs giving a warm and inviting glow to the restaurant, however not so great for photos as you will see! The back of the restaurant had a different feel, with darker decor and bright, white lighting.
Onto the food. I started off with the Dough Balls Doppio, a twist on what I would guess must be one of Pizza Express’s most popular dishes. These dough balls come with pesto and pestorissa as well as the regular garlic butter. The dough balls are hot and plentiful, but unfortunately a little soggy on the bottom. The pestorissa was tangy and the Pesto was pretty delicious and you can never go wrong with dipping these bad boys right into garlic butter! My other half had the Classic Italian Antipasto for one and again, the portion was plentiful and the ingredients were fresh.
I couldn’t resist getting a pizza, and my love of spicy food drew me straight towards the American Hot, Romana style. It was a little too oily for me, especially for a thin Italian style pizza, but the base was really good and it was impressive to see the chiefs hand-making and shaping the dough in the kitchen. Harry went for the calzone and unfortunately he did not have such a good experience. The filling was sparse and soggy with barely any sauce to give it flavour, I don’t think he would order it again in a hurry.
Onto desserts, always a favourite of mine, and I think these were the star of the meal. I went for a Christmas special of Jaffa Profiteroles. They were lovely light and sweet but could have had a much stronger orange flavour. Harry went for the Honeycomb Creme Slice which was delicious, light and smooth, with a good crunch and flavour balance. We will definitely be back for this one!
Another thing worth noting was the staff, some members were friendly and helpful but others unfortunately were not. Although nice, some seemed a bit clueless about the basic runnings of the restaurant, and I was shocked to see the chiefs behaving unprofessionally, throwing paper towels across the restaurant and generally trying to wind up the other staff members. I’m all up for people having fun at work but it seems an odd choice if you have an open plan kitchen.