Ever the Pizza Express fans and it’s never a chore to write about our experiences of dining in them. We visit them a lot and I can’t help, whether invited to or not, but write about when we have had a really good meal (as we so very often do) whether I have been invited to for the blog or we have just been because we chose to. Jonny actually pointed out that he can’t remember the last time he had a bad experience in one and when you dine out with a 2 year old believe me, that’s quite something for it is not only the food which contributes to a fabulous meal out but when a family, it’s also how happy the children are! Pizza Express have hit the nail very firmly on the head when it comes to keeping the little ones happy and that for me is worth it’s weight in gold, the fact their adult menu is really rather good is simply a bonus!
And talking of their menu, it’s Spring and a big hello to their all new menu which not only welcomes a new season of flavours but also gives a nod to nostalgia because guess what? Pizza Express have just turned 50. Yes FIFTY! And incorporated on their latest collection is the Romana 65 selection of Pizzas which hark back to the start of their career as the number one pizzaiolos!
We went to the one in Norwich on St Benedicts Street, it’s one of my all time favourite Pizza Expresses along with the one is Eastbourne and the one in Greenwich. They’re all really different while still being very definitely Pizza Expresses and I love this venue because of the style of the building. The staff are always really pleasant too and although we were there for review on this particular trip, the time we visited last for Florence’s birthday we were not yet there was absolutely no difference in how attentive our waiters and waitresses were and the standard of food was exactly the same. I usually, with the exception of one visit, find the staff in Pizza Express to be super friendly and helpful, one guy when we rang up and booked whilst on holiday once even rang me back after he’d gone outside to find me a road which wasn’t permit parking – now THAT’s helpful!
So, onto the new menu… What’s to love? Well, for us, absolutely loads of fresh spring favourites and a couple of things I have very firmly planted on my ‘must have’ list to add to our ever growing bill… I fell totally in love with La Regina, a ham hock sphisticated twist on the classic La Reine, the new sharing starter of Fresella and also, something which is not new to this particular menu but the last, the ‘oh my word it’s good’ broccolini! Here’s what we had and enjoyed, nothing went to waste and everything was thoroughly perfect! One thing that we would change a touch? Hmmm, well it’d have to be the fact they’ve removed the garlic butter past from the children’s menu because it has long been a favourite with my two but despite it not being on the Piccolo selection, which is my children’s dining out menu of choice and superbly well thought out, they made it for Florence anyway so you can’t ask for more than that!
The Picollo menu is well priced with dough balls, a side salad, a main, desert and bambinoccino all for £6.50. As well as this they bring an activity sheet which is also the actual menu, stickers and a chef’s hat. They kind of just know the right level of entertainment without being tacky and package it all up in something really fun and interesting for the children. They don’t forget about them when it comes to the food either and everything is an absolute treat just as it should be! I’m a firm believer that if you’re dining out then it should be a wonderful experience with something yummy for everyone, not just the parents and Pizza express get that!
We had a divine meal with them yet again, in lovely surroundings with a lovely vibrant atmosphere where children are welcomed with open arms. The new menu brought delicious surprises and really put a spring in our step as I’m sure it was intended. I drank moscato which is my favourite ‘of dry’ white wine at Pizza Express and we all came away feeling like we’d had a jolly good family event. A meal out should be about fun, frivolity and really good food and this meal was all of those things. With a family things really shouldn’t break the bank either and although we didn’t pay for this meal I was given a copy of the bill and I’d have been more than happy to pay the value. We were 3 adults and 2 children eating starters, mains, sides and deserts with wine and coffee and the bill would have been just shy of £125, I don’t think that’s bad value at all and you have to remember that Pizza Express have offers and discounts practically every day if you check their website for the deal of the moment and this would make it even less expensive.