Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Autumn Comfort at Pizza Express

When I'm looking for a purse friendly carb overload one of my favourite places to head is Pizza Express.  It's a restaurant that often has great deals (my favourite being the weekend deal where you can stuff your face with three courses for £13.00), has tasty low calorie options and changes its menu to match the seasons.    

So when I was invited to Pizza Express to try out the new Autumn menu I was a happy lady.  We booked a table for Monday which ended up being a dark and drizzly day - the perfect time to have a nice warming dinner.

There are two Pizza Express restaurants in Newcastle - one in Eldon Square which I'm not a huge fan of as, being in a mall, it tends to get very busy and one on Dean Street which I love.  It's housed in a beautiful Georgian building and is really cosy.  It also tends to be far more peaceful.

The Autumn menu introduces a few new additions including an exciting new twist on dough balls, some new pizzas and very tempting desserts.  


I know the Pizza Express menu pretty well and do tend to always order the same dishes so I was interested to see if I could discover some new favourites.  Wanting to experience the new menu properly we decided to be greedy and go for all three courses (you're very welcome!). 

There was one new starter that I was desperate to try, the Dough Balls Fromaggi - the famous Pizza Express dough balls but with an Autumnal makeover.   The dough balls have been baked with Gran Moravia cheese to give them a nice cheesy crust.  
 

Cover anything in cheese and I'm going to be a fan.  I loved the added cheese and as always really indulged with the garlic butter and smothered each one with far too much.  Delicious!

Simon decided to make a healthier choice and ordered the Leggera Gamberetti Piccante - prawns in a passata sauce with chilli flakes, spinach and santos tomatoes.  He enjoyed it but it really packed some heat, by the time he had finished his forehead was looking a little shiny.   If you're not a fan of spice this dish probably isn't for you.


Dishes packing heat does seem to be a bit of a theme with the new menu which isn't great for me as I really don't like spicy food at all.  I had wanted to order the new Carbonara Pizza but unfortunately the restaurant were out of Pancetta so instead I chose the Mare Rossa Pizza but asked for it without chilli flakes.

The Mara Rossa is covered in Prawn, Salmon, Brocccoli and  Spinach and sits on a Lobster bisque, b├ęchamel and passata base.   A good seafood pizza has been long overdue at Pizza Express so it's a very welcome addition to the menu.  I can see it becoming my new favourite.


Simon went spicy again and picked the Etna which, although not new to the menu, has had a slight recipe tweak.   Despite asking for his pizza without roquito peppers his meal still gave a massive kick with spicy hot 'nduja sausage.   It was possibly a little too hot for him but he managed to finish every mouthful so it must have been good.


Just one little criticism - the Romana Based pizzas are HUGE and literally fall over the plate which makes them pretty tricky to eat without ending up all over the table. 

Now for my favourite part - dessert.   I am very intrigued by the new healthier option - a Leggera Chocolate Cheesecake which is less than 250 calories.  I'm sorry to say that this time we couldn't bring ourselves to order it though so if any of you order it please do let me know how it is.

We were going all out on this visit though so that meant full fat yummy desserts.   Simon picked the new Vanilla Cheesecake served with fruit coulis.  It was tasty but I can't help but feel that a vanilla cheesecake is a little dull and bland. 


Luckily my choice more than made up for that.  The new Honeycomb Cream Slice is so good, it definitely knocks my old favourite (Chocolate Fudge Cake) out of the park.   It's pretty similar to a cheesecake - chunks of honeycomb and chocolate hidden in a light cream sitting on top of a layer of salted caramel and biscuit.  It is absolutely delicious so make sure you leave room for dessert next time you are in Pizza Express.


We were pretty impressed with the new offerings and it's definitely worth popping in to Pizza Express and seeing if you can find a new favourite dish.

Our meals and drinks were provided free of charge so we could try out the new menu.  However, this is an honest review of our experience.

27 comments:

  1. I would go, if only for the honeycomb cream slice. It looks delicious!

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  2. I like pizza express as you can use your taste card there and they often have deals where you can use it on a sat night too - we went to the branch in Gosforth a few months ago and it was lovely. Surprisingly didn't feel like a chain!

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    1. YESSSSSSSS! So many restaurants don't extend their offer to weekends but Pizza Express always do and they always have a deal running! Perfect purse friendly food!

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  3. Mmm I love Pizza Express! Esp the healthy menu, the first time O ordered one of the healthy pizzas he almost cried when he realised there was a hole in the middle filled with salad! The polenta fries and antipasti are my faves!

    Lx
    whiskyandpancakes.co.uk

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    1. HA! I do love the Legerra Pizza - it's still nice and filling cos of all the lovely salad and dressing. Ooooooh not tried polenta fries!

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  4. Ahh Pizza express is always a reliable good meal out. I've always been tempted to try the healthy options, but when push comes to shove I cave in and go for the real deal haha!

    Scrimping to Splash

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    1. I know, it's hard to pick out a healthy option when there are so many lovely tempting things staring at you from the pages of the menu!

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  5. Ooh looks very good! I'm not really a fan of pizza express, it's too sophisticated for me! Salmon on a pizza?!

    www.gingerbreadsmiles.co.uk
    xox

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    1. Give it another go! They have lovely pasta dishes too and you can't go wrong with dough balls :D

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  6. Oh man, that honeycomb slice looks out of this world! I love pizza express but the Mr doesn't eat pizza so I don't get to go often!

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    1. What?!! Doesn't eat pizza! That's shocking :p Does he eat pasta? Failing that just go for dessert :D

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  7. Oooh sounds delicious :D

    I lurrrrve pizza and that seafood one looks fantastic! Also big thumbs up for cheesy dough balls. YES. ALL KINDS OF YES. xx

    Little Miss Katy | Lifestyle, Fashion & Beauty

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    1. I'm also a huge fan of the snowball dough balls they do at Christmas :)

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  8. Ooh Pizza Express is somewhere I've never actually visited, I looove the sound of the cheesy dough balls and the honeycomb slice though, maybe I shall have to plan a visit soon! x

    What Rachael Wrote

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  9. I'm not good with spice either, I really a big baby :)
    I love the sound of carbonara pizza though and enything with extra cheese is a winner :)

    Gems x
    Fashion, Well Done

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    1. I can't handle any level of spice at all, I don't understand why people eat spicy things for fun?!!

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  10. Pizza Express dough balls are my happy place. I'm almost afraid to try them with cheese on because I'm not sure I would ever leave the restaurant. Of course they say the best way to deal with fear is to face it, so... off to Pizza Express then!

    Lucy

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  11. Those new doughballs sound so so perfect, oh my god I'm dying for a pizza express now! Haha.
    Kloe xx
    skullsnkisses.blogspot.co.uk

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  12. I love Pizza Express!!!

    Sophie :)

    fashionnoveluk.blogspot.co.uk

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  13. you know, i haven't been to PE forever but i do think that it's one of the best chains out there. looks like this new menu is a winner! x

    Miho @ Wander to Wonder

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    1. Definitely - I have a little list of chain restaurants that I love :)

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  14. I love a good seasonal menu! The dough balls sound divine - not so sure about the spicy options either, and I've never had a seafood pizza...but everything looks delicious! Especially that honeycomb pudding. Sometimes, although I like to go for independent places, thee's nothing like Pizza Express :)

    Jo xx

    She Wears Burgundy

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