London Larder was devised in 2012 to bring you the ultimate eating and drinking guide to London. It was borne out of a need for up-to-date, quantitative and whole-heartedly recommended places to eat and drink.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pizza Express


Last week, Pizza Express launched two new pizzas. Will they be a permanent addition to the expanding menu? It’s up to you to decide.

Both created by up and coming celebrity chef and food writer Valentine Warner, the pizzas introduce new ingredients to the menu, including Warner's favourite ingredient, fennel, along with some more traditional ingredients not normally featured on the menu.

First on the menu is the fennel and salami pizza. Served on a classic base, it includes locally sourced soft fennel salami from award-winning charcuterie Trealy Farm, fennel seeds, chilli flakes and mozzarella. Once cooked, the pizza is finished with grana padano and topped finely sliced fresh fennel which is tossed in a fresh and zingy lemon zest and olive oil mix. Don't be put off if you're not a fan of fennel; if Pizza Express has ever taught us anything, it is not to judge a book by its cover. Rather than overpower the pizza, the fennel complemented the lemon and salami to add a fresh hint of zing, really bringing new life to the existing menu at Pizza Express, which in previous years has seemed a little drab. The recent changes mean that its competitors better watch out!

The second addition is the Puttanesca, described by Warner as “a pizza with attitude”, made with bold and punchy ingredients; salty marinated anchovies, capers and green and black olives, combined with a kick of fresh red chillies, lemon oil and garlic oil. This time the pizza is not served with mozzarella but instead a garnishing of fresh oregano. Surprisingly, being lovers of all things containing anchovies and olives, this was our least favourite of the two, most probably because the absence of cheese prevents the moistness of the ingredients staying in the pizza. It was however full of punch (as promised by Warner) and had a meaty bite. Another good addition to the menu.

So, having learnt to not judge a menu before you try it, we urge you to make a visit to Pizza Express, and if you can, try a little something away from the norm. We think you will be surprised.
Average price for main meal: £9
Average price for a glass of wine: £5

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