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.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Pizza Express


Pizza Express has never been a chain to rest on their laurels. Constant pressure from competitors means that they have to innovate again and again to stay ahead of the pack. Regular readers will remember they launched fennel and salami and Puttanesca pizzas in 2012, plus the calzone and polenta chips launched at the end of last year. The time has come yet again to update their menu, to make sure that Pizza Express stays ahead of the game as the capital’s most innovative pizza chain.

Romana pizzas have been a great success for the brand – thinner, crispier bases that are more authentic and larger topppings. The new autumn/winter menu sees additional variations that can now be enjoyed on this base, including the Toscana (fennel and chilli sausage, mozzarella and basil) and the Caprina Rossa (a brand new vegetarian option featuring beetroot, goat’s cheese, red onion, mozzarella, rocket and Gran Moravia cheese). Unlike Grana Padano, the Gran Moravia is entirely suitable for vegetarians, adding to the options for non-meat eaters.

The availability of Gran Moravia means that vegetarians can now also order the polenta chips, which were previously unavailable to them, and a vegetarian calzone is now available, stuffed with goats cheese, chargrilled vegetables, baby onions, fresh spinach and pesto in a spicy arrabbiata sauce. The two meaty calzones on the menu have been some of our favourite Pizza Express dishes of recent times, but the vegetarian option is so good that even hardened carnivores, such as ourselves, are tempted to go for the Calzone Vedure.

Away from pizzas and calzones, the famous dough balls starter is being relaunched with a dough Balls Doppio - a double portion served with three types of dip; garlic butter (naturally), a pesto dip and a piquant n’duja sauce. Another new starter to share is the oven-baked Taleggio cheese fondue. Perfect for cold winter evenings, the gooey cheese is served with a double portion of dough sticks for dipping.

If Pizza isn’t your thing then not to worry, a new vegetarian lasagna is being launched, with a whole range of chargrilled vegetables in an arrabbiata sauce, layered with b├ęchamel sauce and topped with Gran Moravia. You will also find the Cavatappi Formaggi; Pizza Express’ unique take on macaroni cheese, made with Taleggio, mozzarella and (you’ve guessed it) more Gran Moravia.

With Christmas is just around the corner, this also brings a special limited edition menu. The two special Christmas pizzas making an appearance this year will be the deliciously luxurious Porchetta with roasted pork belly, sage, Taleggio and scrumpy cider apple sauce, finished with pork crackling, and the rich Trifolata; a vegetarian pizza topped with chestnut and closed cup mushrooms and finished with truffle sauce.

Also on the limited edition menu will be Arancini Ragu; spicy tomato risotto balls in breadcrumbs, and Contadino, a traditional rustic stew of crumbled fennel and chilli sausage, lentil, mushroom and pasta. And of course it wouldn’t be Christmas without Pizza Express’ snowballs; dough balls sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar.

All this innovation is brilliant for vegetarians and has enough new variations to keep even the most regular customer entertained with new flavours right throughout the winter season. No matter what your requirements, or what flavours you fancy, Pizza Express have it covered.

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