“The original pizza chain” and still “the best”; this “predictable-in-a-good-way” and “good-value” (“especially if you have vouchers!”) multiple is “always a winner”, particularly “with kids”; fans say menu “tweaks” – such as the “less piggy ‘Legera’ pizzas” – have “reinvigorated” its offer.
Keep your own review of PizzaExpress (Group) using our diary service.
Against his better judgement, the critic visits a “rammed” and “understaffed” outlet of the popular pizza chain, and finds the menu “has swollen to bursting over the years and every godawful relaunch has left its smear of new and pointless variations, such as the revolting Sloppy Giuseppe with its whiff of stag-night prank.” Even the new collaboration with Francesco Mazzei, of L’Anima fame, proves “dismal”: his recipes have been “twisted into a new kind of awful.” “The reputation (mythos, even) of Italian food is built on such a delicate foundation of pride, high ideas, nostalgia, fresh vegetables, good oil and fine things in small doses that you just can’t do it any justice in a place like this – and they should not have pretended to try.”
David Sexton (30th October 2008)
“For mindless dependability, there’s no beating Pizza Express” observes Sexton, as “you can have… perfectly satisfying and authentic food for under a tenner, usually in a cheerful and bustling atmosphere”. The critic then goes on to critique its recent efforts to keep their offering fresh: in particular its journey “down the road of vicarious sleb-dining” with this month’s introduction of Theo Randall-branded pizzas. These he shewdly observes “are… not round but oval and blobby, as though made by some peasant so rustic as never to have conceived of the circle” (and “a little smaller than normal, as well as pricier”). They are “nice enough”, though – “delicious” in parts. In fact despite “unexciting starters” and “industrial desserts”, the introduction (“after many dire years”) of a “decent” wine list helps make the chain “about the last restaurant we’ll give up going to, however rough it gets”.