Pizza Express has compiled a small festive offering, consisting of three starters, three pizzas and three puddings to tempt you as we stand at the top of the downhill-to-Christmas slope.
Starting as we mean to go on, we tried the Manzo Crocchette, basically croquettes filled with pulled beef served with a horseradish and crème fraiche dipping sauce.
They are as delicious as they look and incredibly moreish. The beef melts in the mouth, contrasting with the crunchy breadcrumb coating to make this delectable starter one you don’t order to share.
The Terrina Festa, a terrine of salmon, crab and prawn didn’t live up to expectations though. It was a little flavourless, even when smothered with lemon juice from the large wedge which comes with it. Oh well, on to the festive pizzas.
We know what you’re thinking – how do Christmas and pizza go together? Well it turns out, not too badly.
We’re not sure what’s really so Christmassy about hog roast or pizza, and didn’t feel like the combination worked very well. The gooey, tomatoey goodness of a classic pizza doesn’t really work with the hog.
However, the cauliflower cheese pizza took us to heights we had never imagined. It didn’t sound that appetising, but dear lord, it really was delicious.
The combination of pine nuts, cauliflower and pecorino on a creamy cheese and mustard base worked together like a happy band of elves making a gift for our tastebuds. You can add pancetta if you’d like a meaty option, which seals the deal for us.
Finally, to pudding. Jaffa Profiteroles- milk chocolate coated profiteroles filled with a chocolate cream and orange gel centre- were scrumptious, if a little cold, especially as they were served with ice cream.
‘Snowballs’- Dough balls with cinnamon dusting- make a delectable combination for dessert, although the vanilla cream dip is a little too sweet after a mammoth pig out on pizza.
All in all, we’re not quite sure how Christmassy this menu is, but we’re pretty pleased we tried it. Cauliflower cheese always wins.