We are a gourmand couple who love to discover new places and eat our hearts out. Follow us for a guilt trip along the food road.
Do it with passion or not at all is what Peter Boizot had in mind back in 1965, when he started working towards his undying inspiration to bring the Italian flavours to England. Starting with just one oven, he opened the first Pizza Express in London. Now after 50 years, the legendary restaurant spreading their love for authentic Italian Pizza across the continent continue to bring the great taste of Italy – to you.
We were invited for the Chefs Table at Pizza Express to experience some extravagant Italian fare by their Pizzaiolos, and share their scrumptious journey over the past 5 decades.
We started the evening with Instant Freshness or the ‘Tropical’ – a mocktail with the right blend of juicy sweet Watermelon, Mint and Lime. This is exactly how one would love to start a fun evening after a tiring day at work. The ‘Martini di Ananas’ from the cocktail section was a great mix of Vodka, Bacardi, Pineapple juice and Grenadine syrup & the ‘Ginger Mint Mojito’ was no less a winner with a mix of Bacardi Rum, Sprite, Lime, Mint and Fresh Ginger. These got us in ‘high spirits’ and all set for the evening to follow.
We have always wondered what goes into making the perfect pizza. We were given hands on experience and had a fun “Make your own Pizza” session. This was more of an interactive evening with the Pizzaiolo Uday sharing with us the tips & tricks of the trade and teaching us the art of Pizza making.
For the vegetarian it was the ‘Margherita Buffalo’ with Passata on a crisp Romana base topped with Buffalo Mozzarella, fresh Basil leaves, Cherry Tomatoes, a splash of Garlic Oil and of course the Oregano and Black Pepper. Initially a little disappointing as we have always had pizzas loaded with toppings, but when the pizza actually arrived we were glad that the minimal toppings made the best of pizzas.
The non-vegetarian “Make your own Pizza” was the ‘Padrino65’. A perfect blend of Char grilled Veggies, Grilled Chicken, Roasted Tomatoes and Mozzarella on a bed of crisp Romana base. A perfect mix of great taste and right crunch. Our day was made – Mission Accomplished!!
We were done with our pizza making. Quiet tired but high on enthusiasm anticipating how our pizza would turn out. In the meantime the vegetarians were served the ‘Anitpasto Verde’. It was a riot of colours on a platter comprising of juicy Roasted Tomatoes, Rocket and Peppadew, fresh Buffalo Mozzarella served along with Basil Pesto, Pesto Rosso and Dough Sticks baked with Emilgrana. The dough sticks here required a special mention which was spongy and went really well with the platter offered.
The non-vegetarians were served the ‘Antipasto Pollo e Gambero’ which had in it the same juicy Roasted Tomatoes, Rocket and Peppadew, fresh Buffalo Mozzarella served along with Basil Pesto, Pesto Rosso and Dough Sticks baked with Emilgrana. But what stole the show were the Pesto marinated Chicken and the Prawns Skewers. The chicken was ‘full-on’ on the flavour quotient and worked as the best ever combination to go with the soft spongy Dough Stick. One can definitely not miss the bites of the Mozzarella that went in between the prawns. A super hit dish is the least we can say to justify this platter.
Next came the Pasta Parade
The ‘Penne con Peppadew’, a very mild and calm looking dish of Penne Pasta cooked in a creamy white sauce which got its flavour from the tangy-sweet Peppadew. A mix of Chargrilled Vegetables, Onion and Garlic and seasoned with Parsley, Chilli Flakes and Emilgrana made the calm looking pasta burst with violent (in a good way) flavours . Taste wise it was so perfect that we could overlook the fact that the pasta could be a little more soft/cooked.
When the vegetarian were enjoying the ‘Penne con Peppadew’ came the ‘Pollo Pesto Baked’. A piping hot baked Penne in rich and creamy Basil Pesto sauce with earthy Mushrooms, Grilled Chicken, Red Onion, Mozzarella and Emilgrana. We were really quick on finishing this up as it tasted best when had piping hot but the creaminess was a tad too much that it cut down on the originality of the Pesto Sauce.
Next in line was the ‘Linguine Ai Gambero’ a Pesto Rosso. WOW, We want more of it!!! Linguine Pasta Tossed with Crispy Garlic Flakes, Chilli Flakes, Tangy Pesto Rosso, Prawns, White Wine and finally garnished with Parsley & Emilgrana. As simple as it may sound but was high on flavour, colour, texture and everything that a great plate of food requires. Nothing more was required to speak of this dish.
A very similar win win dish was served to the vegetarians and they literally were repeating what we the non-vegetarian were a while back…WOW, We want more!!!
‘Spaghetti Aglio e Olio’ a classic pasta which one has at so many places but this was class apart. Crispy Garlic Flakes, Chilli Flakes were well induced in the Pasta and was drizzled with Parsley and Olive Oil. One can’t go wrong with this simple dish but Pizza Express just bowled us over.
Being the Celebratory Year they had introduced many non-vegetarian pizzas like the ‘Amore Nascosto’, ‘Arrabbiata’, ‘D’ Andrea’. Our personal favourite though was the ‘Arrabbiata’ which was the classic pizza with spicy Arrabbiata Chicken, fresh Cherry Tomatoes, and Jalapenos and seasoned with Oregano, Black Pepper and Chilli oil. There was something heavenly about the chicken which was so tender yet juicy and got us addicted with the very first bite.
All’s well that ends with desserts of course !!
Delighted we were to receive a platter with 3 desserts. ‘Chocolate Fudge Cake’ was probably one of the most decadent cakes we have had. It was very rich, packed full of chocolate and chocolate fudge. The ‘Cheesecake’ was a simple but very impressive pudding, light enough to have a slice to finish a big meal.
Last but not the least was the ‘Tiramisu’. Perfect to the T and of course rightly flavoured and high on calories. Who cares when you have an Italian beauty right in front of you? All can just be forgotten and we did just that.
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