Monday’s aren’t usually an exciting day of the week in our household, but this week it most definitely was!
We have been invited to join the #PizzaExpressFamily campaign, whereby a few (lucky) selected bloggers get to review a Pizza Express family meal in one of their restaurants and host a Twitter party where there will be lots of prizes up for grabs and one lucky winner will also receive a meal out at their chosen venue!
We couldn’t wait to have a full on feed up on Monday evening at Pizza Express!
As a large family of six, including a teenager who can eat for England, eating out is an expensive affair so we don’t do it that often. When we do, we like to go to restaurants that are going to give us value for money and where the children are well catered for. I want the little ones to feel comfortable… not worried about playing around a little. I don’t mean going crazy and running around like lunatics, but children do chat and laugh, be silly and make a lot more mess than adults!
Pizza Express is a 100% family friendly restaurant, and when I’ve visited in the past with the kids, I’ve always felt relaxed.
We chose our local Pizza Express restaurant in Watford for this review. Being a Monday evening, it was relatively quiet when we arrived and we were seated at a table right in the middle, near all the action of the kitchen. It’s all open plan which is great for the kids to see the Chef’s preparing our dinner!
The kids were given an activity sheet each and some crayons which they got stuck into, as well as a cute Chef’s hat which H is very beautifully modelling here…..
Our waitress was lovely and chatted to us for a while. She knew we were there for the review and was genuinely interested.
We ordered our drinks then perused the menu!
I don’t normally go for starters because I find I get too full before the main course! But for the purposes of this review, it would be rude not to.
The kids, of course, wanted the Dough Balls. How universally loved are these things? They are absolutely perfect for kids… just the right size for little hands and with the dipping into the garlic butter, well, it’s just the best!
Myself, the OH and Teen decided between us to order a few dishes to share….
We ordered the Calamari, in fact we ordered two of these.. one for my daughter too who loves it! The Tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella Salad is an old favourite and our next choice. We had Risotto Mio…. chestnut & close cup mushroom in a creamy white wine risotto with parsley, garlic oil and pine kernels. I’m not sure if this is included in the new Spring menu but it was delicious and I’m sure if you wanted it, the Chef could make it for you! The new Risotto choice for Spring is with Salmon and sounds just as delicious though! Lastly I had the Bruschetta con Funghi… closed cup mushrooms, béchamel sauce and red onion served on dough.
It’s fair to say we polished these off pretty quickly. They were all extremely yummy.
The activity sheets kept the kids fully occupied too in the times between courses. The Watford branch of Pizza Express is like the Tardis. It’s ever so small and quaint from the outside, but the restaurant is long, with the front and the back being almost separated, giving the illusion of being snug and cosy. Then there is an upstairs too, where the toilets are, so of course, during our toilet break the kids had a good nosy round. I love the decor in Pizza Express too, it’s all rather stylish with the gorgeous iron works throughout.
For mains the kids had a pizza from the Piccolo menu.
Teen went for the Calzone Classico… a deep filled folded pizza.
OH went for a pasta dish, again with the view of sharing and trying everyone else’s. He chose the Pesto Pasta.
I have my favourite Pizza Express pizza which I always order and today was going to be no different! I know it’s boring but I can’t help it, I simply love it! It’s this one… La Reine… although I have it without the olives.
Our waitress brought us out a brand new pizza on the menu for Spring 2016 to try. It’s one that, as a company, they’ve been working on a while… The Hawaiian.
I had no idea, but apparently Pizza Express have never done an Hawaiian pizza before so they wanted this one to be great. Made with an Italian twist it has a ‘sweet chilli pineapple chutney that matches perfectly with salty prosciutto crudo, red onion, garlic oil, Gran Milano cheese and mozzarella. All on a white béchamel base with fresh basil, fresh parsley and chilli oil.’
Our waitress thoroughly enjoyed informing us about this new Pizza. She was passionate and excited for us to try it. The white bechamel base replaces the usual tomato, which in itself, for a pizza, is highly unusual. But it works. It’s delicious. It has to be the best Hawaiian I’ve ever had! You simply have to try it for yourself next time you visit!
Next up… desserts. We did ask for all of our uneaten pizza to be boxed up to take home. Didn’t want it to go to waste. Is this normal? Do most people take home so called ‘doggy bags’? I ate the pizza for lunch yesterday and it was just as scrumptious as it was when fresh!
For dessert I ordered the Cheesecake, the OH had Tiramisu and Teen had a Chocolate Brownie.
On the Piccolo menu, the dessert comes with the Bambinoccino – a favourite with kids! It’s frothed milk with a sprinkle of chocolate powder. My children love using the spoon to scoop out the froth!
We had such a lovely evening in Pizza Express, the time literally flew by… we were shocked when we realised we’d been in there over 3 hours and it was past the kids bedtime!
We’ll definitely be back soon because I really want to get out of my comfort zone and try a different pizza. There are so many and they all look so delicious.. check out the menu and prepare for your mouth to water!
I also love a family meal at Pizza Express because I KNOW the children will eat ALL their food. There’s nothing worse than going out to eat, spending your hard earned cash only for the kids to turn their noses up at it, saying they don’t like it!
Make sure you join us over on Twitter on the 31st March for your chance to WIN some prizes and a family meal at the Pizza Express of your choice.