I love pizza. I love Christmas. So when I was invited along for a complimentary meal at one of my local PizzaExpress' which had just recently undergone a refurb, to review the new Christmas menu, I was there with
jingle bells on.
Tucked down a side street, known as Leicester's Professional Quarter, just steps away from the hustle and bustle of the busy town centre, is King Street; home to Leicester's original PizzaExpress.
After a recent transformation, the intimate restaurant has a brand new look just in time to launch their Christmas menu.
It had been a few years since we last visited, but the place looked great, from the outside in! With the eye catching new shop front to the pendant lighting and new stylish artwork inside, the restaurant felt cosy yet vibrant.
There was a lovely, intimate atmosphere as we arrived and was warmly greeted by a lovely guy [we think his name was Harley] who showed us to our table.
Being such a small venue, the staff were always on hand to make sure we were comfortable and happy. We didn't have to wait long at all to order and the food came out super quick, after watching it being freshly made just feet away in the open kitchen.
Of course we started by sharing a plate of dough balls, because HELLO! THE best thing about PizzaExpress, in my opinion, are the dough balls. They are just AH-MAZING! You cannot visit this place and not have a plate of them, with garlic butter. But of course, there are a wide range of other yummy starters to choose from!
If you haven't, you need to! ;)
There are a couple of new 'starter' options available for Christmas, take a look at the menu here.
Now on to the mains. As we were here to road test the new Christmas menu, it was only fair I tried one of the three new Christmas themed pizzas. The Porchetta Natale contains pulled, seasoned hog roast, soft herb stuffing, pancetta, mozzarella, fresh rosemary, tomato, garlic oil and pine kernels, finished with fresh parsley.
It tasted as delicious as it sounds. The hog roast most definitely gave it that festive taste. Get ready for the massive cliche, but you may have heard the words 'it tastes like Christmas' leave my mouth!
I'm usually a simple pepperoni or dare I say it, hawaiian kinda girl when it comes to pizza, but this was really delicious!
James ordered the Calzone Classico, a folded pizza with salami, pepperoni, spinach, mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, basil and parsley served with a side salad. He said it tasted great, really fresh ingredients and the salad complimented it well since it was so light.
We'd have loved some crispy potato fries to accompany our meals, but they only offer traditional Italian alternative, Polenta Chips, which are thick fluffy potato coated in cornmeal [maize flour] and served with a honey and mustard dip. They were nice, but we weren't huge fans.
Happy and full after our mains, we were wondering if we could manage to squeeze a dessert in. Ha who am I kidding? Of course there was room for dessert!! It's the best bit, right?
PizzaExpress have the most amazing desserts on offer, there are some great dishes to choose from. But we both decided to choose one of the Christmas Specials.
James went with the Jaffa Profiteroles; chocolate coated and filled with a chocolate cream and orange gel centre. Wow. I'm a huge chocolate orange fan and these tasted SO GOOD! Accompanied by a scoop of vanilla gelato, they've done themselves proud with this one. Now, who's starting the petition to keep these on the menu all year round?
I chose the Panettone Cheesecake; chocolate chip and orange marmalade panettone pieces in a creamy vanilla cheesecake on a thick crumbly biscuit base. SOLD. I had mine with a scoop of soft vanilla gelato which accompanied it beautifully.
It was truly delicious! All the different textures just complimented each other so well, I really enjoyed it. The cheesecake was the perfect consistency, and the bitter chocolate and marmalade finished it off nicely. No leftovers here. If you need me, I'll be in a food coma in the corner...
We were well looked after all evening. It was our second visit here and I think we'll definitely be back here more often. I love the new look, the food was fantastic and the staff were really attentive. With an NCP right around the corner, it's an ideal place for date night.
Looking for somewhere different to eat over the festive period? I definitely recommend heading to your local PizzaExpress for something a little different!
*Huge thank you to PizzaExpress, King Street, Leicester
for inviting me along for a complimentary meal in return for this review.
All words are, as always, my own and 100% honest