A couple of weeks ago I headed along to Pizza Express in Morningside with my partner in (food) crime, Laura. I was invited along to try out their new Express Lunch menu and was more than happy to start the weekend early with some pizza and other tasty goodness one Friday lunchtime. The Express Lunch menu is designed to let you treat yourself to something nice, even when you’ve only got an hour or so for lunch; the portions are also sensibly sized so you don’t spend the afternoon in a food coma, and it’s all really well priced too. Starting from just £3.45, for the same price as a soggy sandwich and packet of crisps from the supermarket, you can indulge in pizzas, salads, soups or piadinas instead.
After a browse through the menu, we both settled on piadinas; I had the Italian Meat one and Laura opted for the P.L.T. (which she said gets top marks and a very generous seven thumbs up emojis). I had never had a piadina before so was intrigued to find out what it would be like. The outer shell was sort of a cross between ciabatta bread and crispy pizza base, and it was stuffed full of Finocchiona, Milano and Coppa cured meats, slices of fresh mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, rocket, pesto and an olive oil dressing. YUM. This basically took all my favourite bits from an antipasti selection and wrapped them up in a lovely crispy bready pocket. Perfect. Laura’s P.L.T. was an Italian take on the classic B.L.T. with crispy pancetta, salad, tomatoes, Gran Moravia cheese and Caesar dressing inside the piadina.
We perused the sides but decided that we both actually rather fancied some pizza… well I couldn’t do a Pizza Express review with no pizza now, could I?! The Romanita pizzas on the Express Lunch menu are baby versions of the popular Romana pizzas which have the thin, crispy bases I love. We went for the Pollo ad Astra pizza which came topped with chicken, sweet Peppadew peppers, mozarella, Cajun spices and a drizzle of garlic oil. The pizza was lovely and a great size to share between two people as an indulgent side – and, with the pizzas starting from just £4.95 it’s not that much more expensive than the actual sides!
Despite having had pizza and piadinas by this point, we weren’t feeling stuffed full. I think this has a lot to do with how fresh the food tastes; there’s a lot of emphasis on light, tasty ingredients and you don’t feel all full of doughy carbs like you would in certain other pizza restaurants. We still had room for pudding, so we had a look at the dessert menu and chose a banoffee pie and a vanilla cheesecake. I loooove banoffee pie so was very happy with my choice; it had the perfect ratio of cream to toffee to banana to biscuit base, all served alongside some vanilla gelato. Laura happily tucked into her choice of cheesecake too, and we left with clean plates, full tummies and smiley faces. Well done, Pizza Express!
The Express Lunch menu is available at selected Pizza Express restaurants throughout the UK, and I’d definitely suggest finding your nearest one for the next time you need a midday pick-me-up on your lunchbreak!