One of the things that caught my eye as I looked at the entrance of this branch of Pizza Express was that it had been given an impressive five stars from Scores on the Doors. Scores on the Doors is the official local authority hygiene ratings for food establishments.
The Bruschetta con Funghi was not made with the usual ciabatta bread slices that you get in many Italian restaurants. The topping on this starter was mushrooms baked with cream and bechamel sauce. It seemed that the bread was swimming in the creamy sauce but apart from that, it was nice enough.
The Baked Dough Balls were just the right size to snack on and they were made even tastier with the garlic butter. They were actually quite nice dipped in the mushroom sauce of the bruschetta.
We had the Giardiniera vegetarian pizza on the thinner crispier Romana base. The pizza was generously topped with asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms, red peppers, olives and tomatoes. It had a rich tomato and pesto sauce and it was good that it had no cheese.
The banoffee pie was an ideal dessert with a thick topping of whipped cream. The combination of banana, cream and crunchy biscuit is always a firm favourite. We were pleasantly surprised that it was served with a scoop of ice cream even though this was not stated on the menu!
The hot chocolate was rich and a nice way to end the meal. They do not do soy milk. The tomato juice is from Britvic. One thing that I learnt about Britvic tomato juice is that it has added salt to the juice. I had always thought that this tomato juice would not have anything added to it!
The staff and service were great at this Pizza Express. They were really accommodating when I asked if the starter could be kept warm until my friend got there. They didn’t rush us in any way and were also helpful when asked about details of the dishes.
Pizza Express, Southampton Row, London, WC1B 5AARating: