Zizzi, Covent Garden, London
I thought I was going to escape London without ever dining at one of the Italian chains. Zizzi is part of a group with over 150 restaurants across the UK and Ireland. It’s a bit hard to understand how popular and prolific these places are, I certainly had negative preconceptions of what the experience would be like. And that mostly turned out true. Read on!
So last year I participated in the annual Reddit Secret Santa (I’d highly recommend, it’s a lot of fun) and my very thoughtful santa got me a meal voucher for two at one of the restaurants within this group.
Bella Italia, Zizzi and Prezzo were the choices, and there’s heaps of them everywhere. They all looked about the same, with the same reviews so I picked one that was at least central. And that was the Zizzi on Bow Street.
Originally I booked for dinner but we skipped lunch so we headed earlier in the afternoon, it was super quiet at the time. They’re familiar with the voucher so no dramas there. It’s a good deal – the Buyagift offer includes wine, and three courses for two people, so even paying full price it’s a reasonably priced meal. Note that you have a seperate menu and it’s stripped of all the frills. However, this is enough to enjoy.
This was the best thing we ate. Cheesy garlic bread with caramelised onions. So delish! The right mix of cheese and sweetness.
The arancini was perfectly crisp from the fryer but wasn’t the most exciting.
Pizza and pasta
I had started thinking I might have been wrong about Zizzi, until the mains arrived. Starters were to a good standard but then the pizza and pasta we ordered were so average.
Pizza was on the limited edition chilli dough which was okay but I wouldn’t order it again. I didn’t rate the pizza. It felt a bit sloppy, especially compared to the Pizza Union one we had the day before.
For kicks, I ordered a pasta. And it looks great when it landed on the table with the crisp exterior and melted cheese. But the pasta itself is super watery and rather bland. Pass the salt. And the pepper! There’s a couple chunks of chicken there somewhere.
The desserts provided some salvation.
We ordered the cheesecake and the three scoop gelato and these were both better than the mains. The former was a bit on the dense side, but the gelato was great. One of the flavours was particularly good.. I think this might have been the chocolate one. I’d suggest going for the gelatos only next time.
So overall, there were some good treats in this mix. I wasn’t a fan of the mains from Zizzi which was a bit downer. Thanks again to my Reddit Santa for getting me along as regardless, I still love a free meal!