Children definitely will not get bored as Pizza Express has an open kitchen. This way, another perk is that as the pizzas are baking, the lovely smell wafts through the whole restaurant.
We were quite a lot of guests, and the staff could probably see the hunger in our faces, so they were in crunch time. I commend them for working so efficiently. Usually, in closed kitchens, you can shout and bark orders and stuff, but in this kind of setup, they need to be graceful under pressure and keep their voices at an optimal level.
Chef Dan Segall expressed how excited he was that slowly but surely, Pizza Express is having the chance to introduce authentic Italian cuisine to the Philippines. He has been going around SEA Pizza Express stores to train and monitor things, and hopefully, he’ll be back in Manila more often in (hopefully) more Pizza Express store inaugurations. The DNA of Pizza Express is really just all about bringing good Italian food to people from halfway around the world, so it’s important to pay attention to the details to uphold the authenticity of the way the food is made.
I was also able to try their Bosco Salad (Php430) and Chicken & Apple Salad (Php380) as well. The Bosco salad is perfect for those who are obsessed with mushrooms and prefer a vinaigrette. If you are like me and are fond of lots of fruits and nuts in a salad, the Chicken & Apple salad is laden with tons of walnuts and dried cranberries, in a creamy dressing.
As for starters, their Truffled Parmesan and Mushroom Dip (Php285) is the real deal, the show stopper, the scene-stealer. If you are fond of anything truffle and mushroom, you will totally love this. Their dough balls taste so good! Imagine the taste of pizza crust, but made soft and made into a ball shape. Unless you were the child who forcefully shoved your pizza crusts down people’s throats, you will fall in love with their dough balls. The dip is best enjoyed hot, as it’s a gooey concoction of cheese, truffle cream sauce, and loads of mushrooms. This is one of the best dishes to order if you want to forget the stress you went through the day.
And another house specialty is their Spaghetti Carbonara (Php355). There are thousands of places that offer Carbonara, but what makes this memorable for me is the absence of commissary cream of mushroom soup. In most restaurants, if you will notice, the carbonara tastes like store-bought white sauce or cream of mushroom soup. Usually, it’s just a battle of who can sprinkle more bacon onto their carbonara. The Pizza Express version, on the flip side, has a ‘less polluted’ taste as it’s mainly fresh cream with the taste of cheese. It competes in taste, not through the amount of bacon heaped on top, but instead with a freshly prepared gourmet sauce. I want to reorder this at my next visit!
As for pizza, theirs is uniquely theirs. The crust is not thick. But it’s much moister and softer compared to the general notion of what thin-crust pizzas usually are. Their pizzas are perfect for my mom who prefers thin-crust pizzas but is very very sensitive to crust stiffness. We shall see when I bring her there!!!
I was able to try their Campana Pizza (Php510) which, to me, is unique thanks to the ground pork on it. This also features sausage crumbles, kale, and mozzarella.
Another memorable one is their Le Rose Pizza (Php520), which I super liked thanks to the prosciutto on top!!! I like how the other relatively milder toppings balance out the strong prosciutto, so it’s the perfect kind of savory. It’s no longer good when it’s too much of a savory item, so this is just right. This is sort of one of the flagship pizzas, so if you can’t decide, it’s a good idea to go for this one.
For dessert, we got to have Gelato (Php120)!!! This is supplied by Manila Creamery, which is why the texture is perfect. This is one of the few instances I was able to feel that this is truly gelato and not ice cream as the texture was smooth, creamy, but light and fluffy.