New GF offerings from Pizza Express

Thanks to his handy little Tastecard, my boyfriend and I decided to treat ourselves to a meal at Pizza Express on Monday night. As you all know back in 2012 Pizza Express launched their gluten free base, along with some other dishes and desserts, and Coeliacs everywhere rejoiced! Having worked with Coeliac UK, they’d carefully considered the cross contamination risks alongside how to provide a quality menu for Coeliacs and personal I think they did really well! Did you know, that to prevent contamination from all that flour flying around the kitchen, they made their standard flour gluten free?

I’m always excited for pizza but was even more excited on Monday when I saw that Pizza Express have a new menu, and the gluten free options have expanded! Naturally, I had to try one for each course….

Starter

Previously there has been a Mozzarella salad or Risotto to start, neither of which I really go for. Let’s face it, salad is boring and risotto is too filling before such a carb heavy main. Now however,  those options are accompanied by the new Melanzanine, ‘A mini al forno dish of layered aubergine, passata, mozzarella, garlic, basil and Gran Moravia cheese’.

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This comes served in a cute little baking pot, although the size does make it a little difficult to cut through the insanely thick, stringy cheese layer. Also, they weren’t lying when they say it contains garlic….In fact it overpowered all of the other ingredients! This is a really nice light starter overall.

Main

In the last few years I’ve become far more adventurous with my pizza toppings, but I have a particular love of Pepperoni and Goat’s cheese so 90% of the time I stick to pizzas based around these. Not this time. Instead, my boyfriend managed to convince me to try something new…..The Carbonara pizza! Seeing as I love Carbonara pasta this wasn’t a bad shout, but I had my concerns that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. Plus I’ve never really understood egg on a pizza.

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I was pleasantly surprised that zeta lay,  this worked really well! It tastes exactly like a Carbonara,  topped with a creamy sauce, herbs, streaky pan cotta,  loads of cheese and of course, the egg in the middle.  Whilst I’m still on convinced that egg works on pizza, I added the taste of this option and highly recommend it!

The base as always,  was lovely and crispy whilst retaining the doughy texture. Definitely the best base on offer in mainstream restaurants!

My only complaint is that when they launched the gluten free base,  they were all served with specially colour coded pizza cutters,  but in the last few months these have disappeared. It really bugs me because despite the base being lovely, sometimes it can be a bugger to cut, and a standard knife and fork don’t cut it! I’d love to know the reasoning behind this.

Be warned, this option is filling (well, after that starter anyway)!

Dessert

I have a love hate relationship with Pizza Express and their desserts.  It’s great the have the options but they always make me feel…sad. Sorbet and Gelato are lovely,  but if I’m paying to eat out frankly I’d like something a bit more exciting. The gluten free brownie they offer is also nice, but it’s tiny, only comes with a drink (until they serve soya milk, this is out of the window for me) and, well, it’s a brownie.

These options are still there, but now the brownie comes with or without the drink ( and considering it’s about £5, a lot bloody bigger I hope too), and the Gelato has had a makeover. Now you can enjoy a delicious Banoffee or Tiramisu flavoured scoop instead. 

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I chose the Tiramisu flavour, partly on the recommendation from our waitress and party because I’m not keen on Banoffee. Dear God, this is delicious. Seriously, seriously tasty! With the first spoonful I got a heavy dose of the rim flavouring (not a bad thing) and on second the coffee really came through. My view of boring Gelato has been changed and although I was desperately full by now, I finished every last bit.

So worth the food baby!

Overall, I’m really impressed that Pizza Express have ramped up their menu even more and have included much tastier treats for their gluten free customers. They’re really leading the way for mainstream restaurants tapping into the market and making me on happy Coeliac in the process.

To view the full gluten free menu, visit their website: http://www.pizzaexpress.com/our-food/our-restaurant-menu/glutenfree/

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8 thoughts on “New GF offerings from Pizza Express

  1. Lizzy

    We always use the taste card in Pizza Express too as it’s perfect for the gluten-freebase for me, and my partner has a massive love for pizza in general. I always skip the desserts as i find generally, all the gluten-free options for dessert are disappointing.

    Lizzy from Nomad Notebook

    • coeliacdelight

      I’m the same Lizzy, the brownie was so disappointing and as they don’t offer Soya milk, I could only enjoy it with a mint tea! Not exactly what I’d call a pudding!

      I highly recommend the Tiramisu Gelato though, it’s got so much flavour that it’s a full dessert in itself! I was even offered a scoop of that and a scoop of Banoffee the last time I went which was a nice thought, but I stuck to full Tiramisu 😉

  2. cakeandsympathy

    Wow that looks SO much better than it used to be! I always thought the pizza bases in Pizza Express are better than anywhere else, but I tend to go for the melanzane parmagianna for the main meal now because it is AMAZING!!!! I have literally no clue how they make the tomato sauce that they make it with but it’s incredible and my only complaint about it is there were only about 5 small pieces of aubergine in mine. I LOVE aubergine, so more, please!

    And that tiramisu ice cream sounds really, really good! I guess I know where my husband and I will be going on our next date-night! ;0)

    Oh, and I agree – egg on pizza just seems a bit wrong

    Vikki Cook
    http://www.buttercupbakerybournemouth.blogspot.co.uk

    • coeliacdelight

      Hi Nathan,

      I am! I attended their press evening when they launched the gluten free base, where they explained they had taken this step to eliminate any cross-contamination issues from ‘all that flour flying around our kitchens’. They even explain it on their website here: http://www.pizzaexpress.com/our-food/gluten-free/

      They’ve worked really closely with Coeliac UK to gain the accreditation and to make sure their customers feel safe. I think it’s a really positive move 🙂

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