Lucie Loves… Food //
Karis takes a trip down memory lane with Pizza Express


When I was asked to review Pizza Express’ new autumnal menu, it was like taking a walk down memory lane. That’s because the Rustichella is back!

The Rustichella will always remind me of my best friend at Uni, Hannah, as it was her pizza of choice. In fact, when I spoke to her telling her it was back she already knew, and recounted a story about when it wasn’t on the menu but she asked them to make it especially! So, what’s so good about it? To start with, it’s a Romana base (the big one) so already you feel like you’re getting a good deal, the toppings are crispy pancetta, rocket and shaved parmesan finished with Caesar dressing. It’s a cross between a pizza and a salad, but it works.

And clearly it wasn’t just Hannah who loved the Rustichella, die hard fan Murray Robertson started a petition to bring it back! The beloved Rustichella was was up against the Etna in a public vote of which classic to bring back. Luckily the public saw sense with this vote and the Rustichella won.

Along with the Rustichella, there were a few other new options available.

To start we had a watermelon cooler and passionfruit lemonade, which reminded me more of summer than autumn and were a little sweet for my liking. The autumn starter was a salmon risotto, which even through our blocked noses you could still smell the garlic! Unfortunately, I wasn’t really blown away by the risotto – it was a heady combination of garlic, red onion and smoked salmon. I’ll stick to dough balls next time - you can’t beat a classic.

Obviously, I had the Rustichella for main and it was as good as I remembered. In fact, it was so big I could only eat half so the lovely waiter packed up half in a little box and I got to enjoy it all over again the next day at work. My friend tried the other autumnal option which was the spinach and ricotta cannelloni. a very cheesy affair, but a fitting autumn dinner. Again this was another filling dish.

Despite packaging half of my pizza up for lunch, I still had room for desert. Obviously.

The autumn pudding was a chocolate fondant, which did a satisfactory chocolate ooze when delved into. Top marks for the pud - nearly as good as my mum’s. We also shared a Tiramisu, which was excellent! It had the right balance of coffee and vanilla and tasted homemade. I’ve been missing out all these years, ordering the hot chocolate fudge cake! I don’t think I’ve ever actually had 3 courses at Pizza Express before, it’s safe to say I was well and truly stuffed!

So, if you are going to Pizza express, I wholeheartedly recommend the Rustichella, it’s as good as I remembered, and the chocolate fondant was a close second!

But thank you pizza express for inviting me to experience a trip down memory lane.

Words ~ Karis O’Leary-Smith