Review of Pizza Express in Kew

We’ve written a lot about Sunday lunches, and they’re nearly always focused on the classic roast. But in truth, the family enjoy a pizza as much as a roast potato, so on this occasion we headed to Pizza Express in Kew for the first time.

The restaurant is located about 50 yards from Kew Gardens station and the whole area was buzzing with the Sunday market. We have walked by it many times in the past and always felt that it would be a little dark inside, but that turned out to be a strange optical illusion because there are huge windows allowing the light to pour in.

There are a number of small tables outside on the pavement, and there’s a balcony on the first floor which looks over the same street which seemed quite popular, but we sat inside with many other families – some, like us, including grandparents in tow.

The staff were friendly and instantly gave our kids a ‘Piccolo Activity Pack’ (colouring, stickers etc) which kept them amused until we ordered some food and drink.

We kicked off with some olives to take away the pangs of hunger and then while the kids ate their ever-popular dough balls, peppers, cucumber and tomatoes we shared some cheesy dough balls (aka Dough Balls Formaggi) and an order of Calamari. To be honest I’m always a little wary of ordering Calamari, particularly at a chain restaurant, as it can end up being overcooked and rubbery but these were very perfectly done – lightly crumbed, served with a Çaesar dressing.

Calamari

Calamari

The main courses were similarly good. I chose the Leggera Padana – one of the pizzas from their lighter menu – topped with goat’s cheese, caramelised onion, spinach, red onion, tomato and garlic oil. The crust was very thin, the toppings perfectly combined, and the salad in the middle made me feel a bit healthy – overall it really hit the spot. It also came with a pizza cutter that made life easy.

Leggera Padana

Leggera Padana

Grandad chose the Pollo Pesto (Chicken, closed cup mushroom, red onion, mozzarella, Gran Milano cheese and pennette pasta in a béchamel & pesto sauce) which was described as ‘simple, tasty and without any complications’. It was deceptively large and filled him up!

Pollo Pesto

Pollo Pesto

The kids both chose Margarita pizzas which were small but just the right size for them, and eaten swiftly.

As an experiment we also ordered some Polenta Chips. It was the first time we’d tried them and we had the full range of opinions around the table from delicious to not-so-good. So the jury is out on those.

Polenta Chips

Polenta Chips

None of the adults were desperate for a dessert but we all had a craving for a tiny piece of sweetness and were delighted to see the menu offered mini-desserts with a coffee.

The adults tried the Leggera Raspberry Sorbet with a cappuccino, the Lemon Posset Crunch (A creamy lemon pudding on a ginger biscuit base) with an Americano and a New York style Vanilla Cheesecake. After a round of tasting, we decided the cheesecake was the winner. The Americano was strong, just as required, and the Capuccino was… well a Capuccino – the drink that always sounds better than it tastes, wherever I go.

Vanilla Cheesecake

Vanilla Cheesecake

The Kids desserts came with babycinnos and were received with giant grins. The Chocolate Brownie was described as ‘brilliant’ and the ice cream with strawberries ‘good’. Strangely enough while the kids did not have room to eat any more of the salad that came with their starters, they were able to eat every micro-ounce of their brownie and ice cream.

Pizza Express has always been a reliable place for families. You know what you’re going to get, the atmosphere is lively so your noisy children aren’t too out of place, and more recently they’ve become aware that not everyone wants to consume as many calories as possible. Oh and they have quite a few gluten free options too.

All the details about … Pizza Express Kew… here.