We are back on the high street restaurant trail. In fact, following a previous horrible experience in a Zizzi, i had my arm twisted to return as my mate swore by the goodness of their food. There was a lot of choice but I thought, I will take the plunge, why not. So some ten years later, I found myself at a Zizzi.
As a chain, I always have my reservations about food quality and consistency. It’s just something that plays on my mind as to how they can manage locations far and wide, to ensure they stick to the plan. Anyway, I will start with the interior, which was vast and pretty. A vibrant welcoming place actually. The team, on the whole, where good apart from the dreaded bill request. Why is it when you order the bill folk take sooooo long to bring it. Or when they do, they believe an extra 15 minutes is required before paying when you are sitting there, card visible, in silence. When one orders the bill, they are ready to go, so making someone stay is deeply annoying. Anyway, I digress.
The menu had certainly changed since my last visit. The bland and basic offering of yesteryear had certainly been jazzed up. The visit to Zizzi in Islington seemed like a distant memory as I studied the menu to see what I should sample. A well laid menu gave you options of starters, pizza, pasta and ‘al forno’. A normal Italian format.
With a glass of coke as a much needed pick me up being the day after the night before, we settled on butterflied king prawns in garlic butter, smoky pepper pesto and white wine. Two mini ‘little soul’ breads partnered the dish for dunking. Sam Vanilla had arancini balls with mozzarella and peas, finished with a side of chunky tomato pepperonata. Weirdly, I enjoyed mine and she found hers to be a little bit on the chilli side once you delved into the bread crumbs. Interesting turn of events, when it was me who had reservations about the food initially. For main course, I had ravioli with goats cheese, spinach, tomato sauce, pine nuts and green pesto. I will say that this was a bit on the chilly side but not completely inedible. Sam Vanilla had penne with chicken, mushroom and spinach – which slightly lifted her spirits following the poorer starter.
So, in short, the food was good. It was not the most amazing Italian I have tasted in a high street chain, but it was not the worst. It has certainly changed my mind since my last visit.
42 Grey Street