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Review: Preston’s Pizza Express delivering Dali-tious pizzas for premium prices

Posted on - 25th November, 2023 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - City Centre, Food & Drink, Opinion, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Restaurants in Preston, Reviews, Takeaways, What's On in Preston
Pizza Express Hot American pizza
Catfish

This week my daughter GZ and I thought we’d try a takeaway from one of the big chains to see how they compared to Preston’s independent restaurants and takeaways.

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Pizza Express has been a fixture on Winckley Street in the City Centre for years. In its heyday diners always had to pre-book, but with the rise of delivery apps there’s really no need to get out of your pyjamas to enjoy a Sloppy Giuseppe. In fact Giuseppe can see how he enjoys a Sloppy Karen for a change.

Fortunately for Giuseppe, GZ was sharing everything with me, so we played it safe and opted to objectify a Hot American at £16.25. We’d paid extra to upgrade to a Romana base as – according to the website – it’s a bigger, thinner, crispier pizza.

It may have been when it first left the building, but between then and the short time it took to arrive, it was less Hot American and more a 20-year-old Catfish on Tinder. It looked alright and tasted great, as most Pizza Express foods do, but the base was so soggy that when I tried to pick it up it flopped itself on my kitchen counter like a Salvador Dali clock.

Pizza Express pizza flopped over the edge of the kitchen counter
The Pizzistance of Memory

A portion of rosemary polenta chips with Gran Milano, honey and mustard for £5.45, fell at the same hurdle. They were so sweaty from the box that they joined my Dali installation, which I then vandalised because I was hungry, and because it will increase its value tenfold, Banksy style.

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Although the flavours were lovely, they also would have been so much more enjoyable if they hadn’t gone all droopy, but I didn’t say anything in case they made the same observation about me.

A buffalo mozzarella and Tomato starter was also tasty, but looked like it had picked a fight with Centrifugal Force and lost a few men in the skirmish. The small mound of mozzarella was concave underneath, so altogether poor value at £7.45.

Pizza Express mozzarella and tomatoes
Some terrified Mozzarella and the remaining tomatoes: still reeling from the accident at Space Camp

Lastly, we had a Dough Balls Doppio – double helpings with garlic butter, basil and pine kernel pesto, and smoky tomato harissa for £9.95.

Pizza Express’ dough balls are the best invention on the planet, so no complaints there, though the portion of each dip was skinny, and the garlic butter looked like someone had used a spoon to fill another tub with a proper portion and then wiped what was left on ours. The harissa dip was nice and tangy and the pesto was packed with Italian Everything, but if the garlic butter was Beyonce they’d be Kelly Rowland and the other one.

Pizza Express dough balls and dips
Who’s stuck what in that garlic butter?

Our takeaway from Pizza Express wasn’t bad. Everything tasted great. But as everything bar the tomato and mozzarella salad had to go in the air fryer to be de-sogged, we might as well have bought from Pizza Express’ line of supermarket ready meals for a fraction of the price.

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Preston has some fantastic, great value, independent pizza spots that deliver; the Moorbrook and Honest Jon’s being just two. So, considering its premium prices, Pizza Express needs to step up its takeaway game.

Read more: Top Scran Awards: The best pepperoni pizza in Preston

Read moreSee the latest Preston news and headlines

Have you ever had droopy dough balls? Don’t tell us about it in the comments.

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