If you've ever been part of a group of people who just can't decide what to eat, PizzaExpress has an uncanny ability to make feeding a crowd easy. Everyone loves pizza, but PizzaExpress have thoughtfully packed out their supersized menu with pasta and risotto dishes, superfood salads, starters and sides, even including vegetarian and gluten-free options, just in case. Be the hero of the hour and turn that endless debate into a table full of smiles.
With locations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah and Ras al Khaimah, you're never far from solving your next dinner party.
Pizza for all
First up, there's pizza – a lot of pizza. For something a little different, we especially like the Hawaiian from their Romana range of pizza – with a veal-bacon and pineapple chutney along with béchamel, fresh basil, red onion, garlic oil, mozzarella and Parmesan, scattered with chopped parsley and chilli oil.
Or if you want to go super traditional, you can't go wrong with the Margherita from their Classic selection. It's probably not far off from the type of pizza that inspired this entire enterprise.
Once upon a trip
It all began when Peter Boizot travelled to Europe from London in 1965, and fell completely in love with oven-baked artisanal pizza in Italy. Good pizza places were hard to find in 60s London, so he decided to bring authentic Italian pizza back with him, returning from his travels with a Neapolitan pizza oven and a Sicilian chef – and PizzaExpress was born.
He opened the first PizzaExpress restaurant in Soho, London the same year, and a second one popped up in 1967. Now there are more than 400 locations in the UK and restaurants in 40 countries around the world – not bad returns on a whimsical food tour.
It's not all about pizza
But the Italian inspiration doesn't end at pizza. Their huge range of starters, including everything from calamari and baked mushrooms to everyone's favourite dough balls, are the perfect way to start your feast off with a bang. And if anyone feels they need to up their vegetable intake, fresh salads and sides will crown your meal with more than a whiff of virtuousness.
For those on the fence between nutrition and decadence, we suggest the Bresaola, Burrata & Fig salad – burrata cheese, fresh ﬁgs, beef bresaola, walnuts, baby spinach and wild rocket, drizzled with balsamic syrup and extra virgin olive oil.
And for a dreamy dessert, order the Chocolate Fudge Cake – homemade pudding with a melt-in-the-middle centre that makes us feel all gooey inside too.