It is finally here – PizzaExpress is now open in Singapore, and it sits on the basement level of Scotts Square. The name should be no stranger to you as they have over 500 outlets in United Kingdom, various European countries, Hong Kong, India and the Middle East.
Founder Peter Boizot created this wildly successful pizzeria chain because having tried and tested the best and most authentic pizzas during his holidays in Italy, he was unsatisfied with what he had in London. PizzaExpress was thus conceived in United Kingdom, with the notion of offering authentic Italian pizza outside of Italy to the masses.
Having tried and loved PizzaExpress when we were in London, we are extremely stoked to have them here in our own country. We popped by for a preview and had a taste of their world-renowned pizzas – made from scratch in store with fresh ingredients. Besides pizzas, the menu is pretty much similar to that of U.K’s, with a whole range of salads, pastas and bite-size snacks.
Most of the dishes on PizzaExpress’ menu are priced under S$20 – they are extremely reasonable for the quality and huge portions. Here’s what you can expect from PizzaExpress’s first outlet in Singapore – which is officially opening its doors to the public this coming Friday (29 July 2016).
STARTERS – FRESH BURRATA, PROSCIUTTO & MORE
If you head down in a big group, the Classic Italian Antipasto (S$26) is a must-try, especially if you are a fan of fresh Italian mozzarella, Italian sausages and more. This huge platter consists of Calabria-style sausage, spicy Italian sausage, prosciutto crodo, fresh mozzarella, sun-blushed tomatoes, peppadew, rocket leaves and freshly-made flatbread.
We especially loved the mozzarella cheese together with the spicy sausage; the light and refreshing mozzarella cheese really evens out the taste of the sausage’s intense flavours and saltiness.
Want a starter just for yourself? The Gambaretti Piccante (S$12) should do the trick. It is essentially a serving of fresh jumbo prawns, sitting on top of passata, chilli flakes, garlic and flatbread. Passata is basically a kind of tomato puree, hence it adds a nice tanginess to each bite.
The Fungotto (S$12) is a pair of huge portobello mushrooms, stuffed with goat’s cheese, mozzarella, bread crumbs and parsley. We are a fan of the slightly crisp breadcrumbs that contrasts well with the soft and juicy mushrooms.
GREAT SALAD CHOICES
Who wants salads when you can have great pizzas, right?
Actually, this does not hold true at PizzaExpress. If you are looking for a quick, simple and fuss-free dish, PizzaExpress’ range of salads makes great options. The Leggera Superfood (S$13 small, S$20 large) stood out amongst the rest with its generous portion.
This massive (the large portion can serve 2-4 people as a side or starter) salad consists of spinach, cucumber, avocado, butternut squash, lentils, fresh mozzarella, beetroot, basil, balsamic syrup and pine kernels. Basically, all the kinds of goodness and the single serving is less than 500 calories. Health nuts can now dine in PizzaExpress.
Now, we are on to the top dogs – the pizzas! The classic pizza range includes a variety of different flavours on a slightly thicker dough. The doughs are all made fresh on the spot, and you can watch the chefs in action via the open kitchen. We had a taste of a popular flavour – Lava (S$20). It looked “normal” at first, just like your everyday Margherita.
But upon your first bite, you will be greeted with an explosion of flavours. This is not your regular Joe; it is topped with olives, burrata cheese, chilli oil, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and passata, and fresh basil. The pizza dough is fluffy and fragrant, and we liked that the addition of chilli oil amped up the otherwise “regular” pizza. Classic, with a nice spicy twist.
The classic pizzas are slightly smaller in size, and are great for solo diners with a bigger appetite. Else, two persons with small appetites can share one.
ROMANA PIZZAS – BIGGER, THINNER & CRISPIER
If you want a bigger sharing portion that will feed 2-3 people decently, try their Romana pizzas. They are thinner and crispier, inspired by the pizzas from Rome. Besides the quintessential Italian flavours, PizzaExpress also offers some spicy concoctions that are out of this world – specifically the Pollo Forza (S$23) and American Hottest (S$24).
These thin-crust pizzas won our hearts. The Pollo Forza is a dream come true. It is topped with chicken with smoked chilli, garlic oil, dried chilli flakes, red and yellow peppers, jalapeño and mozzarella, then finished off with grana padano, chilli oil and parsley. The heat, textures and cheeses blended beautifully together, producing a robust flavours with underlying spicy notes.
The American Hottest is another one that you must try. We cannot get enough of these spicy pizzas! This one here is topped with pepperoni, hot green and roquito peppers, fresh red chilli, spicy Italian sausage, passata and buffalo mozzarella. After it is baked and taken out of the oven, the chef scatters torn buffalo mozzarella (yes, more mozzarella for extra cheesy goodness) atop, together with chopped parsley and fragrant chilli oil.
For Italian pastas, we always lean towards the tomato ones and the pomodoro-based ones. Both the Farfalle di Calabria (S$22) and Spaghetti Frutti De Mare (S$24) are great choices. The former is simply farfalle pasta tossed with spicy Italian sausage and salami, with fresh basil, grana padano and cherry tomatoes in a creamy pomodoro sauce.
The Spaghetti Fruitti De Mare is our favourite. The classic dish is tossed with fresh and generous amounts of prawns, clams, mussels and squid, in a spiced pomodoro sauce. It has everything we love about a good pasta – a great sauce base made with fresh tomatoes, al dente pasta and lots of seafood!
And this is a little tip – enjoy all your PizzaExpress dishes with a glass of the signature Lemonade (S$6), featuring freshly squeezed lemon and lime, soda, and mint. Italian food can be pretty rich and heavy so this drink definitely helps in balancing the flavours and keeping you refreshed throughout your meal!
6 Scotts Rd, Scotts Square
Tel: +65 6538 0083
Daily: 11.30am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Orchard
This post is brought to you by PizzaExpress.