It won’t come as a surprise to many of you that I have a bit of an obsession with planning food. If I plan a holiday or weekend away I’ll spend ages researching the local restaurants and where looks like an interesting place to eat. There are times though when I have had this option taken out of my hands and one of those times was a hen do in Barcelona. I got particularly excited about trying all the different types of tapas on Las Ramblas to find that I had to dine in Pizza Hut and McDonalds as the girls I was with liked normality. Some people are scared of the unknown and that is where some of our more common chains come in. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ‘anti chains’ and if that is where my friends want to dine then I certainly won’t turn down the chance to spend time with them because I don’t want to eat at their choice of venue. One of those venues for me has always been Zizzi. I do like Italian food so this is always a good start and whilst I have never had a meal here that blows me away, I think it is a good choice to please most people in a group.
Zizzi already have a restaurant in Spinningfields but have just opened a restaurant on Piccadilly Gardens next to the new Nandos, Morrisons Local and Premier Inn. As if the new hotel isn’t a good pull for visitors already this is also the prime location for people walking to and from the train station as well as people waiting for their buses.
I was invited to the launch party where we were greeted with Prosecco and Aperol spritz. I’m not a huge fan of Aperol in general but others in the group loved these and were more than happy to help dispose of them.
With this being a launch party we had a reduced VIP menu but the food we ate is available on the normal menu.
We shared a platter to start with and the star for me was the garlic bread with caramelised onions. The base wasn’t too thick nor too thin with just enough garlic smeared on top and a lovely sweetness from the onions. I tried my best to snaffle more pieces of this than my friends. The meats were ok as were the olives. Fairly generic and nothing to blow you away. The calamari was cooked well with no toughness and just enough batter for a crisp outside without any greasiness.
I went for the lasagne for my main course. It is my ultimate comfort food and I am yet to find one anywhere near as good as my old local Italian Benvenuti in Hazel Grove. This was, unfortunately, not going to steal the coveted ‘best lasagne’ crown. The topping was more like a crumbled breadcrumb than a cheesy crust which, I prefer. The breadcrumb idea I am fine with but this one wasn’t baked long enough for the bread to crisp up enough. The rest of the dish was nice though, the pasta still al dente with a rich tomato sauce with just enough cheese to compliment it. Not perfect but not bad either.
My date chose the pollo al prosciutto; chicken wrapped in prosciutto with a white wine sauce served with new potatoes and green beans. He liked it so much that I didn’t get a look in! The chicken was still juicy but the ham could be a little crisper for my liking. The potatoes were seasoned well and the sauce lovely and rich.
For dessert we were treated to a trio of tiramisu, chocolate tartufo and a lemon meringue sundae. The tiramisu was the perfect consistency for me. Still creamy with well moistened sponge that wasn’t too stiff. The tartufo, delightfully rich and chocolatey, was my favourite with the lemon meringue sundae being too much for my palate. The sharp lemon flavours drowned out the flavour of the meringue which had no crunch left. I appreciate this was a launch party so this may be different if made fresh to order.
Overall a fun time was had by all and this is a great addition to the Piccadilly Gardens family. I’d happily dine here with friends who want ‘familiarity’ as would I pop in here whilst waiting for my train.
I was invited to this event as a guest of the restaurant. This is an honest review of my experience.