Living in the suburbs can be a blessing and a curse. It takes me less than 30 minutes from my doorstep to the city yet I don’t have to pay the inflated house prices and I have a garden that would be unheard of in the city. What Stockport lacks is the abundance of eating and drinking establishments that Manchester has within easy reach. It is getting better and there are some amazing options in Heaton Moor as well as the town centre. Further afield but perfectly close is Poynton with its pretty village and comfy local pubs. Pizza Express has recently moved in to offer something familiar to compliment the village’s food scene.
We visited on the first week of opening and were surprised by how polished everything was, from the venue to the wait staff, it was like Pizza Express has always been here. The restaurant is so different to how it was before, a selection of booths and regular tables with exposed brick and sectioned areas makes it feel smaller and more intimate. The open kitchen you see at all Pizza Express restaurants entertains the kids as they can watch their food being cooked and the artwork on the walls is all supplied by a local artist, such a lovely way to bring ‘Poynton’ to a chain restaurant.
No visit to Pizza Express is complete without dough balls and they now do a sharer with three different dips. The garlic butter has a massive kick of garlic as does the pesto, although the added basil also adds a freshness. The harissa tomato dip has a good spice but is also a thicker consistency for something a bit different.
The Lasagne was a little burnt around the edges and hotter than the sun when it arrived at the table but other than that is was comforting and cheesy, just the way lasagne should be. My friend tried the Calabrese with its thin rectangular base and all the heat! Spicy nduja sausage, fiery calabrese sausage with added chilli covered with rocket and pesto to cool it down a little. It was something a bit different and all that rocket almost makes it healthy, right?
Totally annihilating that healthy (ish) option we both ordered the Chocolate Fondant which takes a little while to prepare but is totally worth it. A gentle chocolatey crust houses the gooeyist chocolate centre with a vanilla gelato to balance out the intense chocolateyness. Yes that is a word, as is gooeyist.
Pizza Express is a household name that is a welcome addition to Poynton in my opinion. Whilst I would always suggest an independent over a large chain, there are times when you need to appeal to a larger group, a younger group or just a fussy group. There is a place for all and it is so nice to see Poynton welcoming Pizza Express with open arms. And dough balls.
I was invited to dine as a guest of Pizza Express and was not asked to pay for my food.