I’ve never dined in the Zizzi’s at the Trafford Centre before so I was really looking forward to trying it out last night.
First of all, I can’t recommend the Trafford Centre enough on a weeknight evening, you don’t have to battle with the crowds, it’s easier to get a table, to park and a spot of shopping followed by a bite to eat certainly makes a change from the usual TV dinner.
We were greeted by James who showed us to our table in the outer section of the restaurant and told us Steve was looking after us for the night. He gave us a friendly wave so we knew who to go to with any questions or queries.
The beauty of sitting ‘outside’ is that you are far enough back to enjoy some privacy while eating your meal but if your anything like me you can be nosy and people watch from the comfort of your seat!
Steve gave us a little time to peruse over the menu before we ordered our food and drinks.
As it was a school night- alcoholic beverages were off the table (boo!) but we opted for some virgin cocktails instead, which help to fool you into thinking it’s the weekend!
Throughout the meal we enjoyed a Strawberry and Cucumber Cooler, a Passionfruit Punch, an Orange and Cranberry Cooler and a Sicilian Still Lemonade.
I would highly recommend branching out and trying something from their extensive drinks menu as the coolers and punches are made with Sprite (or soda) so you can still enjoy a familiar flavour but with a fruity twist. Plus they are perfect for the summer months.
The Sicilian Still Lemonade reminded me of when we used to get fresh lemonade at country shows when I was little- so I had a pinch of nostalgia with this tangy, yet smooth drink.
The summer menu is essentially a lighter version of the usual offerings so we began with the Cheesy Tomato Pesto Bread- Oven baked with tomato passata, smoked mozzarella super green pesto and grated riserva cheese.
There is plenty here for two, but if you are feeling really hungry- you can have one to yourself. It arrived on a wooden board and was cut into handy squares. The pesto worked really well on the traditional pizza base and the dusting of delicate, purply amaranth on top offered some extra colour and a fresh, peppery taste against the sweetness of the tomato and the creaminess of the pesto- a winning combination.
For our mains we had another summer special- the Fiery Spianata Rustic Pizza- smoked mozzarella, spicy Spianata Picante salami, whole red chillies, torn buffalo mozzarella, roasted garlic, sun blush tomatoes, riserva cheese and finished with zingy lemon and herb salsa Verde.
I have to warn you- this pizza is enormous so if you have a large appetite, this is the one for you and if not- you can always take it home for lunch the next day. (We did- it's the gift that keeps on giving!).
It also has a kick, as the chillies on top are halved and have been gently cooked so be prepared for your taste buds to be tickled! Thankfully, the buffalo mozzarella is on hand to calm your tongue down.
I am a vegetarian- so I was concerned that I might not be able to have the summer dish- but Steve said it was fine- the chef would simply leave off the salami and substitute it with veggies of my choice. He suggested that mushrooms and peppers would complement the pizza the best so I took his word and he was absolutely right.
I needen’t have worried as Zizzi’s does have a generous vegan menu but if you ask- the staff are happy to tweak things to suit your preferences which is something to be championed.
I should probably mention that we have just come back from Rome so we know what a good pizza should taste like and this is nearest thing we can get without having to whip out the passports.
For dessert we had the new Raspberry, White Chocolate and Pecan Blondie- served with warm salted caramel sauce, vanilla gelato, pink strawberry powder and giant white chocolate curls.
It is essentially a lighter version of a brownie and tastes just like a light sticky toffee pudding but with all the bells and whistles. Needless to say, we conveniently forgot how full we were and managed to finish one each!
Steve was very attentive and extremely knowledgeable- he was able to tell us about the fusion of flavours, what was in each dish and told us how things were prepared so we were certain of what we were eating at every course.
I don’t think I have ever done a review where I felt so comfortable with the staff- Steve seemed like he genuinely enjoyed what he does and it shone through while he was talking to us about the dishes.
I was really impressed with every aspect of last night. The staff couldn’t have been more helpful, the location was ideal and the food was the perfect summer feast. The only complaint I have is that I can’t go back and do it all again tonight!
Thanks to James and Steve for helping us to wave our Monday blues goodbye!