Zizzi have always offered some of the finest Italian food on the High Street. The chain of restaurants deliver a stellar menu with plenty of variety, and this Autumn has seen a string of fresh additions made to the delights available.
Amongst the starters was the N'duja Garlic Bread, covered in melted mozzarella, grated riserva and the titular spicy N'duja sausage. This is the dish I went for, whilst my friend Fiona decided on the always brilliant 'Little Soul' Bread, which was served with three dips for an extra £1.50.
Those looking for a little burst of fire in their starter need look no further than the N'duja; it was a beautifully-presented and tasty opener that tested the palate, and perfectly prepared us for our incredibly spicy mains. The 'Little Soul' Bread was freshly baked with garlic and smoked sea salt, and was gorgeous paired with the dips on offer, with the white bean and basil pesto a personal favourite.
When it came to our mains, I again decided to try the latest addition to the menu - the Wagyu Meatball Rustica Pizza. The mighty main was topped with Wagyu beef meatballs, fior di latte and smoked mozzarella, roquito pearls, sunblush tomatoes, chillies and smoked garlic oil, all cooked up on the smoky chilli-infused dough that regular Zizzi visitors have fallen in love with.
Fiona meanwhile took on the Calzone Piccante, which was stuffed with Wagyu beef meatballs, spicy roasted chicken, bolognese, mozzarella, mushrooms and red chillies. Word of warning for those who think they can handle their spice; this one tests even the strongest of us!
We also gave the newly-added side Courgette Fritti a go; lightly battered courgette shoestring fries, with grated riserva cheese. They were stunning and highly addictive; if somebody told you they were regular fries, you'd likely believe them!
Time eventually came for desserts, and whilst we'd likely already reached peak levels of fullness, we each couldn't resist the sweet treats. Fiona went for the familiar Lemon Ombre Cheesecake, unable to take on more dough despite having eyes on the S'mores Calzone, whilst I went for the dessert Zizzi has spotlighted since their Autumn menu launch.
The Autumn menu has introduced the Ruby Chocolate Cheesecake (which Zizzi say is the first time the recently-discovered chocolate has hit the High Street), so I just had to try it out. Again, the food was presented in stunning fashion, with the cheesecake consisting of a dark cocoa biscuit base, and a ruby and dark chocolate swirl top. Whipped mascarpone, white chocolate curls and a pink raspberry snap accompanied the dessert, adding flair and elegance to the bewitching refreshment.
This cheesecake is amongst the best I've ever tried (and I've tried quite a few - it's my favourite dessert!). The ruby chocolate is both sweet and a little sour, delivering a taste unlike any available in the past. Paired with the mascarpone, dark and white chocolate, and the raspberry snap, it's the perfect cleanser to top off what was an utterly beautiful three-course dinner.
I must also mention the brilliant server we had throughout our time at The Trafford Centre's restaurant. Uddie was personable, confident in her job and extremely helpful. She told us all about the brilliant offer Zizzi has on right now on their website, which offers a massive 20% off of all of your food, and it was clear she was interested in getting to know the customers she served on a personal level, rather than just bringing out food and drink. Every server should be a little more like Uddie!
The Zizzi Autumn menu also includes Beef Brisket and Venison Tagliatelle, Pollo Rosmarino, S'mores Calzone and Spiedini Pescatore. We'll be back to try those before the season's out!