Opportunities come in all shapes and sizes! I had the pleasure of participating in a pizza-making evening recently with a few bloggers at Pizza Express’ flagship restaurant in High Holborn, Central London. The restaurant, which is conveniently located just two minutes’ walk from Holborn Tube station and close to Covent Garden and theatre land, is a great spot for people looking for an upscale eatery. Pizza Express High Holborn has recently undergone refurbishment and is looking so much classier for it. With rich tan leather upholstery, banquet settings and high-quality oak parquet flooring, it feels more like a 5-star hotel restaurant than a pizzeria!
The place was lively and pleasantly humming with activity went I got there. Customers looked happy chatting away while tucking into their colourful, aromatic pizza dishes.
Our evening kicked off with a glass of St-Germain prosecco with marinated olives with garlic. Next, we got to sample the Dough Balls Doppio, a sharing plate of 16 soft and warm dough balls which come with a trio of dips: pesto, garlic butter and a harissa spiced tomato dip called pestorissa. The dough balls were delectable enough that I could have admittedly finished the whole plate on my own!
Then came the moment we’d all been waiting for: learning how the pizzaiolos (pizza makers) make pizza. Kastytis from the team was our demonstrator, and who’d’ve thought there was more to creating perfectly round dough than using a rolling pin? We had to first press it down using the tips of our finger, opening up the dough from the inside out before using the rolling pin. Then we had to shift the dough from one hand to the other in order to increase its size. Kastytis even impressed us with a bit of dough tossing which none of us were brave enough to attempt. I would have, except that I was using a second dough because my first dough ended up looking more like a calzone. We were given a selection of fresh, mouth-watering ingredients to choose from. I selected chicken, ham, jalapeños, green chilli, Roquito chilli and goats cheese sprinkled with black pepper, oregano and chilli flakes for my pizza.
I have to admit I was a slightly nervous I was not going to be able to handle my own creation in the end. The pizza took about 5 mins to cook and looked very professional. It tasted as divine as it looked! The cute mocha I had for dessert rounded off my meal.
We were also shown the layout downstairs where hosting of quality live music and comedy from September under the Pizza Express Live umbrella would take place. The stage and seating layout downstairs is a stylish amphitheatre with a chic bar at back. The theme is modern and minimalistic. The bespoke artwork which adorns the restaurant is from Dean Street’s Pizza Express Jazz club. There are plans to replace these with artists that have played at the High Holborn branch.
All in all, I had a memorable experience and even got in on the action in the kitchen. I had a few pictures taken with our host and the pizzaiolos dressed in black and white striped t-shirts. It did not matter how busy the staff were, they always had smiles on their faces. The service was speedy and the food was nothing short of first class. I would definitely dine here again, Pizza Express, High Holborn in London is definitely a place to check out for yourself. Enjoy and Buon Appetito!