PizzaExpress was opened at the beautiful Waterfront in Walsall on 12 January 2016. They are surrounded by other restaurants, sports shops, big clothing brands and many other retailers and there is plenty of pay and display car parking available. We did struggle to find the restaurant as our sat nav took us to the wrong place using the postcode. In fact, PizzaExpress is just opposite Crown Wharf Shopping Park.
The restaurant, which can seat 190 people, creates 30 new jobs, including 8 pizzaiolos and 15 waiters and waitresses. During the first month, the team will serve up 3,000 pizzas and 4,000 portions of PizzaExpress’ iconic Dough Balls. It is now serving up delicious, quality pizza, 7 days a week and with Click & Collect online takeaway ordering at www.pizzaexpress.com.
The artwork at the new restaurant has been inspired by the famous Walsall Illuminations, a festival of light which dates back to 1875 when candles were placed in coloured jars. Vibrant carousel lights and glowing jars create a warm welcome to the restaurant, and solid oak, rich red upholstery, marble and zinc feature throughout.
The opening coincides with the introduction of new seasonal specials such as a macaroni and cheese style Pennette Formaggi, hot spiced beef Calzone Diavolo and Treacle Tart Cheesecake.
This was our first time visiting the Walsall restaurant but had been a few times at other branches. When we arrived, both children were given an activity sheet and colouring pencils to do.
For starters, Mr C and I both went for calamari rings which are lightly coated in breadcrumbs, with a wedge of lemon and Caesar dressing. The chunky rings were delicious and crunchy. We both enjoyed it along with a dish of green olives and garlic.
While both children had the delicious baked dough balls off their Piccolo menu with garlic butter, and a fresh salad of red pepper, santos tomato and cucumber. Dough balls are both my children’s favourite so they both finished it off in no time.
While waiting for our food, the pizzaiolo chef came over and gave both children some dough each to design. They both had fun doing it. He even baked the dough afterwards in the oven and added a few olives and pepper to decorate it. They were very pleased with it.
Mr C had a Pollo Forza pizza which has chicken with smoked chilli, garlic oil and dried chilli flakes with red & yellow peppers, roquito peppers, mozzarella and tomato, finished with Gran Milano cheese, fresh parsley and chilli oil. It tasted deliciously fresh, with fiery bites of chilli. I wouldn’t recommend for those who don’t like spicy but for those that do, it’s definitely worth a try.
I had the Calzone Diavolo which is inspired by an iconic PizzaExpress recipe. It has green peppers, red onions, pepperoni, light mozzarella, spinach, tomato and Tabasco, baked with pancetta and Gran Milano cheese. It had a crunchy top with deliciously flavoured fillings. I was really pleased with my choice and I would recommend it. It was also very filling that I didn’t even have my puddings afterward.
Both children went for Bolognese off the Piccolo menu with other options that includes ‘Create Your Own’ pizza, and starts at just £3.95. They both fancied pasta and the servings were just right for them. If your child is a big eater, this might be too small a portion for them.
As for desserts, we were all quite full from the prior courses so we ordered two desserts to share. Mr K had the Piccolo sundae including one scoop of vanilla gelato with chocolate sauce and topped with a baby cone. Mr C had the salted caramel profiteroles with a sweet caramel coating filled with a delicately salted caramel cream. It was delicious and well recommended.
Overall, it was a truly great experience. Their food and services were great and it was all set in a lovely welcoming atmosphere. We loved the food and would highly recommend a visit.
Disclosure: We were invited to try out their food and drinks. However, they have not paid me for this review, and they do not exercise any editorial control over my review or anything else on this site.