Two weeks ago I turned the good ol’ age of 22, another year older and I am immensely grateful. One of the things I was most looking forward to doing when my 22nd birthday came around was to listen and sing along to Taylor Swift’s “22” song as it would be relevant to me haha. I wanted to have quite a relaxed birthday so I decided to go out for a birthday meal with my family at a restaurant I had never been to before.
The location of the restaurant was in the Strand in Central London, when you exit Charing Cross station it is around a 5 minute walk to the restaurant. As usual the Strand was crowded with lots of people especially because Christmas is around the corner. When you enter the restaurant you are greeted with a quaint looking first floor, which leads to a staircase down to the bottom floor where the restaurant is situated.
I found this restaurant on a restaurant reservation app called OpenTable UK, where I have once before reserved a table at another restaurant and it was on the reservation list when I had arrived. However, not this time around. I was greeted by the host and I explained to her that I made a reservation for three people at 4pm, she flicked through her reservation list, which I could also see and we were both unable to find my reservation on the list, she then proceeded to take us to a table. Not kidding, after my family and I sat down, there was a long que of people that formed along the staircase, waiting to be seated and a majority of them turned round to go back up because of how busy the restaurant was.
Zizzi has a chain of restaurants in the UK which serves Italian cuisine, which is my second favourite type of cuisine. The restaurant is quite small and it emulates the ambience and decor of a traditional Italian restaurant. The deco had a quaint vibe, it was also dimly lit and the atmosphere was very homey, as the majority of diners were families and groups of friends.
As it is building up to Christmas, Zizzi have a festive menu. I selected the three course meal and a glass of Prosecco for £21.95. I rarely ever have a three course meal when I go to restaurants, as they always exceed £25, so I thought that deal was good value for money. The glass of Prosecco was the first part of the meal to be placed on the table, this was my first time drinking Prosecco and it tasted lovely, it wasn’t too strong, was light and tasted mildly sweet. The starter consisted of a platter of cured meats such as Parma ham and salami, olives and calamari, which was very tasty. It also came with a platter of slices of garlic bread with mozzarella and tomato pesto bread, which the waiter forgot to bring to the table as he was busy, so it took a while to come to the table so I had to remind the waiter. I completely forgot to take a picture of the platter but it didn’t look like your typical garlic bread, it was bread with melted garlic butter on it with melted mozzarella, which was quite filling and delicious.
My main course was a Sofia Rustica Pizza, which had the toppings of spicy chicken and sausage, pepperoni, mozzarella, chilli & rosemary. The pizza wasn’t your typical shape, it was very lengthy and bigger in person so I instantly thought that I wouldn’t be able to finish it all, however it was a thin crust and I ate every piece as it tasted divine and reminded me of how the pizzas in Rome, Italy tasted when I visited there, it has such an authentic taste and was quite spicy.
To end the meal on a high, I ordered the traditional Italian dessert Tiramisu, which was presented nicely and I can honestly say that it was the best Tiramisu I tasted in a long time. I savoured every single bite, there were no overpowering tastes, nothing but a nice balance of the taste of cocoa, espresso & liqueur and mascarpone and it wasn’t soggy, it was just right.
I would highly recommend visiting this restaurant for a meal out as you are guaranteed authentic, fresh and high quality Italian food, you will be leaving with a full stomach and I doubt you will be leaving dissatisfied.