Monday, 27 April 2009

Lighter Life

THERE aren't many benefits of working in the pub trade.
The hours are all consuming, post 10pm all of the customers are obnoxious, and you permanently smell like a beer-drenched cigarette (pre-smoking ban).
But there was one perk I remember fondly from the days when I cut my teeth as trainee licencee.
The quarterly menu change meant a big kitchen cook-off followed by a big feast for all duty staff. Safe to say, I'd always be enthusiastic to work that shift.
Memories of these happy days flooded back when I visited Pizza Express, in Worcester, with my mum and the boy, for a civilised Sunday lunch.
They've just launched their new Leggera menu; a selection of six lighter dishes for the calorie conscious diner.
So we ordered all of them.
We shared starters of Insalata Verde and Crostini Pomodoro, both under 200 calories (the Pizza Express website now includes nutritional details of all its dishes).
Dish assembly was rather basic and the boy joked that his young nephew could have thrown together a more accomplished brushetta however, it still tasted rather good.
The green salad was dressed in grated Grana Padano cheese and sweet balsamic glaze. It was good and crisp, although the inclusion of over-cooked mangetout was deeply unpleasant.
The most significant addition on the new Leggera (Italian for light) menu is the pizza with a hole in the middle - a Polo mint of a pizza where the dough's been replaced with a lightly dressed salad, and there's a choice of three.
I opted for the Margherita, while the boy pigged out on the one featuring Parma ham, mushrooms (but he's no funghi) and red peppers. Mother chose a vegetable patch to top her pizza, with chargrilled red and yellow peppers, aubergines and aspargus spears.
Pleasingly, pizzas were served on individual boards with their own cutting wheels. We ordered two mixed salads, just incase the leaves atop our pizzas weren't enough.
All Leggera pizzas weigh in at about 500 calories and, for fat fighters, less than 5g of sat fat.
However, they tasted delicious, so delicious I wanted the missing hole back.
But the missing hole meant there was still a hole for pud and I opted for the new Legerra menu Sotto Zero - yogurt icecream, fresh strawberries and fruit coulis.
Mother accompanied her black coffee with a (very cute) mini lemon meringue pie, while the boy lapped up pistachio and chocolate gelato. 'Very pistachio-ey,' he exclaimed, not leaving any dregs for me.
"It's not on the Leggera menu," he reminded me. "And you have a bikini calling."
Pizza Express on Urbanspoon


Heavenly Housewife said...

Ooooh, the boy knows how to compliment a lady LOL. Pizza express is currently doing a promotion. I got an email from them today. Buy one main get one free.

Emily said...

Thanks Heavenly. I am thinking of going back with a mate on Thursday!

Mrs Woffington said...

I've voted for you Emily - good look ;)

Emily said...

Thanks Mrs W!
You are a star!

Thinspired said...

I had no idea they have a new menu, and we were just there a couple weeks ago! I have the promotional coupon too that Heavenly is talking you have it, Em? I can forward it to you.
I'm checking out their website know how much I love nutritional stats ;)

Emily said...

Thanks Lara, I have the voucher! They only started the new menu at the weekend. I am going back tomorrow. Nutritional stats are the best as they give you guilt-free pleasure. No guess work!