Friday, 12 September 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014 - Review: Pizza Express

I may or may not have reviewed Pizza Express before, but I’m not bothering to check.  I mean, since Mike introduced his dad to the Pizza Express near our flat, it’s the only place we ever go when he’s in town.  Ever.  So I’ve eaten there a fair few times, which means I might have written about it before.

The reason I’m (re-)reviewing now is twofold:  a) They now have a pizza that’s specifically vegan, and 2) On our last visit, they told me which wines are vegan, and since they all have the same wine list, this information is pertinent to everyone.

So, the wine list:  We took my bff Eva to PE for one of my birthday dinners in August.  They’d sent me a voucher for a free bottle of Prosecco, so I asked the server if she knew whether or not it was vegan.  About 5 minutes later, we got tired of waiting and looked it up*.  While we were in the middle of that, the manager actually came out and gave us the full list of wines that are suitable for vegans.  Well, actually, he gave us the list that *aren’t* sfv.  So here are the vegan wines:

Pizza Express vegan-safe wine list
Nero d'Avola Syrah, Sicily, Italy
Merlot, Sicily, Italy
Barbera d'Alba D.O.C., Piemonte, Italy
Chianti Riserva D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy

Grillo Chardonnay, Sicily, Italy
Trebbiano, Marche, Italy
Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
Gavi, Piemonte, Italy

Merlot Rosé, Veneto, Italy

Or for ease, the ones that aren’t sfv are the Montepulciano and Valpolicella (red), Moscato (white) and Pinot Grigio (all varieties).

Onto the food.

As I said, Pizza Express now has a specifically vegan pizza (which most of you probably knew).  For those of us who were asking for vegan cheese, unfortunately, that’s not how they played it.  Yes, it’s a bit nonsensical that they would create an entirely vegan pizza by just making a new veggie one without cheese, since nearly any veggie pizza ordered without cheese is vegan.  So I don’t know if they were trolling us or throwing us a bone (not vegan) by creating the Pianta.  At least they kinda paid attention to the vegan request, just not exactly what we asked for.

That said, I actually like the Pianta, though I do have to modify it a bit.  I’m allergic to pine nuts, so those have to go, but I replace them with olives.  I like a bit of extra garlic oil on mine too, because if I have to forgo cheese, I have to make my pizza deliciously greasy somehow.  They go a little heavy on the rocket, but otherwise it’s really quite good.  It’s now my usual every time we go (because I’m also a creature of habit and stick with things I know are good).

I’ve heard that you can bring in a sealed bag of shredded vegan cheese and they’ll use it on your pizza, but I’ve never tried it.  Maybe I’ll do that next time.

*We never really figured out if the Prosecco was sfv.  We couldn’t find the specific one they were offering online, but all the ones we could find that matched generally (Prosecco from that particular region) were coming up vegan.  We took a chance on it, but I’m not necessarily advocating that everyone else do the same.  Please let me know in the comments if you happen to know one way or the other if it’s sfv.


  1. A little heavy on the rocket is an understatement! Yours looks like it had a little less than mine, mine was blanketed in the stuff! It was very tasty though despite that and it's nice to have something actually labelled and advertised vegan at a major chain.

  2. That's a lotta rocket, I have to switch the sauce because it has chilli and I also add lots of garlic oil because it's delicious.

  3. Why is the pinot grigio and the pinot grigio blush not suitable for vegans. I was told today by the waiter that those two wines were fine and that I was to trust him as he checked the bottle and also that he had two sisters that were vegan. Now I feel disgusted that he could of lied to me. I wanna know if this is true as I will be making a formal complaint to head office if it is!