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feeling festive with the pizza express christmas menu.

It's that time of year again... time for the Christmas menus! Not one to shy away from seasonal, ever changing menus and specials, Pizza Express are fully on board with the foodie festivities. Offering Christmas specials on their starter, main, dessert and drinks menu, I was kindly invited to their Leicester branch try out their newest additions.

There are two Pizza Express restaurants in Leicester and I think the Kings Street venue might be my favourite. Tucked away near New Walk, the unassuming building seems to have a more relaxed atmosphere than the bustling city centre location. I've been to both though, and never fail to get a consistent service and fresh flavours cooked to order. Around since the 1960s, it may be a chain but they certainly know what they're doing when it comes to pizza.

To kick start the festive cheer, we opted for their new Manzo Crocchette (£5.65) and the Terrina Festa (£5.85). My salmon, crab and prawn terrine would definitely be a hit with seafood fans. The chunky and flavoursome pate came with a herby flatbread and fresh rocket. I think some diners would have preferred it slightly warm though, as it seemed such a contrast from the bread alongside. The pulled beef and Chianti crocchette were delicious, with a crispy outer and juicy inside. It came with a horseradish dip, bringing together a mini roast beef feel.

For main I tried the festive Cauliflower e Carne (£13.20) whilst my dining partner went for the classic American Hot (£12.20), since the Christmas special Porchetta Natale was already sold out. It was a disappointment not to try it, however I guess this only reinforces the pizzas are made fresh and are pretty damn popular.

My cauliflower topped pizza also featured super crispy pancetta, Pecorino cheese, pine kernals and garlic oil on a mustardy cheese sauce base. Finished with fresh parsley and shavings of Gran Milano, it was a super indulgent pizza that makes my mouth water just thinking about it. I wouldn't say it was particularly festive, but I'm sad it's a special as I'd order it again and again. The American Hot was of course well received; it's not wonder that one is a keeper on the menu.

To finish, we rounded off the festive feast with their Christmas dessert specials; Snowball Dough Balls (£3.85) and Jaffa Profiteroles (£5.55). It goes without saying that lovers of chocolate orange need to try this one, and they won't be disappointed. The perfect Christmas dessert!

My snowballs were a delicious take on the famous Pizza Express doughballs, although even for me the sauce was incredibly sweet. As it was so thick (and this is a good thing!) it was hard to get just a little bit at a time to evenly use amongst the doughballs. I think although the flavours were good, the pudding would have benefitted from being filled doughballs. Perhaps even with a scattering of cinnamon sugar - yum!

Overall I enjoyed my experience at Pizza Express. As always, the staff were attentive and friendly and the food is always fresh and piping hot. I'd definitely recommend the festive menu. If you want to try the festive pizzas though, you best get in your sleigh... it seems they're proving popular!

Have you tried out the Christmas menu? What is your favourite Pizza Express dish?

4 King Street

I was invited to try out the Christmas menu in return for an honest review.
All prices mentioned are in relation to the King's Street, Leicester venue.

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