Last week it was back to Pizza Express number 9, the Bishopsgate branch, as it has recently been refurbished and Pizza Express kindly offered a meal on the house to tempt myself and the invisible occasional dining colleague (IODC) to try out the branch.
Unlike the previous visit, this time the upstairs was explored, nicely refurbished with the usual Pizza Express touch of having artwork relevant to the location. For Bishopsgate this meant Gilbert & George style panelling on the walls to reflect the area’s connection with the artists:
The building itself has its own connection with celebrity, for it used to be an umbrella factory – and supplied the umbrella used in the film version of Mary Poppins. Hence the other artwork motif:
As you can see from the photos, the place has been fully redone in the new Pizza Express look, complete with those candle holders that double as leaflet stands and the stripey prison garb toilet signs. Regular readers will be disappointed to know that everyone in the toilet signs is otherwise normally attired and normally proportioned. No unusually fat legs or unexpected lederhosen appearances here.
It is a very busy restaurant, full up even on a weekday evening, so it is no surprise that – as the bottom photo in particular shows – the tables are squeezed in to maximise the number of seats. However, the combination of the bright décor and the huge windows means that it feels full without feeling crowded. The intensive nature of the table layout means there is no need for any indoor traffic calming arrangements.
As for the Chocolate Glory, IODC can report yet another different recipe in use here with multiple layers of chocolate cream but not much in the way of chocolate cake off cuts.