We had received a flyer for the new Pizza Express pop-up restaurant in the IFC mall and we were curious to give it a try.
We had been to Pizza Express many times before in London and the UK, and we are a big fan of their pizzas. The name does not do them justice, it’s not a fast food restaurant, it is a decent place where the pizzas are made once you placed your order – and you can customise them easily and even ask them to bake the pizza longer/shorter according to your taste. There are also some Pizza Express Jazz clubs in London, and we’ve been to the one in SoHo and in the one on King’s Road (Phesantry – a fantastic building) and really enjoyed the atmosphere, music and pizza….
But back to Hong Kong: Last week, we decided to give the pop-up restaurant a try. It looks very sleek and modern, a bit minimalistic compared to the restaurants in the UK (but then it’s a pop-up restaurant for a couple of months only) with some modern photographs of old houses in Hong Kong on the wall.
Glancing at the menu, a lot of items are similar to the ones in the UK. Unfortunately there was no Venziana, Florentina or Padana on the menu, but we opted for the La Reine and Four Seasons instead. We noticed some more unusual options on the menu: Peking duck (duck breast, hoisin sauce, chili, spring onions) or Trifolata (wild mushrooms, truffle oil, rosemary and garlic) pizza. Or the more dough ball with nutella dessert offering!
Next to use were only Asian people, all in groups of 4 and more. They all ordered different dishes from the menu, which they shared. This was funny to watch, they all had small plates in front of them and the plates with the salad, pasta, pizza were in the middle of the table – clearly an Italian food evening, the traditional Asian style. It’s actually clever, you can taste and try everything, and you don’t have to finish your dish. If you had enough, just stop eating and someone else will finish it.
After a couple of minutes, our pizzas were ready. We were kind of expecting small plates to be put in front of us, and then the pizza in the middle to share. However, the waitress was well briefed – noticing that we are not Asian people from the looks of it, she put one dish in front of each of us. Clearly she knew that once it comes to pizza, we don’t share our food!
We tried the food, and it was fairly nice. A little bit crisper and dryer dough than how I like it (I actually left some of the dough, although I normally just eat the whole Pizza Express pizza), but with a decent number of ham slices, mushrooms and olives for me. Unfortunately someone had already seasoned the whole pizza with black pepper (normally they come round and ask you if you like some freshly ground pepper – which I always decline) and this spoiled the taste for me.
Overall, the service was very quick, the staff was very friendly and the pizzas tasted nice. Not the best pizza I had in my life, but the best I had in Hong Kong (ok, I have to admit, it was the only one I had so far…).