Monday, February 02, 2009

A quick review of Zizzi, Hornchurch

This branch of the Italian restaurant chain (part of the ASK Group) is located on Station Lane, just south of the town centre. It is situated on what looks like an old pub. My work group went there for our Christmas do, and it was quite crowded. Although I had a few complaints, mainly on the speed of service, I thought we'd try it again, especially as Mrs D had printed off a voucher entitling customers to a free second main course. Fortunately, it was not overly full this time.

The service started well, as did the food. Mrs D had a large garlic bread (large it was, and tasty too with mozzarella and caramelised onion splurged all over it), and I had a vegetable bruschetta, which was everything I hoped it would be. My seafood pasta was just about spot on too, though it could have been a bit bigger, and would have gained the place an extra point if it had been. Wifey had a chicken risotto, which she gave a good mark for.

We waited a while for dessert though. Having said that, when it arrived, my banana and chocolate waffle was perfect, as was Mrs D's apple crumble. Both of these dishes were baked in the wood fired oven, and the menu at least warns you of this.

However, the wait for the bill, having been twenty minutes, was too long. The only way to make the point was to get up and put our coats on. Why do restaurants insist on doing this? Not the first time its happened by any means, and annoying. Waiters can lose a good tip from my by drawing out the bill.

Overall, I'd give Zizzi's 6/10. The food is well cooked, though it does overdo the options involving tomatoes, though I admit to being a despiser of this particular Satanic fruit. Don't mind 'em squashed into a pizza paste or processed by H J Heinz & Co, but on their own...vile.

The service was somewhat slow and haphazard, ranging from top notch to slow and disorganised over the course of one evening. This does mirror our experience over Christmas too, so something to work on, guys. Oh, and the mens' toilets were not working. I won't mark them down on this, as it may have packed up earlier that day - but it is a bit rich of a restaurant featuring a large wine list not to warn newly arrived customers about this. I was about ready to wazz up the wall on the way home - fortunately, home being fairly close.

A pleasant, and not too risky local night out. Not too many thrills, but nothing done especially poorly either.

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