PizzaExpress has been in Dulwich since way back in 1996. Situated in the heart of Dulwich Village, this busy, lively restaurant, close to Dulwich Park, has been totally transformed, featuring artwork inspired by the area’s magnificent listed buildings.
I was invited to pop along soon after the major refurbishment to review the exciting new look restaurant and its delicious food. So I went along with my husband on a cold Friday night.
Stepping inside the restaurant, my husband and I were impressed to find it cosy, warm and classy. The very warm welcome from the attentive staff as soon as we entered the restaurant was a nice touch. Jaime Garcia, the Manager, showed us around the restaurant, he showed us the lovely artworks featuring famous Dulwich places – including Dulwich College and Dulwich Picture Gallery.
Jaime took us to the seating upstairs (the upstairs dining area was previously a storage space), and we were seated next to the beautiful old fireplace. The fireplace certainly is a focal point in the room, it adds some comfort and character to the restaurant. Jaime pointed out that the fireplace is just a feature and not in use, and that PizzaExpress Dulwich was a former house, hence the period features.
While we were deciding what to order, Jaime introduced us to Servet, a staff member who has been working at PizzaExpress Dulwich since 1997. Servet (described as being part of the furniture), lives local in East Dulwich, and was kind enough to talk about his working experience at PizzaExpress. “The locals know you and everyone is nice. PizzaExpress Dulwich is a family restaurant and we provide a friendly feel to all. Staff members are treated nice, we’re like family. And the food is always fresh and we offer a good variety. I love working here.”
We started our evening visit in the best way with servings of olives. They were the perfect appetisers as they were not too filling that you might struggle to find room for starters.
For starters we ordered garlic bread with cheese to share. The garlic bread was by far one of the best we’ve ever had. It was warm, tasty and the cheese was melting in your mouth – you can’t help but eat the whole thing.
We ordered Pollo Forza and Pollo Pesto for mains, washed down with raspberry lemonade. The Pollo Forza pizza was hot and spicy and the Pollo Pesto pasta was nice and creamy. Both were delicious, but we couldn’t finish off our food as we were too full, so the lovely waitress put our food in a takeaway box.
Jaime and his team stopped by our table for a friendly chat in between courses, the teams passion for the restaurant and Dulwich in general was clear to see.
What was most impressive, beyond the food was the friendly service we received. PizzaExpress Dulwich is not like most PizzaExpress chains I’ve visited in the past. What makes it so unique is its cosy atmosphere, beautiful decor and the family-like feel amongst staff members.
It was a delight to visit PizzaExpress and I can’t wait to visit the restaurant again soon.