Pizza Express Midsummer Arcade reopened earlier this month after a Bletchley Park inspired makeover. Want a peek? Read on…
Did you notice that our Pizza Express restaurant in the centre:mk was shrouded in boarding and hidden from sight last month? I actually walked past and thought it was closed permanently. Not too shocking as we do have our fair share of Pizza Express’ to choose from in Milton Keynes but then a press released dropped into my mail box announcing a refurb and suddenly mid-shopping dough balls were back on the menu again.
Who would have thought a major chain like Pizza Express would care about personalising their restaurants into their local surroundings? I think it’s awfully sweet. Bletchley Park, home of the code breakers is an important part of our local area’s history.
Throughout the restaurant is nods to the home of where Britain cracked the code in WW2. Wall art depicting jumbled up coded messages, enigma parts, morse code oh, and a few quirky signs to nowhere? (see below).
The stairway to upstairs is really, really nice with a long drop pendant lighting.
The lighting throughout the restaurant is soft and has a lovely glow. Even though I visited at midday it could have been any time outside which was cute for a lazy, romantic lunch date with Mr LouBou.
So that’s the new look at the Pizza Express Midsummer Arcade. Quirky, Bletchley Park-esque and nice and fresh and new! Whether you would put two and two together unless you knew it was a Bletchley Park theme already I’m not sure, what do you think?
Anyhow, I know what you really came here to see. What I ate!
bottlegreen sparkling pressé was the drink of choice for me. I adore bottlegreen as it has zero artificial nasties inside and raspberry lemonade is one of my fave drinks!
For starters I ordered the Cod Crocchette which is a spring special on the menu.
The smoked cod with mozzarella and slight chilli kick was a nice starter on top of the rocket with anchovy mayonnaise. I would love to see this dish done with a non-smoked fish too.
Is it possible to eat a Pizza Express meal without Dough Balls? A friend mentioned the Doppio variety to me a month or so ago and I knew next time I visited they would be what I ordered.
A choice of dips and even more dough balls than a standard portion, so I don’t have to battle Mr LouBou for an even share of them, works for me!
My, my, my. Pesto dip, you are tasty. Especially with a pre-dunk into the garlic butter. I don’t think I will be able to eat dough balls without you now. I did not like the harissa tomato dip, maybe it’s more your thang but next to the pesto and garlic butter it was just the loser of the pack to me. However, the double dunk is where it’s at. Next time you’re eating dough balls, try it! You can thank me later…
For mains I ordered another spring special dish. This time Seafood Rigatoni.
Always a fan of seafood, I couldn’t resist trying this fishy pasta dish. Despite the description of a creamy pasta sauce, I didn’t have to worry about this sauce being too heavy or sickly. It was alright!
Mr LouBou ordered the very quirky sounding special pizza Zapparoli.
There is no tomato sauce on this pizza! Nuts, huh? (No, I’m not saying there’s nuts on it either…!).
The base is topped with creamed corn which makes the pizza quite sweet to the taste. Which is then balanced out with the spicy ‘nduja sausage and Roquito pearls. Try it! It’s definitely one for those who are looking for something different to sink their teeth into.
Onto dessert. Both Mr LouBou and I ordered regular (not seasonal specials) puds.
I ordered this beaut of a Chocolate Fondant. It said in the menu it was coming with mint on top but it came with strawberries. No problem with me as I would choose strawberry over mint all day, every day. It was perfectly lovely! I wish I could show you the insides. It was pure GOO, but the proper goo, none of that raw goo. I know it can be hard to think about pudding after a decent carb meal in the form of pizza or pasta but I am starting to think, doggy bag my main just so I can enjoy this with a cup of tea. YASSS!
Mr LouBou ordered the Tiramisu and of course, I taxed some. Soft sponge, mascarpone cream, coffee and cocoa. I am not a huge coffee lover but I can’t resist the softness of tiramisu. It should be illegal how creamy and soft it is.
Cups of tea to wash down all that cream and chocolate and then the meal was finished. I couldn’t have fit a single crumb of a dough ball or a tiny sip of a raspberry lemonade into my tummy. I was well and truly spent.
Before we left I had a peek upstairs to another floor of seating which I wasn’t even aware of before!
Unmistakably centre:mk-esque upstairs with the iconic windows on show and views out onto Midsummer Boulevard.
Thanks Pizza Express Midsummer Arcade for inviting me in. Mr LouBou and I had a lovely lunch date and enjoyed the nosy at your new decor. See you soon for more dough balls.