For those who don’t know, UK pizza and pasta chain Zizzi have launched a vegan menu in all of their UK stores. The exciting thing about this is the fact that Zizzi have always offered dairy free cheese-less pizzas and pastas but now; they are offering vegan cheese and gelato too!
This is great for vegan people due to the fact we can access vegan cheese pizza more easily on the highstreet but I also think that it shows a huge step forward in the recognition of the rapid growth in the popularity of the vegan lifestyle. Veganism is much more mainstream than it was, the acceptance and normalisation of a vegan diet and ethics are more widespread than ever. Could it be that the UK are finally catching up with our cousins across the pond?
I HAD to try these pizzas, and headed on down to one of the local Manchester branches ;Spinningfields. I went for a gluten free crust as I like to sample them to compare quality; opting for Artichoke, Mushrooms, Green Chilli and Caramelised balsamic onions on my pizza. At 80p per topping I did find the prices steep but no different to other Italian chains. The pizza was amazing, the cheese was Mozzarisella which is a rice milk cheese, I have already had it on pizza at home after buying it in V Revolution and I love its mild creamy taste. The toppings were nice together but the star of the show had to be the caramelised onions which were out of this world and unusual as a pizza topping. The base was also spot on, thin crispy and stretchy with no strange taste. I also sampled the garlic bread which was lovely and rich. We ordered some sides to share steamed tenderstem brocolli and beetroot naked slaw and it was nice that they provided a fresh accompaniment to the rich creamy pizzas. Afterwards we went to Sinclairs Oyster bar; after breaking the bank on pizza it felt sensible to go somewhere less expensive for drinks; vegan ales and cider on tap.
The vegan menu also offered desserts, comments from the group reflected on the fact a simple chocolate dessert offering would be welcomed (such as a fudge brownie, torte, mousse or even a cookie dessert) as all the desserts were quite fruity. However coconut gelato was an offering; a nice alternative to the common option of sorbet. I liked the fact that the menu mentioned availability of a wide range of vegan wines. Many places with ‘allergen’ menus which lump vegetarianism and veganism together with ‘special diets’ and bother too highly on cross contamination simply don’t offer the understanding and assurance that this menu did; the vegan wine mention highlighted this.
All in all my opinion is that the experience was spot on. I can only hope other chain places follow suit and create vegan options rather than offering us the veggie options with ‘modifications’ like many do. (When some of the dish is missing and the price is the same I feel conned if no substitutions are made, Sorry Las Iguanas etc!) Maybe an American style pizza place will follow suit so myself and my fellow vegans can enjoy deep based pan pizzas with toppings such as pineapple; as well as delicious thin crust Italian pizzas like those at Zizzi. (I am looking at you Pizza Hut; Take note- this would get you more publicity than changing your sign to ‘Pasta Hut’ for a year, or even putting burgers, hotdogs and various other meals in your crusts! I recommend ‘follow your heart’ for a stretchy style cheese like the stuff you pile on!)
Hope you enjoyed the review! Keep reading, Kite fans