Branches of Zizzi can be found all over the UK and it’s great to see a chain restaurant making the effort to cater to vegans. They now have a specific vegan menu which you can ask for on arrival and although having a basic pasta with tomato sauce is a tad uninspiring (even though you can add extra veg to it) it’s when you get to the pizzas that the real excitement starts.
Zizzi use a vegan cheese made from rice milk called Mozzarisella which I really like. It’s gooey and melty and really adds to the pizza experience. You can of course ask for veggie pizzas without cheese as Zizzi’s standard pizza bases are vegan already.
We went for the vegan garlic bread (they also do a bruschetta) and when it came it was enormous! Laid out on a big slab, you could really see the cloves of roasted garlic and sprigs of rosemary which made it extremely appetising. It was very tasty and perfect for sharing around. All their vegan dishes come with a little ‘vegan’ sticker on the side, which is a reassuring measure to eliminate confusion.
We ordered a basic pizza with different ‘create your own’ toppings. You can choose from: artichokes; butternut squash; caramelised balsamic onions; roasted garlic cloves; fire roasted red peppers; field mushrooms; black olives; green chillies; balsamic tomatoes; roasted red onions; spinach.
(A more limited version of this list is what’s available to pop into your pasta.) I went for caramelised balsamic onions and mushrooms. The onions had quite a strong flavour and added a certain zing. My companion went for peppers, mushrooms and artichoke. The variety of toppings makes for (almost) endless combinations.
After the huge garlic bread and the pizza, we were too full to manage dessert on this occasion. Yes, that’s right, they have vegan dessert! Not only one, but a choice of three. OK, two of them are sorbet (lemon or strawberry), but one isn’t!
The third option is a coconut and mango swirl gelato and I tried this on another visit to Zizzi.
(The picture isn’t so great, but it gives you an idea…) I must say I was impressed with the taste. I love a bit of coconut and this was as satisfying as any gelato, vegan or otherwise, that I’ve had. It was the perfect cooling experience after I’d added a bit of chilli oil to my pizza!
I find it enormously encouraging that more and more chain restaurants like Zizzi are recognising the importance of catering for everyone. It’s getting easier and easier to eat out as a vegan and surely we’re entering some kind of ‘golden age.’ It’s never been more convenient to be a vegan, so if you have someone in your life who’s interested in this cruelty-free lifestyle, send them to this website. Now you can add Zizzi to your ‘stress free places to dine’ list! Hurray!