PIZZA EXPRESS is one of the more recent additions to The Lexicon.

When it invited The News to try out the chain’s latest branch, I was delighted to do so, although a little sceptical, writes Daniel Blackham. 

In a world of more than 440 Pizza Express, what can be so different about this one? I thought, as a man who has been to quite a few in my time. 

Upon arrival I was offered one immediate answer in the form of an outdoor area which provided was a nice alternative seating option. With sturdy heaters and a roof, pizza loving Bracknelites can dine alfresco deep into the winter months. 

On arrival we were greeted by waitress Ellie who then introduced us to Francesco, the manager. 

Francesco is from Sicily and seemed to knows his way around Italian food.

As he walked us over to a booth which was decorated with a an ambience providing tangle of olive vines, Francesco recommended us a few options

Having not eaten since mid morning, I was quite hungry when it came to our 7.30pm booking, and went ahead and ordered the dough balls.

They were, as one comes to expect from Pizza Express, perfect as usual. Ellie returned to our table to make sure everything was going well for us. 

Francesco suggested a Campana for me, a ‘special’ pizza with crumbled pork and fennel sausage, friarielli, tomato, garlic oil and mozzarella, finished with Gran Milano cheese and parsley.

I added chicken to the pizza, because I really like chicken, which only served to boost the already indulgent dish. 

For my partner, a Pollo Pesto, chicken, closed cup mushroom, red onion, mozzarella, Gran Milano cheese and pennette pasta arrived in a in a béchamel and pesto sauce.

Our food was exquisite and did not take long at all to arrive on our table.

Another staple of the Pizza Express experience is the customer can watch the chefs fling dough and fire up stone ovens, assuaging any fears that its a reheat job.

After our main meal Francesco sat with us to discuss the opening of the branch, his nine-year stint at Pizza Express and his walk-in policy. 

Our desserts, chocolate fudge cake and salted caramel ice cream, were both fine, if a little rich. 

I would definitely go again, and the location next to Cineworld ensures it will cap off a lovely night out.