Saturday, 4 April 2009


This week it was my friends birthday, so we went over to Basingstoke to deliver her present and go out for a meal. The restaurant of choice was Zizzi's - a restaurant chain I've been to before but not this particular one.

I scanned the menu and found they did mussels as a starter so that was that choice sorted! I then took a look at the mains, and decided that I didn't like the look of any of the pizzas (I'm not a very big pizza fan). I've never had a risotto at a restaurant before, in fact, I've only ever had one risotto before which Ian's sister cooked. So I decided to give that a try - this particular one came with tiger prawns, calamari & salmon chunks.

The starters arrived - my mussels came without a bowl to put the shells in and with no finger bowl. This, in my opinion, is a major failure. The other problem with the mussels was that a lot of the shells were broken, which makes eating the sauce afterwards (which I have to point out was quite nice) a little risky as you're likely to swallow the shell. All of these things mean that some tasty mussels that would have received 7/10 actually got awarded 5/10. Another thing I should mention is that when I requested a finger bowl, the waitress brought me out a bowl of boiling water with lemons in, without pointing out to me that it was boiling - and when I put my fingers in and then went 'God that's bloody hot' she said she would return with some cold water - but never did!

Ian's starter was calamari - and this was nice, but the portion was exceedingly small. Because of this Ian is awarding it 3/10, and having seen the portion size - I have to agree! The other starter enjoyed by the group was something called 'Bruschetta al Pomodoro' - which my two friends were sharing. Now all four of us were expecting this to be hot - but it was literally just bread with some chopped tomatoes on top. I don't have scores from my friend but I'd have given it 5/10.

Next we come to the mains - my risotto was not good - the calamari was rubbery and the general rice flavour overpowered all the other flavours - I would have expected it to have been made with some sort of fish stock, but I couldn't taste any if it was - 6/10. Ian & the others all ordered their special 'rustica' pizzas - described as 'bigger, thinner & crispier'. Well, they were big, and thin, but I detected no crisp - in fact the piece of Ian's that I had was definitely soggy. The distribution of the tomato puree was a bit hit and miss, there was next to none in some places, and tonnes in others. Ian would have scored the pizza at 7/10, if it hadn't been for the fact that the restaurant was kind of a pizza restaurant! He expected much better and therefore gave it 5/10.

The best part of the meal (obviously apart from the company) was the Banana Con Cioccolata - Caramelised banana with toffee and chocolate sauce on a waffle served with ice cream. This was really good, the toffee sauce was very tastey - the dessert would have got a 8/10 if it hadn't been for the fact that this banana dessert only came with 4 small slices of banana - not even a whole banana! So, the marks had to be chopped to reflect this, giving it 6/10.

One other thing to note is that Ian ordered a 'lemonade' to drink, and in fact received a 'Sprite' which, as those of you who know Ian know, he quite likes, but he says it is wrong to serve someone a sprite when they have asked for a lemonade and I can't help but agree.

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