Pizza. One of the few words that can penetrate the language barrier. No matter what part of world you’re in, pizza is universal and while each country might have a different process for baking their pies, the end result is the same: warm, happy, cheesy (or not) goodness. Hailing from the UK, with over 20 locations all across the region, PizzaExpress has long been at the forefront of serving hand-crafted pies from skilled pizzaiolos using only the freshest ingredients. Not just catering to meat-lovers, this music-loving, community-oriented pizzeria has a lengthy dedicated vegetarian menu that also provides vegan-friendly fares and wheat-free options. Today, we got to try an incredible assortment of vegetable-forward, gluten-free magic. Below we share our highlights!
Dedicated Gluten-Free Pizza Menu
Making our way over to one of their newest locations, PizzaExpress Empire Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui East, the heavenly scent of fresh herbs with a light whiff of truffles is so all-encompassing that we’re practically salivating by the time we arrive at our tables. Turns out the kitchen was preparing their Gluten-Free Trifolata just for us. Using simple ingredients like wild mushrooms, truffle oil, and rosemary on gluten-free dough, this is pizza perfection. Thin, fresh, and piping hot with a crispy bite, I discover that I’ve completely inhaled my slices while my lunch companions are still happily munching away- it’s that good. For those with a gluten intolerance, we do want to highlight that in two of their locations, K11 Art Mall in Tsim Sha Tsui and Times Square in Causeway Bay, PizzaExpress offers a dedicated Gluten-Free Pizza Menu and have even changed all of the flour used in the kitchen to gluten-free rice flour. There are a variety of choices spanning from a classic Margherita to the American with pepperoni and my personal fave, La Reine with French ham. At the moment, you’ll only find these special gluten-free options at those two locations.
For Vegetarians: Pizza Express x Beyond Meat
For vegetarian gourmands looking to shake things up from the monotony of the same veggie options, look no further. PizzaExpress has teamed up with Green Common to unveil two distinct, quirky vegetarian pizzas featuring Beyond Meat products (you might recall their amazing plant-based burger patty that looks, cooks, and taste like fresh beef earlier this year). In a cook-off campaign taking place until the end of July, two chefs (and dedicated moms!) took to the stage last week to showcase their baking prowess and creative culinary imaginations – chefs Sophia Cheng and Christine Cheung went head to head in a battle of epic proportions: who can create the ultimate scrumptious vegetarian pizza pie?
The round one winner went to Chef Sophia with her Beyond Chicken and Kale Pesto Pizza. A Product Development Manager for PizzaExpress for over fifteen years, the mom of two decided to reinvigorate a traditional Romana-base pizza by blending kale and walnuts with olive oil and parmesan cheese in lieu of traditional pesto. Topped with a medley of garden-grown vegetables, ricotta, walnuts and pieces of rosemary and garlic oil-marinated Beyond Chicken, the result was a refreshingly rectangular creamy and nutty culinary concoction.
Chef Christine went the Neapolitan route and whipped up an equally spectacular vegetarian vision. Marinating Beyond Burger beef chunks with kaffir lime and curry powder, the Culinary Consultant for Green Monday used beetroot as the sauce base and piled on figs, buffalo mozzarella, and ricotta for big, bold striking flavors in this visually stunning pie.
For a limited time only, customers can go to PizzaExpress Restaurants located at Empire Centre, Wing Fung Street, Wellington Street, Mira Place and Airport to taste and cast your votes for your favorite Beyond Meat pizza. The winner will be announced at the end of July.
Once these two mouthwatering morsels goes kaput, conscious carnivores can still get their Beyond Meat fill with PizzaExpress’ Beyond Sloppy Giuseppe. Made with Beyond Burger beef crumble, fresh veggies and smokey BBQ spices, this handsome pie screams healthier-loving goodness and is everything but sloppy- not to mention it’s always on the menu.
Photo courtesy of Green Queen and PizzaExpress.