Jamie Tabberer

Pizza Express's new low-calorie Leggera range

"More topping, less bottom" (that's what she/he said)

So, a few weeks back we dropped by a local-to-GT-Towers North London branch of Pizza Express for a swift review. An absolute staple of the British eating scene, and long renowned for its high quality ingredients and reasonable prices (especially in comparison to its high street competitors and ESPECIALLY in comparison to its Kentish Town High Street competitors), we decided to try out its much-touted Leggera range. After all, Jodie Kidd can't stop banging on about it.

“All that flavour onto a pizza with just 500 calories amazes me!” - Jodie on the Padana Leggera

What the hell, while we're at it we'll share the thoughts of a few other vaguely more interesting celebrities on Pizza Express's wares:

“I’ve always loved the kick of an American Hot and now with only 500 calories, it’s the guilt free choice” - Patrick Kielty on the American Hot Leggera

“It's a classically Italian pizza; tastes like summer holidays in the Italian sunshine” - Sophie Ellis-Bexter (always a pleasure) on the Pomodoro Pesto Romana

“Tasty meatballs on a good thin and crispy Romana base – just like they spin in Italy” - Lawrence Dallaglio on the Meatball Bolognese Romana

(That last guy is the former England rugby captain, in case you didn't know, so we'd suggest rereading his words while imagining him saying them in a sexy Nigella voice, possibly to Ben Cohen.)

Leggera pizzas are lighter in calories *and* weight and fat than your average Pizza Express pizza. Which means, in theory, they've come up with the perfect working lunch; enough to satisfy and keep you going but little enough to avoid returning to the office in the throes of the dreaded carb-coma. To accompany the pizzas they've also added some low-calories wines to the menu (Pinot Bianco and Sangiovese), so the working day could, potentially, be made even easier. If you're that way inclined. Which we're not. Ahem. *Kicks over Ugly Betty branded Coca-Cola bottle living under desk* Hey, that's just Coke.

The most prominent feature of the pizzas in question are their absent centres. This won't be to everyone's taste, but we enjoyed the lovely, peppery rocket and ricotta salad with balsamic dressing that replaced it; the epitome of the light lunch. The pizza itself was crisp and tasty and the gorgeous toppings thankfully unspoiled by the handfuls of industrial, rubbery cheese found on 90% of pizzas out there. It'll likely be a lucrative idea of Pizza Express's; the saved space in your tummy means you feel all but obligated to have dessert. We had our dolcetti, i.e. our mini chocalate fudge cake (SO healthy) without a delicious Bailey's latte alongside it, as we were working, natch.

A lovely hour and a bit, topped off by our smiley waiter and the agreeable sight of the cute pizza boys kneading dough less than ten feet away. Go now.

187 Kentish Town Road
020 7267 0101

Words: Jake Basford and Jamie Tabberer

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