A meal at Zizzi in The West End

Zizzi, the Italian menu based chain restaurant, seems to be expanding fairly fast. So fast infact that their rather poor website hasn’t had chance to add their latest offering in Edinburgh’s West End to the list of Zizzi restaurants in Edinburgh: only the restaurants at Ocean Terminal and Edinburgh Quay are currently listed. Anyhow this Zizzi has been recently opened and takes the building that was formerly a cheap pub with a pool table (I can’t remember the pubs name) on Queensferry St. Thankfully Zizzi looks rather nicer now and boasts a nice light exterior and well placed dark wood tables inside.

Interior of Zizzi, West End, Edinburgh (including pizza oven)
Exterior of Zizzi in Edinburgh's West End (1) Exterior of Zizzi in Edinburgh's West End (2) Typical dining table at Zizzi in Edinburgh's West End Zizzi in Edinburgh's West End

On a positive note the Zizzi website does have an online menu, although it is stored as images and not the simpler, more accessible text.

There were four of us eating and we had no trouble getting a table; about 2.30pm on Sunday the restaurant wasn’t at all busy. The menu is simple and contains pizzas, pasta and four al forno dishes, including the obligatory lasagne. The only beer Zizzi serve is bottled Peroni - it would have been nice to have a larger selection or perhaps this lager on draft. It looks like every Zizzi restaurant has exactly the same menu though, whether you be in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Nottingham or London. One of our party ordered a glass of Chardonnay but was disappointed to find it served rather warm. This was sent back and replaced with a slightly colder glass, but it still wasn’t chilled to the expected temperature. Perhaps this was a bottle just put in the fridge, but you would expect restaurants to serve this properly chilled.

Anyhow for starter we shared two garlic mozzarella pizza breads with caramelised balsamic onions (¬£3.75 each). It’s good to see the chefs working away, as Zizzi’s open layout permits, and Zizzi’s huge oven is on full display to diners, which is a great feature. We also had marinated Olives (¬£1.95). The pizza bread was a large portion size and was good, especially the parts smothered in cheese and containing the delicious onions. It was a little dry though in parts where there was no topping. Still this pizza bread is a good choice for sharing in a group, and the olives were decent too.

Garlic Mozzarella Pizza bread with caramelised balsamic onions at Zizzi in Edinburgh's West End

For main course I and a friend chose Ravioli. Mine was ‘Ravioli con Pollo Perperenata’ i.e. Filled with chicken and roast peppers in a spicy tomato and cream sauce. My friends was ‘Ravioli Funghi di Bosco’ i.e. Filled with wild mushrooms and ricotto, with tarragon and rocket. Both of these dishes costs ¬£8.25 and provided a large serving of very decent ravioli. My tomato and cream sauce was worth a particularly complementary mension. My other two friends opted for pizza and pasta, where Zizzi will (between two persons) serve half the pizza and half the pasta to each person. The portion size was again huge. I think Zizzi have a decent reputation for their pizzas and these did not disappoint. The ‘Pizza Sofia’ contained chicken and pepperoni: it was extremely good, and one of the better pizzas I have tasted in Edinburgh. Pasta dishes are around the ¬£7/¬£8 mark and pizzas between ¬£6 and ¬£8.

Pizza and Pasta at Zizzi in Edinburgh's West End

Ravioli con Polla Peperanata at Zizzi in Edinburgh's West End Ravioli Funghi di Bosco  at Zizzi in Edinburgh's West End

With very little space left for food, but with the thought of work on Monday morning, there was no option but to go for desert. The tiramisu at £3.75 was very decent as was the Torta Limone at £3.95. After three courses I was so full, there would be no need for any further meal until morning!

Tiramisu at Zizzi in Edinburgh's West End Chocolate tart at Zizzi in Edinburgh's West End

Zizzi is not a groundbreaking Italian restaurant nor that original in anyway. However it’s pleasant enough and offers decent value for large portion sizes and decent food. It does what it does very well. The service we had was decent, although I would like to see the wine more chilled and a larger selection of bottled beer. I can see Zizzi doing a lot of trade with groups of friends and work colleagues before or during a drinks night out. Of course you may be 100% against such ‘chain restaurants’, in which case you probably won’t be paying Zizzi a visit anytime soon. With Bar Roma just down the road though, the Queensferry St area is becoming a competitive market for Italian restaurants and Zizzi is one not to rule out. If just wanting pizza another chain, Pizza Express, has a restaurant just a little further down the road - but I don’t think you’d be disappointed by a pizza at Zizzi.

2 Responses to “A meal at Zizzi in The West End”

  1. I’ve eaten at the Zizzi in Edinburgh’s West End and the one behind Cargo. It’s decent food for the price. I think definately pizza’s are their best offering. I’d go back for sure.

  2. Hi,
    I’d just like to thank you for the comments you made about our restaurant. Very glad you enjoyed the meal, it’s nice to get a positive review within a few weeks of opening. I’d also like to apologise for the warm Chardonnay. We were having a few “teething problems” with the fridges which have now been replaced.

    For your information, we have stopped doing Half & Half at this branch of Zizzi. We will happily supply you with side plates and slice the pizza on request though!

    We look forward to your continued custom at this and our other branches at Edinburgh Quay and Ocean Terminal.

    Regards,
    Mark Hardie
    Asst. Manager, Zizzi Edinburgh West End

    PS The name of the previous bar was The Granary.

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