Pizza Express

6, Greenwich Church St, SE10

It’s a Pizza Express. There’s little more to say than that. If you know the chain, you’ll know the restaurant. Geared primarily to tourists, it does pretty well on the corner opposite St Alfeges Church. It’s your usual bright, modern, clattery-type restaurant with inset lighting, wooden floors and metal-backed chairs which does your usual range of not-bad pizzas and the odd pasta dish and salad (I rather like the nicoise.)

The Pizza Express restaurants were started back the 60s by Peter Boizot and they were really cutting-edge and fresh for the time. What he did really well was combine his love of pizza with his other big obsession – jazz. Jazz and pizza were synonymous with the chain – and it was extremely chic back in the 60s & 70s.

The logo survives in all its mid-century glory, at least. And right into the 90s the entire chain continued to have live jazz, but these days only the Dean St and Pizza on the Park really do much in the way of music – though the Maidstone branch still occasionally has acts. The Greenwich branch stopped doing regular music in the early 2000s – yet another sell-out for live music in the town. I haven’t been back since.

The only way I can be reasonably confident about the place is that apart from the odd special the menu never changes and the service tends to be similar. It may no longer be terribly exciting, but at least you know what you’re getting – and you can see it being prepared, for which, if you’ve read Kitchen Confidential, you may well be grateful. It always seems fairly full.

Anyone been recently who can tell me it’s changed in any way whatsoever?

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