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“I'll be generous and call it 'really average'” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Zizzi - The Strand

Zizzi - The Strand
Ranked #2,037 of 22,204 Restaurants in London
Price range: US$12 - US$31
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Kids, Child-friendly, Groups
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, After-hours, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Neighbourhood: Covent Garden
Description: At Zizzi we like to do things a little differently. We don’t do over-complicated recipes or scrimpy portion sizes. We’re all about the well-chosen ingredients, simply put together to make exceptional Italian food. Only a hop, skip and a jump from London’s Charing Cross station our restaurant on the Strand lies right in the middle of all the theatrical action. With all the showbiz buzz happening around us, we made sure to keep it going inside the restaurant with top hat pendants and theatre strip lighting lining the walls. *We’re sorry to say that we currently have no disabled access facilities while the building is undergoing structural works. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.*
Brentwood, Essex
Level Contributor
264 reviews
101 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
“I'll be generous and call it 'really average'”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2014

We often find ourselves on the Strand wanting an evening meal before seeing a show and have in the past stuck to two or three restaurants that we like but last night I thought we should try somewhere new and went to Zizzi's. Although the entrance is at street level the restaurant itself is in the basement so one goes down a flight of stairs. I have no idea if there is a lift for the disabled, as I'm able bodied I didn't look but if you have mobility problems this is something to check before selecting this venue. Once downstairs you find yourself in a large restaurant and on the night we visited it was very busy. However, although we hadn't booked they found a table for us immediately but said there would be a bit of a wait for the food. The tables are fairly closely packed so it's not suitable for those who want an intimate romantic meal or just like a little privacy. The venue is functional but fairly featureless.
Zizzi's is a chain restaurant offering Italian style food at a reasonable cost, I suspect the central London location and the modest prices are the reasons it was crowded rather than because it offers a great dining experience, however, if all you want is a bite to eat that doesn't break the bank then this fits the bill well enough.
Our waiter was pleasant and our main course did not take too long to arrive. I was a bit disappointed in my pizza, I can't remember its exact name but it said the pizza base had been stretched to provide more room for the toppings - this resulted in a thin but very tough base. Despite having a reasonable knife I found it quite tiring trying to chop it up into manageable sized pieces. My friend also chose a pizza on this stretched base and eventually gave up trying to cut through it as being just too exhausting. Take care to read all the words on the menu carefully or you might be in for a surprise. My friend was shocked to find that although her pizza base was lukewarm the toppings were stone cold. She mentioned this to the waiter who told her it was meant to be like that but did warm it up for her very quickly. On closer inspection of the menu one could guess that the toppings were going to be raw - they call it 'fresh' , however, I expect most people do not read the descriptions completely they just look out for the pizza toppings they like. Words like 'fresh' are so over-used by the food industry that most people ignore the hype, after all one expects food will be fresh. The two other members of our party had pasta dishes which were described as satisfactory but perhaps a little on the small sized for an adult male.
We then ordered desert. It was at this point I felt that Zizzi's had achieved something impossible - I did not think it possible to make nasty mint choc chip ice cream but they managed it. I am usually a fan of mint choc chip ice cream and this came as such a disappointment; the minty part wasn't too bad but the choc chips were horrendously bitter - luckily I had a scoop of ice cream in a different flavour to take the taste away. Perhaps some people might like the contrast between sweet and very bitter but it's not for me, so if you like traditional mint choc chip take care with this one. My husband had quite a wait for his desert, we think it had been forgotten, we eventually asked the waiter to chase it up then it arrived quite promptly - he had a chocolate melt which was fine.
Overall, although there is nothing really wrong with this restaurant it has little to commend it. There are plenty of other places in the same area with similar prices, I doubt that I shall return.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank flutefairy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
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English first
UK
Level Contributor
41 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Poor service”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2014 via mobile

I went here with my mum on a pre-theatre. We were squeezed in next to another couple, we had to move the table to get in and out of my table. The service was poor and the waitress took my mums main course plate as she was still chewing the last piece. Never again!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank ChloeUK19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
83 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Very Enjoyable Pre-Theatre Meal”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2014

May be a chain restaurant and the local Zizi's to us is good and recommended so tried the one in The strand again, (went sometime back). We were not disappointed. Table had been pre-booked but was in a noisy location, no problem we were moved elsewhere. Attentive Staff. Meal was enjoyable, four of us had two ravioli with goats cheese, a pizza and a spaghetti dish, three desserts. At no time were we kept waiting which was good as we had theatre tickets for the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane (7.30 pm start) so no worries as to being late. Would definitely go there again if in need of a restaurant in the same vicinity. Recommended. Fast service but not fast food.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank cyon17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
192 reviews
140 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Chain restaurant surprisingly good”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2014

I am not a big fan of chain/franchised restaurants when it comes to have a very nice lunch/dinner.
I went to this restaurant twice, Aug 2013 and Jan 2014, and I have to say that it is quite good, even better that a lot of Italian restaurants I have tried in my life.

Both times I ordered the carbonara pasta. I prefer carbonara with long pasta, and they had no problem changing the rigatoni for linguine. I tend to ask restaurant to change something about the dish, and quite often waiters say they do not know if it can be changed, or the chef comes back staying he/she can't. Even pasta styles... So I appreciated they did it without any fuss, twice. I liked the sauce.

I would recommend this restaurant for a pre-theater night, or to go with girlfriends. It is not the most romantic place in London, so for romantic dinner I would skip it.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Bett76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MALTA
Level Contributor
96 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Good food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2014

The restaurant is Italian in style and character and is quite cosy. Most people seemed to be having a pizza when I visited on a Saturday evening. The pizza looked lovely and very inviting but I settled for a risotto. The portion was not very large but it was very good. I had a pint of beer, an apple crumble with ice cream and a double expresso. The bill came to about £25. Somewhat pricey maybe but overall I was very satisfied.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank FarrellMLT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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