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Zizzi at The Hub

It could be very easy to dismiss this Zizzi as just another chain restaurant serving up the same dishes and atmosphere as every other Zizzi up and down the country, but that would be a mistake. Zizzi in The Hub offers a certain European feel to it, set just off the main piazza with fountains running in the background. Yes, we did visit on a lovely summer’s evening, which helped but to be able to eat outside and then let our son play and run around with other children in a safe atmosphere did go a long way to help us relax.

The restaurant’s style is large and open; from most tables you can see the huge brick-built pizza oven being put through its paces by the team of chefs. Large windows on three sides give a bright feel and the front windows open up completely letting the atmosphere from the piazza spill into the restaurant.

The menu is large and varied; we got stuck into the main menu while our son chose from the Bambini Menu and was kept happy with very trendy twistable Crayola crayons and an activity sheet. The Bambini Menu is also varied and is good value at £6.75 for three courses.

We chose to go  for a sharing platter which was the Zizzi Antipasti which was tasty and large (always good when sharing) and included plenty of dough sticks, Italian meats, fresh Mozzarella , slow roasted tomatoes and olives. Our son enjoyed his own starter of dough sticks with cucumber and carrot batons, but that didn’t stop him tucking into ours as well.

For mains we were spoilt for choice with my partner going for the new ‘Spiedini Pescatore’, a Mediterranean hanging skewer of roasted fish, marinated in olive oil and herbs and served over Tuscan potatoes with a white wine and lemon sauce (there is also a chicken version available). I was in the mood for pasta but couldn’t decide, so our server recommended the King Prawn Linguine, which was amazing. The sauce was really tasty and we discovered that it is made using Lobster Bisque  which helped to give a really rich flavour. Our son also opted for pasta going for Spagetti Bolognese but he could have created his very own pizza.

For dessert there was only one choice once we spotted the specials board. ‘Dolce Pizza’, a sweet pizza with hazelnut chocolate sauce, marshmallows and fresh strawberries. It was a revelation. The pizza base is drizzled with a special blend of olive oil then sprinkled with demerara sugar. It’s then baked with the marshmallows on top until they’re soft and squidgy, and then they add the other toppings. Simply divine.

On the kids menu, the chocolate and vanilla ice cream with popping candy sprinkles went down a treat, and then he got his very own Chocacino to finish – also included in the menu.

We were really impressed with Zizzi, a great menu offer, lively atmosphere and even better they were great with kids. I think the restaurant would be equally good for a romantic alfresco meal for two or a larger group celebration meal. We’re pretty sure they could cater for everything. Forget what you think about chain restaurants and give them a try, you might just be pleasantly surprised.

Disabled facilities:
Restaurant is all on one level for easy access.

Parking:
Daytime parking can be difficult and costly (pay and display) although you can park in the Sainsbury's car park for 3 hours which is a short walk away. Evenings, after 6.00pm, there is plenty of parking available and it is free.

Other amenities:
Al fresco dining area at the front of the restaurant.