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Testers Keepers: Pizza Express review by Phoebe Batterson-Brown

Posted on 08 May 2019

My partner and I went to the Kew Gardens Pizza Express on Good Friday and were looking forward to it after a lovely day in the sun.

We are huge fans of Pizza Express and go regularly, so were expecting the usual great food and service.

I am shocked and disappointed to say that this was hands down the worst experience I have had, not just at a Pizza Express, but at any restaurant I have been to.

We arrived at about 5.50pm to a pretty busy restaurant. We waited for someone to come and seat us for a few minutes - we noticed that several members of staff saw us but ignored us.

No one was attentive and we felt like we would have made everyone’s life easier if we had just left!

We were finally seated upstairs and we then had to wait 25 minutes to order. Our waitress was pleasant enough but seemed disinterested and vacant.

She forgot our tap water we asked for with our other drinks, which we then had to ask another member of staff to bring as it was taking so long.

Finally, after 35 minutes our pizzas were brought over, which was a surprise as we had ordered a Burrata to share as a starter which they had forgotten. They apologised and said they would bring it as soon as possible, but I noticed that I didn’t have the extra mozzarella on my pizza which I had asked for, so they had to take it back to add it. My partner was left eating his pizza alone.

The Burrata came, which was lovely, but by this point we were pretty frustrated by all the mistakes. This makes me hugely nervous because I have a nut allergy, which I always inform staff of, but if they can’t take down tap water and extra mozzarella properly, and forget starters, are they taking note of a serious allergy?

The food that we had, we were happy with, but we started talking to the family on the table next to us who were on holiday from Australia, and they asked ‘is it usually this bad here?’ as the staff had also forgotten their starters after leaving them waiting an hour and 15 minutes for them.

The children’s pizzas were cold and looked completely unappetising. I told them that this is not what Pizza Express is usually like, and that I was embarrassed they had had this experience. I think it’s a great place to take children usually, but this was terrible.
We then ordered deserts - I had the Eton mess, but they said they were out of vanilla ice-cream, so I had it with strawberry.

I wasn’t too bothered, but to not have a staple ice-cream like vanilla on a bank holiday weekend is to be just ridiculous.

The food itself was good, it was just the mistakes and the horrendously long waiting times which made it so frustrating. There was also a table behind us (photo attached) that wasn’t cleaned at all for around an hour and a half after people left, and was still there when we left.

The downstairs was busy but in the upstairs there were only about six full tables at a time. The restaurant seemed completely understaffed, and the staff that were there were vacant, inattentive and disengaged.

It’s not the experience I am used to from Pizza Express. Nobody there seemed happy with their experience.

We had the starter and my pizza taken off the bill, and the family next to us had all their food removed from the bill, which was something, but we would have all preferred to have had the right food at the right time.

I will still be recommending Pizza Express to people, as it’s an old favourite of mine, but I have to say I feel that the standards have slipped, and they need to readdress this.

Staff need to be friendly and attentive, and the food can’t be mixed up and forgotten like it was. It’s safe to say I will not be returning to the Kew Gardens Pizza Express any time soon!


My very unimpressed partner after the lack of starter and my pizza being taken away as itwas wrong, as he sat eating alone!


The uncleaned table



Eton mess with strawberry ice cream