I recently found myself on a business trip to Manchester. I’d never visited the city before, and while there was a myriad of eateries to choose from I found myself sticking with chain restaurants. With a chain restaurant you know exactly what you’re getting, which is the safe option. It can also be pretty boring, always having the same old dishes.
After sheepishly asking for a table for one at Zizzi on King Street, the staff gave me a warm welcome and showed me to a quiet table, tucked away, which was nice as I didn’t feel too inconspicuous. The waitress came to take my drink order and I uttered the words that usually fill restaurant workers with fear; “Please could I see your allergy menu?”
Rather than fear, the waitress proudly produced the menu with a flourish! And after a brief glance I could see why. With my bizarre mix of allergies there are usually only one or two items on the menu that I can have. I was amazed by the choice on offer and decided to try some of the new offerings on the menu.
For my starter I ordered the dairy free garlic bread. I expected a couple of bits of ciabatta to nibble on whilst waiting for my main, but what appeared could only be described as a plank full of garlicky yumminess! My initial reaction was “how on earth am I going to eat that by myself?” The pizza dough bread was crisp, fluffy and delicious, drizzled with olive oil and topped with whole cloves of roasted garlic. Just writing this is making my mouth water!
Next up was the main, and again I was spoiled for choice; Pasta, grilled meats, even dairy free pizza (made with coconut oil dairy free cheese). I decided to stick to my usual – the spiedini pollo (without the white wine and lemon sauce, which isn’t Allergy Girl friendly). I love the spiedini pollo, and never feel like I’m simply making do with this dish.
By the time I worked my way through the huge skewer of grilled chicken, veg and herby potatoes, my tummy was bursting. However I wouldn’t let such a thing stop me from trying dessert. You see, dessert is a thing of mystery to me. It is rare that a restaurant offers an Allergy Girl friendly dessert. It’s even rarer if that dessert isn’t fruit salad or lemon sorbet. Of course, Zizzi does offer lemon sorbet, it wouldn’t be an Italian restaurant without it. They also had a strawberry sorbet, which was a nice alternative.
But my eye (and tummy) was drawn to the coconut and chocolate swirl gelato. The waiter convinced me that as the gelato/sorbet menu is mix and match that I shouldn’t limit myself to just one flavour, so I had two scoops of coconut and chocolate and one scoop of lemon. The lemon sorbet was sharp and refreshing, however I did find myself wishing I’d stuck to three scoops of the coconut and chocolate, which had just the right balance of flavour.
I’m already looking forward to the next time I can visit Zizzi and try more things from the allergy menu. Until then, dear reader, I leave you with this image. Garlic bread for one, done!