Halal Status: Halal
Despite saying this so many times already, I really love pasta. I can easily pop into an Italian restaurant in London and order a seafood or vegetarian-based pasta dish. But it’s not as easy to satisfy a craving for a hearty meat-based pasta dish as majority of Italian restaurants are not halal. That’s why I’m quite keen on trying out Broccoli Pizza & Pasta after seeing a couple of Instagram posts.
Located at a small street tucked away in Covent Garden that’s leading to the Strand, Broccoli Pizza & Pasta is a takeaway shop for pizzas and pastas. Comparing to its neighbour, the Milk Train, the place looks rather small and run-down. But we should never judge a book by its cover, right?
Broccoli Pizza & Pasta is actually a widespread chain across the Middle East. They are mainly spread across the UAE (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah) and Saudi Arabia. There are also branches in Oman and Bahrain. As for UK, there’s apparently one in London, whereas the other two locations are Nottingham and Manchester.
We walked in, ordered our food and headed downstairs for the basement sitting area. The basement area is rather tiny. There are stool tables against the wall and then one large table plus a small one all crammed into this tiny area. It has a nice vibe to it though. Dimmed colour lights plus nice music playing in the background (it was some great Justin Timberlake hits!) – only if they are more spacious, it could’ve been a really nice setting.
The Lasagna is one of the very first item that really caught my attention on social media. Since pasta is my soft spot, I immediately bookmarked this place. I actually have been to this place once before being invited for this review. I tried the lasagna and on this second visit, we also ordered the lasagna. So here’s the verdict from my two visits.
On this visit, the Lasagna is nicely presented over a wooden board and served with garlic bread on the side. The other time I went I wasn’t being served with the extra garlic bread so I’m not a hundred percent sure whether it’s included or a mere one-off treatment.
The first time I had it, I quite enjoyed it. A few criticism here and there but in overall a delicious and hearty dish. Saucy and loaded with cheese, it leaves you with a very comforting sensation. What I liked about it is its portion. So often at restaurants when you order lasagna, it comes in a small single portion. Seeing a big dish like this makes it incredibly satisfying.
As for the second visit, the lasagna in overall was okay. The flavours were still nice and hearty. However, I ought to criticise that it’s overlayered and lacked a bit of meat this time round. Towards the centre of the lasagna, it pretty much felt like eating mere lasagna sheets rather than an actual meaty lasagne.
Meat Lovers Pizza
Their name has both pasta and pizza – we tried the pasta and so we also ordered a pizza. The other half get to pick this and he picked this Meat Lovers pizza.
Again the pizza is nicely presented over a wooden board. The toppings include sausages, beef stripes, salami. Visually it looks great, however it was a bit of a let down in terms of taste. I personally do not like adding lots of meats on my pizza. Less is more and simplicity is best. But my other half had his eyes all lit up when he saw all meats are halal and went for the Meat Lovers one before I could object.
Unfortunately the flavours were rather bland. Even after adding chilli flakes and pepper, the flavours were still underwhelming. Our major issue with the pizza is the quality of meat toppings. We find the meat not very fresh and lacked flavours. The sausage was tasteless and rubbery, which just wasn’t ideal. The texture of the pizza dough was rather unimpressive too. I personally prefer a sourdough pizza that’s crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. However I find this rather tough and dry to eat.
I really hate to leave unsatisfied reviews so I’m shedding some positive light here. There was another table next to us who ordered pizza as well – a classic cheese magherita pizza. That pizza looked quite lush and enjoyable. In addition, there are all these other bloggers and Instagrammers publishing alluring pictures of them, it could be mere bad luck on my side (or blame it on the other half for going for the meat option).
To sum it up, I must say I am rather torn about the review. I see potential on their pasta dishes – the flavours are there and they’re hearty and enjoyable. What’s lacking is a touch of finesse. Nevertheless, this place is ideal for a quick pasta fix (only for a quick one though because there isn’t any space for a proper comfortable meal). They do free delivery as well so if you live nearby, here’s an option for you. As for the pizza, that’s unfortunately a no from us. If you have been, what are your thoughts?
My Rating: 3/5
Address: 49 Bedford St, London WC2E 9HA
Closest Tube Station: Covent Garden