Zizzi and the City

The only time my mum and I have visited Norwich is to either go shopping or to visit the theatre. Norwich is full of beautiful side streets with the most amazing buildings, a beautiful Cathedral and a variety of places to eat and drink.
It's one of those places we take for granted I think. We don't stop enough to look at the buildings, to appreciate the cobbled streets, and to walk away from the shops and instead look at what else there is to offer.

On Sunday we had a girly day together there. We were a bit naughty and didn't resist the urge to visit Debenhams and Primark, although coming away with a pair of earrings, a few essential lace vest tops (if you haven't seen them, get in there, have a look, and buy them. They are beautiful!) and bits for the boyswe forgave ourselves.

With the help of Google Maps we typed in Zizzi and walked from the main shopping centre to the restaurant. I felt a bit silly because although having visited Zizzi Norwich many times before, I didn't realise just how easy it was to walk there from the city without the aid of my husband.
Within 10 minutes we were stood outside, admiring the surrounding buildings and entrance to the Cathedral grounds.

Zizzi Norwich is based in Tombaland, a lovely area of Norwich with various bars and restaurants. These restaurants are set within beautiful dated buildings, rather than new modern builds, and the inside of the restaurants reflects the traditional setting.
I am a bit of a snobby one when it comes to keeping buildings looking pretty and taking care of them and there is no doubt that the surrounding businesses in this area take that seriously too.
It's so clean, tidy, and small details like window boxes make you forget that you are a short walk from a busy city centre.
Zizzi Norwich is full of beautiful characteristics. There is the most beautiful tiled floor (which you can see in one of the photos from our review of the Spring menu last year), a tree with fairy lights around it, beautiful wooden pastel chairs, a mix of wooden and steel tables. 
I love being able to watch the chefs at work and to see that they are passionately cooking your food fresh as you wait (Check out Hayley's post from October last year, she took some fabulous photos of the chefs at work)
We ordered a glass of Prosecco each, to celebrate and clink to my mums birthday, and had a look at the menu. Usually when I visit restaurants I don't take too much notice at the new items, and I think Zizzi is the only place where I actually search out the new additions straight away.

I'd already decided that the Polpette Gigante, a giant beef & pork meatball in a rich chilli pomodoro sauce, topped with melted smoky scamorza cheese, grated Grana Padano, roast chilli & fresh oregano, was a must try.
I wanted my mum to try it too so we ordered that to share, along with a Zizzi Antipasti, Prosciutto, speck, coppa, finocchiona, bufala mozzarella, slow roasted tomatoes, olives & dough sticks, which in my opinion should ordered by every table in the restaurant as a starter....it should be the law!
Well, as usual the antipasti didn't disappoint and the slow roasted tomatoes were definitely the highlight of the platter. They were so delicious and full of flavour, I don't think I have ever had tomatoes that tasted so amazing.
The meatball....oh the meatball. I have never ever EVER tasted a meatball so delicious, so full of flavour, or that I didn't want to ever come to the end of eating EVER. You know what they say about the Ikea meatballs tasting so good? Forget that, you need to try the Polpette Gigante...Ikea meatballs who?!
I have to admit, after having the first taste of the Polpette Gigante I was a bit disappointed to have to share it with my mum (sorry mum, I bet you felt the same though!).
I can't resist Zizzi's pizzas and seeing a new one on the menu was an instant win for me. I ordered the Rustica (which in my opinion is how all pizzas should be) Pulled Pork Napoli, Pulled pork on a white base of Fior di Latte mozzarella, & smoky scamorza cheese, pepperoni, crispy prosciutto, sunblush tomatoes, thyme & smoked garlic oil.
I mentioned before that the thought of not having a tomato base would maybe put me off or make me not order a pizza because I would assume there was something missing. However, the sunblush tomatoes make up for the lack of tomatoes in the base. And I think that also, having that missing from the base, brings out the flavours in all the other toppings too.
My mum really likes creamy chicken dishes, and so ordered the Casareccia Pollo Piccante, Spicy piccante chicken in a creamy sauce with fresh tomatoes & baby spinach. I must admit, it did look delicious and I wished I was in the mood for sharing so I could try some (due to a bad hangover I felt it would be the wrong decision to be trying a lot of different foods!).
The sauce looked beautiful, and had enough kick in the chicken to give the dish a lot of flavour. In fact, looking at the photo now makes me want to go back and try it!
I decided to resist the call from the Tiramisu and instead opted for the refreshing Lemon Sorbet. Oh it was beautiful and just melted on my tongue.
My mum opted for the Chocolate and Banana Calzone, sweet, warm dough filled with banana, chocolate sauce & mascarpone cream, with crema gelato & hot toffee sauce, which, in her words, messed with her mind. She wasn't sure of what to expect and when it arrived, and she cut it open she said she felt it looked like a meat pie. Which isn't a critisicm I hasten to add, but is true. As the melted chocolate oozes out amoungst the banana chunks it is easily mistaken for meat and gravy.
As someone who loves toffee and caramel, she couldn't have been any more excited by the small bowl of toffee sauce to drizzle over the calzone.

We finished our meal with a few glasses of water (me, and the offer of an Alka Seltzer from the manager...which I thought was super sweet!) and my mum went for a cappuccino. Look at how amazing the glasses are. When it comes to coffee I think it is still important for a restaurant to serve these in a "wow" way, rather than a standard heres-a-mug-of-coffee. If you want to steal the glasses, you know they've done something right (we didn't steal the glass).
As we finished our drinks and said thank you to the staff for a wonderful meal...which it was, delicious food, beautiful setting and amazing staff, Zizzi never fails to impress me and from my experience this seems to be something that is apparent throughout the company in all of their restaurants, we walked back to the car with full, but not too full, tummies and admired the sites of the city. Another thing we've never done is to look over the market from the steps behind it. It really does look so beautiful, and my photo doesn't do it any justice at all.

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