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We tried Prezzo’s new vegan menu. Here’s our verdict…

Content writer, Paisley Tedder put this Italian chain's offerings to the test...

We tried Prezzo’s new vegan menu. Here’s our verdict…

Veganuary is a fantastic time for those following a plant-based diet; not only are the supermarkets battling it out to launch the best meat-free products, but the restaurants are at it, too, upping their menu game to drive in the crowds. January is typically a quiet time of year, but not for vegans, who flit from one restaurant to the next, sampling the various new launches, many of which are only available for a limited time. This month, I’m one of those people: a first-time Veganuary participant, I was excited to see what the chains had to offer a plant-based fledgling.

Italian chain Prezzo has never been my first thought when it comes to getting good vegan grub. Don't get me wrong: the food is always delicious, but compared with chains like Wagamama and Zizzi, the options haven’t quite matched up. So I was thrilled to learn that Prezzo had launched a Seasonal Set Menu, available until the 12th February, with new vegan options. I visited with a friend on a Wednesday night, and the ‘hump day’ feeling was nowhere to be seen as my local branch was heaving. Was it the Veganuary effect? Or just the result of a fortnight back at the daily grind and the lure of carb-fuelled dining and midweek wine? Whatever it was, the resulting hustle and bustle made for a fantastic atmosphere. Despite the large number of full tables, the service was fantastic and the friendly staff were brilliant.

Initially looking through the menu, I was a bit disappointed as there was just one vegan starter to choose from – at least it made for a speedy decision process! The Italian hummus was served with crispbreads, and there was plenty of it. It was tasty, with a swirl of smoky tomato sauce, but a little safe for my liking. I couldn’t help but feel that the team could have been a bit more adventurous with its options.

When it came to mains, there were more options...well, just one more! It was between a garlic mushroom pizza and aubergine penne; a tough call, but the lure of a carb-loading bowl of pasta was too much to ignore. I could smell the fresh tomatoes long before the waiter reached our table with the large white bowl, which was filled to the brim with seasoned penne and marinated aubergine. The flavours were amazing: the aubergine texture was succulent with a heavenly bite, and the pomodoro sauce brought the dish together with its heavenly aroma. I was a winner here: as the portion was so big, I was able to take a box home to finish it for lunch the next day...and I must say, the flavours were even more delicious on day two!

Of course, I squeezed in enough room for dessert! Again, as with the starter, there was only one vegan option available: a raspberry sorbet. This was ideal, though, as full to the brim with my pasta dish, I wanted something light to end the meal. The zesty raspberry was divine, with just the right level of sour, and three scoops was just enough to cleanse my palate at the end of the meal.

Overall, I enjoyed my experience at Prezzo, and the service was ultimately faultless. My only gripe was the lack of vegan-friendly choices on the menu, but I’m sure this will improve in time at Prezzo, as it has with other restaurants.

The Seasonal Set Menu at Prezzo is running until 12th February. Browse the menu yourself here.

Fancy cooking up an Italian feast at home? This plant-based pasta dish is a must-try for midweek!

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