I get all critical

So last night I went to Zizzi  in Brighton. A beautiful location by the Marina, and as Zizzi is a chain you know that the prices are reasonable and the food OK too. We initially sat outside, after waiting 5 minutes for a waitress to notice us by the ‘Wait here to be seated’ sign, and show us to a table. We rapidly moved inside to escape the wasps.

The service was slow. Very slow. The waitress was helpful and polite but struggled to understand my Canadian friends' orders, because the waitress herself did not have English as a first language.

The mussel starter was spicy and interesting, enough mussels to share, and we all enjoyed them. Zizzi have a strange policy of selling you bread rather than providing it, free bread is something I expect at a restaurant, so we chose a mixed bread starter to share as well. The bread was….bread, some with olives, or olive oil, handy to mop up the sauce from the mussels.

Main courses were chosen and once ordered (helloooooo waitress?....) arrived promptly, with fresh parmesan if required, a nice touch.

My lasagne was tasty but sloppy, far too sloppy and the pasta was so soft as to be totally unnoticeable, in fact maybe it was the worlds first pastaless lasagne! There were, of course, no discernable layers to the lasagne. Garfield would have wept. My good friend Alison over at Love, Laughs and Life after the Big C makes a far superior lasagne.

My friends man had a pizza, which looked fine, if a little dry. He didn’t complain but men rarely do in my experience.

My friend had the Ravioli with pesto and pine nuts and it looked by far the best choice (although even then it looked a little oily). It was a classic ‘I wish I’d ordered that’ moment.

Drinks choices for the teetotal were limited. No ginger beer which is never a good sign in my opinion, and as usual glasses of bottled orange and apple, no ‘freshly squeezed’ options. (California has spoiled me) I settled for tomato juice (and wasn't offered tabasco or Worcester sauce as additions) and my friend had an Appletiser.

Desserts were better, more interesting choices and nice combinations. I had Pannacotta with fruit, my friends had cherry and almond tart and Zabaione respectively, and both were nice, but the zabaione proved too rich to finish (to be fair I think I could have finished it!), while the cherry tart was the best option, leaving us all wanting more.

So for £20 a head we had pleasant meal, not great, not terrible. The service needs to snap to it a bit, waitresses should be there when I need them, not hiding out the back somewhere, they should be watching tables, not me having to hunt for them. (my friend had to get up and walk the restaurant to find someone to request the bill!)

Here’s hoping you enjoyed my first ever restaurant review. I don’t see a career as a food critic but maybe it’ll help someone in their choice of eating places..

Special offer vouchers for Zizzi available at http://www.zizzi-offers.co.uk/