If you’re worried that your two for one Pizza Express voucher packs a less impressive punch than it did when you were 16, we’ve got some intel that’ll save your date from impending mediocrity. For a reasonably priced Italian with decent pastas and pizzas, a solid wine list, and a friendly buzzy vibe, we’re delighted to introduce you to Pizza Express 2.0, known otherwise as Rocco in South Ken. It’s technically a chain, but the other one is far away enough (in Barnes) that no one else has to know that. They do a deliciously buttery carbonara and their red Sarda pizza topped with sardines and olives kicks in all the right places. The mixed meat and cheese plate is nothing too special, but makes a solid sharing starter. Their meaty mains aren’t really worth the visit.
This is a really relaxed place, but is busy all week so it’s definitely wise to book ahead. And you should, because although their food won’t stick around in your memory for too long, Rocco is the place for a consistently decent no nonsense Italian that’ll just as easily accommodate early romance as it will a casual meal after work.