In Review: A nice slice at Pizza Express in Milton Keynes

The thing with chain restaurants is that they are all uniform, and while that might be fine so far as the menu goes (if you want to eat somewhere while in unknown territory, familiarity isn't necessarily a bad thing), we can do without the same decor at every eatery.
Pizza Express in Milton Keynes subscribe to the same thought, and when implementing a posh new look, chose to give a nod to MK history site Bletchley Park.
Shapes of the Enigma machine mechanism are found throughout the restaurant, with large lettering referring to the Enigma, Morse Code and the codebreaking genius of Alan Turing.
The decor is so recently finished when we visit, that the faint aroma of new furnishings can still be picked.
Thankfully, the menu isn't hard to decipher though - it's bursting with Pizza Express familiars, and spiced up with a few new spring temptations.
We begin with a little liquid refreshment - a Hugo St Germain.
Prosecco is poured over ice and served with Hugo St Germain Elderflower liquor, lemon and mint.  All we have to do is sip and be wowed by its charms.  Easy.
It's a really lovely drink, bright and crisp...and very moreish, so be warned!
Starters are ordered: One Dough Balls and one Bruschetta Originale - The latter is a wonderfully clean, fresh dough, topped with a generous mix of tomato, onion and pesto, while the dough balls are paired with a garlic heavy butter.  
Clean plates all round, in next to no time.
We really do need to make mention of our server, Paul, at this point.
He doesn't just take our orders, he advises, explains and shows a real knowledge and passion for the job.  
He is also responsible for suggesting that aforementioned Hugo St Germain that has us licking our lips.  So we're hanging on to his every word!
Nothing too fancy for this pair of vegetarians when it comes to the main course - one Funghi di Bosco (that's a 'shroom pizza to you) with added jalapenos, for a little kick, and one Fiorentina.  
A short time later and two perfectly flavoursome pizzas are going down well.  One is definitely leaving its mark behind, with its fiery additions.
Across the table, the Fiorentina is disappearing rather quickly too - spinach, free-range egg, mozzarella, tomato and garlic oil (the olives have been banished at our wish).
In-between mouthfuls of the main course, we are checking in with a shared size of Polenta Chips, which are oven baked and have been paired with rosemary.
They are a really nice addition, and one portion is the perfect amount for two to share.
Paul returns, picking up on our passion for peppers, and advises us to sample the roquito pearls. 
"They really are very nice, and not spicy, they are sweet," he promises before a sample of tiny red, round balls are placed down.
They are just as the man said - and just like that, this pair of pizza-fiends have a new ingredient to choose next time around.
The desert menu is a tricky one to manoeuvre - the Lemon Bundt cake comes calling, but ice cream and sponge together has never been right for us.  
Chocolate brownie, maybe?  A failsafe cheesecake?  Honeycomb Cream Slice, or a Tiramisu?
Eventually, we make a decision: One 'spring special' Coconut Delight and Chocolate Fondant are on their way.
The former is made up of two scoops of dairy-free sorbet, made with coconut milk and served with coconut pieces and mint.  
It's a great choice to clean the palate, and for any vegans checking in for a meal, and certainly not skimpy on the taste front.
The fondant is heavy on taste too, but nowhere near as rich as expected, which makes it a nice choice, and means that we don't regret our desert order.  
The cake reveals a soft melting centre and is paired with vanilla gelato.
It has been the perfect Pizza Express visit - from the food on the plates, to the much improved decor (which is proving a hit with customers and the staff who seem proud of their new working home) and our server was terrific too.  
His passion and knowledge made our visit that bit more special.
Pop in and get a pizza the action yourselves: 142-144 Midsummer Arcade, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK9 3BA