Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Crayola at Zizzi


Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

It's such a fantastic experience to be a Crayola blogger! Who would have thought that apart from reviewing their quality products, we'd be treated to a movie, as well as an amazing dinner at Zizzi? It's all relevant of course, as Zizzi is "serving" my (as a mum and stationery lover) favourite Crayola's Twistables crayons at the table!


We love it that family friendly restaurants offer crayons and activity/ colouring sheet to keep children busy, it is a much needed distraction when we were thinking of what to order, and when the kids have finished eating but the adults haven't. The quality of the crayons most of the restaurants offer aren't fantastic though, and more often than not, kids would complain about the crayons not working (especially a problem when it comes to writing down an answer on the activity sheet), or ask me how to make the colour brown with the limited choices they were given. It's not a big deal of course, as children will make do, but it's still a distraction for the adults, and it would be nice that the children's experience at a family friendly restaurant is top notch throughout as well.

So when we heard that Zizzi offers children Crayola's Twistables crayons to use while waiting for the adults, I knew immediately that they pay attention to details, and care about their customers', including the Bambinis', dining experience. We went to the Trafford Centre branch and although there was an issue with service, we really enjoyed our night and are already looking forward to our next visit there!


Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

If you haven't heard of Crayola's Twistables crayon, they are basically quality crayon sticks housed inside a tube, and you can turn the bottom to push the stick out. The crayons are thin so can be used for writing as well as colouring, and the tube protects it from snapping.

In a restaurant, this might just be the perfect choice for crayons as it prevents them from snapping, so the crayons will last long enough for many children to use, and also avoids the mess from paper peelings at the table. We had 6 colours in our crayons bucket, and the kids were both content with the choices. Even if they needed a different colour, I'm certain that the very friendly waiter wouldn't have mind getting it for them.


Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

Apart from the activity sheet, kids at Zizzi were also given an adjustable chef's paper hat and 2 (yes, two!) sticker sheets to decorate the hat with. The kids were also very caught up with the beautiful balloons! Seriously, one of the prettiest balloons we've seen from restaurants!


Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

While we were ordering, the kids were very busy working on their activity sheets. The crayons are so much easier to use and the colour shows really well. As we have these Twistables at home too, it's like colouring at home for the kids!


Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

I had to include this picture in this review. They serve my favourite glass bottled Coca-Cola in 330ml! I thought they stopped producing this! I think that Coca-Cola taste best from a glass bottle., but they normally come in a small 125ml size, which is hardly enough for us. So it's always a precious drink to me haha. I'll go back to Zizzi just for this!


Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

As we were busy chatting and taking pictures, we almost forgot to order our food and the poor staff had to check on us. Very understandable as it was a busy Saturday night so we shouldn't be holding up the table really! We ordered a large Calamari to share, which has a tempura like batter and was delicious. The kids ate most of it as usual as they love their seafood!


Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

At the same time the kids were also served their bambini 3 course meal starter. The dough sticks disappeared quickly (I was on Instagram like a busy bee and didn't notice them eating it!) so I'm assuming that they were really yummy! I did notice some nibbling on the vegetables sticks too, maybe the kids were super hungry! #abnormalbehaviour.


I'm not sure whether it was because we were holding up the table for too long when we were supposed to be ordering food, or I spent too much time trying to Instagram pictures of the Coke and starter, a waitress suddenly appeared at our table with our mains in both hands. I don't think I have actually started on my share of the starter yet as I was trying to look for Zizzi's Instagram and Twitter tags. Honestly speaking though, we didn't have our starter for that long that requires a push, and the children's mains weren't even ready to serve.

The thing is, the waitress just stood there and waited for us to shuffle the calamari around so that we can remove the plate for space. Hubby felt bad for her as the mains must be warm and heavy, but come to think of it, why didn't she just apologise and go back to the kitchen, because we haven't finished our starter yet, and no kitchen should serve mains until the starters are actually gone?

I think that, if we weren't already really happy with Zizzi's atmosphere, children's activity, the large glass bottled Coke and the tasty Calamari, we would have just told her to go away and would have been less forgiving for this hiccup.

The waiter for our table did come to us soon after to apologise without us making a complaint, and offered to move our mains back to the kitchen so that we can eat at peace. We were still in the "happy with everything else and not fussed" mood, so we didn't bother.


Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

I was told yesterday that my main - Casareccia Pollo Piccante (Spicy piccante chicken in creamy sauce with fresh tomato and baby spinach) was a Zizzi's signature dish. I'm not surprised as it was really really yummy! The pasta was al dente, there was plenty of sauce and the big pieces of chicken was succulent and tasty. It looked very spicy but the heat was just right for me. The portion was big too and I actually had left overs, but seriously if there was space I would have eaten every single bit of it and wouldn't have shared it with hubby!


Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

Hubby's Penne Della Casa (Oven baked penne pasta with roasted chicken, pancetta, baby spinach and riserva cheese in a creamy mushroom sauce) was another really delicious dish! The penne pasta is slightly softer than mine (because of the shape), and every bit of it was yummy and full of flavour, especially the pancetta. Hubby said that he couldn't stop thinking about the dish!


Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

The children's meal were really tasty as well, with less salt of course! They both enjoyed their food and Abby, after finishing her own, ate some of Clay's as well! The long stem broccoli was perfectly cooked, though Abby wasn't too keen in the olive oil drizzle. We loved it though!


Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

Yes we were really stuffed after the mains, but we aren't one to deny dessert. We ordered their new Lemon Meringue Sundae to share, which has lemon sorbet, vanilla ice cream, whipped mascarpone cream, crushed meringue and lemon sauce. It was amazing! It was really refreshing, and it has a great balance between sweet and sour. It was the perfect end to an already gorgeous meal.


Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

The bambini's 3 course meal also comes with a dessert and a Chocacino as well. At first I thought that the Bambini Cones was ice cream served inside a cone, so when the waiter asked me how many cones the kids would like, I was a bit baffled! They were really nice cones and both kids ate all of it, especially the popping candy that was meant for decorating the ice cream!

The Chocacino came in little cute shot glasses I want to collect! They were delicious chocolate milk and really nicely presented.


Zizzi Italian Restaurant, Crayola crayons, Italian Food

After the meal, Abby kept saying that it was the best dining out experience she ever had! The staff were really nice to them even though they kept waiving the balloons about. I think we were more worried that they were bothering other customers than the staff did.

Thank you again Crayola for the really lovely meal! We can't believe that we've never been before and will definitely go back again for the gorgeous food!