OFFERING restaurant quality food in the comfort of your own home – and with the good value takeaway price tag – Italian Express in Walkley ticks all the right boxes.
It promises a taste of the Mediterranean “just like mama used to make” with each dish cooked fresh to order using authentic ingredients straight from Italy.
But Star readers know all of this of course – you voted it your Takeaway of the Year last year.
And with my first mouthful of funghi dolce latte I knew why.
The mushrooms were meaty and flavoursome, covered in lashings of deliciously decadent creamy, cheesy, garlic sauce – my only regret was I hadn’t ordered some bread to mop up every last bit.
Instead, we also ordered a portion of their calamari fritti.
The squid passed the test which many such dishes fail in that the battered rings were soft and tasty - definitely not chewy or rubbery. The batter was good too, particularly doused in lemon and dipped in the garlic sauce - although it could perhaps have been a little crispier.
For main course we opted to try some pizza and pasta - although full chicken, beef and fish dishes, just like you would order in your favourite Italian restaurant, are also on the card. The pasta menu works by picking the type of pasta you want - fresh or dry - and pairing it up with a sauce from a list of 14 different types.
The traditional calzone was the highlight - bulging with mozzarella, ham, salami and mushrooms all folded up in a substantial, but not overfacing, pizza base. The pots of bolognese sauce poured on top rounded off the meat feast perfectly.
We also chose the tortellini - pasta parcels filled with meat, although spinach and ricotta cheese is also available - covered in a matriciana sauce made with tomato, bacon, garlic and chilli.
The pasta was soft and tasty and the sauce peppered with generous pieces of bacon. The chilli heat was there in force too, making it a popular choice for those who like their Italian with a bit of a kick.
The concept of this takeaway is simple but very effective and provides a welcome change to the usual list of Indian and Chinese takeaways when you can’t face cooking.
Venue: Italian Express, 391 South Road, Walkey, S6 3TD
Telephone: 0114 2315757
Menu: All your Italian restaurant favourites including pizza, pasta, meat and fish
Service: Friendly - an Italian welcome!
Waiting time: 20 minutes
What I had: funghi dolce latte (£3.85); calamari fritti (£3.50); tortellini (£2.50) plus matriciana sauce (£3.45), calzone (£7.95). Total: £21.25
How did it taste: Delicious and traditional
Verdict: A welcome change .