Despite restaurants opening for indoor dining, I haven’t rushed to get back out there. Having recently seen that UK pizza chain Caprinos are now doing vegan pizzas, I added it to my list of places to review. Feeling particularly lazy on a Friday evening after a day of work followed by a very intense gym class seemed like the right time to try Caprinos out. Not only that, but the ‘Caprinos mega deal’ I spotted on their website sounded like excellent value: two 12 inch pizzas, sides, dips, desserts, and one sharing size bottle of drink for £26.99.
After placing our order directly through their website, the page displayed a note that our delivery would take around 45 minutes. Not the quickest, but fair enough for a Friday night, I thought. The downside of ordering through their website is that they don’t have a delivery tracker like apps such as Just Eat or Deliveroo, so I left it for an hour before deciding to call them up and check where my order was. The person on the phone sounded puzzled, asking me to confirm my address, and had to call me back multiple times after ‘checking with the website people’ as the order hadn’t shown up on their system. Finally, without much apology, he said they’d found my order and it would be another half an hour. Later on I wished I’d just asked for a refund, but at this point I was too invested, hungry, and even less inclined to want to cook for myself having waited so long to eat already.
By the time the food arrived, just under two hours had passed. I’d thought maybe they’d at least give us an extra side or something to say sorry for the mix up, but no sign of that. We had ordered two of the vegan pizzas on offer – the might vegan, and the vegan chicken delight. Sad to say, delight it was not. When we opened the boxes I had to laugh because it was either that or cry. We’d ordered thin crust rather than deep pan, but these were so thin they looked more like tortilla wraps than pizza bases. It was burnt round the edges, and when trying to pick up a slice, it flopped in half and the toppings slid off.
I know a common complaint with vegan pizza is that the restaurant is stingey on the plant-based cheese. That certainly wasn’t the case here, but if anything they’d gone too far the other way. There was genuinely more cheese than bread, which definitely didn’t help the texture and gave the pizzas a really gummy mouth feel. The tomato sauce also had a strange flavour, almost floral, different from any other pizza sauce I’ve had before, and frankly just not particularly pleasant to me.
They had been reasonably generous with the toppings, which wasn’t the case for someone who messaged me after to say they’d hardly received any. The mock meat chicken and meatballs were the only things that were really okay about the pizzas. I picked some of them off to eat on their own for the protein after my gym session. The peppers though, which were extra bitter due to being somehow undercooked yet burnt, I steered well clear of.
Usually when you get a disappointing pizza, it’s exactly that, but it’s still edible. Sadly, I think this was the first time ever that I’ve actually had to stop eating a pizza halfway through. The combination of flavours and textures was making me feel queasy enough to give up. Jamie managed his half though, and the only saving grace was that it was ludicrously cheap, but of course I’d much rather pay more for food that was actually worth eating. Equally, somewhere like Papa Johns isn’t much more expensive and is worlds away in terms of what you get.
I’d ordered a side of curly fries, which were okay, though I think a little undercooked, presumably in their rush to get our order out. They were a bit firm in some places, soggy in others, and lacked the crispness I was hoping for. There was one vegan dessert on the menu too, a brownie. It came in a sealed plastic packet, obviously ordered in and probably just defrosted from a freezer. Having been made somewhere else, it was by far the nicest part of the meal.
I did see one positive review of the Caprinos Pizza ordered from Headington, so maybe we were just unlucky. We had ordered from the Cowley Road branch so maybe the staff need a bit of extra training! Sadly though I did receive numerous messages from people on Instagram who told me they’d had similarly bad experiences, including lost or ridiculously delayed orders, and very ‘meh’ pizza, so unfortunately it seems we weren’t the only ones. I personally won’t be ordering from them again. Hopefully I’ve saved you from a disappointing takeaway too. But as I’ve heard mixed things, if you’ve had a similar experience – or perhaps the complete opposite – I would love to to hear from you in the comments below!