wesleysjournal (wesleysjournal) wrote,

In Search of Pizza

You may recall that I've lamented before about the concept of pizza with Chinese characteristics. I had imagined Gong Bao Ji Ding or Jing Jiao Rou Si adapted to pizza toppings. What I found instead seems like random ingredients which can be found anywhere

In a city like Wuhan there are hundreds of places that make pizza. Most of these are the evil American Imperialist companies like Pizza Hut and Papa Johns. These are fair but they're not that good and the variety in a Chinese Pizza Hut much more limited than one in America. There are a few places around Wuhan that have much better pizza. There is Helen's in Wuchang. There is Geono's in Wuchang and in Han Kou. And there is a place called Pizza and Love in Guangu at the end of a dark alley around the corner from Vox. None of these are in Han Yang though so you need to leave zhuan kou and spend at least two hours on a bus to get to any of them. Consequently I'll only visit them if I'm in that area anyway. These places are good and they are arguably the best places in Wuhan but they aren't really great. Other places I've been to have had dubious pizza at best.

The first night in Beijing I went in search of food. There was a mall with in walking distance from my hotel. Many of the restaurants there looked expensive and none of them were Chinese unless you count the one which was Taiwanese and I wouldn't. Many of them looked interesting. There was Italian, Japanese, and Indian. In the end I settled on an Italian place called LaPizza.

There was a lot more variety here as far as toppings are concerned. Pizzas made up most of their menu and unlike some of the Chinese pizza places I've been to in the past the other menu items were distinctly Italian. Most impressively they had pepperoni which is what I ordered.

While I was waiting for my Pizza I noticed that across the room there was a Caucasian man in one of the uniforms leaning against a stool and talking with the other employees. He waived at me when I looked in his direction.

My pizza came. It was like no pizza that I've had in China before. The crust was thin and ladened heavily with sauce and thick gooey cheese. It was a beautiful thing. I ate half of it before I took a picture and then like a true glutton I ate the other half. It was by far the best pizza that I've had in the last three years.

On the way out I met the Caucasian man at the door and talked to him for a couple minutes. He was not the owner but a manager. He was obviously Italian from the moment he started talking. While we were talking he showed me a trophy that the restaurant had received from a news agency that said “Best Pizza in Beijing.” His Italian accent was as thick as the cheese had been on the pizza and I barely understood a word that he said.

Two weeks later when I returned to Beijing I decided to explore the other side of the same mall. I found another pizza place here called Tube Pizza. Why not go back to the same place? I almost did but I wanted to see what else I could find.

Tube Pizza had different sizes. They had some that were small and some that were obviously made for large groups. When I walked in there was a waiter carrying a pizza to one of the tables. The pizza he carried had a diameter of about three feet. It was massive. The menu was interesting if not similar to many other places until I reached the bottom where I found Lao Beijing.

Lao Beijing is a Beijing Duck pizza. Instead of pizza sauce they Beijing Duck sauce. They cover this with small chunks of duck and cheese. When it comes out of the oven they cover the pizza with shredded cucumber and green onion. When I say that I want pizza with Chinese characteristics this is what I'm talking about.

It is a bit sad, though not too surprising that both of these places are in Beijing instead of Wuhan.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.