Jun 21, 2011

Pizza Pub 比薩屋

Address: 台灣臺北中正區忠孝東路一段12號
                 No. 12, Section 1, ZhōngXiào East Rd, Jhongjheng District
Phone #: 02-2321-1818
Business Hours: 11:30-14:30, 18:00-22:00
Website: http://www.sheraton-taipei.com/english/r_pizza.htm
Price Range:   $$$$
Accepts Credit Cards: yes
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: yes


Food Quality: 2.5 out of 5
Decor:  3 out of 5
Service: 2 out of 5
Overall: 2.5 out of 5
Recommendation: Don't try their overpriced and bland pizzas

Pizza Pub is a upper-mid level restaurant serving pizzas in a nice dining space. They are located in the B1 level of the Sheraton Hotel in Taipei. The concept of serving pizzas in a homey yet classy pub is a very good idea. However, the restaurant fails to serve delicious pizzas, which leaves you with nothing else to satisfy you besides consuming the unimpressive aura of the dining space. It costs 450 NT for 8 inches of bland, uncheesy dough circles here. The value at the pizza pub is very low and it feels like you are paying a lot for bad food and bad service. I really wanted to like this place, but their core product is just so bad that I can not recommend their pizzas to anyone with a clear conscience. If you have to come to Pizza Pub, try something else instead of their pizza.
The interior is very european pubish with all the wooden beams and contrasting soft yellow walls. The design is a plasticy asian take on european pubs, and it does evoke that feeling. There is a bar in the front, and pubstyle seating around the dining space with a open kitchen in the back with a constantly burning pizza oven. This would be a nice place to knock a couple drinks back and dine with a couple friends if only they had good pizza to go with it. It is kind of sad if I would consider the Pizza Hut Pizzas tastier than theirs. Really, maybe this is just a lighter style of pizza that I am not familiar/fond of, but me and my friend (who generally eats very light) both agree that the pizzas were very bland. Their dining space was not impressive enough to enhance the taste of their cardboard pizzas.

The level of service you can get at this place is really bad too. We waited a whole 3 minutes staring at each other until a bumbling server comes over and said, "did we give you menus yet?" This retarded rhetorical statement left me dumbfounded and I tried to reply "no", but my jaw dropped too low too suddenly to form the words properly. Throughout the course of the meal, we were not waited on or asked how the food was, if we wanted more water, or anything. The servers pretty much just took our order and brought us our food. Also, we had to flag our server down in order for them to come and clear our bill. They did not sense that when we finished our drinks and that there was no food on our table that maybe they could introduce the check to us. I was appalled that this type of thing could fly at the Sheraton where the average price of a person per meal is 1000 NT. This is unacceptable. On to the pictures of the food to show you what I mean about the food. I can let decor and service slide, but I cannot concede to the quality of the food. I am confused on how there are still so many people willing to eat here. We ordered two appetizers and two pizzas to try this place out:
First thing that came out where these rolls. They were kind og like a layered onion pancake but a lot more bready. This was a delicious item and probably one of the finer food items they had to present tonight. The flavor of the oil and the onions pervade the bun, and it was quite fluffy inside while crispy on the outside. This item got me to brings my hopes of for the place. 
 Things started to look worrisome when they presented our 280 NT mixed green salad. I didn't know that they literaly were just gonna plop us mixed green. The least they could do what chop of the leaves into more edible pieces, but they took the characteristically Taiwanese approach to salad and left us with a plate of ridiculously big leaves. They also threw in a couple of cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives, but that was it. I thought it was fun that they gave us olive oil and balsamic vinegar for us to concoct our own crude vinegarette for our salad. It was lazy on their part, but kind of fun for me. If you can see in the picture above, theres this cool little dispenser that combines an olive oil and vinegar dispenser into one unit. I appreciated that a lot. It is kind of pricey for a bit of leaves on a plate, but I felt getting some greens was a wise choice. Can't complain about the salad too much in terms of flavor, it's really light but acceptably so.
 The next appetizer was no upgrade. For 360 NT, we got the oysters baked with cheese, and a bruschetta topped with cheese. I think they used a mixture of bad cheddar and jack cheese for this and it was not very tasty at all. I am not a fan of cooked oysters. I can't take the texture of it when it is cooked, but I don't mind the flavor and texture of it when it is raw. I thought I would be safe with the layer of cheese covering it, but I found out that the cheese was not so pungent and compensating after all. The cheese they picked are very subtle cheese, which left the oyster to keep its naturally pronounced flavor...not too pleasant. The bruschetta could have been better without the cheese on top. Their cheddar is not zesty, and their jack tastes more like swiss. It was not impalatable though. The bread was toasted well enough, and the tomatoes paired well with the toast. I think it could be seasoned a little more with some salt and peper. I guess you were supposed to do that by yourself due to the differences in consumer tastes. I am not sure.
 This is the seafood pizza which costs 480 for 8 inches. They top their dough with old shrimp, slices of squid, randomly set pieces of scallop, smoked salmon, and pineapple. The real problem with this pizza is that it is not sauced enough and not cheesy enough. They dab a light amount of marinara sauce and get away with it having no complaints. I did not remember tasting a thick or pungent marinara sauce of any kind in this or the other pizza. Also the cheese they you did not stretch or provide that zing to each bite. The mozarella was probably very authentic to the point where it tasted just like the balls of cheese from the tub. I don't think they realize that it might be better to mix a couple cheeses and also season the cheese to make it taste better.They straight up probably encircled the outer diameter with pure raw mozarella, but still somehow I failed to pull a strand of cheese form this pizza. I believe the length of the cheese strand you and rip from a pizza is proportional to how yummily cheesy it is. This pizza falls very short on that scale.
This next pizza is the Italian Combo Pizza costing 450 NT. It consists of peperonis, beef chunks, bell peppers, slices of ham, mushrooms and olives. The ingredients were sparse and so it did not embody the pizza, leaving the lightly seasoned dough to dominate each slice. You can see the lack of marinara on this pizza as well. Underneath the cheese is mostly dough. I could not pinpoint it at the time, all I could tell that the overall taste of each slice was bland, but I think it is mainly the lack of a well-seasoned marinara sauce to hold everything together. The second crook in this equation is the lack of tasty cheeses snuck into the mix. They use this bland cheddar jack, and only a little bit of it. They only give you a small ring of raw mozzarela, evidenced on both pizzas, so that the cheese factor of this pizza is very low.

I'm no pizza professor but I do think these are some of the worst pizzas I've had in my life. I always thought it was hard for someone to make a pizza that I would not like, but Taiwan never ceases to surprise. Not only is it not as satisfying as a Papa John's pepperoni pizza, I have to cough up quite a significant amount of quarters to eat this disappointing and dissatisfying discus of dough.    

Do yourself a favor and dismiss this from your wish list.

In order to not be too angry from thinking about this restaurant I'll post the picture of the olive oil and balsamic vinegar dispenser cause it made me happy:
I thought this container was cool.
And these are probably the two smartest customers here:
 Come here for drinks, but not for the food.

1 comment:

joanh said...

the pizza looks small too. and the cheese is not evenly dispersed. ok, taking it off my curiosity list. lol. for that price, you should stick to 15

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