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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

pizza/fusion: i recommend MILANO PIZZERIA

No. 55 SiPing St, 2F

MRT: Songjiang/Nanjing (2 minute walk) 

hours: 11:30-2:30PM; 5:30PM- 10PM. Closed Tuesdays

$$$ (about NT$700/person+)

kid friendliness: hawaiian and cheese pizzas available, and lots of dessert pizzas. 2nd floor restaurant.

visit reviewed: 4/24/2017

must orders: burrata pizza, fig pizza

FOR MONTHS, my friend and her husband had been telling me about this hidden pizza place they've been wanting me to try. "It's never crowded and I want you to post about it because I don't want it to go out of business," he said. "E loves it so much, he once ate there for five days in a row," she said. And today was the day, I finally got my mouth on this fig and mascarpone cheese pizza I had seen on her instagram weeks earlier. 

First thing you should know is that this is the entrance, next to a noodle shop in a lane that sits in front of the SiPing traditional market. No hipster neon lettering signage declaring "Keep Calm and Eat Pizza" in bright pink, no giant pizza logo. I had to double check the address on google maps twice before remembering that it was on the second floor. Walking a little closer, I spotted a red sign above the doorway.

Once upstairs, opening the door reveals a open kitchen decked with a wooden long bar, bookended by two pizza ovens. There's lots of window light, but muddled by sheer curtains and drapes, while the tables are decked with white tablecloths and emerald green runners. 

The menu was a bit overwhelming as a first timer, with over 18 pages to flip through. The beginning of menu were suggested set menus, then side orders, salads, appetizers, then meat pizzas, seafood pizza, calzones, vegetarian pizzas, meat dishes, and finally dessert pizzas. Even their salad options came with all sorts of topping choices- Europe Fresh Salad (NT$380) or with options blue cheese, duck confit, anchovies, italian cold cuts, smoked salmon or parma ham and fig. I couldn't even distract myself with their main dishes, I was here for pizza.

There are almost 50 pizzas to choose from, in 6 inch or 10 inch sizes. I knew I wanted the fig pizza for dessert, but there were SO many choices for the regular pizza. Duck breast and foie gras? Pig Knuckle? Crab and ikura? Scallop? Zucchini?  I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into.

Milano Pizzeria's dessert pizzas alone on the menu has over a dozen options, including mango, strawberry, mulberry, fig, dried lychee, peach, tiramisu, adzuki bean with matcha and nuts with raspberry jam.

I wanted to see what my friends' favorites were so I just ordered the caesar salad to start. (NT$380) It was lightly dressed, and came with a generous dusting of cheese over mixed greens, as well as some oven roasted tomatoes and olives. It was big enough to share between 2-3 people.

When my friends finally arrived, I let her do the ordering. She said she usually ordered the margherita with burrata (NT$740) and her hubby's favorite pizza was the fish and ikura- listed on the menu as flatfish pizza (NT$500). And we had to get the fig pizza (NT$480). Since there were only three of us, we got 6 inch pizzas instead of 10 inch, to share.

As soon as the first pizza arrived to the table with huge chunks of burrata cheese atop each slice, I knew this would make me happy.  I mean, who doesn't love burrata, the extra creamy cousin to buffalo mozzarella? The crust was pliable and not too thin and one person could probably finish a six inch by themselves. I LOVE BURRATAAAAA! 

The flatfish pizza was dotted with a few small orange pearls of ikura (fish roe) hidden under the cheese, and olives. I'm not a huge fan of engawa (the fatty part of the flatfish near the fin) even as sushi, since it's a bit too oily for me and has a specific chewy texture, though I have a lot of friends who love it. I tried one slice and didn't want another. (Sorry E!)

I could see the appeal of the pizza though-- I mean there's smoked salmon or clams on pizza, why not other types of seafood that work when baked or charred? Or have I lived in Taiwan too long that this type of menu no longer shocks me? There's also squid, cuttlefish, crab and roe or shrimp pizzas available here, for the more adventurous eaters. 

Last but not least, was the fig pizza. With a thick smear of sweetened mascarpone cheese, almost like a frosting, big slices of fresh figs and berries atop made this almost like a tart. But it was still a pizza, as there was mozzarella cheese atop the crust, though this pizza was served room temperature to cool, which made the crust not as tasty. But as I wondered aloud about where they got their figs, my friend said that Milano Pizzeria imported most of their ingredients, and that's why their prices were higher.  If the prices were a little lower, I would strongly recommend this place, but for now, it's a solid recommend. 

A thing of beauty.

Milano Pizzeria has been open for four years, but there was only another table or two eating while we were there during prime lunch time. Was its signless location near the SiPing traditional market too hidden, or was their menu too creative and pricey for most people? The average prices of the pizzas in the NT$400-800 range for 6 inches was definitely on the high side, but I could definitely see myself coming back for burrata and parma ham and the fig pizza when the craving hit. Would hard core pizza traditionalists say that these kinds of toppings aren't "real" pizzas? In the age of rainbow grilled cheese sandwiches and mac and cheese pizzas, I think it's hard to make that argument. 

WHAT's nearby Milano Pizzeria that I also recommend: Kura Sushi, Baba Kevin's Barbecue, My Zhao, Regent Taipei, Fika Fika Cafe, Joseph's Bistro (a little reminder to myself of places to blog!) 


Unknown said...

Do they have gluten free pizza? I've been looking for that in Taipei whithout any luck.

Unknown said...

There is different type of pizza flavor are there in