The name Pizzo may give you the impression that you're walking into an expert pizza joint. In reality, though, the outlet does in fact offer the 'complete Italian' experience.
Their appetisers and their generous servings of pasta among other things off their fine menu have largely been ignored for their authentic wood-fired and brick oven pizzas.
Starting off with delivery in 2012, Pizzo moved onto catering and has now opened its first outlet at Khayaban-e-Bukhari. Tucked in one of the small lanes, it is recognisable from the red storefront with the distinctive pizza signboard.
With a capacity of about eight to 10 people, the exposed brick wall gives the feel of a cosy Italian restaurant, and the comic book display on the walls is quirky and fun.
The only issue was the view of the street outside which could be improved by the addition of blinds.
|Comic book display on the wall. — Photo by author|
With the menu on full display, the orders are placed on the counter, after which they're served at your table.
|Menu behind the counter. — Photo by author|
Personally, it was their 'Jalapeno Cheese Balls' that I was most excited to try at the outlet – the melted cheese in these crisp little balls is warm even when delivered halfway across the city. Having them fresh from the fryer just elevated the experience to another level – one bite, and the spicy melted cheese just oozed out. The jalapenos gave it a bit of a kick, and while it can be eaten with the accompanying marinara sauce, all it needs is a napkin to clean up the mess in case it explodes.
|Jalapeno Cheese Balls. – Photo by author|
Baked in a wood-fired brick oven, the signature item at Pizzo is available in both thin-crust and thick-crust versions with options of either a 12-inch round, or a single 16-inch pizza slice.
We decided to order the traditional pepperoni and the 'Red Jalapeno'.
|Red Jalapeno Pizza Slice. — Photo by author|
Best enjoyed in a thin-crust version, this was a back to basics pizza – a crisp base with a crackly edge, a layer of marinara sauce, melted cheese and the single topping. This is the pizza best enjoyed by people who prefer the traditional Italian pizza; diners who are used to the deep pan and ones with a multitude of toppings, may not find this to their personal taste.
|Pepperoni Pizza Slice. — Photo by author|
In addition to their cheesy menu, they also have an option for the calorie conscious – one of my friends was on a healthy eating regime and was pleasantly surprised to know that there were salads on the menu. She ordered the 'Caesar Salad' and while there was nothing unique, it had all the hallmarks of a good salad – fresh iceberg, grilled chicken, and crisp croutons with a proper salad dressing.
The 'Spaghetti Bolognese' here was a hefty serving where the meat-to-carb ratio is positively tilted towards the meat lovers!
The generous serving size was such that by the end of the meal we were left with plenty of meat still on our plates.
|Spaghetti Bolognese. — Photo by author|
Though the meat sauce was meaty and rich and the parmesan provided a lovely saltiness to the dish, the presentation of the sauce could be improved – maybe some tomatoes to turn the sauce a more appealing red.
Served with a side of French fries, the 'Wasabi Steak & Cheese' sandwich consisted of crusty bread roll filled with thinly sliced beef, cheese on a bed of wasabi mayo. With chargrilled edges, the beef was tender and the wasabi providing a spicy, salty contrast.
|Wasabi Steak & Cheese Sandwich. —Photo by author|
Options for Pizza delivery in Karachi are dominated by deep-pan or as the locals call it thick-crust pizza, either from international chains or local pizzerias. Thin-crust pizza is primarily found at cafes and restaurants at a relatively higher price.
Pizzo is one of the rare places in town that makes authentic thin-crust pizza and with the opening of this outlet; it gives its delivery regulars the option of enhancing their dining experience.
Though authentic, thin-crust pizza is an acquired taste and not preferred by the masses. The locals who are accustomed to a thick doughy pizza with a plethora of toppings, topped with even more cheese might find Pizzo’s offering not to their taste.
Thus, it remains to be seen how Pizzo can reach out to the majority of locals who may not understand the pizza style, but fall in love with the other items available.
The per head cost for a meal at Pizzo is approximately Rs400 per head for a slice of pizza with drink to around Rs600 per head for a sandwich or pasta meal with drink.
The missing items in the outlet are meal options like those offered in their delivery menu – pizza slice, with garlic bread and drink or pasta/sandwich meal with drink.
Rating (4.5 out of 5)
Food: 4.5 | Ambiance: 4 | Service: 4.5 | Value for money: 4.5
Kiran Afzal is a researcher by profession, who enjoys food blogging and reading on the side.