Pirata Group has found a formula that works. It started with pasta bar Pici, which now has five different locations, all serving simple yet absolutely delicious pasta. Pici chefs Andrea Viglione and David Borin wanted to create a similar concept, but this time for authentic and affordable pizza. The Pizza Project was born.
The Pizza Project is located on Peel Street in SoHo in the space that once held Chifa. This is an ideal spot as Peel has recently seen a resurgence in popularity with busy bars like Shady Acres and Bobby’s Rabble. Some are even calling it the new Lan Kwai Fong (it’s us – we’re calling it the new Lan Kwai Fong).
While Hong Kong has no shortage of pizza joints, finding authentic pizza at a reasonable price has proven a bit of a challenge. That’s why the first thing to wow us at The Pizza Project was their crazy-good tasting menu priced at just $180 per person – it’s not uncommon in Hong Kong for a single pizza to cost this much! The tasting menu includes one antipasti, one gnocco fritto, two pizzas and one dessert, and we think it’s one of the best offers out there.
The extensive wine list is another big selling point; rather than pricing each wine individually, they’ve got a set price for glasses ($75), carafes ($200) and bottles ($300), so everyone gets to choose the wine they actually want rather than just picking the cheapest one – something we’re all guilty of doing.
So the prices are great, but how’s the food? Glad you asked:
Much like Pici, The Pizza Project’s one-page menu is short and sweet. The menu is divided into four sections: antipasti, gnocco fritto, pizza and dolci. We started off with the burrata ($95), which was perfectly satisfying with its creamy consistency and drizzle of olive oil.
It’s hard to go wrong with deep-fried cheese! The mozzarella fritta with pesto dip ($95) offers that cheesy fix, but it lacked flavour. The pizza offerings will certainly provide you with enough cheese though, so we recommend picking another antipasti if you’re going for the tasting menu.
The gnocco fritto section offers a little something different as these crispy bread puffs are not found on many menus in the 852. From the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, gnocco fritto are usually served with cheese and cold cuts. The Pizza Project offers four different types, with an assortment of tasty toppings. We tried the porchetta tonnata ($85), topped with porchetta, veal mayonnaise and capers, and the truffle ($70), which was our personal favourite thanks to its creamy filling of ricotta and truffle.
Now, moving on to what you’re really here for... the pizza! There are nine types of pizza on offer as well as a selection of condiments for you to DIY. We tried five of these creations, and here’s what we thought of each:
The carbonara pizza ($120) was the first pie we tried, and it quickly became our favourite owing to its rich combination of flavours. Each slice has its own quail egg wrapped in pancetta – it’s glorious. The dough was baked to our satisfaction, with a thin, crispy base and puffy crust.
A margherita with a twist, the pesto pizza ($110) provides diners with a vegetarian option. Aside from buffalo mozzarella and fior di latte cheeses, this pizza is also topped with generous dollops of burrata, pesto and cherry tomatoes. The freshness of the tomatoes alongside the decadent burrata was lovely.
The classic Parma pizza ($140) is what we like to think of as a healthier option. With less cheese, piles of rocket, thinly shaved Parma ham and Parmesan shavings, it’s basically a salad. Okay, maybe not, but it’s still a lighter option that’s full of fresh flavours.
For a bit of a kick, go for the ‘nduja pizza ($100). We loved the spicy and smoky notes from the ‘ndjua salami and smoked scamorza cheese.
We were not expecting to like the rustica pizza ($95) as much as we did. This tomatoless pizza is topped with thin shavings of baked potato and pancetta. We’re always dubious when it comes to carbs on top of carbs, but the crisp baked potato with rosemary added great flavour and texture.
Dessert is a choice between the Pici tiramisu ($60) and white chocolate mousse with raspberry and mixed nuts ($60). While tiramisu is always a solid choice (and Pici’s version is fantastic), we really enjoyed the white chocolate mousse. The tartness of the raspberry cuts through the sweetness of the white chocolate, resulting in a delectably addictive dessert.
The Pizza Project knows good pizza. With excellent pies, a laid-back vibe and reasonable prices to match, we can see this eatery soon becoming a fan favourite and a strong competitor to its Peel Street neighbours. With its no-reservations policy, pizza lovers may very well be queuing round the block. We’re sure many people will be adding this spot to their list of go-to pizzerias – we know we will!
26 Peel Street, SoHo, Central, 2311 1815 (no bookings)
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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