Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Not Pizza

I knew it was going to be crap, but I wondered just how crap. It exceeded itself in crapiness achievement on an unimaginable scale.

I was in Ajimen ramen noodle restaurant at the southern end of the pedestrian street with a couple of Chinese lady friends. Although they sell mainly Japanese style food, like all “Japanese” restaurants in Liuzhou, it ain’t Japanese. With one exception, they are all Chinese – the exception is Thai owned.


Despite its chain restaurant ambience, they do have a few good dishes at reasonable prices. Their Thai style seafood ramen is particularly nice (if you like hot!). We all chose this.

When placing our order we noticed that they were promoting a new product – mini beef pizzas. I was intrigued and they were only ¥12 for 4, so I said ‘let’s go for it.’

Our noodles arrived and we all enjoyed them, me with a cold beer and my guests with mango juice and sweetened lemon juice – a kind of lemonade, I suppose. We slurped and chatted away and finally noticed that a good 45 minutes had passed without us noticing. A copy of the list of food we had ordered was sitting in front of me, clearly noting the time our order was taken. No pizza had appeared.

We reminded a passing waitress who informed us rather shortly that it takes a long time to make a pizza. I’m fairly sure what she knows about pizza production could be written in a perforation of a postage stamp. Nothing appeared. We collared another waitress who promised to find out what was happening and was never seen again.

57 minutes after them taking our order this arrived.

Mini Beef (not) Pizzas

Mini Beef (not) Pizzas

They were about 3 inches in diameter and consisted of a very dry rice cracker, half-coated in fried minced/ground beef, some yellowish substance (not cheese or mayonnaise, dickhead), half a raw cherry tomato and a fraction of a coriander/cilantro leaf. The bases tasted of nothing. The topping was just weird (disgusting). I couldn’t work out the flavours at all. It was simultaneously sweet and bitter, but not in a nice way. There was also something in there which I think I’ve come across before but am now still struggling to identify. I have probably subconsciously erased the memory as some psychological safety device to avoid major trauma.

I reckon I could make it in 3 minutes maximum (if I went for a coffee break half way through). What were they doing for nearly an hour? Even though it was a public holiday, the place wasn’t as busy as I’ve seen it, so they can’t use that excuse.

Anyway, the ‘pizzas’ amused me and my guests wonderfully and so were well worth the ¥12. Apart from a cursory tasting though, we didn’t actually eat them! We took lots of silly pictures of us not eating them. No, I’m not going to post them here!

I’ll go back to the place. But I don’t think pizza will be my first choice. Or even my last.

. This entry was posted on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 at 5:23 pm and is filed under Chinese Holidays, Food and Drink, Liuzhou Life, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Not Pizza”

  1. David Says:

    You actually used the phrase ” let’s go for it ” ? Serves you right then ! Hungry late one evening here in Chengdu I ignored my Chinese fast food gurus (LL) advice and entered a Pizza Hut . The ‘Americano’ coffee was hot and , although not coffee as we know it , surprisingly drinkable . With sinking heart I looked through the glossy menu and chose the pasta stuff . How could they screw up pasta I thought , LL must be overdramatic about Pizza Hut . You know that twiddly thing one does with a fork to lift a satisfying neat mouthful ? Well , try as I might , not only did the whole lump of pasta turn as one but also the plate with it . Intrigued , I found that I could lift the entire plate by the buried fork ! Not since childhood have I used a knife for pasta ! You may be thinking , serves me right then …..

  2. Carl Johnson Says:

    Authentic western style pizza on a cracker! Sad to say that is probably better than some of the pizza you will find in convenience stores here!
    A few yew years ago they took the liberty of combining pizza with burritos and started calling them ‘ Pizza Rolls’
    You can still find the best pizza in the world in the US. Naples sent their best to us. But you have to look for it!

  3. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    What makes you think there was anything “authentic western style” going on? There wasn’t.

  4. Carl Johnson Says:

    Tried the ‘Non- Pizza hut ‘ In Liuzhou. I tried to introduce Fenglian to western style food. To my lasting regret!

    A thousand pardons!
    But anything with a Western sounding name must be ‘Authentic Western Style food!
    As evidenced by my water buffalo T-Bone steak!
    Liuzhou has the best food in the world at dirt cheap prices! Why in God’s name would anyone buy pizza there?

  5. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    There is a big pizza fashion at the moment. Pizza places are popping up all over town. Run and staffed by people who have never seen, let alone eaten a real pizza in their lives.

    It is so sad. Years ago we had a wonderful pizza place with probably the best pizza I’ve eaten outside Italy, but it closed after a year because no one went. They don’t want real pizza; they want the crap. S.Korea has the best pizza in Asia.

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