Monday, July 28, 2008
Sprouting Pizza Fans
Several people told me about The Tree restaurant in Sanlitun, but I didn't know where it was.
Someone tried to explain it to me how to get there online, which was not very successful.
And then most recently I was given directions to go behind the 3.3 Mall, a building filled with small boutique stalls selling trendy fashion. But even then I was lost until my friend came out of the restaurant to get me.
The Tree restaurant was behind the mall, but another block down.
Once you arrive, you quickly realize why this is a hidden gem.
There isn't any al fresco dining, but a covered area near the wood-burning oven where several cooks are busy at work kneading dough or putting pizzas in the oven. Then there are areas in the back near the bar, but don't have the airy feeling near the entrance.
And then there are the drinks. There is a huge selection not only in bottle form, but draft as well. The owner is Belgian so there are many Belgian beers too. My friend Marc was particularly pleased to find one of his favourite ciders available. I started off with a lemon squash drink and then a mug of draft Tsing Tao.
But the main event are the pizzas.
They are thin crusted pizzas and come in various combinations. The first time I came I tried the Puttanesca pizza - a variation of the pasta sauce that includes anchovies, tomato sauce, olives, cheese and capers.
Then when I brought Marc, we had the Parma ham pizza with olives which I preferred, but he liked the Pepperoni one better with its robust flavours. We also had a side of French Fries which came with ketchup and mayonnaise. How European.
Soon after we arrived, a flood of diners came in so we were lucky we got our table. And when we left there was a line of people eager for a bite, which just shows how popular this place is, mostly with the expat crowd.
So now there are two great pizzas choices in Beijing -- the thick crust at Kro's Nest, and the thin ones at The Tree. Take your pick.
Bei Sanlitun Nan
(100m west of Sanlitun north bar street, behind Poachers Inn)