Quick Review of Sofia Pizzeria in Jing’an, Shanghai

25th April 2015 / Shanghai

Sofia Pizzeria is a small quaint little shop located on Beijing Xi Lu, in the Jing’an District of Shanghai. Opened also by a fellow Singaporean, Albert, they boast a selection of light and crispy dough with the usual pizza toppings and also a few surprises which I tried.

sofia-collage

Many thanks to Touchi App for organizing this media tasting.

The actual place sits about 15 people. Menu is drawn artfully on the wall like most hipster places do. The menu is compact and specialized, basically offering only a selection of pizzas and coffee. The food and drinks are prepared by the open kitchen/bar area, which during busy times made the restaurant a little smokey. All that said, the interior was nicely and chicly furnished for such a small space. 7.5/10

I was actually very late for the tasting that evening because I only managed to peel away from my own restaurant after the dinner rush, to be able to make it. Therefore I had a takeaway pizza which I savoured at home. That said, I did try the ‘Smore’ Pizza in situ.

sofia-smore

Smore is a term that I only learnt of recently. It is actually a play on the words ‘Some More’ , and by definition refers to a snack comprised of roasted marshmallow sandwiched with chocolate between crackers.

Naturally, the Smore pizza at Sofia was a dessert pizza. I wasn’t sure how many Italian laws they broke by creating this abomination, but, it tasted quite nice. Very thin, light and crispy crust topped with almonds, chocolate sauce drizzled over roasted marshmallows. 8/10

sofia-box

Their takeaway box was very cute and hip.

sofia-pizza

I requested for half a nonya chicken pizza and a sambal prawn pizza, because those were the odd ones that you don’t usually see. (That said, curry chicken pizza is extremely common in countries where curry is a staple)

My fellow tasters were raving about how spicy the nonya chicken were, and how delicious the sambal prawn pizza was. Being a chef and restauranteur specializing in curry chicken and sambal myself, my standards were definitely going to be much higher. So how was it?

The Dough

The dough at Sofia is airy, thin and light. Mozarella cheese is generously topped on every pizza. I like.

Nonya Chicken Pizza

A little lacklustre, in the sense that I felt a more generous slathering of sauce would have been nicer. Partly to help keep the chicken moist, and also to give the pizza more identity. For me, it tasted like curry-marinated chicken on a pizza. The chicken meat was quite dry and it wasn’t as spicy as I had anticipated it would be. I felt the other toppings were a little generic, and didn’t really give the pizza it’s own identity. 6.5/10

Sambal Prawn Pizza

This was quite a surprise to me, because I don’t think there are many places on earth, where you would see Arugula and Sambal being plated together; Sofia Pizzeria is one of them, and surprisingly, it worked quite well. The prawns were fresh and bouncy. Sambal sauce was slightly but pleasantly spicy, and gave the pizza its’ distinct character. Very nice all around. That said, one persistent problem remains, the other toppings again, I felt were like random toppings put together to complete the pizza. I felt the olives didn’t fit well. The cucumber slices I can picture a relation with sambal (it is usually eaten with sambal with coconut rice). That said, this variation was creative and tasty enough to warrant a 8/10.

Conclusion

I really like this spot. A cozy and chic little pizzeria who are pushing out decent pizzas, and decent prices and willing to take risks by introducing off-the-norm flavours. However I feel that they need to go even further by thinking about all the individual toppings for their specialty pizzas in order to let them shine.

 

TSK Rating

7.3
Food
7.5
Service
7
Venue
7.5

Author: Fred Lin

Fred "The Shanghai Kid" Lin was born in Singapore, and grew up in a family of foodies and home-cooks. He moved to Shanghai in 2007 and fell in love with the city, eventually carving a self-made career out of digital media design and development. He founded The Shanghai Kid food blog in 2013, and opened an award-winning Singaporean restaurant in 2014, which won CityWeekend's Outstanding Southeast Asian restaurant of the year in 2016. In 2017, he decided to reboot, and shut down all his businesses in Shanghai before moving back to Singapore with his wife. Fred plans to immigrate to Melbourne in the near future.

Sofia Pizzeria

Address
1124 Beijing Xi Lu, near Shaanxi Bei Lu, Jingan district

Cuisine
FusionItalianWestern

City
Shanghai

Area
Jing An

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