The perennial search for good pizza continues … from this side of Huangpu River. Finding good pizza in Shanghai, or anywhere in China, is like being in a Western movie. You’d have tried and seen it all – the good, the bad … and the kind that tastes like melted plastic.
We’ve found our tiny slice of paradise in La Casbah’s Pudong outlet located along Pucheng Lu, sandwiched between a Motel 168 and Karma Yoga Center. The café is small but spacious, outfitted by simple yet elegant furniture. It offers the customer a cool and comfy enough spot to while an hour away. They do brisk business largely due to their delivery service, free if you live within 1.5km from the café. Unfortunately, the cafe is not listed in Sherpa’s Pudong guide.
La Casbah’s pizzas tend toward the rustic Neapolitan style. Generous portions of fresh ingredients make a world of difference. The Vegetarian Pizza (RMB36) is topped with slices of crispy red and green peppers, mushrooms, onions and olives. I particularly like their Pepperoni Pizza (RMB38), which has the basics of the Vegetarian Pizza topped with nice, thick juicy pieces of real salami on every slice. We recommend a shake of red chili pepper flakes if you desire some heat.
The dough is of the perfect texture and equally fresh, so much so you can sometimes see the flour at the bottom of the box. The pies stand at 10” which isn’t too large, but quality trumps quantity for us anytime.
We cannot forget the true test of a good slice is its ability to help you relive the wonderful taste the next day after a couple of gentle zaps in the microwave. Most leftover pizzas in China often reveal their ugly self like a one-night stand gone bad; a viscous layer of truck grease on top and a soggy bottom that tastes like wet newspaper. Thankfully, La Casbah’s pizzas are nothing like that and make a wonderful leftover (or hangover) snack.
The pizza selection runs a wide enough gamut and includes Hawaiian Pizza, Seafood Pizza, Mediterranean Pizza, Meat Lever etc, prices running between RMB32 to RMB38. We also recommend their sandwiches that are lightly toasted whole grain, focaccia (bread) or panini (style), with your choice of meats and/or vegetables tossed in a special sweet and savory dressing (RMB25 to RMB28). If you dine in, pastas and other wholesome dishes are written up on their menu board. Their salads, desserts and milkshakes are not must-haves, but it’s nice to have such options to complete your meal.
No. 172 Pucheng Rd (corner off Shangcheng Lu)
Its two other outlets are along 1554 Huahai Lu (T: 64712821) and 885 Renmin Lu (T: 63200897)