Usually a dining venue that brands itself off a play-on-words symbolizes cheap, gimmicky, tongue-in-cheek dishes and bland spins on fusion food. Suffice it to say, we walked up to PizzaZo Italian and French Bistro with a mixture of curiosity and hesitation. And while we were content with the food despite its peculiar namesake, the execution of the service left a lot to be desired.
Cruise a few hundred meters down the pleasant Sukhumvit Soi 16 to find PizzaZo on the right side of the soi. The restaurant sits on a beautiful piece of land where a modern styled home sets the backdrop of relaxed and casual dining. Up until mid-2011 this beautiful house had partitioned rooms for rent, and taking a peak on the second floor of the house, it looks like it still retains some tenants. But now the focus of the digs is on dishing out a variety of mostly Italian cuisine and pizzas to what appears to be a very local neighborhood crowd.
The main-focal point of Pizzazo upon entering the premise is its gorgeous and sleepy front lawn. It dons a variety of tables for dining amidst well manicured plants and grass without compromising the tropical lushness of this style of garden/house/restaurant that has become ever so popular in Bangkok. On the right side of the property, hidden in the corner, is an open-air pizza oven where chefs churn out 21 different styles of pizza.
The prices are negligible for the quality of food you get at PizzaZo. Its not fine dining, per se, but creativity and attention has been put into the dishes of standard quality ingredients. The pizzas range in price for 220 baht for a classic Margherita up to 490 baht for their Salmone Affumicato which carries an interesting flavor combination of mascarpone, cream cheese, smoked salmon and dill. It didn’t vibe with our farang taste-buds, but the Thais we were with loved it.
Beyond the 21 pizzas, PizzaZo has a number of starters such as carpaccio, calamari, soups and salads all reasonably priced and safe in its execution and presentation. The main courses include Lamb Chops, Grilled Seabass, Carmelized Duck Breast and Basied Beef Cheek and Tail with Mushrooms that came out insanely tender albeit a little bland. Again, with most of the prices for the main courses in the sub-500 baht market, we weren’t expecting fine culinary masterpieces – it pleases for its price.
What strongly bothered us about PizzaZo, however, was the service. Maybe its just us being picky, but it appeared that absolutely no dining etiquette had been bestowed on the staff. There was absolutely no cadence to the service. Within two minutes of our starter arriving at the table, one of the pizzas showed up. The cutlery was intended to be used for every dish from the salads to the pizzas to the entree to the dessert. None of the plates were cleared throughout dinner. The pizza was served without distribution of extra plates for our table to use; I assume we were supposed to dish the slices into our salad plates? The tiny cheap paper napkins were housed in a small bin in the middle of the table. Sufficient if we were eating noodles on the street, but not suitable for a multi-course meal at a restaurant that is attempting to be somewhat eloquent.
It was clear that the standards of service have been completely overlooked, which is a shame as it really stood out as a stain on our experience.
PizzaZo has plans to expand its restaurant in 2012 to include Thai fusion dishes and transform the side of the house to a bar and lounge in attempts to attract some nightlife activity a la 6ixcret. They also deliver.
PizzaZo, you’d get our recommendation for reasonably priced dining in a very enjoyable setting if you could just work on the table service and manners. Its distracting.
PizzaZo Italian and French Bistro
188 Sukhumvit Soi 16
Tues-Fri: 11:30-22:00; Sat, Sun: 11:00-22:00