Friday, November 27, 2020

Dining in the Next Normal: Pick Your Pizza...

From classic flavors to playfully inventive and creative variations, the popular pizza made its way to our homes during the quarantine weaving comfortingly familiar notes as well as refreshingly new home dining experiences. Have a slice from some of the metro's finest and innovative offerings in another round up of fresh picks...

The new normal continues to change and transform our daily routine leaving its long-lasting impact in everything we do, but the popular pizza remains as popular as ever. We've seen inspired spins on the classic pizza as well as novel and unconventional expressions of the enduring staple during the lockdown, and here's another round up of fresh picks of your favorite slice...

The whole world came to a standstill during the pandemic and the food service industry struggled in the new normal from the loss of the usual dine-in business. Home dining and the food delivery culture emerged as the prevailing set of new consumer habits defining the new normal. Hotels adapted to changing consumer habits with innovations of their own as a response to the new normal, like Tapenade on the Go by Discovery Primea. Pasta, paella and pizza formed the core of the savory offerings from the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant of Discovery Primea made available for pick-up, take-out and delivery. 

The Salumi Pizza (P 700++) by Restaurant Tapenade is fully-loaded with all your favorite toppings including Guanciale, Fennel Sausage, Bacon, Salsiccia Picante and Mozzarella for a vibrant burst of rich savory notes with each bite. 

The hearty crust with its charred and blistered edges takes on the full weight of the generous toppings to deliver a flavorful punch. The combination of proteins weaves a savory richness with each slice and bite, just what you'd expect from Restaurant Tapenade (for more on Discovery Primea's pizza, pasta and paella offerings from Tapenade on the Go, see my post, Pizza, Pasta and Paella, Delivered Straight to You by Discovery Primea's Tapenade on the Go).

The Nostalgia Lounge & Bar at Joy-Nostalg Hotel & Suites Manila offers a customized twist with their Build Your Own Pizza offerings (P 649 net). With a wide selection of cheeses, main toppers and flavor boosters, customers can enjoy pizza made to their specs and delivered to their doorstep with just one call or message on their laptop or mobile device. Customized with your favorite toppings, this may be the perfect pizza. 

Each crust is slathered with tart pomodoro and topped with mozzarella, and it's up you to choose the toppings. My combo of Italian Sausage, Chopped Basil and Red Onions with creamy Brie Cheese  hit all the right notes with the rich savory flavors of the sausage balanced by the mildly sharp hints of fresh basil and red onions and perfectly finished by the velvety smooth brie. You too can enjoy your customized pizza from Nostalgia Lounge & Bar (for more on Nostalgia Lounge & Bar's Build Your Own Pizza and list of toppings, see my earlier post, Dining in the Next Normal: Build Your Own Pizza with The Nostalgia Lounge & Bar's Latest Offering).

A thin and delicately crisp crust shaped to any letter you fancy, Pizza X adds fun to your pizza experience with their shaped pizza offerings. A celebration at home during the quarantine is brightened up with these uniquely shaped pizza creations from Pizza X, available in six flavorful variants like Angus Xtreme, Xtra Cheesy, Tropical Xplosion, Pesto Xcellency, Pepperoni Xstacy and Mexican Fix. Transform your celebration at home by spelling it out with pizza for a fun twist. 

Imagine pizza shaped like letters to spell "happy birthday" or "congratulations" and you get the idea (prices starts at P 88 per customized letter). But these letter-shaped pizza creations are also seriously good as well. The perfectly thin and crisp crust loaded with a variety of tasty options completes a unique pizza experience at home. Beyond the novelty of their shaped pizza, Pizza X brings bold flavors with each of their shaped pizza offerings. Rich flavors and a whole lot of fun, delivered to your doorstep. Now that's pretty cool (for more on Pizza X, see my previous post, Dining in the Next Normal: Spell Pizza with Pizza X).

From down south, Firehouse Pizza at Crimson Hotel Filinvest City Manila recently celebrated its milestone first anniversary firmly establishing its reputation as the go-to pizza joint in southern Metro Manila. The Signature Firehouse Pizza is the best way to get acquainted with this popular pizza destination at Crimson Hotel Filinvest City Manila...

...topped with Prosciutto, Chorizo, Meatballs, JalapeƱos, Salami and fresh Rucola Arugula drizzled with Chili Oil. The rich savory notes are tempered by the soothing heat of the jalapeƱos and spicy chili oil capped by the fresh notes of the arugula. The flavorful weave of contrasting notes comes together in a seamless blend with each bite (for more on Firehouse Pizza, see my post, Dining in the Next Normal: Seize Your Slice of Life with Firehouse Pizza on its First Anniversary). One bite, and you'll know why this pizzeria from down south has been on everyone's list of pizza favorites since last year.

We've seen culinary trends and innovations during the quarantine, and here's one more. You've tried the sushi bake, but have you tried the 1621 Sushi Pizza? You read that right. A flavorful twist on the popular sushi bake, the 1621 Sushi Pizza is a cool mash-up of flavors and textures with fresh seafood. The Seafood Aburi (P 450/9 inches with 8 slices good for 2-3) features a soft and chewy crust topped with sticky rice, buttery fresh and premium salmon, tuna and kani mixed with gari, tobiko, garden-fresh and crisp cucumbers, spring onions and nori drizzled with wasabi mayo, soy glaze and a creamy cheese sauce.

The flavors are familiar yet refreshingly different for an entirely new pizza experience like no other. And it works too. The fresh and clean notes of the seafood along with the other components combine for a flavorful pop with briny hints from the seafood finished by layers of creamy richness from the various ingredients. And 1621 has more innovative variants that are now available for delivery (for more on 1621 Sushi Pizza, see previous post, Dining in the Next Normal: You've Had Your Sushi Bake, But Have You Tried the 1621 Sushi Pizza?).

The uncertainty of the new normal may have changed our daily routine but it also produced creative out-of-the-box innovations, and if these pizza creations are any indication, the culinary scene remains as vibrant as ever in these challenging times.

For more on Discovery Primea's Tapenade on the Go and their full menu, visit their website at, their Facebook Page at or call +63 2 7955 8888 for your orders.

For more on Nostalgia Lounge & Bar at Joy-Nostalg Hotel & Suites Manila, call +63 7719 1160 for orders and inquiries or visit their website at Nostalgia to Go. Be sure to check out Joy-Nostalg Hotel & Suites Manila latest offers here at

For more on Pizza X, call 0966 628 4798 or 0966 628 4803 for orders and inquiries. You can also visit their Facebook Page at and their Instagram at @Pizzax_2020 for more updates.

For more on Firehouse Pizza at Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, call +63 998 595 3832 or email at for orders and more information. You can also visit their FB Page at for more updates.

1621 Sushi Pizza is located at 261 Ibuna Street, Barangay Little Baguio, San Juan or call 0917 812 1621 for orders. You can also fill up their order form online here at Connect with them on FB at and IG at for more updates, information and orders via PM and DM.

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