July 16, 2022

Durian and mango pizza

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I came upon something last night while scrolling through social media. A friend had posted about the newest offering from Pizza Hut Taiwan that was stirring up a lot of controversy, and I knew immediately that I had to go get a taste... and it had to be today - my last day in Taiwan.

I had not realized that the business model for Pizza Hut had changed in Taiwan. Most of their outlets now are for delivery/takeout only. There are only three dine-in restaurants in all of Taipei, and the only option for dining in is the all-you-can-eat buffet. Of course, they do serve up a selection of their pizzas, which you can grab by the slice instead of ordering a whole pie. So I called 2 of the 3 outlets in Taipei to figure out which one was serving the new pizza today.

Durian mango pizza (榴芒水金金比薩) - YES, BOYS AND GIRLS... IT'S DURIAN! AND MANGO! ON A PIZZA!

So we've got chunks of durian - Thai Mon Thong (หมอนทอง), to be exact - but I found them to be a little more raw and crunchy. There's also durian jam which was, as expected, more intense in flavor. In addition to the Mozzarella that's been melted, they also sprinkled durian-flavored cheese on top. Yes, I did taste a couple of them individually and there was a hint of durian flavor in them. We've also got Irwin mango (愛文芒果) jam, and what I felt was the one thing that made it all work together - coconut powder. In Thailand you've got the sticky rice topped with either mango or durian, and in either case you get them with coconut milk on top. That's the hit of familiar flavors ringing a bell in my head.

Honestly, minutes before biting down on this, I thought about chickening out. I didn't think this would work and thought I might hate it and regret pulling this stunt. I was wrong. I wouldn't say it was the best pizza I've ever had, but I went back for a second slice.

Triple cheese pepperoni pizza (臘腸起司三重奏) - with Parmesan, Mozzarella, and a stuffed cheese crust. The cherry tomatoes were nice.

Seafood pizza (海鮮比薩) - it's a cheap pizza so I wasn't surprised at the tiny frozen shrimps. Also with fheese crust.

Teppanyaki steak pizza (鐵板牛柳) - actually pretty good, with black pepper in the sweet-tasting sauce.

I was pretty stuffed after 5 slices, and pretty happy. I had accomplished my goal of trying the special pizza, and it was a pretty unique experience for my last lunch in Taipei on this trip.

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