June 16, 2012

Zoca Pizzeria

Address: 149 Linjiang St, Taipei City (台北市臨江街149號)
Telephone: (02) 2707-2212
Hours: Tues - Fri 11am to 2:30pm, 5:30pm to 9:30pm, Sat - Sun 11am to 9:30pm
Price: $$

I missed Zoca. It's been a long time since I've had pizza and today was the perfect day to satisfy my cravings. Last time I was here, I sampled more of the dessert menu and their delicious Nutella pizza. So this time I chose a "hearty" pizza, the Prosciutto e Funghi (ham and mushroom) for $320 NT. There were a selection of drinks on the menu; everything from lattes, cappuccinos, and hot chocolate to Coronas, Radlers, Diesels, and Taiwan Beer. I ordered a Peroni ($120 NT for a 330 mL bottle) and sat back with my book.
I forgot that Zoca's packed on weekends. There's a lunchtime special that's quite popular and always draws a crowd, so it's best to avoid the early afternoon. The service is really good, with the waitstaff being extremely attentive to detail. I think I almost drank all my water before it was refilled to the brim...

The pizza arrived quickly, piping hot from the oven! I'm such a huge fan of these pizzas, it's probably a little unhealthy. The thin crust is expertly fired; it's never burnt, it's never raw, it's never soggy, it's never a weird consistency, it's just as thin crust pizza dough should be. You can easily cut through it with a knife, though sometimes I forgo the knife and fork in favor of my hands.
The pizza toppings are wonderfully judicious. The tomato sauce is evenly spread across the pizza and there's a great ratio of sauce to cheese to ham to mushroom. The pizza avoids being too "soupy" with a preponderance of sauce, which I like (though some friends have complained that the sauce is too thin and lacking). The mozzarella is concentrated in the center of the pizza and melts nicely beneath the additional toppings. The prosciutto is finely sliced, flavorful, and distributed evenly; as are the chewy mushrooms ... though the mushrooms aren't too finely sliced.
I quickly demolished the entire pizza. Shameful? I think not. I regret nothing. Since my last review, Zoca has added cannolis to the menu! They're $150 NT and while yours truly didn't sample one, they looked unbelievably scrumptious sitting in their display case. The waitress told me I could take one "to go" but I needed to resist temptation. 
There's a 10% service charge, so my total came to $484 NT. The menu at Zoca is in English, Chinese, and Italian, and the waitstaff speak English and Chinese (if you want to utilize your Italian, you can always talk to Federico himself). The desserts are homemade, there's Wi-fi, there's wine, did I mention there are cannolis? Check out the Zoca Facebook fan page or just search "Zoca pizza Taipei".

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