I've always been a bit of a pizza snob. To me, real pizza is not Italian - it never was - but New York pizza. I think it's the water. In most places here in Colombo, the pizza just doesn't feel right in an I-don't-know-much-about-art-but-I-know-what-I-like manner. Even Il Ponte at the Hilton, which possesses a wood fired brick oven, only offers pizza that is both expensive and mediocre.
So, when we recently got a pizza craving, we decided to visit some of the newer Italian restaurants - Echo at the Cinnamon Grand and Reghina Margherita - to try theirs out.
We tried Reghina Margherita first. Run by a Sri Lankan-Italian couple, it possesses an Italian chef (ITSA MEE, LUIGI!), a wood burning brick pizza oven and an Italian American neighborhood restaurant feel with red checked tablecloths and exposed brick.
The pizza we got initially, topped with parma ham, was salty, bland and basic. Don't get me wrong: it was good pizza but nothing that leapt off the plate. We went through the different - rather limited - topping options until we came to the spicy salami pizza (LKR 1,400 nett). This pizza was what we decided had the best balance of flavours for our very Sri Lankan palates.
We also tried the spicy salami pizza (LKR 1,000 nett) at Echo at Cinnamon Grand. Echo has a more muted, high end restaurant vibe but, surprisingly, the bill was lower than Reghina Margherita. And while the Echo pizza had more cheese on it, the spicy salami was sliced a little too thick and felt a little too much like sliced sausage. RM's salami was excellent but there was just not enough cheese (which is a fixable issue - just ask for more cheese, I guess!)
Every review needs some original conclusion to make it worth reading. Reghina is constantly packed with people and it would've been fun to say that the empress makes bad pizza.
While the empress makes decent pizza, Echo’s pizza is about the same but quite a bit cheaper. Despite all the vaunted Italian ath gunaya and wood firedness of the Reghina Margherita pizza, we couldn't tell the difference between the crusts or the sauces of the two pizzas. So, all things being more or less equal, I’d tell you to go for the cheaper option, Echo.
But, in the end, what won the pizza standoff for Reghina Margherita was the end. The tiramisu we had for dessert - a gigantic square of chocolatey goodness (pretty much how I used to describe myself on dating sites) - tipped the balance towards Regina Margherita. Even if it is more expensive, any meal that ends with this kind of dessert wins every time.
Restaurant: Reghina Margherita
Address: Park Road, Colombo 5 (near Food City)
Phone:(011 if calling from a cellphone) 7394440
Tip: 1. It's not open for lunch 2. Go there at around 9-9:30pm; tables are much easier to get then
Restaurant: Echo at Cinnamon Grand
Address: 77 Galle Rd, Colombo 3
Phone:(011 if calling from a cellphone) 2497485