- Unlimited toppings
- Great variety
- Great Value
- Fun with friends
- Difficulty locating restaurant
- Weakness of some dishes
8.5The Pizza Factory is going for efficiency and quantity over excellence, which is a fine mission that is executed well. With the variety and price point of the menu, there are going to be some dishes that don't fully impress, but the added experience in designing a pizza makes it worth the visit.
The “Cant Go Wrong” Pizza
The Pizza Factory, a DIY pizza restaurant started in neighboring Guangzhou, has now fired up its first oven in Shenzhen. Trek over to the big elephant at MixC World in Nanshan and go up to the fifth floor of the Eslite bookstore to find it. It’s a bit of a safari your first time. Thankfully, once you find it, The Pizza Factory is more of a design-it-yourself, rather than do, for those of us not so gifted with dough working skills.
The idea is well executed. The Pizza Factory provides a seamless experience and a surprisingly comprehensive menu of American-style Western food (pizza, pasta, apps, salads, bbq, and desserts). This allows for a memorable special touch in each pizza. At the same time, they avoid leaning in too heavily on the unique feature to the point of feeling like a floppy pizza shtick. I enjoyed every bite of the pizza, and also chowed down on the other tasty bits of the menu.
Design Your Own Pizza
I’ll start with the main focus: the pizza. You have the choice between either a 10-inch or 12-inch pie (68RMB/88RMB). Be the boss. Load your pizza up with as many of the unlimited toppings as you want. There are no additional fees. The pizza is nicely crafted in minutes right before your eyes.
I went with a mix of the fresh pesto and thick tomato pizza sauces. Of course, there is no need to ever limit your choices, so pile up as many toppings as you want. Choose between the plentiful array of veggies and meats. The ingredients and toppings are all top-quality. The Pizza Factory imports most ingredients from the US, Italy, or wherever else is going to do it best.
I lovingly returned to the pizza of my American upbringing with mushroom, bell pepper, sausage, pepperoni, and roasted garlic. You are free to take it in a totally different direction with calamari or roasted chicken.
Watch the pizza come to life on a beautiful 1-ton beast of an oven imported from Italy. The boss oven can bust out a fully cooked pizza in about 3 minutes. The final product is satisfying, with a soft and flavorful crust. The crust is still solid and crisp enough to hold its layers of toppings and goodness each time you go for a bite.
Make it a Feast
The other food came out looking just as appealing. The large meat platter (198RMB) was impossible to keep my eyes off. It hogged up most the table with its piles of pulled pork, ribs, beef brisket, chicken wings, and sweet potato fries. These are most of the giants of classic backyard American BBQ, a rare treat in Shenzhen that I was happy to enjoy.
The ribs and chicken wings were highly recommended. As such, we asked for a swap of chicken wings instead of shrimp on the platter—the friendly service will hopefully do that for others who wish as well.
Meat Platter Worth Trying
The ribs definitely impressed me. The Pizza Factory imports them from the US, and each one we got was about the maximum amount of meatiness you can possibly get on a rib. The bbq sauce the ribs are cooked in is slightly sweet but it still allows the complex flavor of the meat to be most prominent. Best of all, the meat was tender and fell right off as I scoured each bone for every possible bite. The ribs are available on the menu for 3 ribs, salad, and fries at 108RMB. This felt reasonable when I considered how I’ve paid two are three times more for dishes of less and inferior quality meat in Shenzhen.
I think the meat platter is great for the variety, but it is hard for the other parts to stack up to the ribs. The chicken wings boast an overnight marinade in a mixture of spices and herbs but came out splendidly cooked yet lacking flavor. The pulled pork was tasty and extra saucy but doesn’t have the star power of pizza and ribs. And although I have never been one to go nuts over sweet potato fries, with that delicious garlic sauce to dip them in those poor fries didn’t stand a chance.
Lasagna done American Style
At this point, I decided to keep powering on, even if my stomach was telling me it was time to clock out of The Pizza Factory. Overtime consisted of lasagna. Like the rest of the fare, the bolognese lasagna (68RMB) is American style. It’s cheesy and creamy. While the sauce may not be splashed with Italian wine to give it some romance, it sure is packed with meat for substance. They also have other pasta favorites, like mac & cheese (42RMB) and spaghetti (58RMB). The lasagna was certainly satisfying enough to warrant trying those options as well in the future.
The unifying concept behind what turns out to be much more than just pizza is an all-around quality food experience with many ways to make it your own. There are other pizzas in Shenzhen I will crave before The Pizza Factory’s, but I’ll return for the location, price point, and variety. It’s a great place to enjoy with friends because of the added engagement you have when creating your pizza. Plus, at easily less than 100RMB a person you are not spending more than an average meal out with a group.
The Pizza Factory can crank out a solid pizza for you in a matter of minutes, or you can sit back and enjoy a two-hour tour of America with fruit drinks to remind you where you are. It just might need a few slight improvements before it becomes the next factory of the world.
Location: MixC World Eslite Building L503, Nanshan, Shenzhen
Subway: Hi-Tech Park Exit A
Price: 90/RMB a person