Upon hearing about this place, we were delighted! Would there finally be a decent place in Wangjing serving the classic, thin, and light New York style pizza? It sounded too good to be true and we knew our expectations shouldn’t be too high. Needless to say, we were right. Our hearts sank from the moment we entered Yellow Cab Pizza and saw both the cliche yellow car number plate logo, and the half-empty two-storey restaurant at lunch on a weekday. Nevertheless, for a newly-opened restaurant, there was still potential.
After much deliberation, we decided to order the New York’s finest pizza (10-inch, RMB 109), pepperoni folded pizza (RMB 29) hot wings and garlic wings (RMB 10 each). The friendly waiters pointed out that the New York’s finest was their “hot seller,” which sounded promising. With hope and determination, we went upstairs to be seated next to the only other two customers. A reassuring sign was the interior decor – graffiti, washed-out grey walls, and fashionable pipes protruding from the ceiling – all of which vaguely reminded me of garages and street art in Brooklyn.
The wings were served first, along with a mysterious box which we didn’t order. Turns out the waiter accidentally brought us their Charlie Chan chicken pasta (RMB 28), which vaguely looked like zhajiangmian. The wings were served individually on bright orange plates and wax paper, giving it all a college dining hall vibe. The crispy, crunchy skin guaranteed a strong first bite. However, the bright red seasoning on the hot wings were disappointingly mild and can hardly be called spicy, let alone hot. This left us with dry, bland meat that did not leave me wanting more.
We then moved on to the star of the day: New York’s finest pizza. The name sure hypes up the dish, but I already knew it wasn’t going to be original, the toppings consisting of salami, ham, pepperoni, bacon, ground beef, black olives, mushrooms, onions, red bell peppers, capsicum, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. From that extensive list it sounded like one of those dishes where the chef forgot what the recipe was and decided to add everything for fear of missing something. This pizza might be worth the price compared to other items on the menu, but as any foodie knows, taste relies on the quality of the combination, not the quantity, and even though they might not have missed an ingredient – they certainly missed the mark. Not only was the texture confusing – we struggled to cut the hard crust with a knife, let alone attempt to fold it like pizza lovers do in NYC – the attempt to make it less cheesy to suit the preferences of Chinese customers only added to the rigidness of each slice. New York pizza, this most certainly was not.
Next up, the pepperoni folded pizza. Hearing folded pizza we expected a delicious calzone to be brought to our table but actually, they have a ham and cheese Calzone (RMB 56) as a separate dish on the menu. So, what was this mysterious folded pizza then? Our waiter described it as “similar to a sandwich.” To give you guys a better idea, the fillings were pepperoni, lettuce, rocket, tomatoes, and caesar dressing but when we unfolded it we unearthed little more than some sad pieces of pepperoni covered with greens and a few slices of tomato. Its presentation can only be described as like a panini I bought from the grocers and accidentally left in the fridge for a week. However, it did taste better than we expected, but we still didn’t quite understand the concept behind this dish. Perhaps it would work as a quick grab-n-go for lunch, but nothing more would tempt us to order it again.
Our honest advice is this: don’t come here unless you’re drunk to the point where everything tastes good. You can also snap a few drunk selfies in front of their superhero wall of fame while you’re at it. Otherwise, you might want to walk up the street to find Dominos, where you might not find such a polished interior but at least through tried and tested recipes you know what you're getting.
Yellow Cab Pizza
Daily 10.30am-10.30pm. Bldg A, Wangjing Business Center, Chaoyang District (400 817 1118)
Photos: Annie Lin
Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog