Thin, crispy crusts that are just ever so chewy, lightly smeared with tomato, and then topped with well anything really, but hot bubbly cheese, a smattering of parmesan, just a hint of garlic, and the crunch of some black pepper. Well I'm hungry already and its not anywhere near dinner time, but if someone put pizza in front of me, I would be very pleased to eat it.
Is there really a better food than pizza?
Seriously though, in terms of satisfaction and taste good pizza, cannot, simply cannot be bettered.
Pizza Jazz Belfast's newest place for pizza on Great Victoria street, opens early and closes very late and does takeaway until 4am on weekends, and 2am on weeknights. We visited on a Wednesday evening, and the twirling of pizzas didn't seem to stop all night.
All the pizzas have thin bases but you can order them in either 12 or 24" sizes. When cooked these bases become crisp and chewy.
There are 20 different pizzas to chose from, or you can live for the moment, and create your own masterpiece making a selection from a large array of toppings.
The restaurant is at the back of the building, and to get to it you walk past the counter where the pizza is made. The space is clean, with white wallks covered with large Black and White prints of different rockers, guitars and fiddles, there's a nice exposed brickwork feature, with a mirrored window, which adds depth to the room. There's a blueish glow from the lights which contrasts with the stark white, creating a cool warmth.
A large screen covers a side wall, and diners can chose from a large selection of music concerts on DVD, to listen to you while eating. When we arrived the Rolling Stones were playing, then we had some Garth Brooks, followed by Adele, and Amy Winehouse. The fact these concerts are on DVD rather than simply played by DVD, adds a really funky energy to the room.
Several guitars sit around the room, for diners to pick up and play, as they wish. Pizza Jazz is a great place for a 'session' of music, singing and laughter. Professional musicians play jazz, rock and folk at the weekends.
Choosing to eat family style we shared dough balls, bruschetta, and cheesy garlic bread as starters, along with a bowl of juicy olives.
The dough balls which were dipped in a good garlicky butter were made from tightly rolled pizza base, and had a crispy exterior with a chewy interior. These can be ordered straight up or with salami or mozzerella inside. They are very morish and one portion just isn't enough.
The Bruschetta was the best I have tasted in Ireland, fresh tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, slivers of red onion, and roasted red peppers were served over a thicker oval of chewy pizza bread. The flavours were fresh, robust and easy to eat, they had been expertly seasoned, in a way that brought each of the ingredients together as a team. I could imagine eating a pizza with this very topping. There was a squiggly Balsamic glaze which would work better on the side.
Friends from Tawian and Norway joined us for dinner.
Tanya our server was friendly and professional, she really knew the menu and was able to advise us on things to try. Having never eaten Stromboli before I took her advice and ordered, Picante Stromboli, that was filled with Chilli sauce, mozzarella, salami & red onion, and came with a peppery rocket and tomato salad.
Stromboli is a rolled pizza, were the ingredients are turned with the base, to form a baguette type shape. The outside had been brushed with garlic oil before baking, and was a good compliment to the warm, oozing ingredients inside.
The Pollo Piccante pizza, had tomato, mozzarella and chilli chicken, scattered with crunchy yellow peppers and red onions. The mix of textures, made for a flavoursome and balanced bite.
The Compagnola was topped with tomato, crisped pancetta, mozzarella, mushrooms, garlic oil and parsley. The light smokiness of the pancetta sat well with the earthy mushrooms, and the fresh parsley.
When you've eaten pizza, there is a longing for something at the end, not frothy, but bittersweet and cold. Pizza Jazz offer four choices for pudding, something lemony, another chocolatey, ice cream, and Tiramusu or there's cheese and biscuits.
We opted for Chocolate tart and IceCream with four spoons. The ice cream was so smooth, and the chocolate bitter without being tart. Chocolate and IceCream, the perfect end to a good meal.
Pizza Jazz is a restaurant with no pretensions. It serves pizza, pleasant wines, and simple desserts and it does it very, very well.
I'm looking forward to my next visit with some girlfriends, when we will tackle the 24 inch pizza, and maybe even get up and sing. Watch this space.
That's it for now ...
Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable