Who would’ve thought that a pizza joint that prides itself on authentic Italian taste would venture into more local flavours? Having recently launched durian pizza, Tino’s Pizza has been serving the creamy fruit on baked dough crusts lately.
While there has been much speculation about this rather peculiar combination, one thing’s for certain — either you love it or you hate it. If you’re a fan of the king of fruits then you’re in luck because these durian pizzas are set to be permanent items on the menu.
Interior wise, Tino’s Pizza has a rather evenly spaced dining setting with a comfortable ambience and ample lighting. The perfect place to chow down on some great Italian fare, if I do say so myself.
To start with, we had the Peanut Butter Fries ($6.90). Although I’m not usually a fan of peanut butter, I found these to be strangely addictive. It could be that the fries alone came piping hot and had a notably crispy quality to them.
Either way, the thick-cut fries that were slathered with sweet peanut butter was hands down one of the most sinful treats I’ve had. If you’re all about that nutty sauce, I’m sure you’ll go nuts over this one.
Longing for a cross between sweet and savoury, we opted for the Blue Formaggio ($13.90) in the “normal” size. Made from a combination of Blue cheese, Padano and Mozzarella, the cheese lover in me couldn’t have been happier.
To add on a more unique twist to the pizza, walnuts are also strewn across the dough and drizzled over with a hint of honey.
The marriage between the stringy cheese and sweetness of the honey really proved to be something else. For those who are worried about the pungent taste of the blue cheese, fret not because it was well-balanced and didn’t overpower the other ingredients.
The highlight of the meal was, of course, the Mao Shan Wang Pizza ($21.90). Featuring lots of cheesy goodness and durian flesh atop of a thick hand-tossed pizza crust, this was personally one of the only sweet pizzas that I really enjoyed.
Admittedly, I was skeptical about the whole notion of having “hot” durian at first, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well the durian blended in with the cheese. I kind of expected the durian to overpower the cheese completely but the creamy filling was very well balanced.
You could also tell that the pizza was freshly made as the crust had a sort of chewy quality to it that is simply different from heating up a frozen pizza.
Diners can select from two options: Mao Shan Wang or D24 flavour. While the latter might be of a slightly lower grade, both are of the better varieties when it comes to durian.
With the appetizer and pizzas on the sweeter end of the spectrum, we decided to go for something that was completely savoury so we opted for the Seafood Paella ($17.90). While this wasn’t the best seafood paella I’ve had, it still tasted pretty solid with it’s fragrant saffron rice that was seasoned with basil, bonito powder and turmeric.
Not forgetting, the generous additions of seafood that came with it. There was a good assortment of calamari, clams and prawns thrown into the mix.
Together with the capsicums and mushrooms, this was certainly a very flavourful dish. Remember to drizzle lime over it for some zest!
What’s the final verdict on the durian pizza? Well, I was impressed by the quality and texture of the pizza that came together nicely with the sweet durian and savoury cheese. It was truly a winning recipe- unless of course, you absolutely can’t stand durian.
So next time you’re looking at getting some pizzas, why not ditch the more mainstream pizza joints and try Tino’s instead? The pizzas here are guaranteed to be fresh daily, as they are all made in-house and tossed by hand.
Expected Damage: $25 per pax