People who love pizza generally fall into two camps: those who like their pizza thick and bread-like, and those who prefer a thin crust with chewy edges. In Taiwan, the former are well-served. But those of us who like thin crust pizza now have an oasis at Hot!, a new shop on a busy lane connecting Sheng Li and Dong Ning Roads.
The pizzas at Hot! are all eight inches across, with a delicious, thin-and-chewy crust that finds the right balance of crispy edges and chewy interior. The shop’s owner, Kay, said that at other pizza shops in Taiwan, customers often toss the bread-like crusts, but at Hot!, she’s happy to see her customers contentedly nibbling away at the edges and leaving a clean plate. The dough is made fresh every day, and the pizzas are cooked in the shop’s wood-fired oven. Though it adds a nice coziness, the stack of wood in the shop’s dining room is not purely decorative, but rather the self-same longyan wood is used to fire the oven. Kay says it gives the crust a touch of sweetness you won’t find elsewhere.
On the menu, which is available in English, you’ll find an interesting mix of toppings. Creamy salmon, salty egg and squid, kimchi BBQ, takoyaki, Taiwanese sausage, and “tiny fish” flavors remind you you’re still in Taiwan. However, for those foreigners whose taste buds haven’t gotten over their culture shock, Hot! also offers the option of choosing three toppings for NT$109. Vegetarians can choose the garden veggie pizza, or the fruit pizza, which has a sweet sauce made with honey.
Hot! also sells sides like popcorn chicken and onion rings, and has a nice selection of handmade tea drinks in addition to fountain sodas. All pizzas and drinks are buy five, get one free. You can call ahead to order, and can even reserve the dining room (and its TV) for a birthday party.
People with smaller appetites may find that one of Hot!’s ultra-thin crust pizzas is enough for a meal (and often results in leftovers for a midnight snack). Those with bigger bellies might need to order more than one pizza from Hot! at a time. With no pizzas over NT$109, this is no burden.
Pizza is no rarity in Taiwan these days, but despite its popularity, pizza in Taiwan sadly often still tastes a lot like tomato sauce on spongy, underbaked bread. Luckily, a few dedicated foreigners and pizza-loving locals, like the owner of Hot!, are out there making pizzas that are a cut above the rest.
written by Sandi Ward for Tainan City Guide
Hours : 11 AM – 9 PM
Location: No. 1, Lane 52, Sheng Li Road, East District, Tainan City
營業時間：11 AM – 9 PM