Panda Pizza,
Riverwalk Village,
3rd Mile Jalan Ipoh,
Kuala Lumpur.
Business hours : 11.00am-11.00pm
Tel: 1300 880 608 for delivery).

EVER heard of Iranian pizza? While it is common knowledge that pizza is synonymous with Italians, the Iranians are not far behind with their pizzas.

The newly opened Panda Pizza in River City, Jalan Ipoh is offering a taste of the Middle Eastern Pizza for pizza lovers.

Owned by partners Daniel Afshar and Ali Bakhtiary, this first branch has garnered rave reviews from regulars.

According to Daniel, pizza was made famous in Iran some 40 years ago and has become a norm among Iranians.

He learned the art of making pizza from a famous chef in Iran for three years before coming to Malaysia 11 years ago.

Although he dabbled in various businesses here, he felt that opening up a pizza shop would be a perfect chance to make use of his skills.

According to him, the pizzas sold at their outlet have ingredients that are specially brought in from Iran to ensure that the authentic taste was preserved.

16A9649198CC43D9B1C829835E2FF637Garden Veggie: A hit with mushrooms, onions, black olives, capsicums, garlic,broccoli, red chillies, cheese and corn.

“The meat used including the salami and hot dogs are from Iran. The salami tastes really different from the ones you get here because it consists of 90% pure meat followed by other ingredients,” he added.

The dough used to make the pizza is also unique as it is made from milk and flour.

Daniel said the milk softens the bread and creates a nice crispy crust.

There are eight types of pizzas to choose from but the most famous is the Panda Special that has all the ingredients including minced beef or mutton, beef and chicken sausage, pepperoni, onions, mushrooms, capsicums, black olives and cheese.

Apart from that there is the Garden Veggie which is also a hit. This pizza has mushrooms, onions, black olives, capsicums, garlic, broccoli, red chillies, cheese and corn.

BA9B6A1307B744EB86EA3E01911096FENew store: Panda Pizza has a dinein section and offers a free deliveryservice.

Daniel said that most Malaysians also opt for the Hawaiian Chicken, a local favourite that has spiced chicken, chicken sausage, onions, pineapple, corn, black olives, mushrooms and cheese. The Iranian pizzas are rich in toppings, allowing diners to taste each morsel with the delectable toppings including the Mozarella cheese that is brought in from Australia.

All pizzas come in three sizes, small (seven inches), regular (10 inches) and large (12 inches) priced at RM17.80, RM21.80 and RM24.80 except for the Panda Special Pizza which is priced at RM19.80, RM23.80 and RM26.80 respectively.

For those who would like something a little different, Panda Pizza also serves footlong sandwiches.

The chicken fillet is a healthy option with a special marination of fresh lemon juice, chillies and onions.

Daniel said they sold some three kilogrammes of the chicken fillet sandwiches every day.

“The fillet is a little sour with a hint of onions, we (Iranians) use a lot of onions in our food. There is also the Olivier, a salad-like sandwich that is very famous back home (Iran),” he added.

Olivier is made of green beans, mashed potatoes, chicken and egg, all mixed together with mayonnaise.

Wash down the meal with special Lebanese yogurt that is both sweet and salty.

Panda Pizza also offers free delivery service to neighbouring areas and each food item comes with a free drink.

This is the writer’s observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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