Food & Drink | TOKYO FOOD FILE

Pinsa de Roma: Pizza's rectangular ancestors come to Harajuku

by Robbie Swinnerton

Special To The Japan Times

Another fast-food pizza outlet — just what Harajuku needs. Don’t jump to conclusions too fast though, Pinsa de Roma is different. First, as you can tell from the name, it serves pinsa, the original oven-baked flat bread made for centuries in Rome long before the name “pizza” was coined and Naples got into the act. Second, these pinsa are served as rounded rectangular pies that are each just the right size for one person — there’s no need to share. Third, and most importantly, they’re baked to order and they taste pretty good.

Pinsa de Roma is self-service. You line up at the counter, checking out the display case to see what the choices are. There are usually a dozen to choose from, with colorful combinations that would be unthinkable in a true-blue Neapolitan pizza shop: Smoked salmon with mozzarella and yogurt, Gorgonzola with purple radicchio, bresaola (salt beef) with arugula and Parmesan and there are even a couple of dessert pinsas made with fruit.

Among the stand-outs are the prosciutto ham with sliced champignons, and the carbonara with pancetta and runny egg. You can order freshly made salads on the side — served Brooklyn-style in Kilner jars. And there is even a choice of drinkable wines. You won’t find that at Harajuku’s other pizza joints.

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