M was very excited about the reunion that he orchestrated for his university mates in Beijing, and decided to hold the gathering at The Tree, in Sanlitun - the LKF of Beijing. One couldn't help but wonder how true could his claim that this is the best place ever for pizza in Asia... these people from the States always seem to indulge in the superlatives in their vocabulary~ come on, fantabulous pizza in Beijing? (ETA: just got an email from him saying the best pizza is at the Hyatt in Mumbai... that totally proves my theory!)



This being my first visit to the capital, I obviously, didn't have any say... we walked past many trendy bars in the Sanlitun area before reaching the hidden alleyway where The Tree was located. One cannot miss the big wood fired pizza oven right at the entrance, where the pizza chef was busy rolling out pizza dough base after pizza dough base...



Luckily there were seven of us, which allowed us to order a large selection of pizza randomly. We also added a Greek Salad and Ceaser Salad side order.



We also ordered a few pints, with this being a Belgian beer hall as welll... an obvious patriotic move to support our country by ordering Tsingdao instead of the fancy variety on display.

Our pizzas started arriving en masse- the sizes were pretty big, and extremely affordable at Rmb50-65 a pizza. While we were devouring the tasty pizza slices, a waiter came round to our table and asked us to order an extra one on the house. At first we thought it was because we had ordered so much that they decided to give us a complimentary one. But as it turned out, it was The Tree's tenth anniversary month when we visitied the place in June 2006 (yes there is quite a bit of a backlog with the entries), and so they were giving the table that ordered the 96th pizza of the night for free. We were more than happy to order an extra one, even though we were getting pretty filled up. 




While I would not call this the best pizza I have had in Asia (always something to look forward to), the wood-fired pizzas totally exceeded expectations, much better than the Pizza Express' pizzas that we order in for our weekly Friday drinks at work. Couple this with the easy-going, relaxed atmosphere, this place is definitely well worth a visit, the place was still buzzing when we finally left at eleven. I'd rather hang out around here than one of those empty bars on the main road of Sanlituns, the ones with the girls standing outside trying to snatch guys in...



The Tree
43 Bei Sanlitun Nan, Chaoyang District, Beijing
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{Tea diaries}

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