Zona Italia [ja], a hilltop restaurant with great views overlooking Nishi-hiroshima, now has a little sister. Zona Bel Pizza, located downtown, just around the corner from the Fukuya Department store, aims to offer quality, authentic pizza, cooked fresh at reasonable prices in a casual, fun atmosphere.
On entering the first floor you first select your pizza from the ten varieties on the menu.
- Poca Mozarella ¥380
- Marinara ¥380
- Margherita ¥680
- Melanzane ¥730
- Funghi ¥780
- Margherita Zona Extra ¥880
- Fritta ¥880
- Prosciutto e Rucola ¥930
- Speck e Marscapone ¥980
- Quattro Formaggio ¥1,080
Here you can also pick up small salads, packed in plastic containers. The drinks menu offers soft drinks from ¥200, three cocktails (Gin & Tonic, Moscow Mule, Cassis Grapefruit for ¥380), beers by the mug or pitcher, ‘frozen’ draft beer, non alcoholic beer, house wine by the glass (¥280) or decanter (¥750) and a good selection of bottled wine from ¥1200. Coffees and iced tea are ¥200-¥300. An interesting non-alcoholic drink is the succo di uva rossa, red grape juice with a distinctive wine-like taste (¥330).
Pay for your order and move across to the pizza preparation section where, at busy times, chefs pump out pizza after pizza right before your eyes (our kids always enjoy watching this, and let’s face it, who doesn’t?). The pizzas are popped onto a rotating plate inside a super hot oven. 90 seconds later, your pizza is done. Collect it on a tray at the counter next to the chefs’ workstation, along with any drinks or salads you ordered (here you can also serve yourself from the water cooler), and take your food to eat at one of the 109 seats on one of 3 floors.
We visited on a busy Sunday lunchtime, only a week after opening, and the ground level ordering/kitchen space was a little cramped, but the staff are very pleasant and the regular shouts of, “Bonjourno!” make for a fun atmosphere (the staff all having Italian names on their badges is also a nice touch). Despite the speed at which the pizza are cooked, we did have to wait a little while, but the atmosphere and the pizza-making show meant this was no hardship (and we were waiting for 4 pizza).
The decor in the eating areas isn’t anything special and, personally, I would prefer to be able to look out of the windows rather than have them covered.
The pizza themselves are very good. The base isn’t super crispy, but is thin and light and the sauce tastes very good. At these prices you might wonder if you’ll end up with Zona Mini Pizza, but they are a decent size. They advertise that their pizza are around 26cm in diameter. We didn’t check, but certainly felt we’d had a decent feed. On our first visit we stuck with classic offerings; the Marinara (amazing value at ¥380), standard Margherita and the Funghi (vegetarians take note, this comes with ham as well as mushroom). We will definitely be going back soon to try out some of the others.
- Smoke free
- Menu in Japanese, Italian and English
- Credit cards
Opening hours: 11:00-23:00 (Last Order 22:30), Dinner time（17:00~）
Address: 1-6 Tatemachi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi
URL: http://www.maplecity.jp/bel/index.html [ja]
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