Piccola Italia Da Luigi

Piccola Italia, view from outside.

Al fresco dining.

Okay, everyone likes pizza. Well almost everyone aside from a few oddballs… So when there’s a new entrant into the Phnom Penh pizza scene they’re going to face a fair bit of scrutiny given the already solid list of pizzerias in town. Luckily Luigi’s, or more properly, Piccola Italia Da Luigi, is making a strong opening both with their pizzas and their deli counter.

Selection of antipasti.

Antipasti? Yes please!

The antipasti we started with were all great in my opinion. The selection of marinated artichoke, marinated aubergine, olives and stuffed peppers were a great way to start the meal with friends and went perfectly with the fresh bread provided. You can choose what you want from the deli counter and the prices range from $2.20 – $4.00 per 100 grams. We didn’t have chance to try on this occasion but they also have a selection of cured meats, fresh ricotta cheese, pesto, further antipasti and arancini.

Pizza with sausage, tomatoes, cheese, olives

Sausage, tomatoes, cheese, olives

The pizzas were above average. Thin and crispy crust, quality toppings and of generous proportions, they ticked all the boxes for what a decent pizza should be. My favourite was the sausage pizza, the name of which now escapes me but I will probably order it again. The supposedly extra spicy pizza was tasty but the ‘spicy’ tomato sauce wasn’t very punchy. This was however, easily rectified by the addition of some of their excellent chili oil. Though I’m still not entirely convinced of the merits of a seafood pizza, this one was actually pretty good and I was happy to do my part in finishing it off.

All in all Luigi’s is a solid contender for best pizza place in Phnom Penh. The excellent food coupled with the al fresco experience in a quiet lane off Norodom make for a great choice.

Justin – 4/5 nyamies

The spicy one, olives, peppers, pepperoni?, chili..

The spicy one, olives, peppers, pepperoni?, chili, tomato sauce

There’s a new pizza joint in town: Piccola Italia da Luigi, or simply Luigi’s. Who is Luigi? This remains unclear, and while rumors circulate as to where his Mediterranean roots originate, the man serves up some tasty pizza pies.

My first encounter with Luigi’s was through some take-away pizzas, which while tasty, don’t really compare to eating one fresh from the oven. I enjoy Luigi’s pizza, but I think I am equally enamored with the ambiance. Located down a little alley, with light from the restaurant spilling onto the otherwise darkened street, and cozy small tables set up street-side, I can’t help but think of that infamous date scene in Lady and the Tramp. You know what I’m talking about.

Seafood pizza

Olives, tomato, squid, other stuff?

Ok, Disney paramours aside, I encourage you to visit Luigi’s for the food. This trip introduced me to the array of antipasti available. My favorites included the olives, hinted with fennel, and the tangy marinated artichokes. Order a loaf of fresh bread, a chilled glass of the house red, and dive in. Also on the menu are risotto balls, which while at a higher price point ($3 each), are intriguing. We missed trying them this trip, but this conveniently gives me an excuse to go back.

We split 3 pizzas: italian sausage with olives, seafood, and spicy pepperoni. The pizzas are large (we were four hungry folks and had leftovers) and the prices are comparatively reasonable ($7+ per pizza). With a list of over 15 styles of pizza, choosing was difficult, but we were not disappointed with our selections. The sausage and spicy pepperoni were both fantastic, but I was most taken with the seafood pizza. Both the shrimp and squid were tender, not chewy and perfectly seasoned. Though sauce-less, a generous drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of chili perfectly matched the seafood.

Big pizzas

They’re big. And delicious. You should eat one.

Stuffing ourselves silly on antipasti and pizza, we skipped out on dessert. In contrast to their extensive pizza menu, Luigi only dishes up one post-dinner sweet: tiramisu. From a previous visit I know that, while not entirely traditional in presentation, the tiramisu is divine.

Compared to all the pizza options in Phnom Penh, I would place Luigi’s at the top of my list. The ingredients are superb, and the sauce is delicious. While the crust is wood-fired to perfection, I think there is something missing… It might be salt. However, pizza is a personal thing and so I respect the decisions Luigi made in his recipe. Overall, Luigi’s is a win in my books.

Alissa – 4/5 nyamies

Piccola Italia Da Luigi
Address: M36Eo Street 308 (small street next to Malis restaurant), Phnom Penh
Tel: 017 323 273
Email: luigisavarino@gmail.com
11.30am – 10pm (closed Mondays)

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1 Comment

Filed under Italian

One response to “Piccola Italia Da Luigi

  1. just came across your blog and smiled when i saw this post – we discovered piccola italia at the end of our street and now eat there at least 3 times a week. crushed its closed today for the elections…
    so.good.

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