By Josh Ong
Us at Quench were invited to the opening night of Da Mara’s latest Italian import, Giro Pizza; to us non-Italian folk, in the most simple of terms, it’s all-you-can-eat Pizza for a set price. At the current time of writing this, I’m certainly not aware of any other pizza places around Cardiff that offer the same deal, but regardless, I won’t complain if more of Wales’ finest pizza parlours jump on board.
The concept itself is far from new; Giro pizza is quite the popular choice for large group outings in Italy, or so I’m told by my Italian co-editor. On paper, it sounds like quite the dream – a set price per person, £14.95 in the case of Da Mara, in exchange for the kitchen continuously sending pizza until instructed otherwise. Additionally, there’s also a soft drink included, with the option of exchanging that for a beer for a supplementary £1.
I’ve had the fortune of dining at Da Mara before, outside of the magazine, and having one of their pizzas. At the time, I was overjoyed with their execution of the perfect pizza trifecta; the perfectly toasted and ‘leoparded’ base, charred air pocket bubbles and ideal cheese-to-sauce balance. From this, once the Giro Pizza was announced, the inner student within me was certainly thrilled at the concept of devouring as much pizza as humanly possible. However, that joy was equally met with a sense of scepticism – would they be able to recreate and maintain the same level of quality whilst churning out pizzas at the same rate that Eton produces of Members of the Conservative Party?
Much to my content, my fears were put to rest. It’s worth noting that as a diner, you have zero control over the toppings of the pizza before they are presented at your table. Whilst perhaps a moderately horrifying thought for those who are a little on the picky side of eating, rest easy; the kitchen are in full knowledge of their audiences and the choice of pizzas sent to tables was a clear demonstration of this. There’s no doubt that Da Mara itself caters to a British audience, but where it tries to differentiate itself is in it’s will to refuse to entirely bent over to the British, and incorrect, interpretation of Italian food. There were some choices which might be seen as a little odd to the local palate, but I can assure you that none of the pizzas were duds.
Given the packed restaurant, service itself moved along very smoothly. Just as our group had finished the two pizzas placed on our tables, there was a pleasant break before the next pizzas arrived. The gap was perfect for allowing the groups to socialise post-gobble, but successfully avoided frustrating any customers by lasting too long.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of Giro Pizza; the concept certainly translates well to the UK market. Unlike many pizzerias in Italy, Da Mara succeeds in demonstrating that quality isn’t necessarily sacrificed for the sake of quantity. However, to make the most of the experience, it’s probably best advised to have a table of with many of your friends and family as you can possibly muster.
You can find Da Mara at
2 Pen-Y-Lan Road,
To book, call 02920 482222