Alleycat's lovely menus

Address: 2F, No.66, Sec.2, Xianmin Blvd., Banqiao (新北市板橋區縣民大道二段66號2F) (map)

Tel: (02) 2958-8856

MRT: Banqiao (Exit 2)

Hours: 11:00~22:00 (Sun to Thurs), 11:00~22:30 (Fri to Sat)

Accepts: Cash, Visa, Mastercard

Service Fee: 10%

Price: $$$

Excellent Pizza, at a Price

Like I mentioned in my review of the excellent Birkin Waffle Café, Banqiao is really growing up. We’re starting to get some really great places to eat, and I really couldn’t be happier about the situation. One of my personal long-time favorites is Alleycat’s (website), so when I heard they were opening a ninth location just across from the Banqiao Train Station in the newly-built Eslite Bookstore, I was very pleased.

Alleycats Banqiao entrance

The newest Alleycat’s location is also, in my opinion, one of the very best. There’s ample seating inside, and the decor is warm, modern, and immaculate. Compare this one to the cramped, thrift store decor of the Zhongxiao branch and the difference is night and day.

Just look at that view!

The mixture of soft lighting and browns and reds really looks great, and being only 4 days old when we went, it was absolutely spotless, complete with that “new-store smell.” The kitchen area is also quite open, and if you would like to see how the chefs prepare your order, you can do so.

Kitchen area

This branch is even big enough to have it’s own bar area, which would be good if you’re just in the neighborhood and looking for some refreshment. As we were all quite hungry upon arriving, we while didn’t get a chance to sit here, you can see that the do have some brews on tap.

The bar

So on to the food. This time, I went with my girlfriend and a buddy of mine. We arrived quite late as we got off work around 8pm. There weren’t many patrons at the time, but it was a Tuesday evening and the place had only been open four days. They have quite an extensive drink menu, filled with beers, ciders, and house cocktails. My friend started with a Hunter’s Gold cider ($150), while I went for the Carlsberg draft, on sale for only $120.

Cider and beer!

The food menu is all Italian, including brushetta, Croccante (basically pizza crust), salads, panini, pizza, calzoni, and some house desserts. As pizza is their specialty, we all went for a pizza each in their largest 12″ size (10″ pizzas are also available). Now, before you report me to Weight Watchers, you need to understand that Alleycat’s does their pizza in the traditional Italian thin-crust style. This is not deep dish, so it’s not nearly as filling. If you’ve got a hearty appetite, I would go for the 12″ over the 10″ as it’s quite a bit bigger and just a bit more expensive. If’ you’re not that hungry, a 10″ may suffice, but to be perfectly honest, I’ve never ordered the 10″. 🙂

My girlfriend likes her pizza simple, so she went for the Margherita (10″ – $280, 12″ – $320), which is simply sauce and cheese. She claims that Alleycat’s is the only pizza she actually likes!

Margherita

My buddy is very fond of meat, so naturally he chose the Maialona (10″ – $450, 12″ – $490), which comes with Italian sausage, pepperoni, chorizo and salami. He also went all fancy on us and topped it off with extra Feta for $50.

 

Maialona

And because I like a mix of meat and veggies, I went with my usual standby – the Quattro Stagioni (10″ – $400, 12″ – $450) with olives, shiitake mushrooms, artichoke hearts and salami.

Quattro Stagioni

If you’re a fan of thin-crust pizza, it is difficult to find something that tops Alleycat’s pizza. The crust is crispy and delicious, the cheese is hot and gooey, and they don’t skimp on the other toppings, making this the most authentic and tastiest pizza I’ve had so far on the island. You can tell they put a lot of time into each one, and the results are completely worth the wait as they fresh bake every order.

So did you like it or what?

I’m a huge fan of pizza, and I have yet to find a place I enjoy more overall than Alleycat’s. This new Eslite Banqiao branch is really a jewel – bar none the fanciest Alleycat’s location I’ve ever stepped foot in. The servers did come by three times to confirm our order, but I’ll chock that up to the newness of the location and the inexperience of some of the wait staff. The manager, who was originally from the Q Square branch, went out of his way to make sure we got what we ordered. Best of all, they were running a special until November 30 where if you order a 12″ pizza, you can get a voucher to redeem it for another 12″ pizza in 2013 – essentially two for the price of one. Needless to say, we walked away well fed and happy.

If there’s anything I will say about it, is that it is among the priciest (if not the priciest) pizza joints I’ve been to in Taiwan. A 12″ will run you around $450, and then once you add a drink and possibly dessert on top of that, you’re looking at a $750 meal. This pricing makes it hard to go too often, but as a special treat or a place to hang out after a particularly rough week at work, I highly recommend it. I’ll have to dock it half a Yum because of the pricing, but Alleycat’s is easily a 4.5 Yum establishment in my book. – TY

4.5 Yums

 

Tagged with:

Filed under: Reviews

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!