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There are many American chain restaurants in Hong Kong but one beloved chain here is California Pizza Kitchen.
I discovered there was a California pizza kitchen when I saw an ad for it going up the escalator while in the Hung Hom district.
Since then, it has been on my bucket list.
When I finally had a chance to eat here, of course, I had to write a restaurant review about it.
(I think I’ve been once before but I can’t remember so I treated this as if it was my first time eating here.)
California Pizza Kitchen Food
1) BBQ Chicken Pizza
California Pizza Kitchen is most known for its signature BBQ chicken pizza so I knew this was something I had to get.
I’m a HUGE fan of BBQ chicken pizza. It’s actually one of my favourite pizza combinations (minus the red onions) so it was exciting.
When the pizza came out, it wasn’t that big unlike Fini’s. It was hard to tell if they made the portion smaller for locals here or if the portion is the same overseas as well.
One person can finish this whole thing especially since a lot of people don’t eat the crust.
The restaurant didn’t skimp out on the sauce. One bite and the BBQ flavour explode in your mouth.
It was freshly made so the pizza was still warm. The colour of it also looked fantastic.
People have different preferences about how thick a pizza should be but to me, the dough could have been a bit thicker. Other than that, there’s nothing bad to say about this dish.
It came pretty quickly too and many other tables also ordered this.
Their BBQ chicken pizza deserves to be a signature dish. It’s not easy to find a good BBQ chicken pizza (some restaurants don’t use enough sauce or there are too few chicken bits).
California Pizza Kitchen nailed it.
2) Portobello Mushroom Ravioli
It’s almost a rule to get pasta and pizza together. Ordering one without the other never feels quite right.
I was close to not ordering this. It was my mom that suggested that we should try the mushroom ravioli since we’re both big fans of mushrooms.
The interesting thing is that you can pick between tomato or cream sauce to go with the pasta. Usually, it’s set but at California Pizza Kitchen, you have an option.
My mom and I were divided because she prefers tomato sauce while I prefer cream sauce. She argued that we were already getting another cream pasta but I insisted on the cream sauce. Doesn’t mushroom ravioli usually go with cream sauce anyway?
I’m so glad she listened to me.
You can see that there was a good amount of mushrooms inside the ravioli. It’s also a bit salty which added to the dish.
Free bread wasn’t provided here but I totally would have dipped the bread in the sauce.
The cream sauce with the pasta worked well together.
The dish was pretty good so we scarf this down pretty quickly.
It’s hard to imagine what the ravioli would taste like with tomato sauce but it would for sure taste completely different.
3) Garlic Cream Fettucine
Cream pasta can be a hit or miss. Some can be too creamy to the point where it’s too greasy while others don’t have a strong enough taste.
The garlic cream fettuccine at California Pizza Kitchen falls in the latter category.
Since we had good impressions of the mushroom ravioli and it’s the same sauce, we thought this would also be good.
Instead, the pasta was bland. That’s when I realized it’s the saltiness of the mushroom ravioli was probably what added to the delicious taste of the pasta. On the other hand, the garlic cream fettuccine didn’t have that balance other than boiled chicken pieces and shrimp.
This was my least favourite thing out of the three we ordered.
It was disappointing too.
Oddly enough, if I had looked at the menu and had to pick ONE pasta, I would have picked this instead of the mushroom ravioli. I’m so glad I got both because the mushroom ravioli wins by far.
There’s no need to get the garlic cream fettuccine on the next visit to California Pizza Kitchen.
Next Visit to California Pizza Kitchen
The next time I’m here, I would still get the BBQ chicken pizza and mushroom ravioli but it would also be nice to try something new.
Although this time around I didn’t order these, two other dishes that sounded mouth-watering on their menu were the buffalo chicken pizza and garlic butter fries.
When I think of buffalo chicken pizza, it reminds me of my time in Boston because there’s a restaurant I love there that serves this pizza. It’s not all about seafood in Boston. In fact, there are also many other delicious things to eat there.
There’s some hesitation about the buffalo chicken pizza here because it’s with blue cheese and carrots and celery. What does sound good is the cheese ranch dressing and spicy buffalo sauce.
The garlic butter fries was something else that caught my attention. It’s fries with spicy seasoning, ranch dressing and garlic butter sauce.
Not the healthiest thing to eat but doesn’t it sound so good? The combination sounds bomb.
A quick check on Openrice (it’s an app in Hong Kong most people use to look up restaurants) on my phone shows that California Pizza Kitchen uses thick fries.
People can be choosy with the thickness of fries including me. Personally, I prefer skinny fries. Waffles fries and curly fries are fantastic as well. The fries don’t taste the same with a different texture.
However, I’ll still get this and see this for myself next time.
California Pizza Kitchen Locations
There’s a fair share of casual American chain restaurants in Hong Kong like The Cheesecake Factory, Ruby Tuesday, Outback, and of course, California Pizza Kitchen (too bad there’s no Yardhouse here. Their lobster garlic noodles are amazing!).
While some American chain restaurants are scattered around the city, California Pizza Kitchen only has two locations: Tuen Mun and Hung Hom.
Depending on where you live, the location can be more convenient for most of us but it doesn’t stop the restaurant from filling up at night.
If you live in New Territories, there’s a good chance you’ll visit Tuen Mun because it’s a busy shopping district with tons to eat around there. On the Kowloon side, there’s Hung Hom. It’s more residential but there are still activities to do around there.
I have family living in Hung Hom so I go there enough times. That’s the location I would go to rather than Tuen Mun. It’s too bad that there isn’t a California Pizza Kitchen closer to me because I would definitely come here to eat more often.
Final Thoughts – California Pizza Kitchen
California Pizza Kitchen would be popular with American expats. It’s a taste of food that they’re used to from back home that is not Mcdonald’s or Shake Shack.
Those two are fast food restaurants while California Pizza Kitchen is a casual dining restaurant. You can sit there and enjoy your time there more since at fast food places, it’s a quick eat and leave.
Other people who would like to eat here are BBQ chicken pizza lovers.
People who like American Italian food would also be satisfied with this place.
Now to You
What are your thoughts on California Pizza Kitchen?
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