Nearly two decades since Hallyu fever first gripped tiny Singapore, South Korea's staggering cultural collective continues to hold sway over lifestyle and entertainment choices of many here. Hot on the heels of wildly successful K-Pop, K-Beauty and K-Fashion exports, K-Food endeavors to score a revenue touchdown through happy tummies : bingsus, kimchi, fried chicken, jjajangmyeon, bibimbap just to name some. But pizza? That sure had us doing a double take.

Then again Pizza Maru's relatively recent arrival on the local F&B scene (a modest 80-seater joint opened at Northpoint City in January 2018, followed by another at Bugis+ months later and a third at Jewel Changi Airport in April 2019) mustn't be lightly disregarded; in the grand scheme of things this reflects one franchising juggernaut's insatiable appetite for growth - more than 650 outlets presently operate across Korea, Hong Kong, China and America. Its food philosophy is straightforward enough though: to enrapture the palate conscionably. Pizzas are thus kneaded using either a patented "wellbeing" dough (comprising green tea fermented with chlorella alongside various grains including flaxseed, rye, barley and oats) or an antioxidant rich, high fibre black rice pilaf dough.

Pizza Maru @ Northpoint City (South Wing)

Diners can choose from 3 available pizza ranges currently offered: Chicago, Premium and Classic - these constitute a whopping 22 different flavours altogether. The menu also features an assortment of pasta, risotto and toppoki dishes as well as fried chicken, fries and salad options. If we may be so bold to say, there's probably something for everyone.

The Pizza Maru Menu For Your Perusual

What knocked our socks off:

We likened the Real BBQ Chicago to one colossal meat pie rimmed by an almond topped, sugar dusted cum honey drizzled black rice crust. The core comprised chicken leg chunks, potatoes, roasted onions and mushrooms (webbed in melted double mozzarella plus smoky barbecue sauce lavishly slathered on), while its extraordinarily fluffed up edges oozed a sticky, tangled mishmash of string cheese and cream cheese mousse . Delectable sweetness and savoriness entwined so very perfectly with hot gooey exuberance..... you might just end up shooting rainbows out of your ass.

Real Chicago BBQ (9″-$26.80)

Pizza Maru's brilliant reimagining of the typical Dosirak (or Korean bento meal) culminates in the Spam Tower proposition: a beguiling stacked edifice which sees seaweed rice, fried egg, kimchi and chicken spam being cleverly manipulated into position atop one another. Fortified by generous sprinkles of potato crisps and diced bell pepper together with artfully expressed rivulets of melted parmesan cheese and Sriracha ....... timeout from describing stuff lest that ravenous devil within you is unleashed.

Eyegasm aside, attempting mouthfuls of this elaborate prettiness gave us plenty to smile about; a smashing potpourri of scrumptiously starchy, unapologetically piquant and sincerely spammy came barrelling through amidst negotiating umami-laden, crunch-packed frontiers.

Spam Tower ($12.80)

The Korean Fried Chicken With Onion Tartar made Colonel Sanders' secret recipe look like it was conceived to feed smurf village by comparison: mankind's favourite poultry coated in light, unstuffy batter thrilled our tits with juicy, sensationally seasoned fall-off-the-bone meat. Slap some lovely sunscreen (oops we actually meant tangy tartar) on those non greasy, supremely crisp outcomes and get ready to go from zero to sixty in under two seconds.

Korean Fried Chicken With Onion Tartar (6pcs-$16.80, 12pcs-$29.80)

What didn't work out:

The Mango Ocean confused: anaesthetic grade buldak sauce brushed over characters from the sea numbed taste buds without restraint, consequently obscuring the virtuousness possibly embodied in a plethora of shrimps, scallops and squids. Them tart mango cubes bounced right off us; besides, sticking irrelevantly textured broccoli clusters however pulchritudinous to sorta green up affairs appeared only slightly less moronic than inviting Patrick Star to prance on the pizza itself.

Mango Ocean (9″-$19.80, 12"-$23.80)

Other items sampled but turned out to be non-events:

Gangnam Cowboy (9″-$16.80, 12"-$20.80)

Note: Prices subject to change without prior notice. Kindly clarify with restaurant before visiting or ordering.


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Score: 8.2/10

Locations

Northpoint City Bugis+ Jewel Changi Airport
930 Yishun Avenue 2, 201 Victoria Street, 80 Airport Boulevard,
#B1-192/193 #04-03/04 #04-222
Singapore 769098 Singapore 188067 Singapore 819642