A slice of New York served up to you right here in Bangkok! Chef Bing Pizzeria may not be the first New York style pizza to grace the city of angels, but it’s certainly is delivering (pun intended) up some fantastic pies to give you that not so little slice of heaven.
Located on the corner of Thanon Tanao in the Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok and slap bang in between of the Democracy monument and Wat Phra Kaew is Chef Bing pizzeria. A cross between a Buddhist scripture shop (which is the family business) and a New York pizzeria with red and white checked tablecloths.
Chef and proprietor Bing who moved to the United States when he was 6 years old, cites living and working in the food mecca that is New York City as his inspiration for getting into cooking. First as a line cook, then by working his way up to sous chef and finally to head chef of ‘Blake Lane’ restaurant, also running his own catering company.
This was where his love affair with the New York style pizza began and is he now excited to share with the good people of Bangkok. These pizzas or “pies” as the New Yorkers call them are big which is synonymous with this style and is reason why they are severed by the slice as well as the whole pie.
Whilst we waited for our pizza pies to be made, we opted for a couple of appetizers to get the old taste buds flowing. The first of which was some garlic bread. This homely starter of fresh, crisp, oven warmed baguette smothered in rich, creamy golden garlic butter with a liberal sprinkle of grated parmesan is just so simple and delicious.
The pungent, almost spicy garlic lends a wonderful bite to the dish and helps cut through the richness of the butter, this is then all balanced nicely with the accompaniment of a delicious marinara sauce dipping sauce.
Buffalo wings are the American classic finger food, invented in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York by Teressa Bellissimo. The wings at Chef Bing are coated in a golden crispy batter, then tossed with their own homemade Buffalo Hot sauce and a heap of Butter.
These glistening wings have a delightful contrast of the crispy batter and the tangy, spicy-sweetness of the buffalo wing sauce which softens the batter at the same time. The chicken itself is well cooked and succulent and whilst the buffalo wing sauce has a nice heat level, it’s not overly spicy. So, for those lovers of spice who like a kick to their wings can always dip them into the hot sauce to give them some pep. The wings are also served with a side of house-made Ranch dressing and carrot sticks to cool your mouth down.
Linguine with Clam Sauce
I’m a huge fan of pasta and this dish ticked all the right boxes for me. Firstly, the linguine was cooked to a perfect al dente giving the pasta a slight bite. The combination of white wine, butter, parmesan and lemon juice emulsifies giving a lovely unctuous quality to sauce. This works well with the clams which add as nice bit of texture to the dish as well as adding its own delicate shellfish flavour whilst the anchovy brings a nice salty element to sauce. Then the garnish of fresh parsley complements the dish with a splash of herbal freshness and colour.
Chef Bing presents East Meets West
We ended up deciding to order two pies and by choosing to go the half and half route on the pizza toppings so we would get to try more toppings. Our first pie had an ‘East meets West’ kind of vibe to it. Representing ‘The East’ we chose the ‘Kor Moo Yang Pie’ and representing ‘The West’ we chose the ‘Bacon Cheeseburger Pie’.
Before we dig in to the toppings, we have to talk about the pizza base the foundation to any great pizza. At Chef Bing pizzeria, the base is light, crispy and golden brown. This is due to the use of semolina flour which gives the dough an added crunch once its baked. Meaning the pizza would also hold up during the delivery so you’re not left with a soggy pizza bottom.
The East: Kor Moo Yang Pie
Some of my favourite Thai dishes are from the northeast or Isaan region of Thailand and Kor moo yang (grilled pork collar) is definitely high on that list. Having said that I’d never thought I’d see it on a pizza, let alone being done well!
The light, crispy base is topped with the same marinara sauce we had with the garlic bread, a generous amount grated mozzarella cheese, sawtooth herb and the pork collar.
Before the pork even goes near the oven it has been grilled over a wood charcoal fire which gives a wonderful charr and smokiness to the pork. It’s then thinly sliced and marinate in a sweet and spicy ‘Nam Jim Jeaw’ tamarind sauce and sprinkled with toasted rice powder giving a little added crunch and the culantro or sawtooth herb has a flavour not unlike coriander.
This is an inspired topping, it’s not always easy to pull off fusion food but I think this pizza does that. It is a perfect balance of acid, fat, salt and spice combining to make something special and bringing a little Isaan flare and flavour to the beloved New York pizza.
The West: Bacon Cheeseburger Pie
What better to represent the west and American food culture than the cheeseburger? The answer, a bacon cheeseburger pizza from Chef Bing Pizzeria.
This time the pizza has been topped with the same tomato marinara sauce that has a pleasant sauce that tastes fresh, slightly sweet but with a dash of acidity that gives it a well rounded flavour. On top of which a good coating of spiced ground beef, bacon and cheddar cheese giving us the essence of the bacon cheeseburger. What I thought was a nice touch was the addition of cherry tomato that have a nice sweetness and the dill pickles (which no good cheeseburger should be without) to give a vibrant vinegary pop when bitten into.
These two topping went really well together, so if you’re looking for something a little different you can’t go wrong this combo. Both available on the ‘Artisan Pie’ section on the menu.
American Pepperoni Pie
While Italian immigrants may have brought pizza to the world, the iconic pepperoni is one of the most beloved topping, it is also an entirely American concept.
When the pizza arrives, it’s presented at the table in the same manner as the first on its own little stand atop of which the (massive) pizza is then placed upon making it easier for the hungry, patiently waiting to get stuck in.
American pepperoni is a blend of both cured pork, beef and spices such as paprika and chili pepper which gives the pepperoni its meaty, tangy and spicy flavour. This placed over a layer of marinara sauce and a generous amount of mozzarella cheese. The combination of tomato sauce, gooey melted cheese and spicy pepperoni is so comforting and delicious. For me it really is one of life’s little pleasures.
Italian Sausage & Peppers
The second half of the pizza we went with another New York Italian classic, the sausage and peppers. To be honest when it came out it looks a little like a store-bought pizza. However, no store-bought pizza ever tasted this good.
The pizza base is smeared with the marinara sauce and then topped with mozzarella cheese, locally sourced pork sausages with fennel and spices, onion, bell peppers and black olives.
As you bite into the pie you get the crispness of the base, the mildly spiced sausage, the sweetness of the onion and peppers alongside the saltiness of the olives and of course the melted creamy and decadent mozzarella cheese it’s such a great amalgamation of flavours.
Chef Bing Pizzeria
The Chef Bing menu offers a nice range of four ‘Traditional Pies’ and nine ‘Artisan Pies’ to choose from as well as selection of appetizers, salads and pasta dishes. Another option for those who love to dip their pizza crusts into something yummy ChefBing has six dipping sauces from classics like Ranch and Caesar to avocado or garlic chili oil (great with the kor moo yang).
As I mentioned the real beauty is that the pizzas are severed by the slice as well as the whole pie. So, for a little as 60 baht for a classic cheese slice (100b for two slices) or 80b for a slice with a topping (150b for two slices).
They also have three value meals: Set A) Classic slice, a salad and a drink for only 180 baht. Set B) Any pasta, a salad and drink for 320 baht or for 370 baht The Combo Set) Classic cheese slice, any pasta, a salad and a drink.
So, when you’re looking to get your next pizza delivery or are just in the area, pop in or pop online to ChefBing and treat yourself to a slice or two of New York Pizza heaven.
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