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"We are on the starting blocks:" Pizza Pram delivers - 22 different pizzas for $5

By: Roswell Thomas Posted: May-13-2011 in
To hold you over until Pizza5 gets their website up and running, we've scanned you a menu.
Roswell Thomas

The pizza is gourmet and inexpensive, probably some of the best Phnom Penh budget riche has to offer in this delivery-only format (oh, and they deliver wine and beer as well). Pram dollar ($5) gets you a 30cm pizza with a flaky, rustic-style crust made fresh from a secret Italian-imported recipe. and a nearly unbelievable range of gourmet toppings.

Guyere? Goat cheese? The four-cheese pizza comes with these as well as blue cheese and mozzarella; it features delicious little liver spots of blue-grey where chunks of moldy bleu cheese landed. The “basic white cream” version (“a taste of France,” the executive chef says, substituting some sort of white sauce for tomato sauce for 50 cents extra – specifics lost in translation) tastes like something beautiful and elegant; you could serve it with equal success at an elitist cocktail party or drunken gathering. Try this at either: conveniently, Pizza Pram is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

The “oriental” pizza is surprising, especially because it reminds one in no way of the orient. Whatever “tomato and spices east” they’re using create a musky fire – smoky, but with occasional licks of flame. Perhaps this is what the American Southwest cuisine dreamed of creating when it teamed up with Mexico for “Tex-Mex.” Dotted with fat olives and sausage and, again, only $5.

There are 22 different pizzas for $5, including the Sweety [sic] (can’t you see dozens of backpackers shouting “SWEETIE!” into their phones at 1:30 a.m.? It’s loaded with Nutella, bananas, and cream, with possibly fresh fruit options to come) and, of course, the Amok Chicken (delicious, with extra mozzarella to anchor the amok and chicken; they make their own amok on site and it is really good).

“In Italy you eat pizza with Italian wines,” says one executive chef. “With this four cheese pizza, you take the good red Italiano, and pop pop pop, with all the different flavors in your mouth…” He trails off, letting his calloused hands animate the rest of the story.

Thanks to a favorable partnership with Cellia d’Asie, Pram Pizza’s wine menu is priced competitively in the region of $12 per bottle (unike the $7 liquids you can pick up around here, these are wines that French people are not embarrassed to serve you).

Twenty five minutes maximum delivery time: this is impressive, yes, but maybe not quite so impressive when you draw your delivery men from an employment pool of kamikaze moto drivers who have been honing a miraculous sense of balance and comfort with high speeds in tight quarters ever since their mothers breastfed them on the back of speeding Daelims.

What is impressive is the preparation time.

Together, the two French chefs responsible for Pizza Pram won first prize for animation and show at a recent Koh Pich cooking competition.

“In France, on 15 August one year, I make 900 pizzas alone,” recounts an executive chef of Pizza Pram. He thinks he will beat this record in Phnom Penh.

“When you come to Cambodia you must respect the people and know the pizza,” says another executive chef. "I think the Cambodian middle class, they must know pizza. But nowhere can they get this kind of selection, and not at these kinds of prices." What lets them deliver affordable gourmet to a developing country? "Our business model is volume! Chinese-style.” Already Pizza Pram is in talks to open a franchise in Siem Reap based on efficient pizza and fast delivery.

There is still a prize if you go in person to pick up your pizza.

“It is 50c less if you come to pick it up,” says one executive chef, “but it is only 25 minutes to deliver it, or you can take 45 minutes to find the place. Still, if you see a light on near Central Market at one in the morning and you smell pizza , you are probably close.”

Pizza Pram: Open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Call 067 890 005 or 016 435 126.

Pizza Pram has its grand opening TONIGHT at the City Center Hotel (go down Street 130 from the riverside; it will be on your right before you hit Central Market). From 6 to 9pm, eat your fill of pizza samples and complimentary wine and beer.

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