Belmio Pizza is a pizzeria way out in Thalawatugoda that serves what is easily the best thin crust pizza in that area. They've got their delivery game on point, and I can vouch for that as I have sated many a craving out in the sticks by calling these guys up. I'd never been to their actual restaurant, so I decided to pop in for a review.
Spoiler alert: There were a few misses, but, overall, it's very good.
What really sets apart Belmio from the rest is just how much freedom you're given when it comes to customizing your pizza. How it works is that you can start with a Margherita base (Rs 650 for 9" and Rs 900 for 13") and then build up from there. Each topping has a separate rate for 9" and 13".
You can add ricotta, parmesan and/or blue cheese. And if you're a vegetarian, you're in luck, cause you can choose from artichoke, bell pepper, black olives, capsicum, eggplant, fresh tomato, jalapenos, mushrooms, onions and spinach. Meat options include BBQ chicken, bacon, ham, pepperoni, chicken, chicken bacon (blasphemy!) and chicken ham (why even?). They've also got anchovies, tuna and cuttlefish.
As I was dining with a vegetarian, she chose to make a 9" Margherita pizza with ricotta (Rs 180), parmesan (Rs 180), jalapenos (Rs 70), mushroom (Rs 70), black olives (Rs 50), green chili (free) and topped off with basil (free). I enjoyed this better than the other pizzas.
It's got a lovely tang from the jalapenos and some heat from the green chili, some earthiness from the mushrooms and creaminess from the ricotta, with a sweet tang of the tomato base. The basil was probably unnecessary, and not particularly very strong in flavour. It cost us a total of Rs 1200 for a 9" pizza.
We decided to try out their most popular option: BBQ Chicken (Rs. 1000 for 9"). There's not a whole lot of chicken on this pizza, and it didn't have that smokey flavour you expect from BBQ, but the sweet tang of the fresh tomato base made up for it. I would've enjoyed this without the chicken, to be honest.
There were little slivers of onion, which I liked as I'm not a huge fan of the bulb. You get a little crunch from the yellow and red bell peppers which add just enough heat without making this too spicy. This definitely appeals to a Lankan palate, though to really up its game, it needs larger chunks of chicken with a good hit of that smokey BBQ flavour.
What I usually order when I've got sinful cravings, is the Quattro Formagi (Rs. 1150 for 9") with Black Olives (Rs. 50) and Bacon (Rs. 180). What's great about this place is that the prices for additional toppings are very affordable. You can build up on their pizzas and customize them how you want.
This particular combo is particularly good because Belmio's ricotta is quite fresh and tasty, especially if you go on Monday or Friday, when they get a fresh batch straight from a farm out in Giriulla. The other three cheeses are gorgonzola and blue cheese from Italy and a local parmesan. This is quite a creamy, tasty bite, and I could finish one of these by myself.
They don't make their own tiramisu, unfortunately, but they do offer a Nutella Pizza (Rs 900) and a Nutella Calzone (Rs 900). We decided to try the Nutella Pizza because we are gluttons and how could two people be satisfied with one calzone?
Turns out, perhaps we should have gone for the calzone, because the pizza proved to be too much for us. Visually quite quirky and nostalgic of one's childhood, it had a Nutella base and bits of kisses (meringue) strewn about with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
It would've been easier to eat if the meringue were crumbled a little more, and the dough was softer. Despite being thin, it was tough to chew and took away from the sweet, chocolatey delight of Nutella. It needs something like ice cream to soak into the dough as a base would to make it easier to eat. I wouldn't recommend this.
The Staff & The Space
The staff are very polite and helpful. There's always someone at the counter, as that is their workstation. You can watch them make the pizzas, as the oven is right there. If you want suggestions, they're quick to respond, and they won't judge you for any mis-matched toppings you desire. The service is quick and your pizza reaches you in about 5-10 minutes.
The ambience is lacking, as it's a very small space. They have three little tables and can seat maybe 8 people inside, but there's air conditioning so it won't feel too stuffy. There is the option of sitting outside, but the view is essentially traffic. There's a nice couch and low table that can accommodate a group of 4 comfortably.
If you live way out in Thalawatugoda, or Kotte, and happen to love thin crust pizza, then this place is for you. Their delivery game is on point and has never failed me. What's great is how customizable their pizzas are and the reasonable prices. They do lack space though, as you can't really take your family here or expect much privacy if you're on a date.
Also, if you're looking for the abundance of toppings that comes with a pizza from, say, Giovanni's, then you will be disappointed. Still, for way out in the suburbs, this is the best you can get. I'll give it four stars, in that context.