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5/5

Giovanni's

No. 145, Thimbirigasyaya Road, Colombo 5.


Giovanni's is a little Italian pizza place run by a chef who uses his own recipes, and serves fresh from a clay oven.



Since they first opened their doors one year ago, Giovanni’s has been our go-to spot for wood-fired pizzas. This time around, despite Dimuthu’s absence on the day we visited, they still dished out the quality pies we've come to expect from them. 

The Pizzas

In the course of the last 12 months, the folks at YAMU have made numerous stops at Giovanni’s. I happened to be one of the only people in the office to not have tried their pizzas, so I was excited to see if all the hype was for real.

On our previous visits, it had been Dimuthu manning the clay oven, so we were a bit surprised to find a different gent working the dough this time around. From what I’ve heard, Dimuthu trusts very few people with making pizzas, so I was definitely curious to see how well the chef deemed worthy of the task would fare.

Giovanni's keeps things relatively simple with a 20-item menu that revolves around classic italian preparations. You'll find the entire menu written out on a blackboard at the entrance. Prices range from the mid-to-high end, but the pizzas are large and more than sufficient for one hungry person. They also top their pizzas more generously than any other pizzeria in Colombo (even compared with the likes of Harpo’s and Domenico’s), so the value for money is unbeatable.

Since the option was available, we went for two half-and-half pizzas. The first of these had bacon and pollo cacciatore (Rs. 1,400 and Rs. 1,500 respectively for full pizzas). While the latter is essentially chicken doused in a tomato sauce with added herbs, the bacon pizza is quite simply that — unadulterated bacony goodness with warm, stringy mozzarella. There wasn’t much else going on in the bacon half, which really helped emphasize the fatty flavour of the meat.

One thing we really appreciate about Giovanni’s is the fact that they absolutely pile on the toppings. One slice of the pollo cacciatore had the equivalent of half the topping you’d get at a mainstream pizza chain. The chicken, while well-cooked, was also moist. The flavour of the tomato came through well, further complemented by the basil leaves added on top.


 
The other pizza consisted of one salami half and the other half, all-meat (Rs. 1,700 for a full pizza of either). With a fermented tang that comes through in the flavour of the pizza, salami may not be for everyone. The pizza nails the brief in terms of flavour, but it may taste funny to those who aren’t too familiar with the distinct flavour of salami. 

The all-meat was also legit, with plenty of bacon, chicken and beef, topped off with sliced capsicum and basil leaves. This also had a spicy kick to it, with a bit of dried chilli added into the mix. Despite the abundance of ingredients, they still managed to maintain that balance of flavours, so the savouriness and spice is evened out by the creaminess of the mozzarella.

Ambience & Service

Despite its obvious popularity, Giovanni’s remains quite a small space. The ground floor is where the magic happens, while the compact dining area with just a few tables occupies the first floor. It’s actually quite charming—and perfect for a date—despite the simple wooden furniture, chequered table cloth and balconies that overlook the street. They’ve got seating for around 15 upstairs, but don’t be surprised if you see them set up tables on the side walk to accommodate the hungry hordes.

Clay oven pizzas require very little cooking time, so you can expect the service to be quite fast. That being said, it is still quite a small operation, so the service time does get slower as the place packs up. The guys at Giovanni’s are casual, friendly and knowledgeable. As for the new chef, we’d say he fared pretty darn well.

Conclusion

We’re happy to see that Giovanni’s hasn't let the demand affect the quality of their pizzas. It’s one of the few places in town that has been consistently knocking it out of the park, so we’re excited to see what Dimuthu & Co. come up with next.


TIP

If you're going late at night, call first since he doesn't have a specific closing time (if he's done selling 50 pizzas by 9, he closes shop!). Also, parking is a little tough. Just park on the side of the pavement and hope you don't annoy drivers on the road.
All Reviews

The best pizza place in town now has a delicious pasta range too.

Since they first opened their doors a year ago, Giovanni’s has been our go-to spot for wood-fired pizzas. This time around, even in Dimuthu’s absence on the day, they still dished out the quality that we've come to expect.

Giovanni's is a little Italian pizza place run by a chef who uses his own recipes, and serves fresh from a clay oven.

සිංහල Giovanni's කියන්නේ කට්ටියගේ ම පීසා දොළදුක් යවාගන්න පුළුවන් සුපිරිම තැනක්.

සිංහල වැඩේ කියන්නෙ එච්චර රස වෙලත් බියර් බෝතල් 3 ඉවර වෙද්දි වෙජි පීසා භාගයක් ඉතුරුයි කියන්නකො. එක අතකින් වෙරි මරගාතෙ කියවනව. අනිත් අතින් ඉස්මුරුත්තාවට එන්න ඔන්න මෙන්න. කොහෙට කියල කන්නද අප්පේ… මේ පීසා.

සිංහල ජොවානිස් කියන්නෙ සාම්ප‍්‍රදායික ඉතාලි ක‍්‍රමේට ගොඩක් කිට්ටුවෙන් යන විදියට පීසා හදන තැනක් කියලයි ප‍්‍රසිද්ධ. මයිකල්ආන්ජලෝ, රොකෝස් වගේ පීසා කඩ පටන්ගන්නත් මුල් වුණු දිමුතු තමයි මේ කඬේ කරගෙන යන්නේ.

Address

No. 145, Thimbirigasyaya Road, Colombo 5.

Directions

It's just opposite Moon River Chinese restaurant on Thimbirigasyaya Road, near Sen Saal and Jawatte Road.

Contacts

Facebook Instagram

Report Inaccuracy

Open 6 PM–11 PM

Cuisine

Italian

Price Range

Between Rs. 1000 - Rs. 1500

Dish Types

Pasta Pizza

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
5
Quality Rating
5
Service Rating
4
Ambience Rating
4
User Reviews
P
6

1/5

4

Phillybuster

I had a lovely evening with my wife soured at the end by an immature, arrogant “owner.” Here’s the story;

My wife and I weren’t particularly hungry this evening so we opted for one pizza with half-an-half on the toppings (they have a non-cheese pizza which my wife likes but I find an abomination). Anyway, with the bill, I was surprised by the fact that they had charged us the higher priced pizza (which was mine @ 1700, but my wife’s being cheese-free was 1,100) so logic would have it that our half-an-half should have been priced at 1400 (which is the case at literally any pizza place in my experience). I asked the waiter about it later (after we had paid and were about to leave) but he simply said this is how they do it all the time (not helpful and not trying to be either - I regretted the tip I left him). I was not particularly bothered by any of this but I was still curious and felt I should ask the owner/manager if there was any rationale why I overpaid 300 bucks because it just didn’t make sense to me - and having come here several times in the past, I knew the place to have a friendly and helpful vibe. Boy was I wrong, and this is when my evening was essentially ruined.

I asked to speak to the owner if he was around and this guy who was perched on the front steps near the entrance said it was him. I was a bit sceptical coz he didn’t look like anyone in charge who I had been acquainted with in my past visits. Regardless, I didn’t question him on that but asked if there was any reason why he charged my half-an-half at the highest rate. (More as a matter of genuine inquisition than a complaint but he got defensive and quite rude from the start). He said that he did me a “favor” by doing half-an-half and that he won’t usually do it. I asked if there was a problem doing it but he said no (so what’s the favour?!!?) I told him that we like his pizza and he said if we like it, I shouldn’t complain (I wasn’t really complaining), then he said if I have a problem with the pricing or anything, just not to come and eat their pizza, and that they have enough people who come (he was right - the place was crowded, but it was a weekend night). I was disappointed by his attitude, but not entirely surprised. You see, when this was going on, there were no less than 10 other boys who worked there (including my waiter) surrounding us (did I mention that this “owner” was also a boy), so maybe he wanted to assert some dominance in front of his posse (who looked more like they were cutting classes and smoking for the first time with their parents’ money than they did running a restaurant).

The reason why I also keep using quotes on “owner” is I’m not sure if he really is the owner either. He did not have the mentality, attitude, temperament, charm, or maturity to own a pizza, let alone a pizza place. I don’t know if he was pretending to be the owner or whether he was put in charge by the actual owner, but he clearly had no place representing an establishment which my wife and I have enjoyed for many years.

When I told my wife (who was in the car during all this) what had happened, she too was surprised and confused, and we were both sad together. We both enjoyed the pizza here and the service in the past has been excellent. Whoever this guy was (owner or not) is essentially ruining its reputation. The crowds may come in now, and we may just be two customers they can afford to lose, but it only takes a few more of us to turn back and never return for the winds to shift.

L
6

5/5

0

lankangirl

one of the best pizzas in town!

D
3

5/5

0

Duminda

Hands down the best pizza I have tried in Colombo. Great hosts, quick service and fantastic thin crust pizza.

P
6

1/5

4

Phillybuster

I had a lovely evening with my wife soured at the end by an immature, arrogant “owner.” Here’s the story;

My wife and I weren’t particularly hungry this evening so we opted for one pizza with half-an-half on the toppings (they have a non-cheese pizza which my wife likes but I find an abomination). Anyway, with the bill, I was surprised by the fact that they had charged us the higher priced pizza (which was mine @ 1700, but my wife’s being cheese-free was 1,100) so logic would have it that our half-an-half should have been priced at 1400 (which is the case at literally any pizza place in my experience). I asked the waiter about it later (after we had paid and were about to leave) but he simply said this is how they do it all the time (not helpful and not trying to be either - I regretted the tip I left him). I was not particularly bothered by any of this but I was still curious and felt I should ask the owner/manager if there was any rationale why I overpaid 300 bucks because it just didn’t make sense to me - and having come here several times in the past, I knew the place to have a friendly and helpful vibe. Boy was I wrong, and this is when my evening was essentially ruined.

I asked to speak to the owner if he was around and this guy who was perched on the front steps near the entrance said it was him. I was a bit sceptical coz he didn’t look like anyone in charge who I had been acquainted with in my past visits. Regardless, I didn’t question him on that but asked if there was any reason why he charged my half-an-half at the highest rate. (More as a matter of genuine inquisition than a complaint but he got defensive and quite rude from the start). He said that he did me a “favor” by doing half-an-half and that he won’t usually do it. I asked if there was a problem doing it but he said no (so what’s the favour?!!?) I told him that we like his pizza and he said if we like it, I shouldn’t complain (I wasn’t really complaining), then he said if I have a problem with the pricing or anything, just not to come and eat their pizza, and that they have enough people who come (he was right - the place was crowded, but it was a weekend night). I was disappointed by his attitude, but not entirely surprised. You see, when this was going on, there were no less than 10 other boys who worked there (including my waiter) surrounding us (did I mention that this “owner” was also a boy), so maybe he wanted to assert some dominance in front of his posse (who looked more like they were cutting classes and smoking for the first time with their parents’ money than they did running a restaurant).

The reason why I also keep using quotes on “owner” is I’m not sure if he really is the owner either. He did not have the mentality, attitude, temperament, charm, or maturity to own a pizza, let alone a pizza place. I don’t know if he was pretending to be the owner or whether he was put in charge by the actual owner, but he clearly had no place representing an establishment which my wife and I have enjoyed for many years.

When I told my wife (who was in the car during all this) what had happened, she too was surprised and confused, and we were both sad together. We both enjoyed the pizza here and the service in the past has been excellent. Whoever this guy was (owner or not) is essentially ruining its reputation. The crowds may come in now, and we may just be two customers they can afford to lose, but it only takes a few more of us to turn back and never return for the winds to shift.

L
6

5/5

0

lankangirl

one of the best pizzas in town!

D
3

5/5

0

Duminda

Hands down the best pizza I have tried in Colombo. Great hosts, quick service and fantastic thin crust pizza.

I
1

5/5

0

Indi90

This has become me and my partner's fav places. If you want authentic pizza your money's worth with great toppings there's nothing that beats Giovanni's. Excellent staff too.

P
1

3/5

0

PrasadK

Half-and-half pizza priced at the more expensive topping's price. Not half-and-half price.

R
1

5/5

0

Ranmali K

Easily the best pizza joint in Colombo. Value for money, delicious and a heaven for vegetarian pizza lovers :)

S
1

5/5

0

Sanjeewa Dasanayaka

What can I say , we just love the place for its chilled out ambiance. Pizza is great and one need not worry about the pizza being packed with toppings. Dimuthu and team are generous. Good wine (BYOB) and GREAT pizza . Not to mention excellent service. Dimuthu mentioned adding some starters to the menu which I am looking forward to.

P
1

5/5

0

PunkAss

Bacon Pizza all the way!

S
1

5/5

0

sanj1984

Giovanni's lived up to its name and the hype! The best wood fire pizzas I've had hands down. Tried out most of the pizzerias around Colombo including Wijaya beach at Una (one of the best as well)
These guys serves proper thin crust elegant pizzas bursting with flavor , generous toppings and topped of with fresh basil. Hope they will continue the same standard and service in future. A must visit for all pizza fans!

Avatar for Shanaka Wick
1

5/5

0

Shanaka Wick

Everything was EXCELLENT as usual… Food, Service, staff & even that cozy place…
undoubtedly Giovanni's is the best place in town for pizzas.
yesterday was my 3rd visit this year looking forward for more of that Italian Delicacy…

B
1

4/5

0

Bechamel

This is my first review on Yamu. I decided to become a reviewer as I find most reviews on this site to be, frankly speaking, crap! Most seem to be witten by people with the culinary expertise of a Bubalus bubalis.

On to the review as they say… Giovannis is probably the best place in town for pizzas. They have best pizza base of all the pizzas that I have tried in town (and I have pretty much tried all the pizza places). Whilst they do have a selection of toppings, I would recommend the Pizza Margherita. It's simple, fresh and with a tomato sauce this good, why bother with other toppings? For those carnivores out there, try the All Meat pizza. Generous and chunky blocks of meat on that lovely base.

In summary, excellent pizza at very affordable prices.

Avatar for janith
9

5/5

0

janith

This is our go-to spot for Italian. පීට්සා ගන්න කොළඹ හොඳම තැන.

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