There are a lot of fantastic wood-fired pizza restaurants in Japan, so it takes something quite incredible to stand out from the crowd. Chef Tamaki succeeds in this endeavor with his creations at P.S.T. (Pizza Salon Tamaki) Roppongi. Chef Tamaki, who originally hails from Japan’s southernmost prefecture of Okinawa, marries flawless technique with inspired recipes to create unforgettable dishes.
From start to finish, the food at this intimate restaurant is fantastic. There a variety of hot and cold appetizers to start your meal, with the option of ordering a sample platter (my personal recommendation, since all of the appetizers are tasty in different ways). The platter is a good size to share between two or three people.
For main courses, PST offers a small variety of different baked options, but the traditional wood-fired pizza is obviously where it shines. The restaurant uses unique ingredients, such as 24-month aged prosciutto, home-made nduja (spicy sausage), farm-direct vegetables (with the name of the farmer on the menu), and a number of Okinawan-sourced fruits and vegetables. Chef Tamaki personally makes every pizza, while his line chefs work on the top-notch appetizers and desserts. The pizzas come in half-sizes or full-sizes. The half-size is good for one person if also getting an appetizer (and maybe saving room for dessert), while a full size is probably enough for the average pair of patrons or a single guest if only ordering pizza.
Interestingly, the pizzas also come with the choice between a tomato-base or cheese-base on the crust. We tried both, and they were each delicious in their own right--really just comes down to personal preference.
One point of caution about the pizzas: if there is a chili symbol next to the name of the pizza or ingredient, be mindful that "PST spicy" is not like the "spicy" options in other Japanese restaurants--PST's spices will actually knock your socks off if you aren't ready for it!
The desserts themselves deserve special mention. The menu offers traditional Italian desserts such as affogato, tiramisu, and panna cotta, but everything is made in-house and often with special ingredients. For example, the panna cotta was topped with passion fruit syrup, adding a tropical accent to the sweet cream dessert. The tiramisu avoids the Okinawan twist, but is still the best tiramisu I've ever eaten, in large part because of the light, fluffy texture rather than the heavy, pudding-like tiramisu more common elsewhere.
Of course, you pay for the quality and location, with meals ranging from about 4000 to 8000 yen. The setting is great for a small gathering or an intimate dinner. If you plan a larger group, be sure to call ahead for reservation (there is at least one English-speaking member of the staff).
Bottom line: if you're looking for a one-of-a-kind pizza experience, I recommend checking out PST Roppongi.
Pizza Salon Tamaki is a five minute walk from the Midtown exit of Roppongi station, or a 5 to 10 minute walk from Nogizaka station depending on the exit you take.
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