Lunch at 50 Pizza in Hukou

Photos by MJ Klein

Hui-chen and I sometimes like to eat at this place called “50 Pizza.” I have no idea why it’s so named but basically its a pseudo-Italian place with a menu that is a nice departure from the Taiwanese and Thai fare found in our neighborhood. It’s my opinion that pizza is not what you should order from 50 Pizza. I have yet to find an acceptable pizza in all of Taiwan and I am still trying. Taiwanese people are used to the mushy crust and tasteless toppings found on most pizza here, which may include, believe or not, unshelled whole shrimp.

Here is a scan of their menu. The prices are very reasonable.

Click for a larger view

There are a couple of 50 Pizza restaurants around Taiwan. I’ve eaten at them in Kaohsiung, Tainan and Hukou. The consistency among them is good.

The Hukou 50 Pizza is a 5 minute walk from the Hukou train station, right on ???.

The outside dining area of 50 Pizza. We originally sat where you see Hui-chen, but there was a bad odor coming from the street so we decided to move inside. Out of the dozens of times we’ve eaten there that was the only time we’ve had to move inside because of bad smells.

You can see into the kitchen from the road. If you can speak any Chinese at all you will astound the staff (that is, if you aren’t Taiwanese).

If there is one thing that I don’t really like about 50 Pizza it’s that no matter how good the food is, it retains its fast food persona by requiring that you go up to the register to order and pay in advance, like McDonald’s, etc.. 50 Pizza is more of a sit-down place and the food is cooked to order with very little prepared in advance. So if you order some kind of burger sandwich you won’t be getting one that’s been sitting under the heat lamp like you would at McDonald’s.

Hui-chen ordered the Black Pepper Beef Gratin Rice for NT$110. The browned cheese topping is even better than it looks.

This is a crappy photo of my NT$40 Ceylon Milk Tea, iced. It’s noteworthy because it’s made from bagged tea and they leave the bag in the glass. I like that because as the ice melts the tea just gets stronger and it doesn’t taste watered down after 10 minutes like most iced tea does.

I got a Kimchi Chicken Filet Burger for NT$130 which included French fries (not shown) and NT$35 credit towards any drink. In Taiwan, they call any kind of sandwich on a bun, a “burger.” Kimchee is a famous Korean pickled cabbage dish that is a national staple in Korea. It’s spicy with an incredible pickled flavor. This sandwich was quite good.

The last thing that I got out of sheer curiosity was a French Cheese Pork Chop, listed under the heading “Snack” on the menu. At NT$60, the price was a bit steep I think. It wasn’t bad – just wasn’t what I expected. I think this is supposed to be a Cordon Bleu pork chop, and hence the cryptic “French Cheese Pork Chop.

Overall we enjoyed our lunch. If you’ve seen 50 Pizza around, you might want to give them a try. Be sure and tell us what you think!

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  1. There used to be two 50 Pizza shops and two 50 pizza clones quite near my house but they’ve all disappeared now. Killed each other off! I think the chain is called 50 pizza because you can get a basic mini pizza for 50 dollars. Not sure if that is still the case. The reason they have done well is that it’s a cheaper way to get a bite of something pizza-ish compared to PizzaHut and Dominoes. A couple of years ago so many 50 Pizzas were opening around Taichung that Pizza Hut started doing mini pizzas and other “gratin” stuff. Probably a silly question but do you know if there are 50 Pizzas in other parts of the country or is it just Taichung? I’ve always been curious about that!

  2. I think the guy who first started 50 pizza is the same guy who later started 85 coffee. Apparently he lost a lot of money on 50 pizza after all the clones came in, so sold it and started 85 coffee. There used to be 5-6 50 pizza and clones here in Changhua, now there’s just 1. The Indian curry noodles are nice.

  3. Naruwan, the sign on the door in the Hukou store says “Kaohsiung” so i think that is the site of the original one. i’ve always found it amazing how clones pop up around places, or even the same stores such as 7-11 will be across the street from one another. in the US you could never get the financing to open a 7-11 store across the street from another one but in Taiwan that is very common. it’s like people don’t stop to think that if they open a clone store it just dilutes the amount of customer dollars by spreading it among more stores. no wonder the whole scheme fails over time.

    the 50 Pizzas that i know about are Hukou, Tainan and Kaohsiung. i’ve eaten in all 3 of those places.

    that explanation about the name makes total sense. but i do think that the pizza is the weakest item on the menu.

    sorry to say but i have yet to have good pizza in Taiwan, even at the foreign pizza chains. i just don’t order it anymore.

  4. Craig, thanks for that info. i didn’t know that about the ownership. i didn’t try the Indian curry mainly because Hui-chen makes an awesome curry rice!

    now they got 85c clones going…. i wonder how long that will last?

    i’ve considered opening my own restaurant featuring bush food. that would be very difficult to clone.

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