by Josie Adams

Greeted by friendly smiles from the staff, a casual and warm atmosphere, and the distinctive aroma of spices and the wood-burning oven in the open kitchen, I knew we could expect a comfortable and enjoyable evening at Pizzeria 1830, and that was before tasting the food.

The restaurant takes its name from the world’s first true Pizzeria, which opened in 1830 in Naples, and prides itself on sticking to traditional Italian cooking. The menu is extensive and includes all of the Italian favorites with quite a few in-house specialties to cater for today’s more cosmopolitan tastes.

We started with the Panzerotti and Melanzane alla Parmigiana (Eggplant Parmesan), a darling among for­eign clientele according to restaurant manager, Yuka Yamaguchi. I was also easily won over by this tasty Italian favorite, which was accompanied by a glass of Mandrarossa Cabernet. Chef and Pizzaiolo, Flippo Martiradonna’s cooking has pizzazz — he’s not afraid to use a little seasoning, yet is able to balance it per­fectly with the natural flavors of the ingredients.

This was very apparent in our pasta dish. We tried the night’s special, Strozzapreti alla Boscaiola (short pas­ta with Italian sausage and mixed mushrooms in a to­mato-based sauce). Not being a big fan of pasta because I generally find it quite bland, I was very pleasantly surprised. The pasta itself was handmade, fresh, and had a lovely texture. But it was the sauce that really converted me. It was thick and flavorsome, and some­how very comforting on a cold, wet night.

The restaurant is committed to using organic in­gredients from Italy as well as the finest local produce available. The freshness and quality of the ingredients is particularly evident in Pizzaiolo Martiradonna’s piz­zas and so is his 20 years of pizza-making experience. Our wood-fired Rosso Pescatora (shrimp, calamari, clam and mussel) with its delicate smoky seafood flavor was simple yet absolutely delicious.

Pizzeria 1830 adheres to the strict requirements of the elite Associazine Verace Pizza Napoletana (or the “As­sociation of True Neapolitan Pizza”) of Naples when making its amazingly good pizzas. These requirements include kneading the dough by hand, cooking the pizza in a wood-burning, bell shaped brick oven with tem­peratures reaching at least 750-800 degrees Fahrenheit and other such rules and regulations. To the patron this translates into authentic, tasty pizza, in a country where sub-standard imitations featuring mayonnaise and canned-corn is unfortunately far too common.

Food aside though, one of the most amazing things about 1830 is the value for money. A three course din­ner, drinks and dessert will cost you around ¥5,000 per person (maybe a little more if you order a bottle of wine), making it the perfect place to enjoy a quick bite after work, a family get-together (the restaurant is kid­die-friendly), or a pleasant dinner with friends. Or like us, you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy.

1F Albergo-Nogizaka, 9-6-28 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel. 03-3402-1830