Pizza Hut's celebrating its 30th year in Singapore this month, and is unveiling 25 new items on its dine-in menu. But it's not just a wider selection, it's also a new mindset. In addition to extra training in food preparation and cheery service mantras, the restaurant teams have got new contemporary uniforms to herald the change. These are in signature reds and blacks (above), with dashes of colour for highlight. The website too, has been refreshed.
Pizza Hut has come a long way since opening its first outlet at Jelita. They were the first to offer home delivery, and the hot pouch technology (still the only one to do so) with a Hot Delivery guarantee. Now they have 24 full-fledged restaurants, and the delivery now covers most of Singapore. Over the past 30 years, they've given us the Stuffed Crust, Crispy Thin, Crunchy Cheesy Bites, and Cheesy 7.
While they are still committed to pizza innovation, they want to include more Western selections. This is so that diners with different food preferences will find something to excite their palate. Eating out and gathering over food is a big thing in Singapore, after all.
Mr Michael Gian, CEO of Pizza Hut Singapore, says their vision is to make Pizza Hut the favourite casual dining restaurant brand in Singapore. He is confident that consumers will be delighted with the new offerings, just like what they experienced with the pastas introduced in 2009.
At the media and blogger preview event, they entreated us to quite a number of the new dishes. Let me show you some of the things you can expect to see on the new menu. There are 6 new appetisers, 3 pastas, 2 pizzas, 6 Western favourites, 1 baked rice, 2 desserts and 5 beverages.
Bruschetta with Mushrooms. Sliced baguettes brushed with light olive oil and garlic spread, topped with marinated mushrooms and parsley.
Bruschetta with Tomatoes. Like the bruschetta with mushrooms, but with chopped tomatoes, onions and Italian herbs. Baked to crispy perfection, it's like garlic toast with toppings.
Hut's Platter. This replaces the existing platter combination. The tempura prawns selection is the main change. You still have the yummy drumlets, criss-cross fries and calamari.
Fries! <3! Thick Fries on Dips (salsa and cheese flavoured dips). These were really good. A crisp, crunchy exterior and fluffy insides. Nicely salted, and tasty enough on their own. I never think about ordering fries at Pizza Hut, but if they are always this good, I'd go there just to eat these!
Cheesy Mushrooms - another unanimous favourite! We all loved how the juices spurted out of the mushrooms (careful, they can be hot!) and how the baked cheese with alfredo sauce accentuated the meaty mushrooms.
Cheesy Mussels - I liked these. Six marinated mussels baked with mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan. Topped with alfredo sauce, diced turkey bacon and parsley. As with the cheesy mushrooms, these are a steal at just S$7.90.
Hut's Chicken Steak (S$14.50) - this is a large, boneless chunk of tender chicken seasoned with Italian herbs and grilled. Served with a hearty portion of those lovely fries. I actually liked the vegetables very much. Still firm, not soggy or water-logged.
Joining the line-up of baked rice is the Seafood Fiesta Baked Rice. This looked amazing. Like a mini-paella in a pan. Lots of prawns, squid rings and mussels baked atop pilaf rice in salsa sauce and stringy mozzarella cheese. It tasted surprisingly sweet though.
Crispy Chicken Chop - crispy breaded fried chicken! With fries! This one comes with salsa sauce, whereas the Chicken Steak comes with cheesy sauce.
You really can't go wrong with deep-fried chicken. We really liked this.
The parchment pasta introduced last year was a hit, so it's earned a permanent place on the menu! There's Spicy Seafood with slices of chili padi (you can request for them to omit this if you prefer it less spicy; I'd just ask for more!) and Creamy Grilled Chicken. The popular Soft Shell Crabiatta is also back permanently. I have got to go try that one.
Cheez Shroomies Wrap is one of the three new wraps available. The other two are the Beefy Delight Wrap (marinated beef balls, pepperoni, neapolitan sauce and mozzarella cheese) and New Orleans Chicken Wrap (BBQ chicken chunks, roasted chicken and chicken roll all dressed with BBQ sauce and mozzarella cheese).
The Cheez Shroomies Wrap is like a baked tortilla filled with sliced marinated button mushrooms, onions, garlic, grilled cheese sauce and mozzarella cheese. Baking certainly means it's less oily than deep-frying. One of us felt it tasted very light.
Captain's Catch Pizza - by the time this arrived, we were all so stuffed. This is quite a rich pizza: fried chunks of fish smothered with honey dill mayonnaise, mozzarella cheese, and sour cream, topped with onion-flavoured potato chips, all on Pizza Hut’s signature Pan crust.
Choco-berry banana pizza (unbelievably only S$6.50) - now, no matter how full you are, you always have room for dessert! What a luscious combination of caramelised bananas on a crispy thin crust (like a biscuit), doused with chocolate sauce and sprinkled with chopped strawberries.
There are five new drinks permanently now on the menu - Zesty Mint (wild mint syrup, calamansi and 7-Up, garnished with mint leaves) and Passion Grapefruit Fizz (passionfruit, grapefruit and 7-Up) in the Coolers section, fizzy drinks with real fruit essence Lemon-Lime Esprit and Passionfruit Esprit, plus a hot beverage (Jasmine Green Tea).
I had a couple of surprises at the media event. Firstly, the MC at the event turned out to be Benjamin Sng, the one who won the 3D2N HK trip from me! He voted for me in the HKTB Summer Trip contest.
Secondly, I won a prize in the lucky draw! I usually never win anything, so I was quite stunned. It's $100 worth of Pizza Hut vouchers, which I would like to give out on the blog.
Just leave a comment and name the item you would like to try most. I will randomly pick two winners to receive $50 worth of vouchers each (leave a comment on the Camemberu Facebook page as well and get double chances at winning). Entries close Sunday, 24 April 2011, 11.59pm!
I hope you enjoyed viewing the new items, and hope you'll get to try them!