Article By Mike Leaner
5F, Zhong Mao Square, Nan Shao Men Intersection.
(029) 6335 0095
10:30am – 10:00pm
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 60RMB
PROS: Good food, good service
CONS: The only beer they have is that cheap, orange-can “German” beer, which is like fine, but doesn’t really do it for me
I’ve always been a proselytizer of the Church of the Flying Elephant; for years I’ve been having their top-notch New York-style pizza delivered to my house for gatherings (or for just days where I’m feeling fat and want to stuff a whole wheel of cheesed-up bread in my mouth). However, I’d never physically been to any of their restaurants. I got the chance to remedy this last month when I stopped by the Zhongmao Plaza store on Chang’an Road.
I was happy to find a nice, clean (albeit a bit industrial-looking) dining room with a bit of an eclectic style. My companions and I got a booth next to one of their picture windows, sank into the plush couches and prepared for a pleasant evening of western food and conversation.
If you’re not familiar with their menu, besides pizza you can expect a slew of snacks and side dishes straight from the delicious-but-heart-stopping school of American food preparation—chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, French fries and salads (for those who are lying to themselves or are some kind of pizza-hating demon) are all available. But, of course, the centerpiece here is the pizza. I’m a big fan of the “Classic” (it’s just a pepperoni pizza), but they have a menagerie of pies, from Cheese, to Hawaiian, to the perplexing Durian. They’ve also pointed out on the menu those which are okay for Muslims to eat, allowing for a more inclusive experience.
Service was generally pretty good, though I was a bit frustrated by my server’s insistence on speaking broken English with me when I tried to speak with him in Chinese. If you don’t speak any Chinese though, you won’t have that problem. They seem to be pretty used to foreigners, so they’re obviously trying to make the experience as painless as possible for us laowai, which is appreciated because I can’t name too many other places in town that give a crap about accessibility for non-speakers of Chinese. The other major advantage of going to Fly Elephant in person instead of just getting delivery is that the snacks and non-pizza menu items travel way better from kitchen to table than they do from restaurant to your apartment.
All-in-all, my experience at Fly Elephant was really good and made a great case to go to their restaurant with a group instead of eating shamefully alone at my apartment like some kind of disgusting Pizza Gollum. I’ll be back soon to split a pie with friends, that much is certain.
Mike Leaner likes to get dirty but not for free. He can be reached at