I knew this place wasn’t going to be amazing, but there was something about it that had been trying to draw me towards it for some time, not merely because this branch of the chain with other restaurants across North America, Mexico, Japan, Philippines, China and of course Hong Kong, also resides in Stanley 11 and I have made it my mission to try every restaurant in that building. I have gone past it in the lift a few times and for some reason am always intrigued by it. I’m not sure if it’s the diner-style look, the greasy looking pizza, or the fact that it is always buzzing with people, but I have been talking about trying it for a while now.
Today, one of my colleagues stated that she wanted pizza. I concurred but said, however, that I didn’t want anything overly priced, so the decision was made to try Shakey’s Pizza.
We arrived just after 1.30, so the restaurant (if it can go by that name. It definitely is more like an American diner) was starting to empty out. We were still made to wait a little while for them to clear a table for us. While we waited, I thought I might as well start having a look at the set lunch menu, but before I even managed to glance at it, it was snatched out of my hand by our miserable waiter who led us, sour-faced, to our table at the back of the restaurant and we were not given the set lunch menus again until I had to ask for them.
We wanted to have a couple of pizzas and appetizers to share between five of us, but the same sour-faced waiter told us that we could not have a 12-inch Parma ham pizza (even though there was a 7-inch one on the set lunch menu). Surely if they can make a 7-inch one, they are capable of making a 12-inch one, but my favourite word, ‘cannot’, came into play once again and that was the end of that argument. So we settled for one of the Parma ham ‘gourmet’ (really??) pizzas, a 12-inch ‘Shakey’s Special’ pizza (featuring everything but the kitchen sink, but we specified no pineapple. Why do people think it is a good idea to add pineapple to pizza?), the famous ‘Shakey’s Special Mojo’, and as there was pretty much nothing else on the menu which tickled our fancy, we decided to leave it at that, and save space for a dessert.
After a very long wait (by which point we were one of the very few tables remaining so I’m not sure exactly what we were waiting for), we did not receive our appetizer (I’m sure this is usually served first, right?!) but our ‘Shakey’s Special’ pizza. Having been disappointed by the service and the menu, I was expecting to be disappointed by the pizza, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. We had opted for the thin as opposed to the hand-tossed crust which meant it was not quite as greasy nor heavy as I had anticipated. I will admit here that I actually only began liking pizza around four years ago – prior to this I had always been forced to eat Pizza Hut or Domino’s pizzas which never agreed with my bread-sensitive stomach and on several occasions even made me sick. I’m sure some of you know my brother’s nickname for me? This stems in part from my former dislike of pizza. I still, therefore, remain a bit of a pizza snob, but this one wasn’t too awful. Next up, we were served our gourmet pizza (still not sure what part of this pizza qualifies this name but perhaps the fact that it is rectangular rather than round) which was, again, better than anticipated but very salty. Finally our ‘mojo’ was served. I frequently use the term “better late than never,” but actually on this occasion, perhaps not: slices of fried potato, still dripping in oil, smothered in sour cream, cheese, onions and tomatoes. Sounds like a dream but very disappointing and so small that, had we wanted more, we could each only have a couple of slithers.
Those measly three dishes, divided by five, still came to $80 each, and a combination of the unwillingness to give Shakey’s more business for the poor service they offered and the fear of being disappointed by their ice cream sundae, we made the decision to leave without dessert and go to Holly Brown in the opposite building for ice cream/fro-yo/coffee.
I believe that the decision to go to Holly Brown was, for me at least, a worse decision than Shakey’s Pizza. I ordered frozen yoghurt with Oreo, one of my favourite combinations. For $38 (outrageous) I was given a cup of not very tasty fro-yo with one, yes ONE Oreo, broken into about five pieces on top. I looked at it in disbelief, asked the lady (politely) if she was serious, if that was really it, to which I received a scowl and was told that if I wanted more oreo pieces I would have to pay. I did not step away and accept her ridiculous answer, but told her that that was unacceptable, that every other fro-yo place in HK gives a generous helping of oreo pieces for a cheaper price and that I would not be returning. She continued to stare at me, said nothing and walked away to serve the next poor customer. Note to self: stick to Yo Fresh on Caine Road.
2/F Stanley 11
11 Stanley Street
Tel: +852 2525 3083
Date visited: Thursday 28th April 2011