Pizza Hut has stretched the limits of the form with ramen pizza, so we grabbed a bowl. Er, slice.

One of the fun things about living in Japan is how cuisine from other countries is reinterpreted for the native market. McDonald’s Japan has done it with their world showcase of beef burgers and limited-time French macarons — but now Pizza Hut is proving they’re no slouch in the fusion food arena either, by combining the humble Italian pizza with ramen.

The twist? Pizza Hut Japan will not be serving up this bizarre combination of Italian pizza and Japanese noodles, as it’s an exclusive item sold by Pizza Hut Taiwan.

Undaunted, we immediately called on our Japanese-language reporter Yui Imai. Yui lives in Taiwan and had no problem snagging one of the pizzas when they went on sale.

▼ What a beautiful box!

Yui had some trepidations about the ramen pizza that had nothing to do with the authenticity of its Italian pedigree or how well it utilized its Japanese noodles: namely the sheer volume of carbohydrates packed into one pizza. Pizza dough and noodles, together?

Still, the open box looked incredibly appetizing.

▼ Typical ramen ingredients such as pork, garlic and green onion dust the cheesy slices.
The ramen comes from Japanese noodle house Menya Musashi.

The aroma wafting out from the box was overwhelmingly one of garlic, but the ingredient list tells the full story. Garlic pork bone broth is used for the pizza sauce, and of course cooked ramen noodles are sprinkled liberally over the base.

Cheese is a given, but resting atop that cheese are sliced bamboo shoots, char siu pork slices, green onions, and sliced red chili peppers. A gentle spattering of white sesame seeds covers the pizza, and the whole thing is topped off with a soft-boiled egg.

▼ Yui loved the aesthetic of the single egg, but also wished there’d been more egg to enjoy across multiple slices.

With an ingredient list like that, it sounds like a delicious bowl of tonkotsu ramen — albeit with a generous injection of cheese. But how did it taste when Yui took a bite?

▼ One slice should be enough.

Surprising no one, it tasted just like a hearty bowl of piping hot tonkotsu ramen. The bone broth sauce is used all over the pizza, imbuing every bite with a rich, toothsome pork flavor. Add that to the juicy slices of char siu pork, and the egg and bamboo steeped in that same broth, and it’s a rousing recipe worth rejoicing over.

Surprisingly the noodles themselves didn’t have a uniform texture. Some were slender, crispy and crackly, while others were plump and soft like the broth-soaked noodles you’d slurp up from the bowl. Yui was a big fan of the alternating mouthfeel and was especially impressed by how well the noodles complemented the cheese on the pizza base.

Our official verdict is that this is a fine and adventurous pizza, and well worth the money (459 New Taiwan Dollars/US$15.59).

As for whether this dish should be considered Italian or Japanese? Yui’s opinion is that it’s a perfect symbol of the gastronomic adventure available in Taiwan, and that’s a third option we can get behind.

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