Pizza Republica is the second store of the brand after it’s first location in Yiwu. The Sanya store is located next to Little India on Dadonghai’s strip. A plus for Muslim tourists is that it’s halal.
I had heard about the place from local expat Sandy Morrison in a Sanya group, but hadn’t gotten a chance to scoop it out. So when my family wanted to avoid cooking during another power outage in our neighborhood, Bobby said he’d been wanting to try a new pizza place in Dadonghai. I knew which he meant and said, “Let’s go!”
This is a type of restaurant that you take your kids to if you want to have an uninterrupted conversation with with your spouse. My husband and kids have the type of humor that appreciates both Mr. Bean and Tom and Jerry that were showing on the TV the night we tried out the place.
When we arrived, absolutely no one was sitting at their clean and neat tables. On one hand that was good for us to have unhindered private conversations with the staff pretending not to hear us chat about family and life issues.
On the other hand, it makes me worried that maybe another foreign-targeted restaurant might go under if Sanya community doesn’t show more support to small businesses.
It's really important for expats to show support and come around small businesses in order to help them keep surviving. We all keep complaining about not enough good, affordable western food being here, an English media not being here, an entertainment or sport not being here, then we don’t show up when we’re needed. Let’s change that.
Despite the emptiness of the location, we were impressed by the size of the menu, that was expansive. It was hard for us to choose because there was just so much to choose from.
I liked that they posted a yellow sticky note on top of the menu items that they don't currently have in stock. We all know how annoying it is to have spent a lot of time deciding between dishes, making a decision, then hearing, “Oh, we don’t have that.”
“What about this?”
“Yeah, we don’t have that either.”
It’s nice that they skip the pain for us altogether by telling customers upfront.
Bobby instantly saw the salads and knows I’m a big fan of a hearty green bowl, so he suggested the chicken Caesar salad (RMB42). The picture didn’t look appetizing to me so I suggested the salmon salad (RMB45). At first he was hesitant but when he saw the price, he said, “Go ahead, order what you want!”
With that declaration, we got several different dishes to try. Along with the salmon salad, we ordered cheese bread (RMB18), lasagna (RMB65), spinach pizza (RMB68 small, 88 large), meat lovers pizza (RMB75 small, 95 large) and shrimp scampi (RMB 46).
We got the cheese bread first and decided it was better with a dash of parmesan and spices. Thankfully, they have a small table caddy with parmesan, spice, Tabasco sauce and a smattering of other things you might needed stored in it.
The lasagna came out next. Absolutely delicious. It was the star dish of the whole night.
Lasagna is my husband's favorite dish. I can make it at home, but having this small personal lasagna available anytime to surprise him for lunch makes me happy. Making lasagna from scratch can be complicated, as well as his favorite dessert, cheesecake.
Then came the salmon salad. Since it was shown up by the lasagna, I wasn't quite as excited to dig into this, but I will say that it's a lot of value for the price. One of the things that I dislike about getting salad from any other place than Dolphin is that usually restaurants make it so small. Yet I know that lettuce and vegetables are so cheap in China.
I was pleasantly surprised by their salad because I know salmon is also not cheap. The salmon flavor was a little bit on the stronger side though, meaning maybe it wasn't quite as fresh. Nevertheless, it was really awesome to be able to get such a hearty salad for a very reasonable price.
Then the two large pizzas came out and we didn’t have enough room on our table to fit it all. They were both very good, and I’m happy to have a decent spinach pizza. My children ate both of them and liked them both. Bobby aslo really liked the meat lover’s pizza.
Last was the shrimp scampi. I don't know what it was about this dish, but it just wasn't my favorite. The shrimp was clean and fresh tasting. The mushrooms had their earthy flavor as normal. But it wasn't a very memorable dish in comparison to the other food that we had here.
So I think that this is the type of restaurant where there's going to be a hit and miss of dishes until everyone figures out which plates are good and which should be skipped. We should all band together as a group and try all the dishes to decide which ones we like and let other people know which dishes are good and which aren't.
We paid RMB355 for our family of four. Bobby and our son both stuffed themselves, while our daughter ended up taking extra to school for lunch. That averages out to RMB71 if you also count our daughter’s meal the next day.
If you don’t have to stop in to eat, they do deliver and have a Waimai shop.
Daily, 11.30am-10.30pm. 77-5 Yusian Jie. Dadonghai Haoting Garden, next to Little India. 18907501521. See listing.
READ MORE: 50 Fun Things You Can Do In Sanya on Holiday
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