My first full day in Tokyo was a day of eating. I had second breakfast, a couple hours worth of sushi and then when I made it back to my friend’s house when she was ready to go out for dinner. We walked around her neighborhood to one of her favorite Italian pizza places: Quale. There are two Quale shops in Futako-shinchi. One is a tiny bar with limited seating and the other has more seating available though still limited. Both a short walk in either direction from Futako-shinchi station’s east exit. If you go right you’ll find the bar, if you go left you’ll find the sit down restaurant with a bar.
We ordered two pizzas. One was the margherita pizza and the other was something they made special for us. The majority of their pizzas included some sort of seafood which isn’t something I particularly like on my pizza and I had just finished eating several hours worth of sushi so I was kind of full in the seafood department. My friend is also pescatarian so that canceled out most of the other options. We were able to get an English menu, however it was just a stapled packet of penciled listings of what once was available and not necessarily available any longer. We had gravitated towards a special vegetarian pizza only to learn they didn’t make it anymore. Our waiter though was kind enough to run into the back and ask if they could make something similar, got a confirmation, came back and asked if it was okay if there was meat in the sauce which we said was fine and we ended up with a pizza heaped with vegetables. It was quite lovely.
It was a very quiet evening in a small local pizza shop where the staff were friendly and even the other guests were welcoming. We met a couple, one of which used to live in the states who was very happy to talk TV shows with us and it was just a wonderful atmosphere. And our pizza was very good, it tasted more home cooked and traditional then what I usually find in Asia.
Note: other than the other patrons there wasn’t a lot of English available. My friend speaks Japanese so that’s how we were able to navigate going off menu. The English menu isn’t up to date with what is available and a lot of the Japanese on the Japanese menu is Italian or English words in Japanese characters. So if you don’t know what a type of pizza is you may have some difficulty navigating the menu. But everyone is super friendly and it has a very nice homey vibe.
This Quale is open from 3-11pm on Monday through Friday and on Saturday and Sunday from 12-3pm for lunch then with a break, they reopen at 5 and are open until 11pm. They also serve and make a variety of other Italian dishes.
A pizza menu breakdown: (note: this is based off quick google searches and may be wrong but it seems to be the gist of what the pizzas are, because beyond Margherita and 4 Fromaggi I hadn’t a clue)
Margherita: basic cheese, basil and a tomato sauce.
Genovese- a basil based pizza sauce with garlic and maybe potato and beans. (Also the last name of a crime family)
Gamberetti- spicy shrimp pizza
Gorgonzola- with gorgonzola cheese, usually a sweet pizza with honey. In korea this usually comes with almonds.
4 Fromaggi- four types of cheese
Capricioza- ham, mushroom, artichoke and olive
Romana- capers and anchovies
Scamorza- Scamorza is a type of cheese sometimes includes capers
Mortadella- mortadella is a type of italian sausage with other things in it like pistachios
Salsiccia- a type of sausage
Prosciutto- dry cured ham (kind of raw, but in this case it gets baked so no raw consistency)
Mare- seafood pizza