Get out of your pizza comfort zone and try a breakfast pizza with ham and egg, a smoky pizza with chorizo, or one with grilled Korean beef with a dash of Sriracha—new pizza flavors from California Pizza Kitchen (CPK).
After being around for 17 years, CPK gets an upgrade with new stuff: a menu featuring Asian flavors, catering options, party packages and an innovative “island” concept in its Century City Mall branch in Makati City. (See sidebar.)
CPK Philippines also recently hosted CPK International Summit, an annual gathering of franchise partners from around the world. Archie Rodriguez, president and CEO of GRCI, the company that handles the Philippine franchise, introduced the new items at Greenbelt 5, Makati. He was joined by CPK chair and CEO GJ Hart, and senior vice president Rudy Sugueti, who were in Manila for the summit. Over lunch, the CPK executives gave us an overview of the new menu starting with the hand-tossed pizzas.
The Breakfast Pizza is CPK’s take on the traditional ham-and-egg sandwich. It is topped with applewood-smoked ham, queso quesadilla, mozzarella, a runny sunny side-up egg and fresh arugula which cuts the richness.
The Chorizo Pizza is for those who like it a bit sweet and salty. It has chopped chorizo, mozzarella, sautéed red onions, yellow and red bell peppers. The Korean Beef Pizza is a spicy-smoky variant with grilled beef slices, caramelized onions, cheese, a drizzle of salad mix and Sriracha vinaigrette. These pizzas can also be had with crispy thin crust, upon request.
For the crispy thin-crust pizza, there are two meatless options: Ocean’s Harvest Seafood Pizza with onions, peppers, mozzarella and parmesan, and Grilled Veggie + Goat Cheese Pizza with squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, three kinds of cheeses, arugula and reduced balsamic vinegar.
The handmade crust and quality toppings make California pizza stand out, says Hart.
“We try to use as much local ingredients as we can in the region we’re in to ensure freshness,” Hart says. This practice extends to other CPK staples as well, such as the pastas.
Local shrimps are used in Shrimp Scampi Zucchini Fettuccine, which is garlicky with a zing of lemon, and Shrimp Arrabiata with spicy marinara, capers and black olives.
For something earthy, try out the Fettuccini with Mushroom Truffle Cream Sauce, with black truffle sauce and shaved button mushrooms.
Pair these with the roasted Chicken Chimichurri for a hearty meal.
Other new items are Green Mango Salad, Gambas, Epic Fries and Crostini with your choice of dip: Four Cheese, Mushroom or Chorizo + Queso.
Green mango pie
CPK is a pizza place, but it also serves good coffee and desserts; the news ones are thoughtfully made with Filipino flavors.
There’s the Green Mango Pie which is smooth and creamy with a kick of tart raw mango. It is lightly sweetened and comes with a saltine cracker crust for balance.
The Halo2 is a huge parfait filled with coconut jelly, jackfruit, black beans, corn, bananas, topped with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce and walnuts.
These sweet treats are available for dine-in, and are also offered in large orders, along with the pizzas and pastas, through the CPK catering service.