KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — Long before Pizza Duo earned its "viral pizza" standing, it has been my hidden secret place for my pizza fix.

Operated by Aina Ghani and her husband Mark Lee, they are inside Tap Room KL in Bamboo Hills.

Both are pizza geeks who often took jaunts to Italy just to eat pizza.

That deep love for pizza was translated into this eatery where after much research and work, they now produce their contemporary Neapolitan pizza.

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Each pizza boasts a backbone of Italian ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes from the Campania region, Italian flour and fior di latte (fresh cheese) from Naples, rather than commercial mozzarella.

Coast to Coast may be a seasonal special but do catch it when it appears as the creamy 'stracciatella di bufala' pairs beautifully with the anchovies from Cetara and the basil pesto.
Coast to Coast may be a seasonal special but do catch it when it appears as the creamy 'stracciatella di bufala' pairs beautifully with the anchovies from Cetara and the basil pesto.

Standing loud and proud behind their pizza counter is their custom-made copper clad Stefano Ferezza pizza oven. It's reputed to be the largest of its kind in Malaysia, at a whopping 3,500 kilograms!

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The proof, of course, is in the pizza.

What I love is how the pizza dough is soft and light. Pull apart the crust and you get beautiful puffy holes, which are easy to digest too.

It's all thanks to their dough which uses a blend of four different Italian flours that is double fermented for more than 72 hours.

That's the pull factor for me as I keep returning to the counter every other month... so much so that even their staff recognise my absence.

Kick start your meal here with Nonna's Beef Meatballs with that rich tomato sauce (left). For a refreshing starter, the Burrata Salad is a combination of tomatoes, pears and creamy burrata with basil oil (right).
Kick start your meal here with Nonna's Beef Meatballs with that rich tomato sauce (left). For a refreshing starter, the Burrata Salad is a combination of tomatoes, pears and creamy burrata with basil oil (right).

Kick off your meal here with their Nonna's Beef Meatballs (RM30). The juicy meatballs with a rich tomato sauce is the type of dish you can happily sit and eat while watching Netflix.

I have a weird quirk when I order the meatballs. Instead of the option to add their signature bread for RM6, I like to reserve my pizza crusts to scoop up the meatballs and sauce.

Depending on my mood, I sometimes start with their Burrata Salad (RM44). Here, the creamy burrata is balanced out with a refreshing tomato and pear mix. It's garnished with fresh mint and a drizzle of basil oil.

It makes a light, fresh start before I get to the main event... the pizza!

With a total of 16 savoury pizzas, you can have fun trying the various flavours.

Shroomami is the bestselling pizza with its irresistible combination of portobellini mushroom, ricotta and truffle salsa (left). For the Christmas party, the Shroomami 2.0 showcased freshly grated black truffle (right).
Shroomami is the bestselling pizza with its irresistible combination of portobellini mushroom, ricotta and truffle salsa (left). For the Christmas party, the Shroomami 2.0 showcased freshly grated black truffle (right).

Purists can zoom in on the classics like Rosso with a tomato base sans cheese or the classic Queen Marg. There's even their spin on the classic Margherita, where they add semi dried cherry tomatoes.

Cheese lovers can consider their Formaggio with four kinds of cheese like gorgonzola, ricotta, parmigiano fondue and fior di latte, drizzled with maple syrup.

Be adventurous and try their specialty pizzas. Some have fanciful flavour pairings like the CLOY, which stands for the popular K-drama series Crash Landing on You, with Angus beef short rib bulgogi, kimchi and even roasted sesame seeds.

Or how about the Krapow, where Thai basil chicken with bird's eye-chillies, crispy Thai basil and fried egg have found a home on top of a pizza base.

You also have their kopitiam inspired Egg Tart pizza. The dessert pizza is made better with a scoop of kopi gelato for a sweet treat.

Festive special for Chinese New Year saw chicken 'bak kwa' being paired with golden egg floss (left). Santa's Slice was for Christmas where Angus beef karubi was paired with semi dried cherry tomatoes, smoked scamorza and tiny, crispy potato fries (right).
Festive special for Chinese New Year saw chicken 'bak kwa' being paired with golden egg floss (left). Santa's Slice was for Christmas where Angus beef karubi was paired with semi dried cherry tomatoes, smoked scamorza and tiny, crispy potato fries (right).

Occasionally, there are festive specials. Like the Chinese New Year offering of chicken bak kwa, paired with golden egg floss, aged shoyu, smoked scamorza, Parmigiano fondue and fior di latte. It may sound strange but it does work as the bak kwa adds a touch of sweetness.

For the Raya festivities this year, they introduced The Kampung Boy, where Angus beef short rib cooked masak hitam style was combined with keropok udang powder and cilantro aioli.

One of my all-time favourite pizzas is Coast to Coast. Previously offered as a special during their Christmas party, it's an unforgettable combination of creamy burrata topped with anchovy and dollops of basil pesto. It gets messy but oh my, it's just the best medley of creaminess, salty and the fragrant basil, making me return for a double take of this special when they offered it.

Their bestseller is Shroomami (RM72). It's meat-free but one doesn't miss it at all since there's portobellini mushrooms to give it a savoury kick and lots of ricotta, Parmigiano fondue and decadent truffle salsa with truffle oil to perk it up. When you sit at the counter and you see the pizzas coming out of the oven, you will notice that every other pizza is usually the Shroomami.

The couple are sensitive to local preferences, like cutting the pizza for diners. In Italy, Neapolitan pizzas aren't sliced at all but served whole.

One of the talents that Pizza Duo has includes making beautiful grazing tables for parties (left). Be tempted with dessert from the Christmas grazing table (right).
One of the talents that Pizza Duo has includes making beautiful grazing tables for parties (left). Be tempted with dessert from the Christmas grazing table (right).

Tap Room KL is a great place to chill with friends and eat pizza.
Tap Room KL is a great place to chill with friends and eat pizza.

Their talents aren't just limited to just pizza either as seen during their Christmas party, they can also make the most glorious grazing tables for parties, where delectable cold cuts with various dips and desserts beckon you to eat them all.

Dining here, it's best to reserve a table, especially with a big group of people, as the place is popular. You can also order food from the Tap Room KL's menu.

Usually, I like dining at the pizza counter because that's where you can see the magic happen.

Pizza Duo, Tap Room KL, Lot P10, Bamboo Hills, Taman Bukit Bambu, KL. Open daily: 11.30am to 11.30pm. You can WhatsApp +6012-5992980 for reservations. Instagram: @wearepizzaduo

*This is an independent review where the writer paid for the meal.

* Follow us on Instagram @eatdrinkmm for more food gems.