Times have changed on the pizza party front. A few months ago, you couldn't get a seat at MammaMia's Tuesday pizza party unless you RSVP'ed. That was back when 98rmb got you all-you-can-eat pizza and free-flow beer. That's savings, no matter what condition the pizza and beer is in. Now, it's just the pizza and one glass of Carlsberg.
So is the deal still worth 98rmb?
The Shanghai outlet of Enzo Carbone's (Capo, Issimo) MammaMia is on the second floor of the same building as Perry's on Huaihai. MammaMia also has branches in Suzhou and Wuxi, and we did a First Bite on this one last May. On a recent Tuesday, the place was half full, but lots of diners were just ordering off the regular menu.
So, the pizza. From 7-10pm, a.k.a. the pizza party, they serve three types of thin-crust pizzas that aren't on the normal menu. Toppings on these are a lot more sparse than on a normal pie. That's not to say they're bad, and the crust is still good. You can't really go to a 98rmb all-you-can-eat pizza party and expect gourmet offerings. You're there for the quantity. And anything better than straight-up poison on your dinner plate is a bonus.
They had a potato sausage pizza, a margarita pizza, and a mushroom ham pizza. The mushroom one was the best, but they only brought that out once. The margarita pizza appeared most often, occasionally with some meat, and more often without. Toppings seemed skimpy, but no different from a visit in August.
While the two managers were friendly and attentive, the waiters seemed new. They used a fork and a spoon to split the pizzas and hand slices to diners. Pizzas were passed around slice by slice, and arrived in inconsistent intervals. Sometimes pizza would appear every 10 minutes, sometimes every 30 minutes. That said, managers were happy to make sure you got a fair share in the next round, even offering us a full pizza at one point. It was margarita, though.
So is the deal worth it?
Well, if you went when they had the free-flow beer, you're going to feel like something's missing. They were spoiling you then. That deal makes this one seem a little lackluster. That was one hell of deal. This is not. As much. What happened to the beer? Maybe some people abused it, and ruined the pizza party. Maybe they just couldn't sustain that value at that price point. Maybe they were always just using the beer to get you into the door, and hoping the pizza would speak for itself.
Now, MammaMia's pizza party is just OKAY value, if you're starving and plan to eat more than a whole pizza. Otherwise, now that the main focus is on the pizza, they should raise the quality or drop the price. I'd much rather pay more for the previous deal with the free-flow than pay less for this one. I went with a friend, and it would have made more sense to just get a good take-out pizza somewhere and a couple decent beers for the same price. There's better deals around town.
So... free-flow beer makes a pizza party a party, as it turns out.
Shanghai has a lot of deals, but which ones are actually legit? In Deals Tested, we find out for you. For more of this column, check out the archive. If you're a venue with a deal, you can submit it to our listings for free. Deals do change frequently, so we recommend calling ahead to double check.