To welcome the upcoming Chinese New Year, Pizza Hut has launched a series of mala-flavoured offerings:
- 特辣 Te La Fiery Mala Blossom Pizza
- Mala Wings
- Mala Fries
In an earlier article, we shared that the 特辣 Te La Fiery Mala Blossom Pizza comes in three different spice levels:
- 小: Xiǎo, or less spicy
- 中: zhōng, or mildly spicy
- 大: dà, or very spicy
However, we received a special level four extra spicy pizza (thanks Pizza Hut).
Level 4 特辣 Te La Fiery Mala Blossom Pizza
The fiery red pizza comes with mala-marinated chicken chunks and cherry tomatoes slathered with their in-house mala sauce as well as a mozzarella cheese-filled crust.
As if that didn't look intimidating enough, the pizza was also topped with a generous amount of chopped chilli padi, and perhaps for the fun of it, one whole chilli padi right in the middle.
As a precursor, we should add that none of the
cowardly xiǎo là (mildly spicy) mala eaters tried the pizza due to its intimidating description.
But even for someone who typically orders zhòng là (medium spicy) mala, the spice level of this supposedly "extra spicy" pizza was very bearable.
While it was fairly tingly on the tongue thanks to the chilli padi, we could barely taste the má (numbing aspect) in the mala.
This would disappoint people who eat extremely spicy food just for the sake of it.
One colleague described it as a saucy, slightly spicy chicken pizza.
If you're not too fussed about the mala part, it was a pretty good pizza that hit the relevant flavour profiles: Savoury from the marinated chicken, sour-spicy from the mala sauce and slight sweet from the cherry tomatoes.
The cherry on top was the cheese-filled crust, which helped to soften the spice level from the pizza.
Rating: 3/5. Overall a good pizza, just not mala enough to be called a mala pizza.
According to Pizza Hut, the mala wings are baked before they are coated with mala sauce.
Of all the three mala-flavoured offerings, the wings had the most prominent mala smell reminiscent of chilli and Sichuan peppercorns.
And it tasted the most like mala though, again, it still lacked a little of the má element.
It's a saucier and spicier version of Pizza Hut's drumlets, which are already good to begin with.
Here's how one mala-loving colleague described it:
"4/5 for being wings and 1/5 for not being mala enough."
Rating: 4/5. Solid chicken wings if not marketed as mala wings.
In case you didn't know, another fast food establishment also released some mala fries recently.
After trying both, we'd say that Pizza Hut has the better mala fries for the following reasons:
- The fries are evenly-seasoned with mala-flavoured powder for us. No need for us to put it in a paper bag and shake it vigorously.
- The cajun-like fries are still palateable even when they're already cold.
- Even xiǎo là mala eaters can eat it.
Rating: 5/5. Can't go wrong with this.
Available till Mar. 31
This limited edition additions will be available in the menu until Mar. 31, 2021.
Here's how much these items cost:
特辣 Te La Fiery Mala Blossom Pizza
- Dine-in: S$24.80 (Regular), S$33.30 (Large)
- Delivery and takeaway: S$29.20 (Regular), S$39.40 (Large)
- Six pieces: S$8.90
- 10 pieces: S$12.90
If our recommendation is anything to go by, we say go for the sides.
Perhaps next time Pizza Hut can be a little more liberal with the Sichuan peppercorns, we can handle it.
Top image by Fasiha Nazren.