Shan Whaaa?

No cheese, no tomato sauce? The Ninja’s confusing encounter with Chinese pizza. 

Hello pizza fanatics and welcome to the April Fools edition of the East Falls Pizza Review.  Will the Ninja be April fooled again?  Read on to find out.

For this month, the Ninja tried pizza from a shop that has been an East Falls mainstay for years.  While other restaurants have come and go, this restaurant remains as a constant on our main commercial corridor.  That’s right folks, Shan Chuan.  Located at 4211 Ridge Ave., a neighborhood go-to for Chinese & Japanese dishes…and….pizza?

The Ordering Experience (4 out of 5)

Shan Chuan has a fairly robust deck of options for ordering.  The restaurant recently debuted their very own website.

Additional ordering options also available at:

The Ninja placed his order at 6:15PM for a ‘Chinese Pizza’ (item A9. under the “Appetizers” Chinese food portion of the menu).  Shan Chuan quoted a delivery time of 35 minutes.  Much to the Ninja’s delight, the order arrived on time.

The Pizza Experience

Presentation (3 out of 5)

I think it’s important to note that at this point, the Ninja let out an audible “oh god, we have a problem” to an empty household.  What lay in front of him was not pizza box but….pizza bag?  With that being said, it’s a nice looking bag.  If you look closely at the footnotes on the front lower portion of the bag you can see that whatever is inside can be cooked in the bag itself, but it warns you not to microwave, only oven.

Was there even pizza inside?  Let’s take a look.

The “pizza” is stacked nicely and efficiently inside the bag.

Hmmm, ok.  Well, it’s a pizza crust?  And there is a sauce on the side.

Lets take a taste:

Cheese (0 out of 5)

There is no cheese.  This is disappointing because the Ninja loves cheese.  But this brings up an important question.  Have you ever had cheese at a Chinese restaurant?  Have you ever seen cheese at a Chinese restaurant?  This question has been consuming the Ninja’s thoughts since this review.

Sauce (3 out of 5)

Well, to be fair, it is a sauce, and it is delicious.  The sauce has a warm dark color to it.  It’s a salty + savory sauce, with light undertones of vinegar.  The Ninja believes this is a Gyoza sauce, aka dumpling sauce.  The best way to taste this is to dip the pizza crust directly into the sauce.  Pouring the sauce on top resulted in messy results and a stained ninja uniform. But this brings up a second important question.  Have you ever had tomatoes at a Chinese restaurant?  Have you ever seen tomatoes at a Chinese restaurant?  This question has also been consuming the Ninja’s thoughts since this review.

Crust (4.5 out of 5)

The star of the show here is the crust.  Technically, it’s the only star of the show.  It’s a one-man pizza show, if you will.  This is a very light, airy, yet complex crust.  Crispy on the outside, yet soft and chewy on the inside with multiple layers to it.  It’s a flaky, buttery crust similar to a breakfast pastry with pieces of green scallions interlaced throughout.

Conclusion (2.9 out of 5)

Listen, while this is billed as a Chinese “Pizza” on the Shan Chuan menu, I think you would be hard-pressed to consider this a….wait a minute, would you look at that.  Shan Chuan has scored higher than last years April Pizza Ninja review of Franklins (score of 2.6, review found here).  Maybe it’s pizza after all.

But what is a pizza?  And now your April Pizza Moment of Zen

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