When I was little Pizza Hut was a restaurant in the more traditional, sit-down sense. I remember the all you can eat lunch buffets and birthday parties and free personal pan pizzas from the Book It challenge all being enjoyed under that red roof. Then as I got older Pizza Hut morphed into a delivery based establishment and I started seeing the sit-down version less and less. In the last five years I don’t think I’ve set foot in a Pizza Hut, rather the Hut comes to me. In China Pizza Hut has again reinvented itself, going back to its roots as a sit-down restaurant though its new scope far exceeds anything I remember from my childhood.
Pizza Hut in China is not really thought of as a pizza specific restaurant, but rather as an American restaurant. While it still serves its namesake food, it also has an extensive menu of other western dishes like steak, soup, salads, pork chops, pasta and, triumphantly, most Pizza Huts in Shenzhen also serve beer and wine. Upon our initial visit I was dumbfounded by the size of the menu, there are three whole pages devoted to appetizers alone. I was tempted on that first visit to sample some of the dishes not available back home, so I ordered the spaghetti carbonara, a side salad and the combo appetizer. However, after that meal I must sadly report that the only good thing on the encyclopedic menu is the pizza (and the alcohol). On your visit, if the plethora of options attempt to draw you away from the pizza section you must fight the urge to wander, it’s simply not worth it. If you really want to try something new at Pizza Hut in China I suggest you aim your culinary curiosity at one of their unique pizza styles, like the rural scenery pizza or the shrimp crown pizza, instead.