Just to let that sink in properly – that’s not just for a slice, that’s 350yen for the whole damn pizza. All of their pizzas measure 30cm across so that’s a full 706 sq. cm of goodness. To put that into further perspective, for the price of one medium sized Lobster Sauce and Snow Crab monstrosity from Pizza Hut at 2,480yen, you can consume 7 Marinara pizzas with change at Sempre.
If you haven’t been to Sempre, at this point you’re probably thinking, ‘OK, what’s the catch, it must taste like crap or there must be some serious compromise’ – but you’d be wrong. The way they keep it cheap is to keep the menu simple and make it ‘self service’. Which just means you have to clear away your tray and (plastic) plate and give the table a quick wipe with the cloth provided if you’ve left a few crumbs. That’s how they can run a two level pizza shop with just two staff – a guy who takes your order and the pizzaiolo.
In terms of the pizza itself, as you can see from the photo above, they aren’t flash frozen pizzas heated in an electric oven – it’s handmade pizza cooked in a wood fired pizza oven.
And here’s the pizza. I didn’t actually go for the Marinara (which is a favourite of mine). Instead, I went for the ‘Siciliana’ with tomato sauce, oregano, anchovies, olives, capers and fresh basil for 400yen. Despite the mix of flavours, none was overpowering and the crust was superb. Although I’m not a big eater, the serving size was more than enough for me.
In addition to the Marinara and Siciliana, the menu features the classic Margerita for 450yen and about 6 other varieties priced between 500 and 700yen. There is also a ‘premium’ pizza priced at 850yen.
If that’s not enough to convince you (not that I’m trying), the staff were also friendly and approachable. When I arrived, there weren’t any customers lined up out front (there were plenty of students lined up when I left) so one of the staff told me to relax upstairs and he’d bring the pizza up. When they’re busy, you’ll have to carry it up yourself.
Sempre means always in Italian. Having seen other cheap pizza places in Tokyo go out of business, I really hope Sempre lives up to its name.
Our video guide to the tuna auctions at the shiny new Toyosu Fish Market
View Sempre Pizza in a larger map
|Locations||Takadanobaba, Koenji, Asagaya|
|Business hours:||On weekdays, they’re open from 11:30 to 3pm for lunch and then 5pm until 10pm for dinner. On weekends and public holidays, they’re open from 11:30 to 10pm.|
The most adorable place in Japan.