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Critics' pick
64 Fangjia Hutong

This venue has closed.

You could happily spend the whole day at Ramo. Owner Paca Lee has tricked out the old El Nido Bistro space in a palette of primary colours and gorgeous vintage tiles gleam a soft yellow and blue as light pours in through the tall windows. Light bulbs in geometric cages hang from the ceiling, the windows are trimmed in a vibrant yellow, and, to top it all off, a disco ball dangles in the bathroom.

It’s a fun spot, and we can tell from first glance that this will be a fast Fangjia favourite. Ramo’s an all-day affair where the doors open at 9.30am to the huddled masses of café-dwelling freelancers and hungover hutong trendies in need of a stiff cup of coffee. It’s spacious and airy – the ideal antidote to the overcrowded places a few blocks over on Gulou Dong Dajie. In the evening, when things really get going at Ramo, glass cases display the main event – pizza by the slice.

‘There’s every reason to go, except for the pizza,’ we concluded after our first visit. If you ate at Ramo in its first month and felt the same, give it another shot. Apparently, the kitchen agreed. A return trip several weeks later saw what were once stale, traumatically chewy crusts transformed into crisp, crunchy exteriors that conceal a delicate centre. As you’d expect, the new crust is a game changer – it’s now all about the pizza.

Go for the Parma ham and rocket (16RMB slice; 56RMB whole) where generous slips of meat blanket the surface. The four cheese option (18RMB slice; 60RMB whole) arrives as a gooey, primordial soup of mozzarella, white cheddar, blue cheese, and goats’ cheese. The goats’ cheese and rocket is more toned down, but equally delicious. Named after the chef, the Super Yibo (20RMB slice; 70RMB whole) appears the most daring on paper. In practice, it almost comes together, but we find ourselves wanting more of the salami and beef sausage it’s flecked with and slightly less of the pungent blue cheese.

In the true spirit of a soft opening, Ramo took its sweet time to work out the kinks, but it’s now on top of its game. A good hangover breakfast, solid pizza and a disco ball? Let the good times roll.
Venue name: Ramo (CLOSED)
Opening hours: 9.30am-late (kitchen open until 11pm) daily
English address: 64 Fangjia Hutong, Dongcheng district
Chinese address: 东城区方家胡同64号
  • 4 out of 5 stars