Pinyahan, Quezon City
(SPOT.ph) Kamuning bar Catch272 was a go-to for live music, open mic sessions, and fundraising activities—not to mention underrated but tasty-AF burgers. It was a sad day as the bar caught fire in June 2020, which led to its closure. But in an inspiring twist of events, the folks behind the bar have opened a small food business with drool-worthy pizzas that you need to try, ASAP: Check out Simaron Kitchen.
At the helm of Simaron Kitchen is Catch272's co-owner and manager Apauls and assistant manager Tao (who prefer to be referred to by their first names)—two moms with a 12-year-old kid, five cats, and "an entire village of friends who have tirelessly supported the kitchens we have built over the years". They started Simaron Kitchen a few months after the fire took place, as a small home-kitchen based business based on the menu of Catch272, trimming the menu over time.
You can pretty much thank their 12-year-old kid for their pizzas, as the kid requested the dish in December 2020. Apauls decided to give it a go—and while previous attempts to make pizza dough resulted in failure, she was met with success this time around as her pizza dough didn't deflate. Apauls sought to find out why it didn't deflate and started reading more about different pizza dough styles, baker's percentages, and the like. "The more I read into it, the more confused I got," Apauls admits. "You understand one part then a whole universe of information gets introduced." But it also led her to the pizza dough they've got today—one that's of the hand-kneaded, high-hydration sort, and which takes three days to make.
Though Apauls was suffering from depression at the time, the routine of getting out of bed to practice making dough every day "saved her life." "Every time I would post about my pizza adventure [on social media], people would ask if Simaron was going to start making pizzas," she explains. And as they also faced emergencies at the time involving their pet cats, Simaron Kitchen officially rolled out their pizzas in January.
Simaron Kitchen's pizzas are impressive from the crust alone—it's got a crisp exterior and chewy interior with a light yeasty profile that's flavorful on its own but not overpowering. All pizzas are roughly nine inches in diameter with 240 grams of their hand-kneaded dough, and you have the choice between the wider and puffier Fat Edge and narrower No Edge for the cornicione.
As for their topping combinations, Simaron Kitchen gets inspiration from "accessible ingredients." "Something our kid will eat kahit na gulay," says Apauls. "I play with what is available that my family and friends will like, something that my mama will like. I also like to mix it up. If I'm making something that a lot of people are making, I try to make it my own [and] put my own spin to it."
Purists can go for the simple but stellar Classic Cheese (P275) with mozzarella and cheddar, or the relatively minimal Pepperoni and Beef (P325). Really love cheese? The Personal Cheeses (P355) with mozzarella, cheddar, gouda, parmesan, and blue cheeses is your best bet.
You can get your veggie fix with the Vegeta (P375)—an earthy-tasting pie with a generous amount of veggies like zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. If you're more on the carnivore end of the spectrum, go for the Swinehouse (P399)—a meaty pizza that combines pepperoni, beef, bacon, ham, sausage, bell pepper, and onions.
And for an umami bite, you'll want to try the Project 2-3 (P385), which has two to three kinds of mushrooms and just-pungent-enough blue cheese. Though flavorful on their own, all their pizzas also come with their own homemade Garlic Aioli and Hot Sauce.
Simaron Kitchen takes limited orders per day, and you can try them for yourself by sending them a message on Facebook or Instagram a day ahead. They take payments via GCash or BDO bank deposit and deliver from Tuesdays to Saturdays, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
this strange new world.