Super Faminto: Bacar: Tie for Best Pizza on the Planet (Okinawa)
Seeing an old friend after some time is like nothing else. You catch up, see how they are doing, and talk about old times. I made my way to Okinawa a while back to check old the old island and made it my first priority to see Daisuke and his newly opened pizzeria, Bacar.
I first met Daisuke while on my first date with CH (my now-wife) who was a regular at Tokyo's famed pizzeria Savoy, in Azabu Juban, where Daisuke worked. After that first pizza, I haven’t been the same. The simplicity, perfectly thrown dough, and Daisuke's dominance at the oven was unrivaled. He is a master at what he does. Let’s just say God sent him to this earth to make you drool with anticipation.
Daisuke is the laid back, good-hearted, always-smiling type whose talents are only matched by his best friend Tamaki, of Savoy. Tamaki recommended that I visit Bacar on my upcoming trip to Okinawa, without telling Daisuke.
When I walked into Bacar in the middle of the afternoon, the surprise on Daisuke’s face was pretty epic, as the tallest beardo in the country strolled into his establishment.
He proudly asked me to have a seat as he poured me a glass of red wine. Just like the carefully selected ingredients in the pizza I knew from Savoy, he pointed out every carefully crafted detail of his dream pizzeria, from his massive steel and brick oven, to the old reclaimed theatre seats:
Marble counter top for kneading:
Tiles on the walls:
It is a cook’s wet dream and it was all his. He accomplished exactly what he left Tokyo to do.
The menu consists of Margharita and Marinara. You order both.
Daisuke pulls out the dough, kneeds it to size and adds flour.
Every pizza that his guests eat is carefully crafted by Daisuke, using the freshest ingredients. Here it's basil, tomato, garlic, sauce:
Daisuke about to toss some salt:
Adding olive oil:
Daisuke preparing the wood-fired oven for the pizza:
Pizza out: get the plate.
Are you drooling yet?
The next day, I returned again for dinner, after a visit to the most massive aquarium I have ever seen.
Daisuke prepared the pizza, selected the wine and encouraged me to taste the difference between the flavors used in Tokyo and used in Okinawa. Because I was the first Savoy regular to taste his new sauce blend, he was a bit nervous. I was dying to try, but a little apprehensive because of my firm belief that Savoy is untouchable and the inability to hide disappointment from reaching my face (this is why I open gifts in the dark).
Due to the extreme differences in climate between Tokyo and Okinawa, he altered the sauce. He made it a bit more pungeant, a little more acidic--but not sour. He had maintained the sauce despite the humidity and heat of Okinawa! It was refreshing and genius. The man has a gift.
My response and smile said enough. I was thoroughly into my pizza.
Daisuke, topping me off again. Me, on my third pizza.
Passalacqua coffee is just another detail of perfection. This espresso brings it!
I stayed hours, drinking, eating, and catching up. I miss Bacar and Savoy, but I especially miss my friends.