A chicken shawarma pizza – what could go wrong? The saga…

Whenever a major holiday comes around, Pitfire Pizza has a wacky but wonderful way of combining pizza with a quintessential dish to match. Thanksgiving, 2022 saw the release of a gravy-based pizza that was topped with all the must-have trimmings from Thanksgiving dinner.

The controversial idea of turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and sweet potato on a pizza left the house divided. However, for obvious reasons, the thought of combining two of the giants in the Dubai food world – the mighty shawarma with the majestic pizza, was accepted with open arms.

It’s no secret that at What’s On HQ we are willing to try just about any food combination and quite frankly, we were in love with the mere thought of mixing shawarma with pizza.

Potential villain origin story?

To truly understand this pizza we must first delve into the origins of the dishes as individuals before discussing whether they were destined to be together or not. We begin with the humble shawarma, whose true origin story has been debated, quite possibly, since the actual origin.

A spectacular street food, that can only be described as the perfect combination of traditional ingredients, wrapped up into one perfectly amalgamated bite every time. It is difficult to find shawarma that doesn’t taste good. Meat sliced thinly from a vertical rotisserie spit, typically chicken or lamb, placed delicately onto a bed of tahini, and garlic sauce. Pickles, if you please (we always do), and lastly salted fries, rolled with expert flair into a gift of pure bliss. As to the origin, well… we aren’t walking into that bear trap.

Ah, a pizza pie, now that’s amore. Italian flattened dough, typically coated generously with a tomato passata, the freshest of mozzarella cheese, buffalo mozzarella – if you’re making a traditional Neopolitan pizza. It’s a classic dish, but just because it can be topped with anything, does it necessarily mean we have the right to go all out? Hmm…

A mysterious incorporation of the two


Let’s fast forward to today. Two iconic, but vastly different dishes are brought together to make one.

Pitfire dough, coated generously in spiced gravy base, thinly sliced chicken, baked crispy roasted potatoes and topped with Arabic pickles and a generous drizzle of garlic sauce.

It begs the question, should the humble but mighty pizza be topped with the innards of an equally Herculean dish?

If it’s wrong to enjoy it, we don’t want to be right…

Our pizza is delivered and we are instantly drawn by the powerful smell of shawarma. Seated, we unbox the pizza. With bated breath, the pizza is split amongst us and we in unison, take our first bite. Is it shawarma? Is it a pizza? Is it neither? Is it somehow both?

A very obvious question mark appears on our faces. We can’t decide which category it falls under, so naturally, we dove in for another bite and another slice. All the textbook ingredients of shawarma are present, as promised, but is it technically a pizza if there isn’t a tomato base or cheese? So many questions, with only one ruling for Pitfire Pizza’s latest chicken shawarma pizza invention.

Undecided… That was the initial conclusion that was made. The gravy didn’t sauce quite the way it should, the chicken didn’t feel like an authentic rotisserie experience, and the roasted potatoes seemed to blend in with the pizza base.

However, pickles may be a new addition to the “acceptable” list of toppings on a pizza. Garlic sauce is always (always!) welcome. The more we ate, the faster the cognitive dissonance and question marks became a distant memory. With that in mind, there wasn’t a single crust left. Trying to pinpoint where on the spectrum this dish falls seems like an unending task, but if it intrigues you, it is priced at Dhs58.

Oh, and it’s a limited edition available only during Ramadan, so if you want to try it, be quick. It can be ordered here.