It’s not everyday that a restaurant chain from Majhi Mumbai opens an outlet in NCR. Well since one particular chain did I decided to give up my Gurgaon hang-up and drove 30 mins away to Delhi to revel in sheer indulgence. And boy was it worth it!
Pizza express launched its first outlet in Delhi last Wednesday . The attention to detail in the décor was remarkable indeed. They have delved into each and every aspect, infact every restaurant of theirs sports a different style. The Delhi outlet has a black and white theme, in-sync with the black and white stripes on the chef’s outfits. When you step inside, you notice the walls display Jaipur blue pottery plates with Persian designs. One of the walls artistically showcases Delhi. One must visit the place if only to check this out. Apart from indoor seating they will also be offering an outdoor terrace seating soon. The view from the terrace is breathtakingly grand. Actually, I don’t know why this place is classified as casual dining when you can wine and dine on their terrace with Qutub Minar in the backdrop.
But the most striking factor of the place is undoubtedly the live kitchen. You can see your pizzas being flared, and baked right in front of your eyes. This also dispels any doubt about the freshness of the food that is being served. One notable fact is that these chefs or Pizzaiolos are trained for a minimum of 12 weeks before they start crafting these delightful masterpieces.
Me and my colleague met up with the very affable and well informed manager, Manish who provided some insights on the working of this really busy kitchen. The sauce used for pizzas is specially sourced from a tomato farmer in Italy- The Greci Family. All the ingredients used are freshly procured daily and dumped right after their shelf life resulting in the high quality of their fare.
We started with Ramiro Al forno , bell pepper stuffed with a combination of goat cheese and mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar and served on a bed of arugula leaves. The peppers were grilled perfectly, and the stuffing left me speechless. I was told that the stuffing had a shelf life of 8 hours and I wonder if it was the freshness of the ingredients or the talent of Chef Uday that made this one so awe-inspiringly delicious. We tried some Dough balls Dopio served with three dips, basil pesto, rossa pesto and garlic butter. The rossa pesto made with tomatoes and pine nuts bowled me over. Next to be tried was Polpette which essentially is Chicken Meatballs in chicken bolognaise sauce served with dough sticks- highly recommended! The baked mushrooms filled with pesto were really delicious. The goat’s cheese salad is a wonderful medley of aubergines, chargrilled peppers, goat’s cheese served with their exquisitely textured garlic bread. Their refreshingly zingy Ginger Fresca goes wonderfully well with the starters. For those who like to dine in style they have a well equipped bar as well.
The Calabrese is an in house specialty, the topping consists of a combination of Italian sausage and spicy sausage and it quite lives upto its reputation of being the hottest pizza on the menu. The peculiar thing about this pizza is its rectangular shape which escalates the already high visual appeal factor. The Pizza padana is topped with spinach, caramelised red onion with bitter black olives. The sweetness of the caramelised onion perfectly complements the black olives. They have introduced more chicken dishes in their Delhi outlet instead of pork keeping in my mind the taste of local people. The polpette Bolognese has chicken meatballs with chicken bolognaise sauce and is a must try. I also tried the linguine alla Genovese which would probably taste better if substituted with something other than the basil pesto. We rounded up our lavish lunch with Chocolate pecan cheesecake- this was nutty (pecans), moist (caramel), decadent and the perfect finale to a great meal. However, my insatiable sweet tooth also dug into a banoffee pie and came out feeling joyous.
The person attending our table looked after us with utmost care, the smile never left his face the whole time and his knowledge of the menu enhanced the dining experience. There’s a special menu card for kids which includes a maze and colour pencils to keep them busy, thus enabling parents to enjoy their meal in peace. What is noteworthy is that although the place was launched just five days ago it was bustling with customers, many of whom were expats. They will be launching their Gurgaon outlet in December but until then Delhi’s not that far away!
Food 4.5/5, Ambience 4.5/5 , service 5/5