The naked Chef Jamie Oliver makes his foray into India with two of his most popular restaurants one of which- Jamie’s Pizzeria- yours truly got to review this week. Located in ambience mall Gurgaon which is puzzling given their dwindling footfall over the past year, the place has an earthy, homey feel. The place has a mural depicting Delhi NCR on a bare cemented wall, rustic distressed wood doors that aesthetically divide the dining space in two and a view of the millennium city from an expansive window. There’s something comforting about this Pizzeria which puts you at ease. As a vegetarian I am impressed by the R&D undertaken by most international chains before launching in a country that houses the world’s biggest vegetarian population, beef-mongers notwithstanding. And Jamie’s was no exception. The chefs at the kitchen were working their magic on some hand tossed wood fired pizzas which I could not wait to try.
The okra and lotus root fritti were crispy and served with a side of green goddess dip.Warming up our palates were the delightfully creamy Wild mushroom crostini . Next we tried some handtossed garlic bread, this is a beauty and should be ravished by all and sundry. The caprese salad was warm and sweet and all things nice. Crispy potatoes though were too bland and can be given a miss (some of my friends liked it with the special magic-dip that I shall mention later). Finally pizza time and wow what variety! Funghi woodman impressed with its earthiness and simplicity. Courgette Pomodoro was simple and rustic and frankly I loved the mish mash of potatoes, courgettes and onions. It’s like treasure-hunting on a flatbread. Paneer picante was a little on the sweeter side for my taste but I guess those who love this form of protein may like it (like a couple of my table mates). For me, the star of the evening was definitely the chilly freak and this even when I can’t otherwise consume this spice. It just sets the taste-buds on fire, revs up your senses and leaves you wanting for more. I discovered this was Jamie’s favourite pizza as well naturally keeping in line with his “simple ingredients great food” ideology. Although I wish it could be served as a single slice just to add a zing since it may to be hot to be consumed whole by just one or two guys; so be warned- only order the whole if you’re either a chilli freak or in a group of 4 or more. The helpful and friendly waiters do advise you likewise.
With the Fruity goodness of mango sorbet and the tangy tingle of sweet raspberry sorbet, ended our splendid meal that evening. Did I mention that they are reasonably priced too- full marks for value for money! And the olive tapenade is a dip to die for; I actually wish they could package and sell it in supermarkets; I am definitely a regular prospective buyer. Alex, their Marketing head personally looked after the huge crowd and even ended up serving some on our table- so Jamie’s is in good hands.