Pizza Perfecto! Chef's Table at PizzaExpress, Andheri
This is my very first visit into a PizzaExpress Outlet, a UK based chain established in 1965. The look of the newly acquired space in Andheri was impressive as I walked in. I have this penchant for Pizzas and this is the Pizzeria I had in mind that I would love to visit. We in India take Pizza Parlours as a quick bite concept but a visit to this place and that will surely change your perception towards Pizza Places. Well, since this outlet is situated in the vicinity of the Industrial Estate in Andheri it had these pipes clustering at the ceiling and giving this place a rugged look sprinkled with some finesse. As you enter, towards your right is a partially open kitchen, which gives you a peekaboo into their USP of freshly made pizzas. You can actually see the kneading of the dough and the pizzas going in and out of the oven and not to forget the aroma tickling your nostrils.
This place believes in keeping it simple and the new additions they have made to the already existing menu are surely meek and modest yet with a dab of flamboyance. Firstly, to check the kind of dough they use for all their pizza bases, they offer you the dough balls that are nice, soft and fluffy. They originally offered them with the garlic butter dip that purely melts in your mouth and I also loved the additional basil pesto dip. The other appetizer which adorned our table was the all new Ramiro Al Forno which consisted of sweet red pepper stuffed with goat’s cheese, mozzarella, button mushrooms, garlic, breadcrumbs and parsley topped with emilgrana. This was truly outlandish… something you must lay your hands on if you ever visit any of the PizzaExpress outlets at Andheri, Thane or Colaba.
We then witnessed the making of their New Veneziana Pizza, the stretching of the dough, then embellishing the pizza with the various toppings of olives, capers, pine nuts and just the right quantity of cheese. This Pizza was thin crust but perfect to taste, unlike other thin crust pizzas that I have had at other places, which aren’t able to take the excessive heat of the oven due to something amiss in the gluten content. This pizza was alluring to the eyes and tantalizing to the tongue when served. We could then see the staff dishing up another pizza into our plates called the Pomodoro Pesto Pizza. It had this overpowering taste of basil and there was something light and refreshing about the pizza. Yet, it wouldn't really make it to my list of hot picks anytime, anywhere! Winding up with pizzas to mark the end of our main course we were given the new Lasagna Verde. The lasagna was decent enough to gladden the palette but not something I would really look forward to after two starters and two lip-smacking pizzas.
After this lovely gastronomic session it was finally time for some glaced desserts. We tried the Vanilla flavored Real Italian Gelato blended with Almond flavored liqueur (I would prefer calling it Almond flavored liqueur to facilitate those similar me who are not great with technical terms like calling Coffee flavored liqueur Kallua!). But for pure ice cream lovers this would not be up to the mark as the liqueur dominated the dish. And yes towards the end we hopped into their Baked Cheesecake which is one of their signature desserts and that was completely overwhelming. It was an exemplary conclusion to an appetizing dinner. I am now looking forward to visiting the Colaba outlet with a South Mumbai feel and the walls emblazoned with Rudyard Kipling’s couplets. Also, the Thane outlet should expect me sometime soon as it has the décor of a railway line, owing to the fact that the first railway line was laid between Mumbai and Thane. So, PizzaExpress is a great amalgamation of concept and cuisine!