Pizza is no more the thing you order while watching a game of sports or chomp off clumsily with heaps of ketchup. It is now made with tremendous precision and appeals to the most discerning of palates. With gourmet toppings that range from smoked salmon to scamorza, sweet and savoury variations, regional versions, newer shapes and contemporary sides — the pizza-eating experience in Mumbai is changing widely. Here’s a list of top five unique ones.
What: Pot Pie Pizza
Where: Pizza By The Bay, Marine Drive
This pizza is created on the lines of a traditional pie. It is set in a ceramic ramekin and is filled with a stuffing of your choice. A circular piece of dough, dressed with all the essential sauces, is used to veil the filling before it is baked in the oven. To serve, the server tumbles the bowl on your plate, revealing a gigantic cup that tastes like pizza but looks like a pie. Diners who want to stick to Italian flavours, opt for the ‘farmer’s choice’, which has an assortment of vegetables covered in thick slabs of mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. But if you don’t mind venturing into the desi territory, ‘totally cheesed out’ glazed with coriander butter is also appetising.
Price: Rs.400 onwards
What: La Foccacia
Where: Serafina, Lower Parel
Our idea of pizza generally involves a disc of dough with multiple toppings. But not this one. Here, you can dig into La Foccacia, which is a round piece of bread stuffed in the centre instead of having multiple ingredients perched on top. Unlike thin-crust pizzas, this one has more width due to the filling of cheese, basil, tomato and meat that are slid inside the dough before it is baked in the oven. It is essentially crispy but gets doughy as you bite your way to the centre. While Serafina doesn’t oblige you if you request for veggies to be thrown on top, they will swap your cheeses with what’s available, or replace fresh tomatoes with sundried ones.
Price: Rs.350 onwards
Where: Amadeus,Nariman Point
The eatery, situated at the fag end of Nariman Point, is known for all things Spanish. Though pizza is more of a main course dish, at Amadeus it is served with the lightness of an appetiser. Listed under the word ‘coca’ which is a type of Spanish pizza, this is a rectangular pastry cut into slim triangular wedges. The bread comes topped with a range of vegetables, meats and sea food and has a base of tomato sauce and cheese that makes it strikingly similar to the Italian counterpart. Of their extensive list, coca topped with finely chopped jalapenos and caramelised onion tops the chart. What works for the dish is the flavour see-saw played by the hot chillies and cloyingly sweet onions that mingle in the mouth laudably. More drama is added by addition of sour swirls of ash chevre cheese that mellows the rest of the flavours.
OLIVE OIL-BASED PIZZA
What: Rosemary Pizza Bread
Where: Pizza Express, Colaba
To find out how much time your meal will take to arrive on your table, you usually ask your server. But when it comes to the rosemary pizza, you follow your nose. No sooner than the raw dough is put in the oven, the entire restaurant gets filled with the sweet-smelling fragrance of toasted rosemary, hinting to the diner that the pizza will arrive shortly. Contrasting with pizzas slathered with a heavy coating of tomato sauce, this one is simply brushed with olive oil. Listed in the appetiser section, the rosemary pizza has no toppings on its resume, but solely relies on the flavours coming from the scattering of sea salt, chilli flakes and
rosemary, of course.
Where: Manchester United Café, Ghatkopar, Lower Parel
This funny-sounding pizza is delicious. A combination of a pizza and a cookie, the Pizookie is an ideal sweet snack after a trip to the mall. The dessert is set on the base of a large chocolate cookie which is half the size and twice the width of a real pizza. It is made using a regular biscuit recipe and comes topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, drippy chocolate sauce and some other dressings. Like pizza, the Pizookie doesn’t come sliced into trim triangles, but instead has to be spooned into like any other dessert. Since the cookie base is still warm when it comes on your table, it is easy to scoop out and fares wonderfully.