NEW DELHI: Comfortable ambience, a perfectly baked thin-crust pizza with a chilled berry fresca mocktail: The combination offered by PizzaExpress is just perfect for a relaxed Saturday night dinner after a hectic week.
Located at Nehru Place Epicuria, right under the Metro station, the menu here boasts a whole lot of options for pizza lovers -- whether vegetarian or a non-vegetarian; the mocktails include ginger fresca, zenzero fresca and iced teas. The berry fresca, a concoction of raspberry juice and fresh mint topped with Sprite over ice was refreshing.
I tried the button mushrooms filled with mozzarella, pesto and pesto rosso, as also the dough balls doppio starter which was served with a trio of dips: pesto, pesto rosso and garlic butter. The soft, melt-in-the mouth dough balls were addictive while the mushrooms, though small, tasted interesting, thanks to the pesto.
On to the main course. I had a half-and-half servings of two different pizzas -- Giardiniera (vegetarian) and Il Padrino 65 (non-vegetarian). Precaution: Don't try to judge which one is which as the toppings look alike. If confused, please ask the gracious gentlemen serving the food here.
I have had a lot of pizzas in the past two decades. Thin crust pizzas are, however, new to our country and PizzaExpress is a good place for those who want to familiarise themselves with these. Usually, thin-crusts served in India have a strong flavour of ketchup or packaged tomato puree, but the bites here taste of fresh tomatoes squeezed and spread with the perfect amount of mozarella and basil on the base.
A tip: please sprinkle your food with the variety of olive oils on your table while you sip on a chilled glass of Ginger Mint Mojito. It will remind you of the animated film "Ratatouille" if you are a true food fanatic.
"We at PizzaExpress have always striven to offer an experience that is distinctive and unique. We take pride in serving delicious and freshly-made pizzas which are hand-made to your order," a Pizza Express spokesperson told IANS.
"Our open kitchen makes it a delightful experience for customers as they can see the pizzaiolos (chefs) taking centre stage and dramatically creating pizzas by tossing and twirling the dough up in the air to bring you freshly-baked authentic Italian pizzas," the spokesperson added.
I then dug into the pollo pesto baked pasta, which was good, but I was too full to finish it and thus took a doggy bag home. But there was still space enough for the dessert: a sinful-looking banoffee pie. The smooth cream, the banana and the crumbled biscuit base blew my mind and I can say this a thousand times: if you have a sweet tooth, you must have this pie.
Where: Epicuria Food Mall, Nehru Place Metro Station, Nehru Place, New Delhi
Meal for two: Rs 1,800 plus taxes with alcohol
Timings: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.