Well.. This post it all about pizza's. Now pizzas reminds me of so many variants. As a child , there was such a crase and craving for pizza's as it was rare and not mainstream. Think of late 80's and early 90's. Pre and post liberalization and the markets in india had started opening up. Back then Nirulas in Delhi was probably the epitome of fast food. Pizzas were awesome there. Going up to Nirulas at chanakya puri and later to leisure bowl at vasant kunj. The thin crust pizzas topped with onion capsicum mushroom sausage and topped with mustrad sauce and hot cheese. It was the Hot Shoppe Pizza.
Few years later came Pizza Hut and Dominoes and Pizza Corner. The MNC chains who took upon them to first educate the Indian customer about pizzas and when that didnt happen, they customised to Indian versions like the peppy paneer and chicken makhani.
Personally, it was grotesque and revolting to Indianise pizzas. I hated it. And so while popularity soared in India, I still kept looking on. Pizza corner was good but that closed in a few years. Pizza ht was not too my liking. Fat pizza' bases for the indian customer who often more than the taste is concerned about value for money. He might taste something good if it doesnt fill his stomach after spending money, its not worth for repeat visits.
In essence, those thick chewy bases reminded me of a cow rummaging through fodder. In fact that reminds me of the office parties in HCL, which even worse. People were so fucking attuned to indian food that the maximum revolution in their insignificant lives was to have pizzas. And when they had pizzas no one cared about savouring the taste. It was all about getting the maximum to eat, and it is here that the deep dish puzzas were an instan hit.
Now after having taken you through the nightmares, lets come to the good part. The pizzas I love were thin crusted, non indianised, with good qualitu and wonderful spread of toppings.
One such place is Tonini in Delhi, which makes really good pizza's. On the mehrauli road opposite to the intersection and below the chattarpur metro station.
The next great place in Gurgaon would be on the food court on the top floor of he Metropolitan Mall. The sole pizza shop and the name eludes me now, but they make your pizza right in front of you, right from kneading the dough, making the base and then putting the puza through an oven. Of course and gas fired steel oven.
Another place where Id really go is in Manali. This place on the way to Hadimba Temple is undoubtedly one of thr best pizzas. The chef is an ITalian who stays 6 months in Goa for the winters and in summers, MAnali. Aoparently they dont serve any pizza with the red tomato base and they go furher to educate that true pizzas in itally dont have a red sauce base. I had the chicken pizza, which was a large size, thin crusted, fresh pizza with cheese oregano and chicken mince. All together it just melts in your mouth. The first bite and you know its heaven.
Tried the pizza at Italiano's which is also about descent. Better than the commercial junk dished out at Pizza hut yet not something to rave about.
Now coming overseas, there are two placea I distinctly remember.
Utrecht, Netherlands: next to the wharf, they make some serious pizzas, large woodfired, original crust. While I recall most pizzas were meat or pork based, rendering them useless for me, I often asked them to make a version in chicken and mushrooms. The other one that I remeber was the four cheese Pizzas which had blue cheese. Amazing pizzas and an eye opener.
Sydney Australia: Woodfire Kirribilli, Milsons Point
This is the place where I repeatedly visit for pizzas. Thin crusted, wood fired pizzas with spinach, shavings of smoked chicken breasts and cherry tomatoes. A small eatery with a glorious view if the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge and couple with amazing pizzas and bottle of red wine, it will definitely be one of the pleasuresnof life you cant forget.