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PIZZA EXPRESS – 50 YEARS CELEBRATION

PIZZA EXPRESS – 50 YEARS CELEBRATION

By Ritika Dhawan

Pizza Express hosted a blogger’s night, to celebrate its 50th anniversary and the launch of its new menu, at its recently opened outlet at Ambience Mall, Gurgaon. Established in 1965 in London, by founder Peter Boizot for the love of real Italian pizza, Pizza Express has mapped its journey with over 500 restaurants in 14 countries across the globe. Every outlet is uniquely designed, with its inspiration drawn from the location of the outlet.

A warm welcome and an assorted non vegetarian platter marked the start of the evening. Antipasto Pollo e Gamberro – an assortment with pesto marinated chicken, prawns on skewers, roasted tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella served with basil pesto, pesto rosso and dough sticks baked with emilgrana (a dehydrated hard cheese). Each item on this platter complimented each other, as explained by the chef the buffalo mozzarella cleanses the palate so as to ensure that we can enjoy the individual flavours of each assortment. Also we were served a drink which was a blend of watermelon, mint and lemon- it was as refreshing as it sounds.

Picture1Next was the star of the night – The Pizza !! The chef prepared their signature pizza from scratch; he explained to us every minute detail and walked us through the process of creating this Italian wonder. The importance of evenly stretching the dough, not overloading the pizza with the toppings so as to let the flavour of the base stand out, every tip and trick was shared. The fun was tripled when we got a chance to create our own pizza under the supervision of the chef.

 A thin and crispy Romana base, layered with their signature tomato passata sauce which is imported from Italy, topped with fresh basil, buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, flavoured with salt and black pepper and finally drizzled with olive oil was the highlight of the evening. The pizza was not at all heavy, the base maintained its crunch and one could have countless slices of it- a must try.

For a perfect end to a meal, a baked vanilla cheesecake served with your choice of gelato, cream or mascarpone(a soft cheese) delighted the senses.

A place that promises quality and will surely continue to maintain its legacy; if pizzas define Italian food for you, head to Pizza Express now and indulge!

 

 

 

 

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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Pizza Express

 

Real Italian comes to Gurgaon

By Priyali Prakash

It’s time for some authentic Italian food in Gurgaon. PizzaExpress is all set to open its second outlet of the Delhi- NCR region. Delhi Food Walks is offering you a sneak peek into what this restaurant has to offer. Read on to find out!

A word of caution: if you are too accustomed to the Indian palate with its generous share of spices, this might not be the best place for you. But, if you are adventurous enough to try some Italian food exactly the way how it should be, PizzaExpress is the place to be at!

Their signature starter dish, the Doughballs, is a personal favourite. Little balls of lightly seasoned dough, served with an assortment of dips including garlic butter, pesto and pesto rosso, are the best thing to start the meal with. The doughballs are light and fluffy and served hot- the perfect beginning for an Italian meal.

Other starters include Polpette, chicken meatballs in chicken Bolognese sauce and Ramiro Al Forno for the vegetarians, sweet red pepper stuffed with goat’s cheese, mushrooms and mozzarella.

Pizzaexpress 1The pizzas at PizzaExpress come with an extremely thin crust. The management puts it as, “Simple and authentic pizzas, always served in style. Just the way the Italians do.” While the Apollo pizza comes with Tandoori chicken, modified specially for Indians, the Padana Romana with spinach, goat’s cheese, mozzarella and red and caramelised onions, finished with a drizzle of garlic oil, might be the tastiest option for vegetarians.

Also on the menu is the Pomodoro Pesto Romana. As the name suggests, pesto sauce is the hero among the toppings here, accompanied by cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and baby mozzarella. Though, the final drizzle of garlic oil makes the pizza a little too oily.

The pastas in general seem to be a little undercooked, but according to one of the very sweet staff members, that’s how the Italians like it. The Tagliatelle Pollo Bolognese, classic chicken Bolognese sauce with a little twist stands out as the best pasta on the menu. The Penne Pollo Picante would have tasted a lot better had the sauce not been as dry.

As far as the desserts are concerned, Banoffee Pie wins hands down. The classic dessert, served with a dollop of mascarpone cheese on the side is a sure shot winner.

PizzaExpress is all beautified and lit up to welcome you. Pay them a visit to find out more about what they have to offer!

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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SBARRO

SBARRO

By Nikita Saxena

Nestled cosily in a warm corner of N Block, Connaught Place, Sbarro is set to delight all kinds of pizza lovers alike with its varied, sumptuous menu of pizzas, other Italian dishes and desserts. I recently had the opportunity to visit its most recent outlet in the National Capital Region of Delhi, and was warmly given a tour of the place by Jayant, Sbarro’s manager of marketing of the North and East regions of the country. Sbarro currently has one more outlet in HUDA City Centre, Gurgaon, which opened on the 4th of October this same year.

Sbarro dates back to as far as 1956, beginning as the brainchild of Italian immigrants Genarro and Carmela Sbarro, who journeyed from Naples, Italy to New York, U.S.A. The two established their first Italian restaurant, “Salumeria”, in the locale of Brooklyn. Now, Sbarro, currently headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the leading international pizza quick serving restaurants, with a thousand outlets worldwide in more than thirty-four countries. In India, Sbarro is franchised by Jyoti International Foods Private Limited, which is headed by Mr. Akhil Puri.

I soon sat down with Rahul Gladwin Massey, the head chef, who wasted no time in giving me the veritable walkthrough through the elaborate menu, and little unknown interesting facts that are otherwise unknown to most. The menu, which like in all other Sbarro branches all over the world, follows 60% of the original menu with a few modifications made in order to suit the Indian palate. Such modifications include inclusion of ethnic flavours, such as tandoori and tikka, and the replacement of beef and pork by chicken in most pizza variants, the exception being pepperoni pizza. Rahul also told me that Sbarro believes that an excellent pizza must always be served fresh and piping hot, and then explained all the rigorous rules they followed to maintain this standard.

Fresh dough is made every day in the store, adhering to the strict guidelines of shelf life, as well as fresh sauce, which is manufactured from imported tomatoes. A major distinguishing feature that sets Sbarro apart is their use of 100% dairy cheese, which leads their products to have a lesser shelf life, but more flavour, as opposed to other pizza chains that use 40% dairy cheese with a mix of other chemical and cooking substitutes. The menu at this outlet has a huge range of pizza slices, with nine New York style pizzas (thin-crusted, but sturdy enough to hold its toppings; a novel way to eat it is by folding it from the middle) that Sbarro is known to specialize in, four pan pizzas (thicker crusts with more bread to appeal to the Indian user), two Chicago deep dish pizzas, eight pastas (which use both spaghetti and penne), three amazing desserts and a plethora of hot and cold beverages to deliciously wrap it up.

The white pizza is an absolute must-have for the cheese lover, with ricotta and mozzarella cheese lavishly spread over a thin crust, and no tomato sauce base, making it a novel one-of-a-kind eating experience. As someone who does not have a natural affinity towards pineapple, the ham and pineapple pizza completely won me over with its perfect blend of minutely diced pineapple and ham pieces wrapped in oodles of melting cheese. A similarly themed offering to watch out for is the cheese pizza, which includes Sbarro’s signature tomato sauce blend.

The mushroom olive pizza is yet another specialty one can find only at Sbarro, with cheesy slices decked heavily only with the aforementioned toppings, for the more exotic and variant pizza eater. According to Rahul, the pepperoni pizza has been a hit with the other NCR outlet as well. Other thin crust pizzas (starting from Rs. 49 onwards a slice) include chicken tikka, which has a classic Mughlai twist to it, supreme, spicy paneer, and vegetable supreme.

sb lq supreme sliceThe four pan pizzas include veggie delight, paneer supreme, super supreme, and sausage jalapeno. But what really will make you have a wholesome, stuffed-to-the-brim meal, is the new variety of stuffed pizzas Sbarro has introduced here (priced at Rs. 179 a slice, and Rs.1199 a whole pan), which includes vegetable extravaganza, paneer makhani, sausage & pepperoni, and garden style. I had the chicken makhani stuffed pizza, and needless to say, I was blown away by the seamless blend of popular Indian curry flavours and Italian herbs and spices.

DSC_0541_Next came the breads, which are bound to fill you right up and leave you rubbing your belly in satisfaction. The garlic bread (priced at Rs. 59) was freshly baked with a light garnishing of finely chopped garlic pieces on the top. Apart from this, I had the sausage & cheese stromboli (priced at Rs. 149), which are pieces of bread stuffed liberally with cheese and in this case, a non-vegetarian filling of chicken sausage pieces. This was followed by a quick tasting of the wide array of Sbarro’s pastas (priced at Rs. 159, and Rs. 179) which are traditionally served with a piece of garlic bread. The saucy sausage pasta was a brilliant gastronomic experience, with light, natural tomato flavours that will make your taste buds reach cloud nine with its sausage pieces of chicken ham dipped in tangy red spaghetti. I also had the arrabiata pasta, which in a surprising but flavourful take, had pieces of corn within the whole dish. Among the white sauce types of pastas, the alfredo parmesan was a wonderful pick, with liberal amounts of dairy cheese and mushrooms that will knock one right off their seats.

Among the beverages, I tasted both the orange and cucumber lemonades (both priced at Rs. 50), each with a refreshing and unique flavour of its own, with the former having a tangy, tantalizing, and sweet taste to it, and the latter having an offbeat, relaxed taste, which would prove to be a hit in the harsh Delhi summer months. The dessert menu was otherworldly, with three dishes to satisfy your sweet tooth. The New York cheesecake was firm, filling, and made with Philadelphia cream cheese. The frosted carrot cake was something to be truly relished, consisting of a soft pastry with a hint of cinnamon and a sizeable frosting of cream cheese. The fudge nut brownies were served hot, and with a dash of hot chocolate sauce, and melted right in the mouth.

SpaghettiApart from the food, the other best parts of eating at Sbarro were its ambience and its open air kitchen in full view of every customer. With a minimalist theme in black, red, green, and white colours, Sbarro has a setting that will not bear down on you, but only serve to give you the Italian rustic feeling when you sit down to eat. Another bonus point to this outlet was its fire safety standardizations, with many extinguishers and pipelines located at different strategic points in the restaurant area, which is exceptional to find in a restaurant.

Sbarro plans to expand to home delivery soon, as it is expecting a huge turnout in its Connaught Place outlet, as it is in a prime location in the heart of the city. However, I highly recommend everyone to visit Sbarro soon, and have an unforgettable time eating out your favourite Italian dishes.

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.