A Taste of Naples and Rome

The UK-based PizzaExpress, brought to India by Gourmet Investments Private Limited (GIPL) is on an expansion spree, having opened its 18th Indian outlet at Inorbit Mall recently.

The look of the 50-seater fine-dining restaurant is smart and contemporary, with a stunning view of Durgam Cheruvu from its terrace. The indoors have a bright and cheerful ambience with a bar, serving both alcohol and some pretty good Italian coffee.

On the menu are plenty of Italian specialty pizza options, such as their signature (and addictive!) starter Dough Balls Doppio, baked pizza dough balls, served with a trio of dips, garlic butter, pesto and pesto rosso. We tried the Mushroom Emilgrana Bake, the doughballs served with a cheesy mushroom dip.

Then there is the rectangular spicy Calabrese Pizza (in veg and chicken versions), originating in Calabria, southern Italy, known for its spicy Calabria chillies and pork sausages, as well as its high-protein cheese. The Naples Street Food section has pizza by the slice (ideal for a quick bite, with topping options like chicken and pesto, mushroom and cream), Napoletana Pizzas (very thin and light-as-air crusts and with a topping of fresh mozzarella cheese and tomatoes) and Piadina, a flatbread sandwich, with interesting fillings, including the Desi Indi-meat Piadina, which has malai and tandoori chicken with buffalo mozzarella and coriander pesto.

Pizzas, both classic and Romana, are available in sizes, ranging from 8 to 14 inches and also in half and half options. A must-try is the delectable American Hottest Pizza, with spicy pork pepperoni, jalapenos, fresh red chillies, spicy hot ‘Nduja pork sausages, finished with torn mozzarella, fresh parsley and chilli oil. For vegetarians, the Formaggi Pizza is a good (and cheesy) choice, having mozzarella, buffalo mozzarella and emilgrana.

For the health-conscious, there is a good array of fresh. Pasta, lasagna, risotto complete the savories’ part of the menu.

In desserts, there are about half a dozen cheesecakes, of which I found the Burnt Basque the best with its part-creamy, part-smoky aftertaste; as the others were trite flavors, like raspberry, chocolate and baked vanilla.

On the whole, PizzaExpress struck one as an ideal destination for both family and corporate outings, with great service. n SWATI

Meal for two: Rs 1500 onwards

1St Floor, F-48A, Inorbit Mall, Chili’s & PizzaExpress, Hi-tech City, Cyberabad, Madhapur Tel: 9985473443

Timings: 11 am to 11 pm

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