“In Napoli where love is king…..... When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore…” Dean Martin crooned. And we swayed in this “amore” bubble. Now, there is reason aplenty with the new quaint brightly lit warmth-suffusing The Pizza Bakery on 12th main in Indiranagar, playing the same happy tunes to happy slices. The pizzas here, they come straight out of twin woodfire ovens inspired by the home of pizza — Naples or Napoli. Delicious, sending you into pizza heaven — the Neapolitan-style Sourdough Pizzas are a must-have.
The air is filled with the aroma of freshly baked pizza loaves, and life seems ok. But first, the story — Two Bengaluru boys decided to literally take the Napoli out of the Dean Martin song and created this self-designed wonderfully warm and happy pizzeria that speaks with its cutesy wooden crates of flower pots, black and white striped walls, hangings of the Italian overnerie, bulbs tied with ropes, and the large woodfire oven pizza at the centre. The young and raring to go Abhijit and Nikhil Gupta, from a travel business aren’t your ordinary hospitality entrepreneurs. They are hands on, scuttling to and from tables, bringing and clearing orders… They also take their travels seriously.
It was on a visit to Delhi, incidentally, that these home-grown Ooreans were treated to a flourish of gourmet pizza, which led them to usher in a new wave here in the city. Abhijit Gupta explains, “We want to make The Pizza Bakery a nationally recognised gourmet pizza chain with high quality pizzas at affordable prices. We did a pizza binge and tried pizzas from a bunch of different places in Delhi, good gourmet pizzas in our city were very under represented.”
They have Italian chef Antonio from Sicily as consultant. Antonio helped with their dough, and we were told that they use very little box yeast, have their own starter for a live culture for their secret dough, custom-made flour, and they rest the dough for 24 to 48 hours for its welcome puffiness. Renowned chef Abhijit Saha is the cuisine chef, need we say more? “We were clear we wanted to make a Neopolitan style sour dough pizza just as they have in Naples,” adds Abijit.
A Pizza Bakery, it is. And the name itself is Gupta’s way of changing perceptions. “Our pizza chefs have all worked at bakeries and understand yeast and dough, their knowledge has been polished by Antonio. The idea was to change perceptions that pizza bread is made in a bakery, the authentic way. You don’t go to a restaurant and order Neopolitan pizza, you bake it!” he adds.
They consider themselves bacchas who have had the able guidance of Chef Saha and Chef Antonio. They are also categoric about staying unpretentious.
We started with the famed Spaniard, our ultimate winner. It was perfect. Loved the tang of the tomatoes and the fresh crustiness of pizza bread that cradled in its puffy rise a spectacularly delicious chorizo … we would have liked a few more slices, though. The stuffed garlic bread was like perfection in oozes of cheese.
So soft, risen perfectly and aglio olio parmesan dip was another bit of perfection — light and dreamy, we heard that people are busy asking for extra servings to dip their pizza in it too.
The Gamberoni was tasty, and we liked the play of olives, jalapeno and prawns with a flurry of micro greens and our favourite rocket! The creamy béchamel with ricotta, mozzarella, home-made pesto, potato, roasted almond, spiced tomato and béchamel sauce was a bit disappointing, not in terms of the pizza bread, but punchier toppings. The parma bianco came with a basket full of Italian sprinklings, Parma ham, bocconcini, which we personally loved, parmesan, mozzarella, béchamel, rocket, black olive soil — a coming together of meat and herbs in a crusty toasty pizza loaf was the kind that would make any tummy happy. The burrata atop the Spaniard was heaven and freshest of fresh. We drizzled olive oil and rolled a chunky delicious slice on it —delicious! The wings were average. We wanted more garlic bread! And the aglio olio parmesan dip, and the Spaniard, of course!
For dessert it was a Saha-licious trail — a key lime pie, the lightest of cream, and so so scrumptious, we would have liked a moister pie crust. The mud cake was delectable and gooey chocolate heaven on the inside, gelatinous though.
The Guptas have got their mantra down pat, the taste is gourmet, and they promise more meaty slices — a streaky bacon is coming up. They are also planning to introduce a whole range of thin slice New York style pizzas, which might dilute its Italian authenticity, but Indians, alas, want variety, and regular fare. The beer and wine tap will be up and running in a month, blame the infamous excise issues. For fellow Indirangar-ites, you can soon also grab a pizza slice as you wade through the traffic, with their quick counter. Price point is better than the hole in your wallet pizza meals elsewhere, starting at Rs 400, and the taste.... delizioso!
Nikhil recommends the veggie delight, pizza king with a burrata and balsamic glaze to add a different texture and flavour, we liked the idea of offering a cheese, flambé or sunny side egg option on each pizza. Perfecto! Now, back to Dean Martin’s Italian reverie, chomp happy, of course.