What’s common about Groove 9, Bits and Bytes, Pizza Town, Sans Pizza Den and The Coffee Cup? You guessed that right — Pizza!
And with Hyderabad, the food lovers’ paradise, sprouting more and more pizza joints every day, it was only natural for us to pay a slice (saw what we just did there?) of a tribute to this global fun food on a day dedicated solely to it — the World Pizza Day.
Thus, we set out, exploring pizza joints recommended by pizza connoisseurs in the city, trying to understand their fondness for their preferred joints.
A love as clingy as stringy cheese
With the varying shifts at his call centre, Arun Kumar eventually was hooked to the comfort of munching into pizzas. Unsurprisingly, pizza is now his favourite preference of food. But, hey! He is not for the fluff of it — he doesn’t care much about the assembly-lined pizzas by franchisee outlets. Talking about his preferred joint, he says, “My preference shifted from Dominos Pizzas to the local stores because the latter experiment with their own recipes. For instance, Groove 9 in Sainikpuri has some delicious cheesy and thin-crust pizzas with the best base I’ve eaten. They even add preferred add-ons.”
We are told that the pizzas, costing `700 for two, are loaded with heavenly mozzarella cheese over the evident freshly homemade sauces with selected tomatoes and garlic. “Chef’s Special Pizza is a wonder here. And I believe that the homemade sauces, as suggested by the owner of the joint, Vijay Kumar Marri, combined with olive oil and the BBQ sauce, are to die for,” chimes in Arun.
Samuel Manne, an MNC employee who gorges on pizza thrice a week, then tells us about the best pizza he’s had at a local pizza joint close to ECIL. “Taste N Joy Pizzas, with their really simple and good pizzas, has some delicious add-ons and cheese. A readymade soft pizza base with homemade sauce and fresh chicken, veggies, and greens make this pizza even more special. Their pizzas are moderately priced — from `100 to 400. And their Spicy Chicken Pizza, with the right amount of everything, calls me back every time,” says Samuel with a happy chuckle at the memory of the pizza.
Flavours to die for
For Raghu Ramaswamy, executive chef at Fusion 9, the secret special ingredients are selected, peeled tomatoes and basil, giving the pizzas the finest taste. “While the pizza culture started in India around the 2000s, it has evolved over the years, with local joints bringing in their own ideas to give the dish some really good flavours. People are also beginning to ask for more than just ‘a pizza’, looking exclusively for thin-crust, half-moon-shape (calzone pizzas), fusion and wood-fire pizzas. Then there are the new flavours too — desi tastes such as the chicken tikka, delicacies with corn, paneer, and mushroom, the wood-fired pizzas that come with a smoky flavour and thin- crust — making a usual favourite,” adds Raghu.
Sandeep Jetti’s favourite pizzas are Macaroni and Eagle Boys pizzas as well. “Pizza Cafe in Gacchibowli serves the finest cheese-burst pizzas,” he says. Sandeep also talks about noticing that the wood-fired pizza is now the trend across established and local pizza joints. “I believe pepperoni, cheese, tomatoes and chicken always has its own craze, followed by corn and mushroom. But a couple of pizza joints at Sindhi Colony serve various options including only veg and wood-fired pizzas.”...