Harpreet and I are both fond of Pizzas, whether it is from a fast food service chain such as Domino’s to those Hand Crafted by our Friends at Fat Lulu’s, and NYC Pie in Delhi. Though from a purist point of view, I would love to eat a thin crust, but then there are days where you just want a Deep Dish Pizza, and I remember seeing a Post on one of the food groups of the Insta Pizza Deep Dish… it Looked wonderful.
A chance meeting into a Delivery boy of Instapizza in Gurgaon, led us to know that there is one right next door to us in Kalkaji, and the Deep Dish is currently available only in Kalkaji and Gurgaon should get it in a few weeks.. so the plans for the weekend were frozen and finally we drove down to Kalkaji to Checkout the place.
A Bright board welcomed us and the place looked interesting. Though it was empty at about 1 PM and there were many bikes parked outside, we were slightly worried on how the place would be. Was this because of the Domino’s pizza right next to their outlet or was it just because it was a very hot day in Delhi.
At the Entrance of Instapizza are two tables which are outdoors, these are in the shade but not really suitable for a hot summer day that today was, inside there are 4 high chairs you can sit on and face the window. Clearly suggesting that the place is designed more for a take-away / delivery than eating here, but since we wanted a Hot and Fresh Pizza we decided to sit indoors.
The staff is courteous and the Board is clear. They have 3 sizes on the board, a Small, Medium and Large, a Choice of Two crusts a Thin Crust and a Thick Crust. The Deep Dish is available in the size of 8″ only and is not on the menu, but is available. The Deep dish is priced at Rs. 500 for a Vegetarian and Rs. 600 for a Non Vegetarian, and you can choose whatever number of toppings you want in your pizza.
Since Harpreet is a Vegetarian she ordered her Deep Dish with Cottage Cheese, Capsicum, Onion, Corns, Jalapeños and rocket. Though we were sure that one is going to be enough for both of us, I went ahead and ordered a Non Vegetarian One, my Choice was Chorizo, Garlic and Green Chillies. We were told that our pizza’s would take about 25 minutes and the order taking gentleman asked us if we wanted a cold drink or something in the meanwhile.
The dough was fresh and the ingredients looked fresh too. They have a compact freezer that stores all the meats and other perishable stuff, but the veggies and the cheese were all ready to go into the pizza base after the dough was shaped and the pie base ready.
It was interesting to find a Rubiks Cube, a Couple of Comics from Archies to a Tin Tin on the table to pass your time as you waited for the pizza. The Condiments included Chilli Flakes, a Bottle of Toabasco and Dried Herbs as is standard anywhere in an Indian Pizzeria. When I asked for Mustard, I was duly handed a bottle which my server cleaned before giving it to me, a plus one clearly.
But this is where things started to go wrong, it was clearly evident that the team was not fully trained to make a dip dish, confusion on to manage things and how to layer it up were evident. Also the fact that the handle on their brand new oven was not working properly meant a loud error beep every minute or so, when they had to open the handle and shut it again. During the 1 hour we spent here, there were about 5 or 6 beeps.
A long process of cooking the pizza happened, first the base was layered with the dough, veggies, cheese and the tomato sauce and in it went into the oven, a little while later this was taken out of the base – and put in the oven on a paddle directly to brown and crisp the bread – handling skills were missing and staff was struggling to handle this big a deep-pie, but anyway, our 25 minutes of wait was over, and the pizza was on the table for them to slice it.. The bread made a wonderful noise as the knife hit it the first time making me realise how good and crispy this was, and the wafting smell of a fresh bake had me totally hungry.
The pizza was cut into four slices and served to us on the table. Now since this is a take-away / deliver place, they did not have any cutlery or serving plates, so we got the pizza on an aluminium foiled paddle. The first slice out and Harpreet and I were confused on how to consume this massive slice of pizza, we asked for some aluminium foil that we folded and used as a plate. The Rocket was put on top of the pizza and everything else was under the sauce.
The Pizza is huge, and at 500 bucks it’s a treat to gorge on it. The Toppings or let me say the underlying vegetables were crisp and fresh and the chese melted, all this under a layer of tomato puree. The bread was crisp and not oily at all – which is typical of most of the Deep Dish pizza’s you will find in India. We relished the bread and the – so called toppings.. The Cheese needs to be bettered, and they need to go slow on the sauce were our first reactions. I took a slice from Harpreet’s Pizza as mine was still another 10 minutes away.
Finally my Non Vegetarian Pizza arrived. Like Harpreet’s it was sliced into four slices, and by now we had mastered the art of handling such a huge pizza slice. We were both able to eat only 2 slices and had to carry the other 2 slices back.. Yes I know we should have ordered just one.
My Chorizo was replaced by a Chicken Sausage which I did not appreciate [If the server was unsure of Pork / Chicken – He should have asked me]. I could not find Green Chillies in my pizza neither the extra Bacon bits I had ordered for. I believe this was all because of the confusion and the staff unsure on how to handle this task.
Over all both of us loved the taste of the fresh bread. I had intentionally asked them to brown my bread a bit more and they were courteous enough to do it. The staff at the venue is really sweet and was always ready to serve with a smile. What happened with my pizza is more of a training issue of the team to handle a pizza that they are serving but is not on the menu, and for giving them the tools to handle such a massive thick slice.
I tweeted about being at Instapizza and was nice to notice that their Social Media team was alert and tweeted back looking forward to my response. This is a Good sign. Maybe what was wrong was ordering something off the menu, maybe the next time I stick to a thin or a thick crust and check that out.. Am I going to be ordering in from them – no, Will I go down and try it another time – Maybe, I loved the pizza and the place, but at Rs. 1100 for a meal for 2, I can get some great pizza’s at NYC Pie with better quality toppings, a better sauce, and great condiments too. Since NYC Pie does not have a Deep Dish at the time of writing, I will just go back for a Deep Dish Pizza.
The Morning After [Taste Test]
From our point of view, a very important taste test of any good pizza is the morning after taste.. of the saved up / left over slices, and since we had quite a bit of portion left out, it was more than breakfast… A fresh sprinkle of condiments and about 20 minutes out of the refrigerator at room temperature, the pizza still tasted too much of the tomato sauce, it is just too much. Though mine was topped with a very sharp kasundi – mustard sauce, the taste of the sauce is too heavy to taste anything else. Though in the morning slice I could easily taste the garlic and the jalapeños but was missing my chorizo which was ordered and the green chillies…more complex breakdown also results in wanting a better cheese, with companies such as passion cheese out there who make a great mozzarella – using a pre-packed factory made cheese is not what Instapizza should be doing.
Locations: Kalkaji, New Delhi and Galleria, Gurgaon
All Images for this post were taken with the Blackberry Passport