At Playlist Pizzeria in Bandra, you get to control the music, design your own pizza, or leave it to the chef to woo your tastebuds, finds Phorum Dalal
What happens when two music aficionados and a chef, who is a self-proclaimed pizza buff, come together? The answer is the cozy-chic Playlist Pizzeria on Baptista Road at Bandra West. Chef Rakesh Talwar — who had started a pizza chain called Garcia’s in 2004, and doles out the perfect Indian-Italian pizzas at Spare Kitchen in Juhu — this time around passes the baton of creating the good ol‘ thin-crust to the diner.
The Pizza Cookie
Credit for the musical connotations goes Raj Barai and Nikhil Sachdev, partners of Atlas Hospitality along with Talwar. The passionate musicians — who have DJed in Amsterdam, India and the UK, produced music and played at gigs — offer a Playmysong app, which allows customers to log into their music system and play their choice of songs. The paper mats on the table will feature an artist of the month, along with recommendations of their popular tracks. This will also feature on the delivery boxes. “It’s a great way to promote good music,” says Sachdev who points out to a wall decorated with original vinyls, including Bismillah Khan, Eagles and Santana.
A Producer's Pizza allows you to design your own pizza.
When we look at the ceiling, amid the yellow LED bulbs, are triangular panels — pizza for some and play symbol for others?
Under ‘The Producers’ section, patrons get to choose the size — nine and 12 or flat bread; the base — regular or wheat; sauce — regular, spicy, white (we highly recommend this one), BBQ, garlic oil and herb pesto; cheese — pizza (in-house mix), mozzarella and smoked (we couldn’t get enough of this one) and a range of regular and premium (this includes blue cheese and prosciutto, too) toppings.
Turn to the Mainstage section if you don’t like making life-changing decisions on the dinner table. Here, every pizza is named after a song, including Beautiful Things, Californication, and Hips Don’t Lie. In yet another musical touch, the eatery will donate Rs 75 on every order of their four-cheese pizza Bieleibers (Rs 410) to the Music Basti Charity. We pick Playlist’s Signature Garlic Bread (Rs 150) and BBQ Chicken Wings (Rs 225). The garlic bread is drunken with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of finely-chopped garlic.
We spread a layer of the chilli-garlic butter on the warm bread, which is a welcome start. However, the chicken wings are too chewy. We decide to satiate our pizza craving. For vegetarian, we choose Hips Don’t Lie (Rs 440) and Poker Face (Rs 310) with the in-house pizza cheese and sauce. The first one, which is supposed to contain ‘less’ cheese, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and jalapeños, has a lot of cheese. But, this is not a complain. While the arugula leaves are fresh and dewy, the tomatoes are not sundried. The base, is biscuit-crisp on the edges and melt-in-the-mouth in its body.
Poker Face, unlike the margherita pizzas at other popular delivery outlets, stands out for its chef’s tomato sauce, which transports us to a piazza in Italy. We picture ourselves at a square, eating a nona’s well-kept secret recipe. The flavour of sea salt packs in a punch. For non-veg, we opt for Firestarter (Rs 460) in white sauce. The spicy chicken salami is well-cured and laden with chilli flakes. Beneath the mozzarella and chopped jalapeños, the creamy sauce creates a tasty symphony on our palate. All our doubts of replacing the red with a pale white are put to rest. We also decide to make our own pizza with smoked cheese, jalapeno, corn and sun-dried tomatoes. A few minutes in the woodfire and the cheese procures a subtle, but long-lasting charcoal flavour. The pizza woos us with its aroma first.
In no time, we find ourselves fighting over the last piece. Once the semi-circular wooden serving plates are empty, we sit back, and pat our bulging tummies, only to be reminded that no meal is complete without a sweet surrender. The Pizza Cookie (Rs 175) is a nine-inch chocolate-chip cookie, drizzled with chocolate sauce and in the centre are two scoops of vanilla ice-cream. Diets, and all talks about them, are suspended for the next 10 minutes. The thick cookie is crispy, and we break it by hand, piece by piece, dunk it into the ice-cream. Conversations, too, take a backseat, as the mouths are full and better occupied.
Playlist Pizzeria refreshes the pizza experience with gourmet ingredients and well-balanced combinations. By the way, a gluten-free option is on its way.
We cannot rate the experience as it was a preview.
Ambiance: Cozy chic
At: Playlist Pizzeria, 1, Gloria Apartments, St Baptist Road, Bandra West