Debonairs Pizza is the leading pizza restaurant in Africa. Two university students established it in 1991. And like many famous garage ventures, this one also caught the fancy of many a palate. Debonairs has now made its way to the Indian shores. This is their second entry into the country having failed to make an impact a decade ago.
New entrants are always exciting. Of late, the monopoly of chains like Pizza Hut and Dominos has seen severe competition. The moderately priced and extremely delicious Joey’s Pizza tops the list of pizza outlets in the city. Similarly, the local Smokin’ Joe’s, Andy’s and Garcia’s have kept up the city’s reputation of being a pie-Mecca thanks to their economic pricing.
Keeping that in mind, Debonairs falls right in the middle with its pricing placed slightly higher than the local variety but lower than the existing chains.
Debonairs doesn’t do much for the ambiance, as pizza in this city is largely a take-out. A few chairs are sprawled outside and the food comes in the box. No plates and no cutlery. There is a kitchen behind the main counter where we place our order. The server recommends the Jonty’s Durban Spicy Chicken (R229.01) and we sit outside and wait. 15 minutes later, we have our food piping hot.
The unique Pizza Pop-itz (R130.49) that are quiches of sorts — pizza puffs to be politically correct — are swollen with warm pockets of steaming dough.
They melt as you tear them with your hands. All over the golden surface is an even spotting of tiny jalapenos and Peppadew, delivered with that brick-oven sear, but not so much that any bite tastes burnt. The mozzarella, corn, and cheddar are a nice touch. The only problem is when you dig deeper, it loses its flavouring and texture.
The Durban Chicken is an interesting combination of chicken, makhani sauce, mushroom, Peppadew, onion and spring onion. The mozzarella releases some of its whey, which mixes with the sauce, forming a juicy combination. The cheese is nice and gooey (like the Open House pizzas of the ’90s with cheese that stretched like no tomorrow) and the dough has not been manhandled. We asked for the thin crust to be extra crispy which it was not — but other than that the pizza was delicious. All in all, Debonairs Pizza gives an absolute bang for its buck with a meal for two costs approximately R500.
At Shubham Co-operative Housing Society, Juhu Versova Link Road, Andheri West, Mumbai. CALL 30932030
Debonairs Pizza didn’t know we were there.
The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals. The writer can be followed @tansworld
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