For a slice of wellness, if not Venice
With 15 pizzas and two-and-a-half (yes!) desserts on offer, Francesco's is not a fine-dining experience, or even a temporary ticket to Venice. The pizzas are interesting, but it's the prices that make us say 'eccelente'
The place only accommodates three tables, which means room for twelve to fifteen people at the most, so a home delivery service is probably necessary to stay afloat. That’s what struck us as we settled in to our seats at the newly opened Francesco’s Pizzeria in Kemp’s Corner. Regrettably though, this adds to the unnecessary presence of several servers in a tiny room. Otherwise, the space is simple with wooden chairs and a padded bench that’s backed by an oversized photograph of Rialto Bridge, which, incidentally, makes for sweet photo ops.
Menus are planted on our table between a little bottle of olive oil and jars of oregano and paprika flakes and water is served in a carafe with a sprig of mint. The cutlery is rolled up in plain red and green paper napkins, to match the tomato icon on the menu. The efforts to synchronise the elements of the decor here are clearly cost-effective, but one does appreciate that someone cared enough to pay attention to these minute details.
We order a seven-inch Margherita (Rs 125) and a similarly sized Peri Peri Chicken Pizza (Rs 195) — 10 and 13-inch pizzas are also available though, and if the 10 vegetarian varieties and five non-vegetarian pizzas fail to tempt your palate, they also offer the alternative of building your own pizza with an original or multi-grain crust and your choice of regular, spicy or Jain-friendly sauce (each topping costs between Rs 30 and Rs 60).
The servers were efficient and the pizzas didn’t disappoint. The citrus flavours of the Peri Peri Chicken Pizza is nicely complemented by a gentle drizzle of mayonnaise and the Margherita is, refreshingly, more savoury than sweet. Desserts, however, are a letdown. Twin chocolate-filled buns lyrically dubbed Bomboloni alla Cioccolato (Rs 70) haven’t risen as they should have and the essence of yeast is intense and unfortunate. Soft and moist, the Tiramisu Cupcake is bearable, but with only one other dessert option — a ciabatta loaf slathered with Nutella (Rs 60) — they ought to spice up the recipe with some alcohol and a superior brew of espresso.
At: Shop No 5, ground floor, Chinoy Mansion, Kemp’s Corner.
Time: 12 pm to 12 am (except on Fridays when it’s open from 4 pm to midnight)
Francesco’s Pizzeria didn’t know we were there. The guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.