Italy in Lalbaug
New pizza eatery Pizza Italia offers respite from the desi snack overkill in the locality, with value-for-money vegetarian pizzas
Typically, one would associate the Lalbaug-Currey Road stretch as a haven for Maharashtrian snacks what with eateries like Ladoo Samrat, Mast Malvani and the famous Chiwda Gully packed into this neighbourhood. Little wonder was then the signboard at Pizza Italia that was dressed in the colours of the Italian national flag at a busy intersection near Bharatmata cinema; it piqued our palate and our imagination. The small, no-frills eatery had four tables; we spotted chefs kneading dough for fresh pizza bases on the day we dropped by for our takeaway.
A good, positive start.
Spoiler alert for non-vegetarians: it’s an all-vegetarian joint. The menu includes a few starters including Jalapeno Poppers, Cheesy Dough Balls (these weren’t available when we visited) and Cheesy Garlic Bread (`135), which we opted for. From the pizza section, there are regular options with several vegetable toppings and a few unusual ones such as Green Pizza (`185, all prices for 8-inch pizzas) and Mumbai Masala (`100).
Apart from the two adventurous options, we also ordered the Double Mozzarella Margarita (`100). For dessert, the menu listed Pot Surprise, which wasn’t available and so we plumbed for a Chocolate Pizza (`125) instead.
The Double Mozzarella Pizza had a healthy (more like unhealthy!) dose of cheese, and was worth every paisa we paid. The Mumbai Masala with its toppings of pepper, onions, tomatoes and sweet corn was a hit among the spice heads at the office. With a drizzle of garam masala-styled variant, imagery of the riotous Dabeli and Pav Bhaji came to mind.
The Cheesy Garlic Bread, sadly, was not bread but pizza base but as a colleague suggested; it would work as a great accompaniment with beer. The best order was the Green Pizza. Topped with spicy spinach mix, basil and cheese, it made for an unusual but delicious version of the regular pizza. With every slice quickly wiped off, all but the Chocolate Pizza was left for a tasting. Sprinkled with chopped almonds, the Chocolate Pizza was not exactly fabulous, but worth a try for chocolate lovers. Pizza Italia offers different options for bases and also options for Jain pizza cravers.
With quick service and a pocket-friendly menu, we’re sure to plot the Pizza Italia take away number on our soft boards for an encore — to break the monotony of drab canteen fare and home-cooked dabbas. And, never mind the calories and carbs.
At Shop no 3, Mehta Mansion, near Bharatmata Cinema, Lalbaug.
Pizza Italia didn’t know we were there. The GUIDE reviews anonymously and pays for meals.