Pita, please

Updated: Oct 21, 2019, 07:38 IST | Karishma Kuenzang | Mumbai

A Canadian quick-service restaurant is doling out pocket-friendly, healthy pitas, rice bowls and salads, at its first Mumbai outlet in Kurla

Harissa chicken pita
Harissa chicken pita

Food: Flavourful
Ambiance: Cheery
Service: Slow
Cost: Reasonable
Verdict: 1.5/5

Before the Atkins and Keto diets were a thing, turning vegan was in vogue, and menus would flaunt calorie-conscious items, especially when a certain American fast food chain captured the imagination of healthy foodies with their build-your-own sandwiches and salads.

The shawarma chicken being made
The shawarma chicken being made

And though it continues to be the lazy-person’s go-to option, with Pita Pit opening its first outlet in the city, it’s got some healthy competition. In some ways, the Canadian chain offers more healthy options, while also offering rice bowls and some good hummus.

Having frequented the eatery while in New Delhi, where they opened shop more than five years ago, we try out the fare at the Khar outlet one Saturday afternoon. After the vast menu is scanned from above the counter, we order a cup of the in-house cold coffee ('79), shawarma chicken pita (six inch, '205) in white pita and harissa chicken pita (six inch, '245) in the healthier brown option.

Chicken crave salad Tandoori
Chicken crave salad Tandoori

In 10 minutes, the coffee arrives. It is milky and sweet despite our request for a sugarless option. They first prepare the pita by toasting it a bit, and putting a layer of in-house hummus and another of garlic hummus.

As the shawarma option is in the chef’s recommendation section of the menu they have a set recipe for it — pink lettuce, beetroot and olives, with red chilli and caesar dressing. It’s spicy and the ingredients, fresh and crunchy. The pita itself is not overtly thick, which a lot of eateries get wrong, and more like a toasted phulka.

Chicken rice bowl. Pics/Karishma Kuenzang
Chicken rice bowl. Pics/Karishma Kuenzang

For the harissa option, we pick lettuce, jalapeno, cucumber and olives filling, drizzled with mayonnaise, mint mayonnaise and chipotle. The chicken is masaledaar due to the harissa flavour, but not overpoweringly so, which blends well with the subtle chipotle sauce that sneakily adds a zing to the pocket.

But the dollop of hummus on top is the real hero. Its granulated texture and just the right amount of tartness, makes it the best budget hummus we’ve tried in the city so far. We love their in-house sauces, and they have a wide range too — which we experiment with in our portion of tandoori chicken rice bowl ('265) and chicken crave salad ('275).

Pita pit

There’s just one issue though — before we dig into the pita pockets, some pesky flies manage to get a taste of our order, which we point out to the manager. It’s only when we insist about the hygiene factor that he relents, and the pitas are replaced.

The rice bowl is made using brown rice, and cooked with the filling, along with onions, mushrooms capsicum (if you want). The cooked mix if then laid atop a bed of veggies — lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and olives and sauces — with a helping of hummus and peri peri hummus.

Pita Pit

Apprehensive of mixing up a salad with rice, we take a bite, only to find that the rice just adds to the texture of the dish with its crunch as it’s been cooked and then roasted with the filling.

Next up, the salad is probably what we would order in regularly if a starch-free meal is what we yearn for. Generous with fresh tomatoes, red leaf lettuce, gherkins and cucumber, the salad is topped with roasted chicken ham and breast, which are succulent and blend well with the mildly spicy peri peri hummus and its garlic-heavy variant.

This could be our go-to lunch option every alternate day, as they also deliver. Unless of course, they resolve the hygiene issues, which the manager assures me is in the works and should happen soon.

At Pita Pit, upper ground floor, UG-99, Phoenix Market City Mall, LBS Marg, Kurla.
Timing 11 am to 11 pm
Call 9537777017

4/5 Exceptional, 3/5 Excellent, 2/5 very Good, 1/5 Good, 0.5/5 Average. Pita Pit didn’t know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals

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