Monday 18 January 2016

Pizza Hut, Mumbai CST

Growing up in a small town in the 1990s, we had no idea about burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, smoothies, milkshakes, sundaes, garlic bread..Yes,my childhood was as healthy and far away from processed/fatty food as possible (and how I wish I could go back in time to those days!) but all this changed when we moved to Mumbai. A bright eyed youngster in high school, I was introduced to the world of fast food and pizzas with my friends chilling out at McDonald's, Domino's and Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut became our favorite because of course, cheesy pizzas :D And also a fun ambiance which encourages friendly banter :)

Pizza Hut has by and large kept that ambiance and that fun vibe alive. The Pizza Hut outlet at Mumbai CST is very close to Sterling Cinemas and a perfect place to chill out for some time with friends and/or family before watching a fun flick. The color combination of the interiors is all peppy with red and yellow and flicker of blue/green/maroon. It is the very definition of casual dining. I always feel like entering here wearing my Bermuda shorts and floral t-shirts :D A smattering of couples, families and large friends' groups can be seen anytime. The bottomline - enter here to have cheesy pizzas and loads of good conversation.

As far as menu goes, I do not think I need to elaborate much on that. Both Domino's and Pizza Hut are mass pizza chains. They do not have gourmet pizzas, they do not have oven baked authentic Italian pizzas, they do not even pretend to create a little Italy for us here. It is all about basic pizzas, cheese, breadsticks, garlic bread, salad, desserts in a fun ambiance. Taste is very standard across all Pizza Hut outlets, at least all the 5 outlets of Pizza Hut in Mumbai that I have visited have proved that :) I like how Pizza Hut tries to bring something new in terms of flavors and toppings every few months. So there are standard pizzas, then there are some with extra paneer and extra veggies. Then there are some which extra cheese between the crusts. Then there are some with Mexican flavor, some with Punjabi flavor (Chana as toppings!) and I especially love the dessert section in the menu. They have some amazing pastries and the like :)

I especially like the Tandoori Paneer, Veggie Supreme, Country Feast and Veggie Overloaded pizzas. I find the toppings quite generous in these and I don't even have to add any extra chilly flakes or oregano to make them extra spicy or anything. Of course I usually like my food less spicy, if you are like my mom, then you would definitely add a lot of oregano and chilly flakes as she loves her food and even pizzas very spicy :D I have tried Minestrone soup here too, it was quite nice and less spicy than I expected (great for me but my mom again added a ton of chilly flakes in her bowl :D) The garlic bread is quite soft but I would like a bit more cheese and the breadsticks are fantastic (soft and warm and fragrant) but have way too much salt sprinkled over them! 

As I said, I love the dessert section. Try anything,it will be delicious :) Sizzling Brownie, Pastry, Tiramisu and some really innovative ones right there. Of course, got to stop counting calories once you reach this place :D

What I think is the real USP of Pizza Hut is that it makes something exotic very 'reachable', especially for middle classes, just like McDonald does in the case of burgers. I know many of my friends' moms who love having pizzas here because while a gourmet pizza lunch will cost Rs. 400-500 per person, here you can have a pizza for 3 people in the same budget,and they have successfully Indianized the whole experience. It gives a place to sit and joke and laugh and indulge in some cheesy fun which is actually praiseworthy *Just my 2 cents* 

I have never had any issues with service here. I do think they are a bit short-staffed, especially evident on busy weekends but I have always had super polite and efficient staff experience. All in all, this is one place I do intend to go back to when I have some time to kill and some amazing company to enjoy :)

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