Saturday, 3 September 2016

Exotic Pizzas at Mezzaluna, Movenpick Hotel, Bengaluru

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"Breads are holy to Italians", Said Chef Armando of Mezzaluna at Movenpick Hotel Bangalore in the very first minutes of my interaction with him.

For many, the word 'bread' brings imaginations of different kinds of foods to different ethnic groups across the world. For some it might be sandwiches and burgers, for some - pita bread, bagels; for some pav and so on. Of it all, the most common response will likely be Pizza.

It's a crowd favorite in India too and keeping this in mind, Chef Armando and team has come up with a special menu dedicated to Italian pizzas which is being offered at Mezzaluna; the specialty Italian restaurant at Movenpick hotel. This special menu dedicated to Pizzas and calzones has a listing of 13 pizzas – 6 vegetarian and 7 non-vegetarian; so there’s aplenty to choose from. You have a choice to have it in the form of a pizza or as a calzone. What will you pick? Moving on, to take it a step further with every pizza / calzone ordered, you also receive a house pour of chilled draught beer unlike the usual glass of wine that gets paired at an Italian restaurant when they come to think of food and beverage pairing.

Coming straight from the brick oven are pizzas topped with the soul of Italy expressing in every bite freshness, simplicity and uniqueness in the sauce and toppings. Yet at the heart of it all is the light and thin crust of bread.

While the pizzas were being readied to be plated, we sampled different forms of bread made out of the very same dough but yielding different taste and texture. The bread sampler on the table was soon enjoyed in the company of the traditional olive oil with a Balsamic drizzle. At Mezzaluna, I was recommended to try it with a sprinkling of salt and pepper too in the olive oil and I loved it. Once the tray holding the breads was swept clean, the refills came arrived as if it was tacit. Acknowledging this gesture to Chef Armando, I was explained, “In Italy, a table will always have bread available all through the meal.” I’d clearly love such a table. 

I knew we were moving closer to the pizzas when the Anti Pasto arrived which is also considered the official beginning of an Italian meal. There was the traditional Bruschetta, Aranchi, pickles and more. It was nice but I didn’t want to fill myself up as the starts for the day were slated to arrive next.

It started with a vegetarian pizza – ‘TRINITA’ DEI MONTI – Ricotta, tartufo e olive’. Toppings of truffle, olives, ricotta cheese made for a great combination. The topping as you see in the image was present and surely there but in apt portions to add the required flavor to go along on a bread that was thin, light and perfectly baked to not make it to crisp or soft.

The first one set expectations from what was to arrive next and when it did arrive, it for me was the star from the vegetarian selection of the pizza. ‘PIAZZA DEL POPOLO – Carciofi ed asparagi’ came on bread with a sauce made of asparagus, topped with artichoke hearts, asparagus and cheese. I’m surely heading back to Mezzaluna and from vegetarian this one is gonna be back on my table. I highly recommend to you to visit Mezzaluna and when there this master piece and a few more of the pizzas have got to make it to your table. Read on.

Up next was a pizza topped with linguine pasta. I was skeptical but this one ended up being the best of both the worlds – creamy pasta and a Italian pizza. Need I say more?

Switching gears, we moved on to select non-vegetarian pizzas from the menu. Humble lamb and pecorino cheese arrived topped on yet again a bread that I’m now at a loss of words to write any further. This toppings on each pizza were clearly present to enhance the flavors but still there was not an overload to steal the show away from the bread or make the pizza really heavy like what happens with the New York style pizzas. So is this also the difference between the humble Italian pizza and the overloaded New York style pizza? Leaving you with some food for thought.

‘PINCIO – Rucola, prosciutto e fichi’ swept me off the floor. Read it slow and steady – Parma Ham, Rucola salad, figs and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Again! Parma Ham, Rucola salad, figs and Parmigiano-Reggiano. This combination of freshness from the salad, saltiness from the Parmesan cheese, Salty-sweet profile of the perfectly sliced ham and the sweetness from the fig was magical. The experience of actually eating it is the only way to do justice to this wonderful creation and in the non-vegetarian section, this one is the brightest star of this galaxy named Mezzaluna.

While we had a choice to get a pizza or a calzone on the table, so far it was just pizza’s but the last two for the evening – one vegetarian and the other non-vegetarian were brought in the form of a calzone from the very same brick oven. Vegetarian one was ‘VIA DEL CORSO – Crema di peperoni e zucchini’ filled with cream of bell pepper and zucchini and the non-vegetarian one was ‘FONTANA DI TREVI – Acciughe e gamberi e fiori di zucca’ denoting anchovies and prawns. Crisp bread casing and the gooey stuffing; here’s and image of the non-veggie one.

Dessert was the Italian classic Tiramisu served with a twist from Chef Armando’s kitchen. This one was light and smooth. One of the really good tiramisu’s I’ve eaten in Bangalore.

Moving back to the stars of the evening – pizzas here are excellent with some breaking barriers and creating new standards which can be hard to match up to. I highly recommend you to visit Mezzaluna at Movenpick Hotels; for this kitchen dishes out  an outstanding pizza and the tap pours out draught beer, all of it at a fair price of Rs. 699 exclusive of taxes. I’m going to go back here for their pizzas and I do hope to see you too at Mezzaluna.


Address: Movenpick Hotels & Spa Bangalore, 115, Gokula Extension, HMT Road (Near BEL Circle), Bangalore - 560054
Phone Number: +91 80 4300 1000 

Note: This visit to Movenpick Hotels & Spa, Bengaluru was on invitation but the opinions expressed are solely mine and are absolutely unbiased nor influenced by the brand in any way.

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