Restaurant Review: 1Tablespoon Pizza Kitchen, Lower Parel

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Photo: Karishma Karamchandani.

Last week, 1Tablespoon Pizza Kitchen, a cosy new pizzeria opened in the Mathuradas Mill compound. The pizza kitchen is wedged between some of the media offices in the compound, which is saturated with workplaces, restaurants, bars and cars. The kitchen focuses on delivery and take-away orders. But they haven’t neglected the 350 square feet restaurant, which has been optimally split between an open kitchen and an unfussed 11-seat dining room.

Varun Sheth, the chef-owner of the restaurant, started 1Tablespoon as a catering company back in 2011 and added pizza to its menu in 2012. Thanks to the great demand for his pies, Sheth set up 1Tablespoon’s first pizza retail outlet in the compound attached to his central kitchen in Matunga in May. The Lower Parel branch is different from the Matunga one. Here they serve non-vegetarian options and only sell pizza by the slice. The latter is certain to hook the neighbourhood’s pizza devouts as it allows them to sample more variety at a better price than that offered by 1Tablespoon’s neighbours such as Francesco’s Pizzeria and California Pizza Kitchen in the nearby Phoenix Mills.

We ate at the new branch when it was filled with the heady aroma of pies tanning in the stone deck ovens. A selection of pies is displayed in a glass counter and replenished when the slices run out. They specialise in the New York style pizza, identifiable by its size – you need both hands to tackle one slice cut from the 20inch pies, and its crust, baked to a point that it’s pliant but still has snap. Two slices make a filling meal at 1Tablespoon, but it’s an easy figure to exceed. Self-control, for instance, is futile with their bianca (Rs145), a white slice slathered with seriously good onion cream garnished with juicy mushroom and tart sundried tomatoes. We greedily stripped clean the savoury sauce and complementary garnishes from a third slice of the pie, leaving the bread to make room for the rest of our order.

The creamy bianca tied with the tasty and pungent fiamma (Rs125), which came stippled with chilli flakes, green chillis and crunchy strands of onion. Barring the bianca, all their slices are painted with a thick coat of tangy, light and practically perfect tomato sauce over which they lavish a delicious secret blend (our guess is mozzarella and cheddar) of local cheese. Compared to the potent fiamma, the bbq chicken pizza (Rs175) tasted like kiddie food. It was expectedly sweet, but we failed to detect the distinctive smokiness of the Scarmoza mentioned in the description. The tandoori chicken slice (Rs175), adequately spangled with tender tandoori masala-flavoured chicken chunks, and ribboned with crisp capsicum and onions is meatier and more satisfying.

We got a funky tasting batch of pepperoni on their Americano (Rs195), which was unpalatable. Sheth, who knows us and was at the restaurant when we visited, duly noted our complaint and claimed that he would switch the supply the next day. Spare yourself additional carb-induced guilt by skipping their desserts, which are outsourced to a home baker. We regretted ordering the stiff and dry red velvet and Nutella brownies (Rs50 each).

Get: Bianca (Rs145), fiamma (Rs125) and tandoori chicken (Rs175).
Skip: Bbq chicken pizza (Rs175) and Nutella and red velvet brownies (Rs50 each).

Prices exclude taxes.

It is our policy to review a restaurant at least a week after it has been launched.

1Tablespoon Pizza Kitchen provides free home delivery in Lower Parel for a minimum order of Rs300 or order from Scootsy. Open daily, from 11am to 11pm. 1Tablespoon Pizza Kitchen, Mathuradas Mills Compound, next to O:h Cha, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel. Tel: 75064 33928 / 75064 33908. Get directions here.

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