Chennai’s newest pizza place, located in Gopalapuram, has a name that has us curious, well before we step inside. “Lazy Leopard is a name inspired by the spots on the crusts of their Neapolitan style pizzas,” says Kanishk Dhupad, an advertising photographer-turned-entrepreneur with high standards for the perfect slice. “We slow ferment our dough for five days, which helps in creating a super airy and light crust, the wood fired oven helps us create those beautifully charred spots which resembles a leopard. A process we’ve worked really hard in developing, it helps produce a super flavourful and super easy to digest pizza.”
We dive into slices of Fiery Aubergine (you already know the star ingredient) which is hearty and comforting with fresh mozzarella and sundried tomatoes. Meat lovers will definitely want to try Oinky Loaded with the goodness of pulled pork and salty bacon balanced out by the sweetness of caramelised onions. We can’t wait to go back for this one!
If we were to pick one favourite however, without a doubt, it would have to be the Basilico Cream. Distinct to recognise, courtesy the green pesto slathered on the base, this one has grilled chicken, olives and mozzarella and tastes like a savoury dream; order the vegetarian variant for extra indulgence with a ball of creamy burrata at the centre. “We make about five cheeses fresh and in-house,” Kanishk informs us. Apart from the ones mentioned so far, this includes ricotta, mascarpone and bococcini. Meanwhile, the tomatoes used are San Marza tomatoes from the Compagne region, while meats like lamb and pork are imported from Spain.
Don’t go bacon my heart
We take this in as our waiter arrives with strips of Rosemary bacon on a skewer. He then pulls out a blowtorch for dramatic effect and turns up the heat. Glazed with a drizzle of maple syrup, these are a hit through and through. There are some misses as well — like the Black Garlic Formaggio garlic bread where we are promised caramelly black garlic butter but this is completely masked by the mozzarella and the Double Shot Cold Coffee that tastes about as weak as a squirrel trying to bench press a walnut. That said, the runaway hits certainly outnumber them. Like the section of Juicy Fried Chicken Wings — we spot options like a Fermented Chilly Honey and Sticky Soy. But it is the Garlic Parmesan Tartufo that has us most impressed. As for what is coming up, we’re told salads and pastas are to be expected in a month.
On 241, Peter’s Road, Gopalapuram. Meal for two: INR 1,500.
Expect to enjoy your pizza over a playlist of Italian tunes and English hits from the ’80s. The spacious interiors seat 48 and are split into an indoor and outdoor section. The latter has been designed to resemble the cobblestone streets of Italy and doubles up as a smoking section.