Napoli de Delhi

Smoke House Pizzeria is looking to satisfy the taste buds of Delhiites with the authentic touch of Naples—a thinner crust, new sauces and spices
Chicken and cheese garlic bread
Chicken and cheese garlic bread

If you are a person who loves pizzas and wants them ‘authentic’, then Smoke House Pizzeria, located in the heart of Saket’s DLF Mall, is the place for you.

With wooden beams, lanterns, and graffiti on the walls, the place is drowned in the happy chatter of a crowd with a wide age range. But what is its unique draw? Delhi, after all, is not new to pizza; nearly hundreds of restaurants and food chains are ready to serve their oven-baked material at just one click.

As I searched for an answer, a plate of chicken and cheese garlic bread (I450) arrived at my table. The bread was crunchy and filled with pieces of minced chicken and mouthwatering cheese. As I bit into it, Neha Arya, the head chef of the outlet, revealed that their pizzas are those that are popular in Italy and Spain. Daily brainstorming sessions are held by the team and team contributions seem to be paying off, going by the variety I got to sample.

After the bread came a plate of Panuzzo (I1,050), an Italian street sandwich born in Gragnano, south Naples, and a plate of Chorizo with Ranch (a dressing made of clement, mayonnaise, and mustard), highly popular in parts of Spain. Lastly, a plate of Forklore (a naked pizza, without any sauce and just a few toppings, I750) and a glass of Army and Navy Cocktail (I540).

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The Neapolitan touch

With the menu, Smoke House Pizzeria went through some initial challenges. “We had to train our staff. At first, the visitors had some prejudices regarding the crust and spices that we use. But we slowly made them understand that we were picking Italy here, and it is going well now,” says Arya.

The pizzas here come with a Neapolitan touch. The concept is simple. They make the crust thinner in comparison to the Indianised version of pizzas, introduce new sauces, and import all the spices from overseas.

But in an extremely cluttered market, how does Smoke House Pizzeria differentiate itself from the established quick-service restaurants (QSRs)? Smoke House Pizzeria creates its dough (base) differently. To make it stretchable and soft, the pizzeria mixes 75% water in the all-purpose flour.

How are customers liking the ‘Neapolitan touch’? In the non-vegetarian section, the popularity of the Swinging Chicken Pizza is on the rise. In the vegetarian section, Ortolana is winning hearts. Both are Neapolitan pizzas. The restaurant remains confident that if they manage to make people understand the way Neapolitan pizzas are made, then customers will not go back to the QSRs.

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Apart from pizzas and panuzzos, Smoke House Pizzeria also serves some good grill options. After a heavy meal filled with different variations, the visitors can cool themselves off with some good cocktails and mouth-watering desserts.

Meal for two: INR 2,000 (approx)

This article is written by Akash Chatterjee.

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