Planet Pizza

A wide variety of pastas, salads and pizzas.

Somewhere between Juhu's commercialized shores and its sprawling shopping arcades lies one of the most celebrated multinational pizza chains in the world. Pizza Hut's reputation may be a global giant, but its modest three-storey restaurant near the Juhu Centaur has yet to prove its worth amidst the fierce competition.

The company is a prototype for Mumbai and is nestled in one of the most comfortable suburban locations in the city, where weary shoppers can satisfy their hunger and recharge their batteries in a calm and comfortable atmosphere. Goodwill and accuracy seem abundant and the staff (sporting state-of-the-art walkie-talkies) are as organized as the service they dish out.

The menu is composed of a wide variety of pastas, salads and pizzas that show wide heterogeneity and kick off with substantial starters, encouraging you to whet your appetite. While garlic bread seems to be the road most traveled to lay the foundations of a healthy meal, the Potato Smileys should not be ignored. Plus - if you're the adventurous sort - there's really no escaping the Bruchetta, an assorted collection of crusty garlic bread, fine sliced chicken and creamy mayonnaise sauce.

As always, engineering the perfect pizza is a precarious art form and isn't to be taken lightly. All the pizzas follow the simple vegetarian and non-vegetarian classification, which is later enhanced by the addition of several standard formats, such as Cheese, Spicy Korma, Chicken Supreme, Chicken Tikka, Super Veggie and so forth. After you choose your standard, you can add a suitable amount of toppings to complete your masterpiece. All of the pizzas have a characteristic crunch, are cooked with a scintillating sauce and are brought to life with frugal scrapings of mozzarella cheese.

For vegetarians, the mushroom and baby corn additions are a juicy trial and the sun-kissed tomatoes would convince even the most ardent critic of junk food to throw in the towel! Non-vegetarians would find redemption amongst the extensive pepperoni, chicken and lamb selections that lie in wait in the dark recesses of the menu. Some of the items have particular markings that inform rookies of the pungency and should only be tried under parental supervision (a red chilli or two serves as a sinister reminder of the dish's capacity.)

While the pizzas are still the undisputed kings of the menu, one cannot underestimate the popularity of the pasta either. The pasta can be taken with spaghetti and arabiatta sauce or plain bolognaise, which amounts to quite a heavy culinary treat.

Whether you choose to be experimental or conform to mainstream behavior, Pizza Hut makes provisions for even their most demanding customer. While this isn't new amongst pizza chains, its succulent dishes and calm ambience constitute a memorable experience for the food fan.

This article was first published on27 Mar 2001.