We had our doubts about Pizza Metro Pizza. We weren’t sure what to make of the funny name, its gimmicky “1 meter pizza,” or the restaurant’s UK origins (when’s the last time anyone’s raved about English pizza?). From outside, the place looks small, its cartoonish signboard doing little to inspire confidence in an eatery opening where the once notorious Club 9 welcomed reams of sweaty after-hours partiers into its dingy lair (yes, including us).
Boy were we ever wrong. If you’re looking for authentic, high-quality Italian food in Bandra, look no further. This place is legit. Here’s why:
From the moment you walk into Pizza Metro, you can tell this isn’t your ordinary Mumbai Italian restaurant. Although the space is large, the warm lighting and cheerful murals make it feel cozy and intimate. One of the first things you’ll notice is the wood-fired oven, a sign of good things to come.
Of course, none of this matters if the food isn’t up to standards, and here again Pizza Metro gets it right.
From the Antipasti menu, we started with the Palle di Riso Vegeteariane (Crispy Rice Balls). The golden brown rice balls were crispy on the outside and deliciously creamy on the inside, with green peas adding a pleasing hint of flavour to the arborio rice. The Carpaccio di Manzo (Beef Carpaccio) came next, sliced thin, dressed in simple olive oil and rock salt and covered with a heaping serving of rocket leaves and fresh parmesan shaves. The Scamorza ala Griglia was presented with a similar garnish, but here the star of the dish was the beautfully smoky, slightly melted scamorza cheese . Our last appetizer, the Parmigiana di Melanzane, comes suffixed on the menu by the words “The Most Popular”, and we can understand why. The oven baked aubergine is deliciously soft, almost melting into its tomato sauce and mix of parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.
Antipasti aside, we were ready for the main event, the pizza.Pizza Metro’s claim to fame is the 1 meter pizza, a pie so long it spanned the length of our table. While we’re normally not impressed by these sorts of gimmicks, we were pleasantly surprised in this case. Not only was the pizza evenly cooked throughout, but the tomato sauce and toppings were of outstanding flavour and quality (Turns out, Pizza Metro not only imports its meats and cheeses, but its tomatoes too.) The meter long pizza allows for a selection of four different topping combinations (out of 24 options), and we ordered the Margherita (mozzarella, tomato, and fresh basil), Club 9 (goat cheese, mozzarella green chili, okra, basil and parmesan), Silvio (mozarella, grana cheese, pancetta bacon and basil), and the CiCCioBoMbA (mozarella, tomato, ham, salami, black olives, mushroom, meatballs, and sausage). Although some of our dining companions would have preferred a thinner crust (I wouldn’t), we all agreed these was some of the best, most authentic neoplolitan style pizzas we’ve tasted in Mumbai.
Satisfied with the pizza, we moved on to the pasta and again were pleased with our selections. Bright and clean, the Spaghetti al Pomodoro was a clear beneficiary of the imported tomatoes. Although the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina was a little drowned in cheese and the same tomatoes, the Spaghetti alla Vongole was masterfully balanced, letting the simple flavours of clams, garlic, and parsley shine around the perfectly al dente spaghetti.
To close, we tried all four of the desserts on offer that day, and this was probably the least impressive part of our meal. Although well made, the two cakes we tried will probably taste a little gritty to the local palate (partially from the nuts, partially from the cheese that is used), while the Tiramisu could use a little extra coffee. The Panacotta, however, is sinfully rich and creamy and will most likely find favour with dessert lovers.
Overall, we have to say Pizza Metro Pizza served up one of the best Italian meals we’ve had in Mumbai. The secret? Great ingredents, and not just one, but four chefs flown in straight from Italy. Best of all, these aren’t your fly-by-night celebrity TV chefs either – these guys are here to stay and cook (and yes, they are real Italians, not British transplants: the one Chef we met didn’t even speak a word of English). The one thing to be aware of is the pricing, which is expensive by Mumbai standards, but in our opinion completely worth it for the quality of fare on offer.
The Bottom Line
If you’re in the mood for a proper Italian fix, with a full bar and a warm, friendly ambiance to boot, then don’t be fooled by the outside – Pizza Metro Pizza is the real deal inside.
WTF is a Meal for Two?
Antipasti: Rs. 200 – 1000
Pizza: Rs. 600 – 900
Pasta: Rs. 600 – 2000
Meat & Fish: Rs. 700 – 3000
Pizza Metro Pizza
Bandra West, Mumbai
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