The word Pomodoro means Tomato in Italian. And appropriately so because tomato is one of the most important base ingredient in most Italian food, especially so in the modern pizza. Hilton decided to name the restaurant so, to give the humble fruit its due regard.
The introduction of tomatoes to Italian cuisine dates back to the 18th and early 19th centuries which finally gave us the true modern Italian pizza. Until the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, Pizza was sweet, not savory. Considered a peasant’s meal in Italy for centuries we cannot say who invented the very first pizza pie. Food historians agree that pizza like dishes were eaten by many people in the Mediterranean including the Greeks and Egyptians.
In June 1889, to honour the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, the Neapolitan chef Raffaele Esposito created the “Pizza Margherita,” a pizza garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, to represent the colors of the Italian flag. He was the first to add cheese. This remains the basic, and the most popular version all over the world.
Pomodoro in our very own West Delhi does a very good Job of getting you the most authentic and freshly baked Italian Pizzas. I was greeted by a beaming and very helpful F&B Manager Apoorv in the Huge and Airy lobby of The Hilton. The décor is modern and clean.
I am seated at a table overlooking the Lobby on the first floor which gives a pleasant feeling of openness. Chef Hitesh explains that they make all their pizzas in a gas fired oven from Australia in front of the guests. It’s an open Kitchen and the best part about this Pizza festival is that you can select your own toppings and roll your own dough with the Chef helping you at every step at just Rs. 650. It’s a great way to learn and pick up tips from the chef to make Pizzas at home later. Their Pizzas are not made like the assembly line Pizzas that are home delivered.
A plate of starter breads is served to us first One was the ciabatta bread which is a multi grain breadwith a dry texture and the other one was focaccia, which is soaked in olive oil for 4-5 hours before it is baked. The focaccia bread has a very soft texture and it melts in the mouth. Along with the breads we were served 2 dips -Smoked Tomato dip (nice and tangy), the other is an eggplant and garlic dip (bland for the Indian palette).
The first Pizza, Chef Hitesh recommends is the tandoori delight (Rs. 570), for the very Indo-Italian taste. It has a delightful aroma and tickled the senses just right. It has a topping of tomato paste, mozzarella, cottage cheese, bell peppers, baby tomatoes, capsicum, and pineapple; and is seasoned with fresh mint and coriander. The taste is delightful as is the aroma and the edges are nice and crunchy on the thin crust. It is not very spicy and I sprinklesome fresh red chili flakes and oregano to suit my taste buds.
For the second Pizza he recommends the Santa Fe pizza (Rs. 650). It has a Mexican flavor like a rolled enchilada and I am asked to roll it myself to get the feel of the festival, which I really loved. After rolling the pizza, I smother some tomato paste, and then sprinkled the mozzarella cheese, black beans, freshly diced tomatoes, herbed chicken, pickled onions, jalapenos, and oregano. After the Pizza is baked it is garnished with sour cream and guacamole sauce. When the Pizza is set on the table, the aroma is heavenly. It has a very nice tangy and cheesy taste with the Mexican kick as promised by Chef Hitesh. The herbed chicken and the pickled onions give a very nice flavor to the Pizza. Most importantly, it gave me the satisfaction of doing domething creative and learning in the process.
Overall I would say this place is worth a visit, especially during the festival till 25th August. Even if you guys miss out now, you can still go later and enjoy the freshly made Pizzas in the open kitchen right in front of your eyes. It is an absolte value for money considering we pay a similar amount for assembly line pizzas. Add to it the five Star ambiance with smiling and helpful staff to help you make your pizza experience a unique one.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 4.5, Ambiance: 4.0| Service: 4.0| Overall: 4.0
Meal for Two: Rs 1200 for 2 | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes| Timing: 12:00 noon – 2.3opm (Lunch); 7pm- 11.30pm (Dinner)
Address: The Hilton, Janakpuri (Next to Metro Station), New Delhi | Phone: 011- 4123 4123
– Sumeet Chawla