Alice Louise Waters, hailed as the Mother of American cuisine is the pioneer behind “Californian cuisine”. This style of cuisine thrives on the concept of fusion food, prepared out of local produce. California Pizza Kitchen is based on this concept. In India, CPK operates 6 franchised restaurants, 3 each in Mumbai & Bengaluru. An invite from their PR agency led me to their Phoenix Mall outlet at Lower Parel, Mumbai to taste their “Mexifornia” combo meal proposition being promoted for a limited period during 29th April to 19th May at all restaurants nation-wide (except Indiranagar, Bengaluru).
The “Mexifornia” food festival offers combo meals at four price points of Rs 699, 799, 899 and Rs 999. We were served the combo meal priced Rs 999, (an appetizer, a 14” pizza or pasta or a specialty main dish and a flavored margarita). I choose an Italian Soda – Passion Fruit, but soon had to ask for a replacement, as the taste of it reminded me of a medicine I was forced to have as a kid. The swapped drink – Summer Freeze, was a good pick, a concoction of mango, lime and peach syrup, poured over ice and garnished with a mandarin slice.
First to arrive was the non-vegetarian appetizer – Grilled Chicken Enchiladas, one of the high points of the menu. Chicken is marinated overnight in a barbeque sauce before being grilled; latter cheddar and fontino cheese is added to the grilled chicken before being wrapped on a tortilla for baking. Garnished with sour cream and hand-torn cilantro, this is a well done appetizer. CPK should look at making this a regular on the menu. The veggie variant, Paneer Enchiladas were less exciting to the taste buds.
Next arrived the pizzas (main course), the Baja Supreme Pizza (Veg) and the Chicken Carnitas Pizza. Also on the main course was Adobo Tacco, a dish of corn flour tortilla chicken nuggets, slaw and Mexican rice,
The Baja Supreme Pizza is a somerset pressed thin crust vegetarian pizza (chicken can be added, if advised), baked in a hearth-oven and spiced with a Baja sauce (Mexican specialty sauce) topped with combination cheese, black bean, mushroom, roasted corn, red onion and finished with sour cream and cilantro. This pizza is indeed different in taste and would go well with the Indian palate due to the spices and the dressing. Only drawback was that being a thin crust pizza this needed to be consumed quickly, else the crust would have become chewy.
The Chicken Carnitas Pizza, was a hand stretched pizza with a traditional crust, prepared on a cilantro pesto base with mozzarella and gouda cheese base. The toppings were of shredded chicken marinated with soya lime sauce and red onions, with an orange lime chili sauce. This wasby far a winner.
The Adobo Tacco, did not compare well against the pizzas. It was a less spicy dish. The smoky chicken nuggets were flat and the tortillas could have been crispier. The better part of this dish was the nicely done slaw of red and white cabbage and the Mexican rice which was prepared with black bean, tomato, red onion and corn. Avoid, unless you are allergic to pizzas.
Finally the sweet dish (not part of the Mexifornia combo meal offer), churro and chocolate mousse were served. This perhaps was the weakest proposition in the meal. The churro is heavily coated with sugar powder and the chocolate mousse too is not very smooth and was bitter to my tongue.
This 180 seating restaurant has a relaxed ambience, with comfortable high sofas and offers a tapas bar set up over-looking a section of the kitchen. The attention provided by the restaurant staff was both overwhelming and attentive.
The “Mexifornia” specially crafted combo meal menu is available during 29th April – 19th May 2013 only. Two persons can easily share in any of the four combo meals.
Food: 3.0/5 | Ambience: 3.0/5 | Service: 3.5/5 | Overall: 3.0/5
Meal for two: Rs. 1600 | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Timings: 12.00 noon-12.00pm
Address of California Pizza Kitchen:
Mumbai – Maker Maxcity BKC, High Street Pheonix Lower Parel and Infiniti Mall Malad.
Bengaluru – Pheonix Marketcity Whitefield, Hothur Sq no 284 Indiranagar and 105, Vikas Tech Park Koramangala.
Phone: Mumbai – 022 6636 6636 / Bengaluru – 080 6569 6569
– Ashish Gupta