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Pizza with pizzazz

Hand tossed 21-incher is enough to tempt pizza lovers to Mozzarella 27

Pizza with pizzazz
Fine dough is the restaurant's specialty.

It is definitely not a casino nor does it owner make any such comparisons. But the setting at Mozzarella 27 is such that the place looks more like a Las Vegas night club than a pizza joint which it actually is.

Freshly opened in the heart of Gulberg — off Mehmood Kasuri Road — Mozzarella 27 is already creating a buzz, not just for its dynamic interior/exterior but especially for the 21-inch(!) pizza it offers as a specialty. What’s more, the pizzas are hand-tossed.

For a pizza lover, there’s nothing tastier and fresher than a slice of pizza that has been prepared right in front of your eyes. At Mozzarella 27, you can find all this, and more.

On a weeknight, I found the place to be brimming with college students who seemed excited about the idea of trying the largest pizza ever launched in Lahore.

The 21-incher “caters for six to seven people and is priced at Rs1,895,” said Rashid, the young man who owns this hip place and prides himself on creating unique in-house recipes that include the very light, hand tossed dough alongside the chef’s special sauces.

A tough customer to please, with two children in tow, I was initially undecided browsing through their extensive menu. When we were seated comfortably by the very courteous staff, in one of the sofa booths, the sight of the neatly dressed waiters and aromas whiffing out from the transparent windows compelled me to regard it as a casual but fine eating spot around town.

The red and white interior of Mozzarella 27 is based on the theme of cards with a roulette table acting as the central lighting spot on the ceiling besides cutouts of spades, diamonds and hearts giving the impression of a giant sized playing card.

Each table was decorated with glass-topped dices and the chairs had been placed in the middle so that the seating could be separated from them.

A local initiative.

A local initiative.

Overlooking the space was the see-through kitchen where the main activity of ‘live cooking’ was going on. “We’ve arranged for the largest size conveyor belt oven of 39 inches which ensures maximum cooking capability,” Rashid said.

He clarified that the restaurant is not a franchise but a local initiative. A smallish outdoor setup admits up to 60 people and is expected to do good business.

My expectations were superbly met when the appetisers arrived piping hot, consisting of crispy-breaded chicken wings, potato wedges accompanied by a dip, potato skins sautéed in the oven filled with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes and served with sour cream.

Bursting with flavour, this one is highly recommended for those looking for a gustatory delight. My kids were happy as they washed it all down with the choicest drinks.

We were in a mood for a little adventure and ordered the Special 27 pizza as our main entrée, topped with chicken, beef, pepperoni, choice vegetables and seasoned with spices. It turned out to be a simple, triangle-shaped eating delight with soft edges that were doused in fillings and layered with 100 percent mozzarella cheese that got crispier at the bottom and was just perfectly spiced.

The best part was that I did not end up feeling heavy on my stomach. As Rashid put it, “Fine dough is our specialty and we prepare pizzas as the order arrives unlike others who pre-cook the crusts so that the filling is only done when the order is placed.”

They have introduced prawn pizza for the first time in Pakistan with flavours like the Hawaiin. Other Mozzarella 27 greats include grilled Panini, filled with grilled chicken and chef’s special seasonings.

“Our gourmet pizzas are made with signature-thin organic, sour dough crust, imported whole milk mozzarella and fresh, seasonal vegetables,” Rashid said. “We offer a different pizza every day, with a slice costing Rs295 only.”

Not having enough space left in the stomach, we decided to skip the desserts that looked fetching anyway, reading about them in the menu, with all the chocolate fudge cakes, brownies, ice creams and New York style cheese cakes which, Rashid said, is a house specialty.

The place gets a big nod from me and I can’t wait to go there again, especially to try out all that we missed on our first outing.

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