The thing about Jain pizza is that pizza in its purest, most authentic form is already Jain. Of course it was actually the Americans that improvised and threw in little garlic for an extra kick. But in the beautiful country of Italy, tomatoes and dough are already so rich and flavourful that there really is no need for that extra masala. Interesting fact: If you go to Italy today, most of their pizza is Jain.
Now whether the Mumbai restaurant community has held on to Italian pure roots or have succumbed to its enormously popular and consuming Jain community is a question to ponder. But for good or for bad, some of the best pizzerias in Mumbai are already Jain or made-to-order Jain!
Formerly known as Metro Pizza Metro, but after a re-branding makeover was named Gustoso, meaning tasteful. The fact that they are #1 comes from a few solid factors. First of all, one of the only brick-oven pizzerias in SoBo, with so much red brick it could look like Santa could come down through the oven instead of the chimney this year. We all love a good thin and crispy pizza with real cheese. They have nailed the basics: the dough, tomato sauce, cheese, freshest produce so that even a plain margherita pie is satisfying.
The menu is in Italian (with English descriptions underneath) and their ingredients are those you would find in only Italy – not outside: goat cheese, capers, artichokes, arugula, kalamata olives, basil, ricotta, Italian truffle oil. They understand the pizza experience, in an authentic way: nothing distracting like corn, pineapple or quirky Indian fusion add-ons. By the way, we are obsessed with their chilli oil.
Recommendation: Think Naples only and keep the toppings simple like olives or sun-dried tomatoes.
Competing with Gustoso with a little more flexibility to the Indian palette, this is where you get your hearty, chewy, homey, traditional Italian Wood Fired Pizzeria with all of its food being made solely in the wood oven.
The idea is to make your own pizza down from crust to the sauces and the cheese. From smoked gouda to fresh buffalo, their gourmet cheese is made to please along with 50 other toppings! Although they retain Italian ingredients, they do venture into the fusion realm with their desi “mama sauce”, avocado toppings, and Nutella waffles with marshmallow.
One of the rare classy joints in South Mumbai that is opened 24/7, it attracts a popular crowd at odd hours of the night. And when do you crave pizza more than when you’re still awake at 4am after a hard night out in town? Trattoria’s welcomes you with flawless crispy pizzas, just when you need them the most. There’s really nothing wrong with this picture besides that late-night and pizza couldn’t be a more sinful combination. The best thing about this is the pesto cheese dip that comes with it. It’s not that cheese that rips off it’s that cheese that stretches out. That’s when you know you’re at Taj.
This is the most original pizza we’ve tried that doesn’t stray from the pizza laws. Indigo Deli signature paper-thin wafer crusts is so light but so decadent. Again, they are packed with quality ingredients – sweet tomatoes and rubbery cheese that make for delicious margherita pizzas. They serve it piping hot so the cheese still slides off but it’s so good you still pick it up with your fingers and pop it in. Their pies serve only 2 people so order more. Try it with broccoli, peppers, and even roasted tomato.
Now it’s time to throw away all your qualms about authenticity. This pizza will make you proud to be Indian because it completely suits the Indian pallet – and so “naturally” that you do not realise it.
We recommend going wild with the toppings on this one – zucchini, Quattro formaggio, even pesto on your pizza – the more the merrier. The fact that the restaurant is pure vegetarian and extremely Jain friendly, means that Jains don’t even have to think twice. But bring your non-Jain friends too cause we’re sure they’ll love it 😉
More great options: Celini, Riso, Zen Café, Farmer & Sons
Order-In options: Sbarro’s, Juno’s
Featured photo source: jeffreyw via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)