Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mama Mia: the best pizzas in Hyderabad

A celebration normally means restaurants with big names, a fine-dining experience...and not a small, relatively unknown pizzeria with two tables inside and a few outside it.
But after a take-away a couple of months back, my family thought the food at Mama Mia Italia was worth celebrating the occasion.Though I have been strongly advocating the restaurant to all known, somewhere inside was a hesitation: I hadn't been to the place yet and what if the experience there was different? Thankfully I discovered that the taste was consistent with the previous experience.
We went around 8 in the evening battling a sudden shower and landed at Mama Mia wet and hungry. Without wasting much time, we ordered for a garlic bread and two medium sized (10") pizzas: Margarita and the Hawaiian. The quick order was because of the previous experience when the take-away on a weekend had taken about half hour or more to deliver. Meanwhile I took the opportunity to chat with Mr. Shastry, the owner and also look around. This place is at Defense colony in Sainikpuri and has a seating capacity of around 6 inside. Outside the pizzeria, they have a few places laid out with chairs and long benches which could take in about 10-12 people more. Apart from the garlic bread and pizzas, the menu also consists of pasta and some desserts and has both veg and non veg options.
The garlic bread itself took around 20 minutes to arrive. They were about 2" long and disappeared fast. They were four to a plate which I felt was a small portion and was priced at Rs.50. Quite good with the right amount of cheese & basil coat.
 It was amazing to find Mr. Shastry greet all customers so warmly, making an effort to remember names of repeat customers. In fact, he addressed me by my name as one of my foodie friends had let him on that I'd be visiting that day :) A big plus for this gesture.
After another 10 minute wait, we had both the pizzas brought to the table. They were brought in cardboard boxes. The pizza base was thin, soft yet crisp. The BEST part of the pizza slice was that you could roll it up and eat. Which other pizza base can lay a claim to that? We were silent as we ate, lost completely in the experience. It was yum all the way. One and half pizzas through, we were done and carried away the rest.
Below are the pizzas we had. See the way they brown nicely on the top?!

Hawaiian Pizza @Mama Mia Italia

Margarita Pizza @ Mama Mia Italia

After the meal, I was curious to see the wood fired oven. I was not only given a guided tour of the oven built in the basement but also shown the different ingredients that went into preparing the pizzas. The pizzas are made from scratch, starting with the base. You have a choice of pizza base: multi-grained and thick base. I tasted the mozzarella used, was shown the tomato pulp that's used for preparing the sauce and watched the making of the pizza. An awesome experience!
What came across in talking to Mr. Shastry was the dedication and sincerity in wanting to make people experience good food. If a restaurateur concentrates only on this, everything else falls in place. He acknowledged that I was also a brand ambassador for his pizzeria along with few others but then I assured him that he doesn't need any brand ambassadors. The taste speaks for itself. He says he isn't in a hurry to expand and promised to take care of quality first. I hope he continues to churn out what he does best and gives us the best pizzas in town.
The waiting time is something that you need to look out for. But I guess a wood fired oven does take that kind of time. After all, patience and time are the prerequisites for loving cooking.
Our total bill ( no taxes) came to below 500/- for the dinner. That taste for this price! No competition!
By the way, when microwaved the next day, the taste of the pizza remained unchanged.