New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) American restaurant chain Pizza Hut Thursday launched a new dish - Birizza, a biryani with the taste of pizza. If the dish was innovative, the launch activity was one of its kind.
Birizza-Biryani zara "Hat-ke", was what they called the dish.
"We wanted to bring in rice to Pizza Hut. Rice is considered as 'the meal' in the country. Hence, we introduced rice in Pizza hut," said Arjyo Banerjee, Head, food innovation, Pizza Hut.
"It is a biryani cooked in a dum biryani style on the tava with vegetables and forest seasonings. We gave a pizza touch to the biryani. We make fresh pizza dough everyday in our stores," he added.
It was a biryani cooked on the tava sealed with baked flavourful pizza dough and topped with an olive.
The non-veg biryani was an assortment of peas, capsicum, tomato and chicken chunks mixed in the rice. The dish was served with masala gravy which was cooked merging some cream, herbs, seasonings and tomatoes. It is the concoction that the food chain has got in the pizza.
The crust on the top was crispy and hand stretched to perfection. I enjoyed eating it with the masala gravy.
Vegetarian biryani starts at Rs.99, one consisting of paneer starts at Rs.129, whereas non-vegetarian starts at Rs.149.
The launch activity started late morning with journos and the marketing team of Pizza Hut boarding the 'Hut Kay Safari' (an air conditioned bus) at YMCA in the capital.
The guests on board were welcomed with a sweet and salty lemon soda garnished with a lemon slice. After a refreshing start, we were all curious about the safari's next stop on its route map and more importantly, what was going to be on the plate next.
Our host, Anirudh Sharma, kept us entertained throughout the journey with his jokes and games. What was served to us was an interesting and healthy tweak to the boring fruit salad and the not so healthy club sandwich - the fruit sandwich. It was both tasty, like sandwiches are, and healthy as it was stuffed with an assortment of seasonal and exotic fruits such as pineapple, grapes and a little paneer. And no salt!
Cruising through the green and scenic central Delhi, we reached Satya Niketan where hot and spicy tandoori momos awaited us. The crunchy exterior and the moist filling made them a delight. The non-vegetarian filling left a slight and pleasant aftertaste of ginger and coriander. The accompanying mint chutney complimented the momos surprisingly well, given that momos are usually savoured best with the famous red chilli sauce.
The veg counterparts were a little spicy, but equally yummy.
After that we came back to our starting point YMCA where we were pampered with three different varieties of yummy paan, which were palate cleansing.
The varieties of paan included mango, chocolate and icy paans.
Sanjiv Razdan, general manager, Pizza Hut and Arjyo Banerjee, Head, food innovation, greeted me.
Appetite almost satiated, we reached our destination - Pizza Hut, Basant Lok.
The ambience was pleasant and the decor beautiful. New additions to the welcome drink menu were Spicy Aam and Imly patakha. They were all flavoured icy lemonade soda drinks.
If Spicy Aam had jalepeno, green chillies and a bit of salt, Imly Patakha was a tangy drink with a twist of ginger.
"In the scorching heat of summer, we Indians get tired and restless. The drink is made keeping in mind that it refreshes the person, making him active and lively," said Arjyo.
There were vegetarian and non-vegetarian starters. The vegetarian platter had lip smacking potato wedges, cheese vegetable patty and Pizza Hut nachos. These delicacies were served with cheese jalepeno and Thai chilly sauce dips.
The potato wedges were quite crisp from outside and hot from within.
The nachos were topped with chopped onions, tomatoes, sweet corn and were layered with cheese jalepeno.
The non vegetarian platter had round shaped tender kebabs, crisp fish schewers and crunchy nachos. The kebabs were firm from inside and tasted well. Fish schewers were okay but not up to the mark.
Razdan said that the chain's target is to reach out to 300 million urban population including 100 million rich urbans.
"Pizza Hut is growing rapidly. We now have 320 restaurants all across India. Our purpose is to become India's number one food service brand. We want to reach out to 300 million urban population residing in the country. Our peg - 'amazing taste and astonishing value' - stands for new innovation and new taste. We want to bring innovation with time and force people to think how Pizza Hut does that," said Sanjiv.
"We follow three S - staple, spices and sauces - to capture amazing taste Indians love cheese and jalapeno dips and are also fond of sauces. Consumers look for great quality and quantity at an affordable price," he added.