Thin is In - Thin Crust Pizzas at Spiritual, Doubletree by Hilton, Gurgaon
Whoever said ‘thin is in’ had it absolutely right! At least in my books they did. Thin, is the way I like rotis, paranthas and definitely pizzas. Now I am not going to venture into the Domino’s or Pizza Hut zones because those are not pizzas those are hybrid, fast food, vulgarized variants of an otherwise wonderful Italian dish. If you have had the pleasure of enjoying a real pizza in Italy, specifically in Naples, you would have had a thin crust, white base with crusty brown bubbles of crispy dough with a slather of homemade, seasoned tomato concasse, a few basil leaves and maybe some fresh mozzarella. And if you believe that Pizza’s originated in Greece, which they actually may have, then you’re going down ‘thin crust’ alley once more! So that’s real pizza for you and it’s readily available outside of fast food travesties right here in good ‘ol Gurgaon!
Drop in at Spiritual at the DoubleTree by Hilton and it is quite possible you won’t want to eat pizza anywhere else again. Spiritual is the bar at the DoubleTree and a wonderful one at that. The bar is host to a wood fired oven you will envy, since I want one in my home, I was wondering how I could walk away with it… sigh! And the specialties here are many, one of which are the Thin Crust Pizzas, just like they are supposed to be. We had the divine pleasure of being Chef Tuli’s guests which meant a tuck into everything possible. We started with my personal favourite the Quattro Formaggi (625), I could instantly taste the mozzarella, the parmesan and the scamorza; beautiful flavours. Then came the Diavola (645) which I assume would be a standard favourite for most, that perfect thin crust base, topped with Salami Milano, chilli flakes (very welcome) and rich, fresh bocconcini, truly delightful. The Rucola was another one that will keep bringing me back, with toppings of parma ham (can never get enough!) and wild rocket, wonderfully fragrant, warm, cold, crispy and crunchy, all in one go, incredulous. This was my take despite enjoying a fresh from the garden/charcuterie Antipasti platter (595) of marinated jumbo olives, pickled artichokes (not waxy at all!), sun dried tomatoes and cheese straws. We also had a platter with chorizo and parma ham but all that was easily forgotten once the pizzas made an entrance. What I loved the most was how fresh everything was, I wonder if that makes it easier to eat more? I am sure it does because nothing is processed, preserved or Godawful ‘deep dished’ because we ate like we hadn’t eaten before or would eat again in the near future. By the time all these dishes were done, chef had created a bit of a build up about the last pizza in line and another cliché – last but not the least – save the best for last… ok I’m done… it was the stupefying (ideal word applied appropriately by Sid himself) Dessert Pizza. One like I have never had before and believe me I am not averse to chocolate topped dough (think churros, chocolate donuts …) but this was one was nothing so ordinary. The Dessert Pizza (625) at Spiritual is the same perfect base albeit lightly sweetened, topped with fresh fresh fruits like kiwi (yup!), apples, mangoes and bananas settled atop a thin layer of Nutella, drizzled with mascarpone and grilled to perfection in the oh-so-lovely wood fired oven. So then this is the second thing I will be going back again and again for and I think so should you!
As a footnote, I must mention that Spiritual has beer bongs (yay!), which look like loads of fun for a group. Molecular Bartending, where they grill fresh fruits like pineapple at the guests table, bring in that smoky flavour, caramelize the sugar in the fruit, crush it up, make it into a killer cocktail with a flambé et al, beautiful to watch and very delicious to drink. I had a killer Strawberry Mojito (350) and was most amazed by the pricing. Here in Gurgaon you will spend an evening at an ear splitting nightclub, where the food will likely be mediocre and the beer too.
At Spiritual, the pricing is competitive, so is the Hoegaarden (straight from the tap) and they have a DJ, so if you have come to an age where you need to appreciate your drink, your food and your friends head over to Spiritual and do just that!