Mafia Chef's Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza Pop-up at Ashvita Bistro, Chennai

What: Mafia Chef’s Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
Where: Ashvita Bistro, No. 11, Bawa Road, Alwarpet, Chennai
When: 30th September – 9th October 2016 (11 AM – 10.30 PM)

Mr Cheese is definitely one of the most loved ingredients and there are plenty of dishes that wouldn’t sound perfect without cheese. And one such is pizza; the gooey cheese that makes the pizza crust, sauce and topping taste perfect. Though Chennai is loaded with pizza joints I find only a handful of places that use fresh ingredients as well as take the effort to bake the crust or make the sauce from scratch. With various crust and toppings to favour the taste buds of Indians, somewhere pizzas are losing their originality and taste.

And when I was almost done with the usual pan- or thin-crust pizzas, there was this Chicago style Deep Dish Pizza that was making circles online. Never heard or came across one in Chennai so the excitement doubled immediately. Fondly addressed as upside-down pizza or stuffed pizza, this one takes a solid 45 minutes to make and bake from scratch. And Ashvita Bistro at Chennai has curated a special menu as part of pop-up kitchen initiative to please the palette of Chennai’s pizza lovers. Also thanks to Chef Devansh Jhaveri (Mafia Chef, Mumbai) who shared his knowledge and baked a delicious pizza for the evening.

PC: Ashvita Bistro
It’s pizza time! A thick and soft crust that lays foundation to the deep dish cake pan and it looks like a pie. Considering the time it takes to cook, the cheese goes in first on the pizza base followed by the topping and sauce, as the long cooking time can burn the cheese if it’s on the top. So the order in which the ingredients are layered is totally reversed and the pizza holds a lot of cheese.

For their pop-up kitchen, they have four deep dish pizza variety with two each in vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The classic toppings like green olives and mushroom, jalapenos and sun-dried tomatoes, pepperoni, and chicken pepperoni are used for the pizza. So I went for chicken pepperoni and green olives, mushroom pizza.

The crust was baked well and it’s almost similar to pan-pizza, a thick and soft crust. As you break the pizza with your fork and knife (I couldn’t eat this pizza the way I usually do i.e. using my hands and also the proper way to eat is with fork), you could see the layer of cheese, toppings and sauce. Loaded with two cheeses, mozzarella and cheddar, it was hard to let go even when I was completely stuffed.

Chicken Pepperoni
Mushroom and Green Olives
The smoky pepperoni flavour with tangy tomato sauce was yum. I loved the depth of flavours in the tomato i.e. pizza sauce. The sauce acts as the bonding agent that brings all the ingredients together, it’s fresh, tangy, and sweet and bursts with titillating flavours in your mouth.
The veg counterpart was equally delicious and indeed my favourite. The soft sautéed mushrooms and the bitter, salty taste of green olives works well for the pizza. The top edges of the pizza could have been a little crispier for my liking but nevertheless the taste dominates your experience and lets you enjoy.

A destroyed pepperoni pizza (6")
My messy plate of veg pizza (6")
They offer 6” and 9” pizza that are priced at Rs. 395 INR and Rs. 495 INR (plus tax). 

Breaking Down Points
Ambience: A serene locale, love their outdoor setup.
Food Variety: It’s limited variety for their pizza pop-up kitchen but being the first time in Chennai it was good to limit the pizza options.
Taste: It’s a type of pizza I haven’t tried before so I did enjoy the taste.
Quality & Quantity: It’s all made fresh in their kitchen; the pizza base and sauce are made from scratch. Quality speaks for itself and destroying a 6” pizza would be tough, hefty pizza. 
Price: NA. Cost for two is Rs.600-700 INR approx., along with a drink or dessert from their regular menu. I found the pizza pricing totally reasonable.  

So my Verdict!
Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza at Ashvita Bistro! As part of their pop-up kitchen initiative they are presenting the deep dish pizza for their diners. Definitely a new style of pizza for the Chennaitians to explore, the taste and pizza pie seems interesting.

The pizza pop-up will end on 9th October 2016. To know more about the bistro, their pop-up kitchens and Chicago style pizza check their Facebook page or call at 044 4210 9990 for reservations and queries.

P.S. On-the-house invite for tasting the deep dish pizza. Remember, no two person's palate can be same.  

Ashvita Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Mafia Chef's Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza Pop-up at Ashvita Bistro, Chennai Mafia Chef's Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza Pop-up at Ashvita Bistro, Chennai Reviewed by Divya Srinivasan on 13:57 Rating: 5

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