Eating out: Sidewalk Café Pizzeria at Woods Manor opens with a new menu and look

Watching a pizza being cooked in an old-world oven is as good as actually eating it. You can hear the crackling symphony of melting cheese, take in the heavenly aroma and see the veggies and cheese mingle in a delightful ‘fire dance’. The process of baking itself seems incredibly exciting when it is done in a wood-fired oven, the traditional dome shaped oven made of bricks. This is indeed one of the attractions at the new Sidewalk Café Pizzeria at Woods Manor, which proudly shows off a wood-fired oven in its small, open kitchen. “The pizza takes less than two minutes to bake,” says Ramanunni C. Nair, general manager of the hotel.

Woods Manor has revamped its previously unassuming Sidewalk Café into a swanky new pizzeria serving pasta and grilled sandwiches in addition to a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian pizzas. Originally an extended veranda of the hotel, the Sidewalk Café used to serve masala dosas and the usual fare. Now, the long, narrow area has got a makeover—a neat and inviting décor. Once you have placed your order, you can either see the pizza being made or just sit back and gaze at the traffic on M.G. Road. “The prime location is our high point,” says Nair. “It is right beside the main road, yet away from the noise and bustle,” he says. The café had its soft launch recently, but it is open to the public. A few more additions, however, would come in the form of fans, Nair informs.

Pizzas galore

Chef Tamijur Rahman from Manipur is the chief chef, who brings his expertise to the table. Trained especially for this pizzeria, Rahman would continue experimenting with new recipes. Making one of the café’s most popular pizza, the Four Season Pizza, Rahman gets the ingredients out in a jiffy. It is going to be a colourful dish, one can tell, as he produces a tray of red and yellow bell peppers, rich brown mushrooms and blue-black olives. After coating the base with a thick layer of tomato puree, he sprinkles generous quantities of grated Parmesan cheese. Then, each quarter of the 11-inch pizza is filled by each of these ingredients. A pinch of pepper, salt, followed by another layer of Mozarella cheese shreds on top and the pizza is ready to be baked. The flavours are fresh and the crust is delightfully crunchy.

“Thin-crust pizza is the Italian style pizza and now, it has quite a few fans in town,” says Nair.

The menu looks promising and Nair says more would be added based on the response. The non-vegetarian section has Chicken Calibra, which has corn, yellow and red bell pepper, mozzarella cheese and flavourful chunks of chicken. Hot out of the oven, it gives off a pleasant aroma of olive oil and cheese. The other specials are Chicken Pepperoni (with capsicum and cheese), Chilli Prawn (prawn, chopped spring onion, coriander and cheese), which Nair recommends, Tandoori Chicken and Cajun Spiced Chicken pizza.

Vegetarians have a good variety, too. Margherita and Tomato in addition to the routine flavours. The pizzas come in the standard small, medium and large sizes.

A delicious variety of mocktails and cold beverages too are on the menu.

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