Food @ Trivandrum Pizza Trail

Sijis Pizza Street: First Impressions

I have been hearing about Sijis Pizza Street for some time from my friends who have nothing less than high praises for their Pizzas… But sadly, I never got around to try it because of the place being a bit far away from me and outside the range of any of the food delivery apps… By the time I was getting around to making plans to visit, sadly, the corona pandemic started and well, you know the rest… However, they did manage to open up a branch in Kazhakuttom in the middle of all the chaos, thats located practically at walking distance from my home, but still I couldn’t visit cause of the obvious reasons regarding the pandemic situation… Soon, they started appearing in the food delivery apps but I didn’t get a chance to try it for many reasons (lockdowns, containments / micro-containment zone declarations – you know how it is)… So, after a long wait, I finally got the chance to try their food now and this post is about the same…

Apparently, ever since they opened, Sijis Pizza Street has been claiming to serve authentic Italian Woodfired Pizzas for the first time in Kerala (a claim that may be too bold if you ask me) and as any Pizza enthusiast would know, using Woodfired Oven is the traditional as well as known to be the best way to cook Pizzas… Plus, the pizzas shown in all the photos posted by many in social networks seemed to look quite good and kind of like the ones we see in the food network shows, making me want to try… πŸ™‚ Anyways, their menu looked quite impressive and its clear that the focus is on the Pizzas because I don’t think I have seen any other place having this many options of Pizzas and unlike the other places here, there aren’t much non-pizza options like starters, side orders, etc… When I checked the menu in Swiggy this time, the only starter option was what they called as the Special Wedges… There were a few Pasta options as well but I was in no mood for them… So, basically placed the order for the Special Wedges as the starter and along with it, 3 Pizzas – one for each of us here namely, their “Chef’s Special”, “Chickeney” and also the quintessential “Margherita” (cause I had been hearing that they make a really good one)… The order arrived as shown in the pic below…

First, lets talk about the Wedges… Personally, I have always preferred Potato Wedges over French Fries… They are usually come fried or baked with the skin left on and so typically have a crispy outer layer and a incredibly soft and fluffy interior… They are considered the quintessential fast food and/or bar food option and are usually served with a dip which has a sour and/or spicy component like Sour Cream, Sweet Chilli Sauce, Tartar Sauce to even variants of Mayo and/or Ketchup… Here, they have sent Ketchup sachets to go with them…

As can be seen from the pics above, the wedges here look like they have been fried… As expected, they all had a crispy skin on them with the potato inside being soft and fluffy, though to me personally, I felt them to be a bit too crispy (oil temperature too high maybe??) to the point of being borderline tough to chew on… But its ok… As can be seen from the pics, they seemed to have seasoned it with their Oregano Seasoning Mix and Black Pepper and in addition to that, I felt the taste of what seemed like the Chaat Masala on them – I guess this is the “Special” part of the Special Wedges… The given ketchup felt like a good enough condiment and overall, I did end up being able to enjoy them…

Next up is the Chef’s Special Pizza… According to the menu, this is a pizza having Onion, Capsicum, Olives, Sweet Corn, Paneer, Feta Cheese and Chilli Flakes… It arrived as shown in the pics below…

To be frank, based on all the previous thin crust pizzas I have had, I expected the pizzas to have thinner crust… Its still thinner than what we see as regular pizza crust but the crusts I have seen said to be Thin Crusts were much thinner… Its not a problem and rather just an observation… The first thing I felt even as I was opening the box was the fragrance of Olive Oil and melted Cheese… As can be seen in the pics above, it does look like that have sprinkled some Olive Oil on top… I must say, I liked how this Pizza looked being quite colourful thanks to the ingredients used… coming to the taste, as I took the first bite, the first thing that hit me was the not too much heat from the Chilli Flakes… Everything else pretty much took a backseat here… Ofcourse the flavours of the Olive Oil and Cheeses came next followed by the Onions and Mushroom (which felt like a Duxelle) and the Sweet Corn and Basil depending on the bite… Every topping felt nice and crunchy to eat… The Pizza sauce was very mildly seasoned and gave the sweet and sour taste of tomatoes… The only problem I felt was that I felt that the crust on its own was bland… Not even the taste of Bread was felt… Not sure why… But in-spite of it, I still did end up liking this pizza and hence the first vegetarian Pizza that I ended up liking too… So, I think its a must try for Vegetarians… Also, this was bought primarily for my mom and her feedback was that she wishes that the crust had some flavour of the bread like other pizza options that she had so far and also wished that the Pizza Sauce was seasoned better… That being said, she too agrees that this was a nice vegetarian pizza to have…

Next up was the Chickeney Pizza… According to the menu, this is a pizza having Chicken, Chicken Sausage, Chicken Ham, Chicken Salami, Olives, Capsicum and Onion… It arrived as shown in the pics below…

First of all, the problem of blandness of Crust was felt in this one too… But the pizza sauce felt a bit more flavourful and better seasoned… So, I guess the sauce in this was from a different batch or maybe its because the seasoning from the well seasoned Chicken components ended up permeating the sauce as well… All the Chicken components were seasoned very well… The Salami appeared to be the slightly spicy kind known as Mexican Salami and it along with the Ham, Sausage and the grilled Chicken were tasting perfect for me with the Chicken being cooked perfectly… The vegetables were fresh and crunchy and along with the sauce, appeared to cut down the richness of the Cheese and the meats… Basically when you bite into this pizza, what you get is an incredibly rich flavour of Chicken along with the Olive Oil and Cheese… Overall, both me and my dad loved this Pizza and I think its a must try for Chicken Pizza lovers…

Last but not the least was the Margherita Pizza… According to the menu, this is a pizza having Mozzarella Cheese only as topping… It arrived as shown in the pics below… The Margherita pizza is the classic traditional pizza that just had the Pizza Sauce with Cheese as topping… The reason I got this pizza was that I had been hearing from some of my friends that this place makes a really good one… As can be seen from the pics below, unfortunately, the Pizza looked like it shifted a bit towards one corner… But its okay πŸ™‚

This one had a bit of char on its crust as is expected with Pizzas baked in Woodfired ovens but the blandness issue is still there… But the sauce was a bit weird on this one where it felt to seasoned mildly in some slices where as in others, it felt bland and all I could taste was the Cheese and Olive Oil… The pizza did appear to have their Oregano seasoning on top but all that achieved in my opinion is to make the cheese taste more salty and so I wish the seasoning was applied to the sauce or at-least on the pizza before adding the cheese… The fundamental problem is that at-least in the Pizza Margherita, the crust is supposed to be the highlight in terms of flavour profile and the sauce and the cheese are to be just condiments supporting the crust, enhancing its flavour without dominating the Pizza… Even if a customer asks for extra cheese, you still need to make sure that the balance of flavours is maintained instead of just putting more cheese on the pizza… Its a common mistake to make Pizzas where Cheese is the dominating component and that seems to be the problem with this one too…

So, overall, I have seen a number of reviews in social networks saying that they serve the best pizzas in Trivandrum or even Kerala for that matter, but quite frankly, I don’t agree to that assessment as I have had Pizzas that I have liked better from other places but still I would go as far as to say that the pizzas are definitely better than most in Trivandrum as based on my experience here, I think there is enough room for improvement… I for one, am hoping that it does and am looking forward to try more from their menu soon… πŸ™‚

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