1441 Pizzeria (Andheri, Mumbai)

I wonder if you remember the advertising slogan for Nestle’s Yorkie chocolate bar or maybe even a recent advert for Dr Pepper Ten. In the first case, Nestle’s garish blue packaging boldly exclaimed “Yorkie: Not for Girls!”. Dr Pepper in a similar copycat marketing ploy released a commercial with two men in camouflage gear driving around a jungle in an open top Jeep, apparently the epitome of masculinity. The advert ended with the slogan “Dr Pepper Ten: Not for Women”

I’m still failing to see what’s so “masculine” about eating sweet trashy chocolate or drinking ‘diet’ carbonated beverages, but anyway it got me thinking. In my view, pizza is unquestionably the ultimate “not for sissies” food. Whether it be the sheer amount of carbohydrates in a pizza, the nerdy men online obsessing about how to ‘stoke and poke’ a wood fired oven (maybe some self description here!) or scenes of inebriated men devouring pizzas across the world, pizza definitely has a male following.

On the carbs point, my dining partner (female I might add) wishes to share a Pizza. “Share?!” I ask perplexed. I’m a fully grown man with an appetite the size of the Suez Canal and you want to go “half & half” on a pizza! I quickly start scanning the menu for other options; the cheese and rosemary Foccacia luckily comes to my rescue.

1441 has added a bit of theatre to the pizzeria concept, by letting you order at the counter, chose your toppings and watch your pizza being prepared in the wood-fired oven. It’s all quite a hoot if I’m honest and I’m sure kids would love it; it might even break the ice on that special first-date too (that’s if anyone goes on dates in restaurants any more?)

The pizza itself (note the use of the singular) is basically like any generic pizza you would find in Italy. I say “generic” but even the most average of pizzas in Italy are still a country mile better than offerings found elsewhere, particularly in Mumbai! It’s certainly not the Vera Pizza Napoletana as suggested in another review; it’s thin, charred and crispy but doesn’t have the classic “cornicone” that is reminiscent of a Neapolitan special.

It seems like the pizza dough uses olive oil (omitted in a classic Neapolitan recipe), given the slightly crispier and firmer bite. The tomato sauce is good, but the cheese is average. I would have been pleased to see either Buffalo Mozzarella or Fior Di Latte, but I understand sourcing is a problem in India. The Foccacia is a misnomer. It’s actually just a normal pizza base with rosemary, salt and cheese on the top. Nevertheless it’s a treat as rosemary and carbs just seem to work so wonderfully together (Patate al Rosmarino being another divine carby classic)

Whilst my dining partner claims she’s “full to bursting” (FTB as my cool Granny or “Nonna” would say), I’m still left voraciously tucking into slices of 1441’s pizza, which in all fairness, are rather delightful for this city.

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