|Hotel Homely Raj|
It is about to rain, but C wants pizza, and K wants something to drink, so we decide to walk down to Hotel Homely Raj, our tired feet trudging towards our destination, with drops of rain tantalizing us to look up to the Gods and demand a steadier flow, and at the same time, relenting, as we know that it would not be good for our clothes and shoes to walk in the rain. However, it is a short walk, and we quickly enter the small, but neat eatery that serves only Vegetarian food.
Our goal: Pizza.
And no, this pizza is not exactly Italian. It is purely Indian, with a crust much different from any Italian Pizzeria or even the ever-present and trustworthy Dominos (click on the link to get cool coupons from Dominos in your city/country). This hotel interprets pizza in its own way, and gives it a little twist.
I have never been able to resist a twist in the tale in my entire life.
Our server gives us the menu cards and water as soon as we are seated. The restaurant is full when we enter, however, by the time we are about to go out, most of the tables are empty. Around us, families eat wit gusto, pots of sambar empty and servers hurry with laden bowls to refill them.
C and K orders rose milk, while I go for coffee, along with my standard Paper Masala Dosa. C orders Pizza, and after a short tussle, we decide on the Family Size Nicoletta Pizza, with extra pineapple on it. We both are shameless pineapple lovers, and K makes a face, hating our mutual love for it.
The drinks arrive first. K and C both had ordered rose milk, and it is a tall glass filled with rose-flavored sweet milk.
On normal days, I would have ordered the same – however, I personally have a small fetish for the coffee, so I take a sip from the tall glass of richly brewed milky coffee with extra sugar in it – the bitterness and the sweetness counterbalancing each other perfectly.
C makes a small face when she sees my glass of coffee, but says nothing.
A small bowl is placed beside me right after my coffee is served, and it is promptly filled up with coconut chutney. Another bowl contains sambar, which arrives swiftly with my Paper Masala Dosa.
I break into the crispy crust and discover the smooth filling inside, dipping it in the cool coconut chutney, and slurping the sambar in between. Everything is harmonious, the dosa breaking obligingly under our questing fingers, the potato mixture inside perfectly spiced and balanced, and the sambar hot and not too chunky, with a consistency which I approve of.
|Paper Masala Dosa|
C cannot help but bite into the deliciousness of the plate, and soon our dosa is partway demolished, and right on cue, in comes the Pizza in a large plate, piping hot. We are served an array of sauces with our food at this point, including mustard kasundi and tomato ketchup with our pizza, together with the usual suspects – Oregano and Pepper Flakes. I sprinkle some on my slice, and ignoring K’s advice to smother it in kasundi, bite into it.
|Nicoletta Pizza, extra pineapples.|
The pizza is hot, cheesy, with a thick, slightly burned crust, and sprinkled generously with the topping of mushrooms, baby corn, and my favorite – pineapple. I close my eyes to savor the different elements, and break out into a grin as the cheesy goodness hits me head first. K, despite her protestations, picks up a slice, removes the pineapples gingerly, and bites into it. She proclaims that the crust is slightly burnt today, and it is usually not the case. I agree, however, I prefer my crust to be slightly more “done”, and this is near-perfect for me.
We quickly finish our pizza, struggle with the bits of dosa, and call for our check, which our server promptly hands us. Our bill, after two dishes and three drinks, comes to less than 450/- and no, I do not remember individual prices in the menu. We leave, with smug, satisfied smiles on our faces, with a promise to return for more.
Hotel Homely Raj
10/2 Manohar Pukur Road