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02.04.2018

After meeting the two supremely friendly brother-owners behind Big Fat Sandwich (BFS) before it gained a cult following (we wrote about it here), we signed up for a life of bread and cheese. When we found out they were karaoke experts on top of that, our hearts went a little haywire.

But a lot has happened since. BFS became popular, and as a result, acquired a healthy opposition. The fan base is still visible and (roaringly) audible, but the sandwiches have become a little more controversial. Yet the good reputation of the brothers seems to remain strong and stretchable, like coveted bread.

So Big Fat Pizza (BFP) doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. The a-ha factor lies in its partnership with Bom-Baykery, the much-loved cupcake and cake enterprise, with apparently excellent Bombay Masala croissants as well (go figure). We’re thumbs-up about this union, which really feels like two or three or four like-minded people coming together, even for consumers such as ourselves, who only know about these businesses from afar.

An extension of what they seem to do best – chill – BFP is in the Deer Park market, home to The Hungry Monkey and The Piano Man; we find copious outdoor seating, nicely cordoned off by very healthy green plants. Seats will likely be hard-to-get on a weekend, since they’re such perfect places from which to see and be seen. We’re fans of an intricate but simple rope-pattern that sits above the bold signage - just one of several indications that the brothers are mixing craft and hobby once again. Not coincidentally, we see them entertaining a table that seems quite obviously to be family or friends.

But something else (also) happens. While this is a place at which we anticipate good old, maybe even unhealthy pizza, an undercurrent of the fancy is at work. We’re hardly against fancy jams, truffle fries, and artisanal anything, but if that’s what we’re getting, we expect it to be top dollar, complete with those beautiful leopard spots on divine, fig-infused crust. And while we may complain about the former kind of pizza – the greasy, the take-out, the eat-in-your-car kind – we’d happily embrace it if it was fully achieved.

The thing is, BFP does both and it becomes neither. When we’re talking just-pizza, the place has all the offerings of the snob-trap, but has us missing the city’s restaurants that are actually gourmet. Meanwhile, while BFP taps in to some nostalgic pizzeria qualities, it stops shy. Its Napoli base is slightly Pizza Hut-esque, the cheese is a little too good to be excellent-trashy, and the toppings sit there to be pictured, but not to provoke the finer emotions - or any emotions, really.

Our complaint is intensified still in the case of ‘melony salad.’ These days, the watermelon-feta salad has been mastered well in many places, including the kitchens of ham-handed single journalists. If it’s on your menu, give us something special, please – not something that would only impress us if it were served up at our editor’s home (bpb ed: HEY).

Given that, there are two things the place does that we appreciate very much: the pepperoni, which uplifts our Diavola to a super height. Their hospitality is also easy and charming – they do the half and half pie for the disjointed couple/friends who still want to get along.

It’s quite likely we’ll be back. BFP is too close to Piano Man to skip, and we’ve always been supportive of business owners we wouldn’t mind hanging out with; as long as the plan is clear – are we doing gritty good or fancy shmancy? We’re down for either, but please, guys: pick one?

Getting there: B-6/5, ground floor, Safdarjung Enclave market, opposite Deer Park. A meal for two costs around Rs. 2,000.

Accessibility: There is wheelchair access – refreshingly simple.

bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.

 

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