Review: California Pizza Kitchen

Guest blogger Diti Shah shares her review of the newly opened CPK @ Phoenix Mills.
CPK’s second outpost in Mumbai flagged off at Phoenix Mills two days ago. Strategically located in the corporate hub of the city, this outlet replaced the popular post-work hangout, Sports Bar. As the first outlet in Bandra-Kurla Complex got lukewarm reviews, I had my doubts about the newcomer. But as always, I was more curious than dubious 🙂
The entrance, with sunny yellow awnings reading “pizza, pasta, appetizers” would lure any Phoenix shopper to step in. I sure fell for it!
The restaurant is spacious and bright, with neat brown tables, a swanky bar area and a tall wine rack to complete the look. Although it is only two days old, CPK is already pulling crowds, the reason being its brand name… or perhaps the aroma of fresh bakes.
To Eat
CPK’s menu is more or less the same across all outlets; it includes appetizers, pizzas, pastas, soups, focaccia sandwiches, salads and desserts (a complete medley of Middle-Eastern, Mexican and Italian cuisines). Well, as long as it’s yummy! Try Hummus with Pita Bread; or Lettuce Wraps, or the Baja Chicken – a famous appetizer of grilled chicken breast loaded with cheese, corn, black beans, red onions and cilantro and served with fresh guacamole. But if you’re not a big eater, skip the appetizers and jump straight to the mains. The “Specialities” menu has a dish called Chicken Milanese, which MasterChef lovers would not want to miss! Anyway, I was craving for pizza. Unfortunately you can’t make-your-own pizza so I had to pick one from the menu. The Goat Cheese pizza sounded tempting, yet too cheesy. The Thai pizza sounded bizarre, thai curry and pizza? No way! The Greek Pizza has awesome toppings but they’re served cold. Okay, next! The Pesto Pizza with kalamata olives sounded awesome but I finally called for a Veggie Aubergine thin-crust pizza. Topped with fresh broccoli, mushroom slivers, sweet corn, red onions, sundried tomatoes and aubergine, it was flavourful but not divine. (Priced at Rs.380+taxes, add chicken at an extra cost). The Chocolate Brownie with ice-cream and hot chocolate sauce was a much sweeter deal.
To Drink
CPK has a wine selection (mostly domestic) starting at Rs.300+taxes for a glass, beers including Corona and Kingfisher, cocktails (although the menu is still WIP) and soft beverages. I called for something called Freshly Brewed Ice Tea (Rs.130). What’s so fresh about it, you ask? First, they brew it like any hot tea and then chill and serve it in a tall glass. Does it enhance the flavour? I’d say yes…
My Verdict
CPK is more than just a ‘pizza kitchen’. The menu is extensive and delish. So if you’re looking for a fresh new fine-dine option in Southern Mumbai, check into CPK; you might just spot me with a glass of wine in one hand and a credit card in the other 😉
Meal for Two (without alchohol): Rs.1200
Address: Level 1, Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel
Phone: 65558888 (Home delivery in Lower Parel only)

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