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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Restaurant Review| Chennai |California Pizza Kitchen, Phoenix Mall, Velachery

It's been almost 3 months since I have settled down in Chennai and have started to get myself acclimatized with this City. One thing that I realized is that similar to the warmth in the climate there is a lot of warmth in the hearts of the people over here. So as I was settling down with my family and occasionally posting a few recipe, I got a call from Mr. Krishnamurthy ( AvianMedia) inviting me to review this newly opened restaurant in Chennai called California Pizza Kitchen ( CPK). "Wait a minute, I have been to Bangalore's branch many a times and liked their Pizza varieties. So why not in Chennai?" Checked with few friends who are based in Chennai if they can make it and Pari nodded in affirmative so more fun on the cards!

California Pizza kitchen has opened on the ground floor at Phoenix Mall and well visible from the outside so you can't miss it when you enter from the left wing of the mall. So,as we went in we were greeted by a smiling hostess who guided me to our table. Then Mr. Krishnamurthy  joined us and informed us about the Franchisee in India who also owns the chain of Hard rock cafe and Pink berry branches in India.

Then we met Chef Kuldeep Bharani (AKM of South division) who had arrived all the way from Bangalore to supervise the review. With a smile on his face he took us on the delicious food journey for next 3 hours. 

 So as soon as we sat we were presented with welcome drinks Party punch and Cucumber delights. I tried Party Punch which was amazingly tasty and comforting. There was a mix of tangy taste with a hint of mild sweetness to it. It was well decorated to make it look inviting. Pari also liked the Cucumber drinks and said that it was a very cool drink to have with meals. The pictures speak for themselves so all I can say is that the non alcoholic drinks set the tone for the reminder of the evening.

( Picture )

Next came, Mediterranean Foccacia with Cheese dips, honestly speaking this set the tone for the evening. The breads were soft yet well baked. The dip was also just delicious with the cheese being tasted as a freshly prepared.

I think I could let the Chicken wild race chowder soup pass. It was not extraordinary in taste but gives a comforting taste to the buds. Then came came Charqui grilled chicken which tasted soft and juicy but by looks it got slightly more charred than my liking. But overall it tasted as a good grilled chicken should be.

However it was followed by the best appetizer for the evening that was Spicy Chicken Supreme. Just by having a piece of it in my mouth made me feel so good. The chicken was just rightly cooked and once I have put it in my mouth it just melted. Every type of garnishing that was used was just right in proportion. Even the sauce was so tasty and tangy that I asked for it more than once.

Lettuce Wrap( Veg) dish that followed was looking vibrant , while having a filling of cottage cheese, chestnuts and a hint of olive oil. The lettuce was fresh and the fillings were well mixed for a delicious wrap. Another salad with Pita bread was also served but we found the bread too hard to chew.  Therefore as an overall opinion of starter and salads  I would recommend the Chicken supreme for the Non vegetarians and the Lettuce Wraps for the veggies. 

Now comes the main course that is Pizzas. It's signature dish is the California Pizza which comes as a multi grain dough option as well. The toppings were lavishly spread and by taste it was simply awesome. You could easily make out why CPK is layers above in quality and taste when it comes to pizzas as they are generous in ingredients and the taste stands apart from the run of the mill pizza joints. Then came Pepperoni which feel the highlight of the entire course of meal and without a doubt it was the preparation of the day. My thought was that it tasted simply awesome and to add to this the Chef Kuldeep also seconded that this Pizza is the favourite of the Franchisee owner. Now if the owner reveals his favourite course then it must be special. 

So after this we were served Chicken Fajita Pizza and Toastada Pizza which were also good to taste. A special mention about Toastada Pizza which is also called hot and cold pizza with a generous dose of tortilla chips, ranch dressing cheddar, fontina cheese served with fire roasted tomato salsa. I believe this is another pizza veggies would love to indulge.
The Chef served us with Pasta named California Kung Pao which we could taste a little as we were almost done with the main course and awaiting dessert, So till then another round of smoothies arrived. They were Peach Iced tea and Strawberry smoothie. Both were much needed to quench our thirst amongst all the food we ate. 
Then came the desserts : Red velvet cake which was not at all heavy, I shifted my attention towards Tiramisu, which had perfect balance. However I had remembered the Choco Banana cake from Bangalore which was the showstopper as far as dessert is concerned. Simply loved the taste. I admired it then and my opinion did not change a bit even now.

Overall I must admit that CPK has maintained it's quality if not improved more in last one year. It's surely a place worth giving a try and then judge it for oneself. Being a foodie myself made me realize that Chennai too is becoming a city with a variety of good food destination. So CPK adds to this fact as a place where you could have a good meal and time.
Here is Pari's take on this Food tasting session. Thanks Pari for sharing some pictures.

Location: Phoneix Market City, GroundFloor, Chennai
Phone no.: 044-65108888

PS : The above opinion is entirely mine and have tried to review with an objective frame of mind.The other dishes in the menu was not tasted by me so I reserve my views for another day. 


  1. Am loving the desserts..nice review..

  2. looks delicious and nicely presented...

  3. Thanks for such a detailed review Deepa...

  4. Oh I really missed it and I miss Chennai too :(

  5. Good to know, that you settled in Chennai. Its my heart always. Nice to know that California pizza is in Chennai now.Cool.

  6. Just saw the review at Pari's space, am bookmarking ur page too to give it to my sister, she may love to have a visit there.

  7. pizzas look really tempting ^_^
    n so does the dessert :D

  8. Haven't visited so far..Looks nice Deepa.

  9. Elegant review dear. Very glad to see such a wide variety of selection in the menu. Overall I am falling in love with this CPK after reading your review.

  10. pizzas look really awesome. You can say How to make California Pizza ?

  11. Really its mind blowing to see and looks great.
    Coffee Shops Bangalore


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