It’s a match made in heaven — beetroot pesto and garlicky mushrooms. Nothing fancy, a straight ahead pizza. The creamy pesto with a touch of sweetness varieties the bottom whereas the toppings are button mushrooms sautéed in butter, some break up black olives, and charred onions, home-made balsamic glaze and arugula. A easy mixture of candy, earthy and recent tastes, and the lingering sourness of balsamic glaze brings an fascinating flavour to the style buds. “Beetroot pesto is my mother’s recipe and we’ve got transformed it into pizza,” says Siddharth Sethi, one of many founders of Van Dough Cafe and Pizzeria. When three buddies —Siddharth , Pavithraa Priya, and Dhiren Khturia, who share a standard ardour for meals got here collectively, they began The Cloud Kitchen Challenge, a cloud kitchen primarily based in RS Puram that provides an intimate culinary expertise for patrons in addition to themselves. “Initially, we began pizzas as weekend supply menu of the mum or dad model. It clicked and right here we’re,” says Pavithraa Priya.
They need to additionally promote artwork together with good meals, and there are plans to host dwell mural portray periods by native artists on the cafe. “We would use Impressionism model because the cafe is called after Van Dough. We need to have interaction with artists repeatedly and have lined up occasions like a design contest to create a pizza field for us,” explains Siddharth including that they tried as many as 50 new menus within the cloud kitchen together with Japanese, Vietnamese, and trendy Indian earlier than getting down to begin a restaurant providing artisanal pizzas in continental and South Indian flavours. “We wished to place in new, higher dishes and what higher option to go than the pizzas? We make all the things from scratch. We get our recent basil, cherry tomatoes, micro greens and arugula from hydroponic farms right here. The marinara is made utilizing tomatoes sourced domestically whereas for sherry leek sauce we sauté garlic, leeks and shallots in butter, and add non-alcoholic pink wine and cream. This brings an enormous flavour distinction,” explains Siddharth pointing to the scrumptious, piping sizzling Kundapuri ghee roast paneer pizza ready to be savoured. “We studied at Manipal and we frequented Kundapur, an hour’s drive from Udupi to savour the well-known ghee roast hen and prawn. We recreated that on the pizza,” provides Siddharth, smiling. The Kerala hen roast pizza with pickled onions and in-house eggless mayo transports us to the native eateries of God’s Personal Nation.
Most South Indian flavours on the pizza menu are impressed by their eating expertise at meals joints within the metropolis. For instance, pichu pota kozhi (shredded hen) pizza is an ode to the delicacy served at Burma Bai. “We additionally need to replicate their tangy and spicy thakkali hen. We search out native meals and for the primary few months we had been consuming one thing new on daily basis. Coimbatore has superb meals however restricted to South Indian,” he explains. Pavithraa nods, including, “Most accommodations have a multi-cuisine idea. One can find biriyani even when it’s an Italian or Chinese language. There isn’t a give attention to a star dish.” As we chunk into crisp fried oyster mushrooms, crunchy on the skin and juicy inside, dunked in finger-licking heat honey dip, Siddharth talks fondly of petrichor (the scent of first rain) pizza made utilizing truffle oil, and shiitake, oyster and button mushrooms sautéed in butter and garlic and a white sauce base to carry collectively a pronounced earthy flavour.
Apart from working their very own meals enterprise, they take up consulting and assist individuals create new menus. Their latest outing was a deep dive into Mexican menu for Agave restaurant in Goa the place they put collectively a cocktail utilizing horchata (a rice-based beverage historically had with out liquor) amongst others together with a vegan model of ceviche with tender coconut, kafir lime, orange and jalapeno dressing. “We’ve got additionally executed Himachali, Tibetan, and vegan menus on a consulting project in Dharamshala the place we found our love for working with vegetarian meals,” says Siddharth.
Whereas agreeing that the meals scene within the metropolis is consistently evolving, he says, it helps new cafes to experiment with progressive menus. “ We need to introduce pastas too, like miso mushroom pasta, a fusion of Asian and Italian. We’re additionally attempting to make a home-made cola with a home-made syrup, a number of spices, orange rinds, jaggery and tonic.” There are plans to introduce excessive hydration sourdough and appetisers like marinated mushrooms in additional virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, recent parsley and a splash of lemon juice and honey that go together with sourdough and cheddar toasties . “It’s an genuine Italian model. We’re getting out workers skilled to deal with it. We’re additionally experimenting with poolish, a 12-hour model of bitter dough,” provides Pavithraa.
As we wind up, Siddharth shares the story behind sugar cane hen that figures on the menu. “It’s impressed by a avenue meals vendor from the bylanes of Pune. “Once we requested him to make one thing new, he shocked us with this dish. We tried to play with our expertise and recreated it on the menu. On a sugarcane slice, we add minced hen, celery, kafir lime, and lemon grass, and coat it in panko crumbs earlier than frying to make it crisp and serve recent. ”