It was Saturday evening when a friend- Av popped in Whatsapp and announced that CPK was opening the subsequent Monday. For those who are unaware, CPK is California Pizza Kitchen. The two times I have been to Phoenix I noticed the huge banner with a “coming soon” on it. After our Bangalore trip, I learnt that CPK serves alcohol and so maybe they were waiting for license [just as HRC has been waiting]. But alas., they have given up or not pursued the same, for they are open in Phoenix Market City, Velachery.
So, coming back to the Saturday evening, this friend & I decided we will do Monday night dinner at CPK. Most others were tied up and we froze our plan. On Sunday evening, another friend announced she was at CPK and gave us feedback on the dishes and the place. Av who discovered they were opening on Monday was surprised they had opened on Sunday. But anyways, we stuck to our plan and Monday evening I was there in Phoenix around 7pm. Did some shopping at Big Bazaar and waited for Av to arrive.
The entry to CPK is from the outside. So, you can actually park, and walk all the way around the mall on the same side as Nandos and you will spot CPK right at the end. It is located near the children’s play area and near the dancing water fountain. There is also a huge monitor on top that was showcasing random sports events.
We walked in around 8 and the place was fairly empty. Chose a booth and made ourselves comfortable. The menu was brought and the waiter asked for our water preference and if we wanted a beverage. Av ordered Coke while I opted for the Strawberry Italian Soda [going against my usual fresh lime soda-salt] We also ordered the Lettuce Wrap. The drinks arrived within 2 minutes, followed closely by the starter. There was a plate with a few fresh lettuce leaves and another plate with peanut sauce and filling [it had paneer, seasonings, and sat on a bed of something that resembled friend rice noodles]. We had to place a few spoonfuls in the lettuce sheet, add some sauce, roll it up and chomp on it. I loved the flavours, and the crunchiness of the Lettuce was just perfect.
Spent a few minutes catching up on life and other things that dint matter, and Av shared her experience at CPK in the USA. Going with her recommendation, we ordered the Toastada Pizza [it is a hot & cold pizza, there is a thin crust base with black bean sauce on it, and above that is a healthy serving of shredded lettuce and tortilla chips] with a side of salsa that was divine. It arrived on the table and is possibly the ONLY healthy pizza i’ve ever had in my life.
The thin crust had a nice crisp texture and the hot & cold was perfect. Within minutes the plate was wiped clean and we were grinning. The only thing that kind of put us off a bit was the occasional bugs that found their way to the table- tiny mosquitoes [possibly because it was located near trees and water in the outdoor area]. Oh and it was a whole new experience having staff come over ask us how the drinks were, the starters and the main as well.
Since our friend had told us about the desserts, we opted for the White Chocolate Cheesecake. And it was delicious. With a healthy topping of grated white chocolate, the cheesecake was rich and perfect. Yes, it was different from others I’ve had but I liked this one.
Phew, what a fun evening it had been. We asked for the check, paid the bill and spent a good hour or two sitting on the bench outside yapping away to glory.
Price: This meal costed us Rs2100 [incl taxes]
Ambiance- Simple and elegant.
Service- Very good
California Pizza Kitchen
Phoenix Market City, Velachery
Ph- 044 65108888