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Level 1 Pizza Serves Up Scrumptious Sourdough Treats In The Heart Of Bandra

Restaurant Review: Pizza ranks high among the most popular comfort foods. The soft chewiness of the base, the tanginess of the sauce, the unbeatable satisfaction of stringy cheese… even before toppings come into play, pizza seems like it can make us forget our worries with its yumminess. Restaurants around the world are innovating to give their own twist to this Italian delight. Indian establishments are not shying away from the trend. Rather, they are whole-heartedly embracing the opportunity to serve up a different kind of treat to its pizza-loving patrons. We recently tasted such an offering in Mumbai and we were left craving more.

Photo Credit: Level 1 Pizza

Level 1 Pizza is a dedicated space above Joshi House in Bandra specialising in a unique pizza-and-wine experience. While Joshi House (backed by restaurateur Suren Joshi) offers Indian and Italian delicacies, Level 1 has a separate food menu. It features 12 gourmet pizzas with a sourdough base (equal options for vegetarians and non-vegetarians). These are handcrafted and baked in the wood-fired oven visible as you make your way to the first storey. What elevates the experience is the chance to pair your pizzas with some incredible wines from around the globe. Level 1 has the same extensive wine list as Joshi House and you must take full advantage of it.

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Photo Credit: Level 1 Pizza

During our meal, we also tasted their Sangrias, which were light and refreshing accompaniments to all our pizza choices. There are some fascinating wine-based cocktails on the menu too. We suggest asking for the staff’s expert recommendations depending on the pizza you’re having. We tried and loved the Cilantro Martini (we were driven by curiosity) – although it didn’t pair well with our chosen toppings. Wondering which pizzas we recommend here? Find out below.

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Photo Credit: Level 1 Pizza

We decided to begin with a classic – and a personal favourite – Margherita. Here, there can be no exotic trappings or toppings to hide behind. Our pizza arrived with large basil leaves and a thick crust we couldn’t wait to dig into. It did not look absolutely picture-perfect, but that’s what made us more curious. The aroma told us that this was something that required higher considerations. We separated our individual slices and took a bite. Our verdict? At Level 1 pizza, pomodoro sauce, basil and mozzarella spell magic. Their Margherita is easily one of the best we’ve had in recent times. The sauce was tangy, but not sharply sour or sweet. It allowed the flavours of the basil and mozzarella to shine through in harmony.

Next on our radar was a non-vegetarian delicacy: Spicy Chicken Diavola. Tender pieces of grilled chicken, red peppers and truffle picante salsa graced this delight. The heat was balanced with stringy mozzarella. We enjoyed the peppery taste and the generous amount of chicken (which never came across as overloaded either). The delicate hints of truffle elevated the dish from a good grilled chicken pizza to a delectable gourmet treat.

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Photo Credit: Level 1 Pizza

Pineapple on pizza has its supporters and detractors. If you’re in the former camp, you don’t want to miss out on Level 1’s BBQ Chicken & Pineapple Pizza. The juiciness and smokiness of the charred pineapple were an instant hit. The jalapeno and mango habanero mayo did a good job of balancing the sweetness of the fruit as well as the BBQ sauce.

The toppings were incredibly well-balanced, but it was the sourdough base that made this meal stand out. Coming from a family of bread lovers, I understand well the simple pleasure of chewing on well-made bread. Behind this facade, of course, lies hard work and years of experience. The scrumptious sourdough pizza base at Level 1 is truly a testament to Chef Richard D’Souza’s culinary talents. We can’t wait to return and savour it again.

Where: 602, Ambedkar Road, Pali Naka, Pali Hill, Bandra West, Mumbai

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