When you’ve been in the food eating business for as long as I have, you’ll come to develop certain implicit biases. I would, for example, never saying anything too bad about a pepperoni pizza no matter how terrible it was because pepperoni pizzas are generally amazing; likewise, I would never say anything too good about pineapple topped pizzas because no matter how good they may be, pineapple still isn’t a legitimate pizza topping, it’s just a disgusting fruit. Which is why, in the spirit of unbiased food journalism, I am preemptively declaring my allegiance to Chilly Chicken.
I love Chilli Chicken; I order it every chance I get. Every time I’m at a sidey dive bar, from Colaba to Malad, from Bandra to Chembur, it doesn’t matter; a plate of Chilly Chicken’s always at my table. I sometimes doubt whether what I’m having is really chicken, but I never, ever doubt my fealty to it. Chilly chicken symbolises the Bombay bar lifestyle like little else, it’s right up there with Kingfisher and Old Monk; your cheerful companion down the path of alcoholism.
So naturally I was thrilled (because it’s unacceptable for a grown man to be overjoyed) when I discovered that Smokin’ Joe’s had an item on their menu dedicated to Chilly Chicken; the innocently named Chilly Chicken Pizza. Surprisingly, despite my numerous encounters with Smokin’ Joe’s, most of them at three am, I’d never actually tried their Chilly Chicken Pizza myself, even though it’s been around since the beginning. As a man of science, and dictator of the Bombay Report, I made it my solemn mission to go to the ends of the earth to get my hands on a chilly chicken pizza. I assembled a team, packed my gear and got ready to set out.
But it turns out Smokin’ Joe’s does home deliveries so we just ordered one and sat at my place to watch Die Hard. Anyway, here’s our assessment of the pizza;
The Chilly Chicken Pizza really does remind me of the dive bar chilli chicken I know and love. And if I had to name one particular bar it made me think of it would have to be Yacht (Hill Road), the resemblance is uncanny. While most of the pizzas at Smokin’ Joe’s are themselves pretty good, the Chilly Chicken pizza is more than just good. It’s excellent. It might be a little bit too spicy, but if you’re a true foodie you’ll know, there’s no such thing as too spicy. But seriously you might want to order a Coke on the side or something; the Chilli Chicken Pizza is frikin savage. A large Chilli Chicken should cost you about Rs.595, but it does come with a free large pizza of your choice thanks to Smokin’ Joe’s being God’s gift to mankind.