-By Rashmi Uday Singh
Want your food pronto? Dine in or grab-n-go from this quick-serve chain that has just opened a new branch in the Eros Building at Churchgate. You’ll find the same menu here as you would at the cheerful, no-frills and brightly lit Haji Ali and Bandra branches: burgers, pizzas, pastas, soups and salads. Here, it’s all about fat portions and slim prices. Go for the Veg (Rs. 160+) or Non-veg (Rs. 175+) Mini Meals. The Pollo Rosto comes with garlic bread, mashed potatoes and tossed vegetables. They also have an ”Englishman’s Sandwich” with roast lamb, onions and cheese. Have that with Cappuccino or Espresso. Try Chicken Bacon Burger, Veg Black Bean, Chicken Black Bean or Polo Masala. They serve good Green Pepper Cheese Wraps and Burgers, but overcooked pastas. Please skip the thick-crusted pizzas, slushy Matar Paneer and stodgy desserts. Cottage Cheese Steaks, Bombay Masala Sandwich, Chicken Burgers, Chicken Tikka Wraps, Roast Beef and Tuna Fish Sandwiches, soups like Spinach and Corn or Herbed Chicken Corn and Seafood are on the menu. Try a refreshing salad anytime - Insalata Di Cassa, Insalata Caesar, Greek Salad, Insalata Mediterraneo. Grilled Chicken and Mushroom soup as well as the Tomato and Seafood Broth (Rs. 85) are nourishing. Bruschetta (Rs. 125) and Crostini with Chicken (Rs. 145) add to the diversity of the menu.
Review posted this week
Un-pronto service but pretty decent on the palate and wallet
When I saw the names of the dishes and its corresponding prices on the takeaway menu of Pronto, it seemed too good to be true. Therefore, I wasn’t at peace mentally until I would check out the branch at Churchgate, myself. So I went there on Sunday night with some friends in tow. I’m sure that you too will suspect something fishy, if a place like Pronto is 75% vacant on a Sunday night. Especially because the uber-chic Umame next door is swarming with rich folks arriving in their fancy-schmancy cars (We spotted a jaw-dropping yellow Ferrari).
Though Pronto seemed a bit crammy because of their small area, the place was pretty ok with A/c and English hip-hop playing softly in the air. Since the restaurant was barely occupied, my friends and I, perched ourselves on a table and without wasting anytime decided our order — Pan Fried Mushroom & Burnt Garlic Soup (Rs 90), Pronto’s Special Pizza (Rs 210 for an 8 inch), Panchetta Pizza (Rs 175 for an 8 inch), Pasta Funghi Parmigiano (Rs 175) and Pasta Pollo Cacciatore (Rs 185). The staff is courteous but what I fail to understand is why would they take so long to take an order and deliver food in a reasonable waiting time.
After a long wait of about 17 minutes, our not-so-steaming hot soup arrived and frankly, I couldn’t care much about its temperature because my stomach already was rumbling with hunger pangs. The first spoonful of the Fried Mushroom & Burnt Garlic Soup was comfortingly delectable. The mushrooms, garlic, freshly chopped basil — all in harmony with a creamy broth that was thankfully, not too creamy. However, the chopped garlic bits which settle at the bottom of the soup bowl, were partially raw — characterised by its raw crunchiness and acrid taste — and not burnt garlic, which should have ideally been the case.
Now coming to the pizzas, we asked for thin crust and to my dismay, the thickness of the crust was a cross between a thin crust and the usual thick pizza. But this was forgiven because the pizzas were good. The Pronto Special Pizza came with generous quantities of chopped chicken pieces, slices of chicken sausage along with onion and capsicum. I, a pork-lover, relished the Panchetta pizza that came with a good combination of bacon strips, onions and basil leaves. Until Pronto came onto the picture, I don’t think there was any moderately priced restaurant serving pork/bacon pizza (Mamamia serves beef, not pork, sadly).
The pastas took their own sweet time to arrive (I wondered whether they were actually arriving all the way from Italy to our table). Since I have a preference for pasta in cheesy white sauce, the Pasta Funghi Parmigiano did not dissapoint and was decent enough. But the surprise of the night turned out to be the Pasta Pollo Cacciatore. The reason I avoid ordering pasta in brown sauce is because many restaurants go overboard with ground pepper to make the sauce look dark in colour. But Pronto didn’t do that. The roast gravy sauce was lip-smacking with a mild tang, devoid of the overdose of ground pepper and garlic, that happens so often. In fact, the Pasta Pollo Cacciatore was voted as the best dish on our table. (Note: The portion size of the pasta is for one person only, and doesn’t come along with garlic bread on the side). Unfortunately, the four of us were pleasantly stuffed and did not order for any dessert. Will surely go back again to try other dishes.
Despite the minor disappointments about the food and a major disapointment about their snail-paced service, Pronto is pretty decent on the palate and wallet.
Favorite Dishes / Drinks: Pasta Pollo Cacciatore
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