My experience with New York Fries’ butter chicken poutine convinced me that Indian fusion can work in mysterious ways, so was it any surprise I was drawn to the new Butter Chicken Indian pizza at Panago?
Butter chicken must be the most widely available Indian dish in Canada, the result of a perfect combination of accessible, familiar tastes combined with exotic spices. Even mainstream restaurant menus have discovered the dish, though one should never confuse easy availability with quality. Some restaurant-chain butter chicken is perfectly passable, but other places turn down the heat and tone down the flavour, leading to a description that should never be applied to Indian food: bland. I’ve got high hopes for this pizza.
The Pitch: “Butter chicken sauce, grilled chicken, caramelized onions, red peppers and mozzarella.”
The Taste: Not spicy-hot at all. Just a nicely spiced mild butter chicken sauce with lots of thick, rich tomato flavour and Indian spices (cardamom, I think I love you). There’s nothing light about the sauce, which glistens with buttery fat. The other toppings – chicken, cheese, caramelized onions and red peppers – round everything out, but the sauce (generously applied, lucky me!) is front and centre. Yummers.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: $10 for a small, $12 for a medium, $14 for a large (before delivery or tax).
Value for cash money: Good. The larger, the better the value.
Availability: Panago pizza shops.
Nutrition?: Couldn’t find any nutritional info on the Panago website. I’m guessing it’s because this pizza is still very new.
The verdict: Very unique, and very good.