The mathematical constant ‘pi’ (π) signifies consistency and proportion and Pi Pizzeria, that derives its name from this constant, managed to floor us with the consistency in the taste of their never-ending range of gourmet pizzas. It is one the finest gourmet pizzerias that we have come across in recent times.
Located in Khar, the place has a very good vibe and is nicely done with good lighting and interiors. The kitchen is located strategically such that it allows one to get a good view of the pizzas being prepared as soon as you enter the outlet. Talk about torture! The seating is on the first floor, big enough to accommodate around 20 – 25 guests at a time.
With a desire to serve authentic pizzas and the owners have looked into the finest details – right from the cheese, veggies, other ingredients to the equipment required in the making of delicious pizzas, which have been imported from various European countries. We were surprised to see the huge number of vegetarian pizza options on the menu. Surely a heaven for veggie lovers! They serve only 10″ pizza and each one of them is surely bound to take your senses for a ride.
Here’s a look at what we tried:
Dough Balls with Garlic Butter – Perfect start to our meal with these. Slightly crispy on the outside and super soft cored dough balls served along with garlic butter dip.
Baked Mushrooms with Pesto and Mozzarella – Fresh mushrooms baked in mozzarella cheese and pesto sauce, giving them a slightly pungent taste. Easily amongst the winners here.
Garlic Bread with Mozzarella – This was the ultimate garlic bread. Something you surely cannot miss. Soft and oh so cheesy! Loved it!
Quattro – This yummy four cheese pizza that got us drooling with the amount of cheese. Mozzarella, Parmesan, Fontal and Feta cheese. It is bit on the savoury side because of the different varieties of cheese. So delicious!
Porcini – Classic combination of mushrooms, onions and olives with lots of parmesan cheese. Flavorful!
Cipriota – Another wonder worth trying here. Loaded with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, onions and feta cheese. We were on a cheese high with these pizzas!
Tiramisu – With layers of cream cheese sprinkled with coffee which gives a strong overpowering flavour, this smooth textured dessert was a delight.
Cheesecake – Soft and creamy with a thick base. Would have tasted better without the syrup, but we still loved it.
Choco Lava Cake – What a sight it was when we cut through the cake and the hot molten chocolate kept oozing!! It tasted as good as it looked.
Overall Experience: If you are one of those who eat, sleeps and dreams pizzas, then wake up and relish on the delicious pizzas at Pi Pizzeria. We only wished that there were more options in the beverages that could go well with the menu.
The weekend aways makes us happy. But this time, it left us elated! Like any other day, we zeroed in on a location to satiate our growling tummies and went ahead. We had heard the place we had selected – Summer House Café is an amazing one, we just did not know the enormity of the amazingness and hence, were more than under prepared for what hit us once we landed here!
Summer House Café is a dreamy setup, a beautiful place! For us, it felt like another world! Just far away, another country, another landscape, ‘coz surely, something this amazing cannot be right here, correct?
The white and blue facade with bamboo sticks forming a part of the wall reminded us of a shack in some beach country. Then we entered through the doors and were awestruck by the bustling area and it literally took us a few minutes to take everything in.
During these few minutes, we were informed that a workshop was in progress on the lower level, were ushered to our tables upstairs and handed over the menu.
And not assimilating all this, we were still looking around wondering how the wooden beams and columns fit perfectly, how just the right amount of light enters through the glass windows and how beautiful it would be to stare at the sky in the evening (if only Mumbai skies were clear).
How the clock, which surprisingly wasn’t working, fits perfectly in the scene and how the lampshade next to us is the epitome of vintage chicness! Yup, such are the exaggerated feelings when you are not prepared for something and then are clean bowled by it.
The ambience makes everything look better. The area is huge and very spacious. and superbly lit during the daytime and transforms to a dim lit, fine dining area come evening. That’s the upper level. The lower level is still the den of activity. It is a house to comedy shows, band performances, crazy retro dance nights, book & reading clubs and painting workshops to name few. When we were here, by the evening, a workshop on knife painting led to a colourful chatter here and then, just like in the movies, the entire scene changed to become host to a movie launch party. And we sat there, hogging and marvelling!
The menu here is a maze! There is so much variety that you are confused and yet the humble staff say that they know the variety is limited! Coming to the staff, the service is prompt and friendly and the Chef surely knows how to win you over, en route your stomach! Here is what we hogged on at Summer House Café –
Yuzu Pineapple Smash – A refreshing combination of lime, yuzu (a citrus fruit giving the drink a slight tart) and basil. Thyme and fennel seeds added a mind blowing aroma and flavour.
Blueberry Twist Smash – A tangy concoction of blueberry, lime and orange. Rosemary adds a very refreshing flavour. This one packs a sure punch!
Jalapeno Cheese Poppers – Crispy batter fried poppers with mozzarella cheese and made spicy with lots of chilli flakes and jalapenos. These are better spelt as ‘perfection’! Pop these and see the cheese oozing out! But make sure you have the poppers before someone snatches them off the plate.
The Haystack Salad – Sprouts, bell peppers, tomatoes, black beans, cucumber, lettuce, corn and more! And topped or rather stacked with crispy tortilla fingers. There is a slight hint of sweetness in the salad owing to the ingredients and we would have better liked it with a little bit of black pepper if not chilli to ease out the sweetness.
Nachos with Salsa and Sour Cream – Fresh, crispy tortilla chip loaded with chopped tomatoes, spring onions, jalapenos, black beans, and a tangy salsa sauce. The cheese sauce and sour cream are wonderful!
Indian Vegetarian Platter – The intense and spicy flavours of the dishes in the Indian vegetarian platter were mind blowing. Spicy masalas that do justice to the preparations. There were three items in the platter – Char grilled paneer chunks with a smokey flavour and marinated in strong spices. Pineapple presented in a chatpata avatar that we definitely had not tried earlier. The masalas overshadowed the inherent sweetness of the fruit and left for a delicious preparation on the sticks.
Soya Kebabs were the star of the show in this platter. Soft soya, marinated in a very spicy sauce, stuffed with veggies, paneer and nuts. This one was amazing! It was served with a yoghurt based dip and a non-spicy mint dip.
Veg Mezze Platter – Consisted of crispy and delicious falafels, feta samosas and crispy soft pita bread. Sticky rice balls were made with the thicker rice, slightly crisp on the outside and had a filling of veggies and a little bit of cheese. The dips are mind blowing, especially the hummus. We did not really enjoy the feta samosas as they were a bit oily and a little bland for our taste.
Thai Veg Curry – Lots of exotic veggies in a superbly fragrant curry spiced with Thai herbs. It has a mildly spicy aftertaste. We loved the fact that it has just the adequate amount of creaminess and spices. Recommended!
Sundried and Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini and Fresh Basil Pizza – Thin crusted pizza that is topped with bocconcini. The combination of bocconcini and the tomato based sauce were marvellous. Topped with sun-dried and cherry tomatoes and basil leaves, this pizza is a delight. We especially loved the crusty corners and the fresh aroma added by the basil.
Pesto Tomato Basil and Mozzarella Sandwich – Overloaded with cheese and pesto, this is a simple yet delightful sandwich in a crispy panini bread. The sandwich primarily has lots of tomatoes and a non-spicy pesto sauce.
Tiramisu – Tiramisu here is a must have! Not only is it perfect, it also has a surprise for you! The creamy dessert is served in a glass along with rum soaked bread. We could not figure out why this bread tasted so good even after we had scavenged it through the deep ends of the glass. The chef then let us in on this secret. The strong essence and flavours that the rum bread and coffee add are mind boggling!
Mega Brownie Sundae Mug – This should be called Mega Happiness Sundae Mug! Delicious, soft and crunchy brownie with lots and lots of vanilla ice cream that was threatening to melt! Made a hell lot messy and tasty by the chocolate sauce and finished with a cherry on top!
Carrot Cake With Whipped Cream – A soft spongy cake with intense cinnamon flavour, lots of nuts and whipped cream. We loved how gooey and soft it was.
The Ultimate Banoffee Pie – If we were not averse to bananas, this one would have been the dessert for us at Summer House Café. It is without a doubt on the sweeter side, but the toffee sauce makes you want to dig in for just another bite till you have licked the glass and the spoon and maybe even the plate! Heavenly!
Overall Experience: First, the ambience blows you away and then you are washed over by the astonishingly delicious food and delicate flavours! We were looking at each other with baffled expression after every bite!
We guess that enough explanation for the love affair we had with Summer House Café to make you wanna check it out for yourselves? We surely hope so, ‘coz we wouldn’t want you to miss out on this amazing place! Highly recommended!
The Battle: The battle is having to get up and leave from here! Can’t we just get mattresses and sleep here?
Pizza is like the entire food pyramid! – Madeline Oles
If that is true, then 1441 Pizzeria is Egypt where this pyramid is placed.
But then, if you think about it, this is a problem. ‘Coz they were going for Naples and we called them Egypt. Those two places are not even close!
Tchk Tchk! Wrong quote.
Anyway, what we were trying to say is, 1441 Pizzeria brings a world of amazing pizzas for us! Quite a range of chef specials wood-fired pizzas and a fantastic array of toppings and cheese to choose from in case you are a fan of make your own pizza!
All this in a petite looking outlet from the outside. It is only when you step inside that bright green door that you realise why we were stressing on Naples above. Bricked walls with pictures depicting the history of pizza and reminiscence of the old Italian world.
1441 are the coordinates of the first ever pizza parlour in Naples, but we are sure you already knew that?
Well, better late than never!
You can pick from the high tables and stools or the normal ones. The combination of red and black chairs with the lightly brown coloured tables is apt for the ambience and yellow lighting. A few tables and chairs are also extended outside in case you want to enjoy your pizza as you watch a crowd whizz past!
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For the make your own pizza, they have around 30-40 topping options, multiple sauces and cheese varieties to choose from. A half and half or probably more divisions are possible in the make your own pizza. You can choose from single topping to multiple toppings (gourmet pizza) and both are priced differently. If you are feeling indecisive, ask the staff for help, they will be more than happy to. Along with pizza, they also have some kick-ass and much talked about starters, beverages and desserts.
1441 Pizzeria – 4
1441 Pizzeria – 3
Bottomless soda or what we know as unlimited soda with no strings attached, just help yourself. You are given an empty cup and you have to get it yourself everytime you need a refill. The staff is very friendly and helpful. After we settled down, we were taken for a tour to explain their entire menu and process, which they do for every new customer.
Here is what we hogged on:
PS: No drooling!
Smokey Dough Balls: Made with freshly kneaded dough and lots of chilli flakes, oregano and of course cheese, these bite-sized balls are delicious! They were served with a mustard dip and a mild spicy jalapeno yoghurt dip.
Krish Pizza – The pizza is named after the owner and was one of the specials that day. The pizza base was prepared right in front of us and was topped with Mama’s sauce, mozzarella cheese, jalapenos and caramelised onions and then baked in their wood fired oven. Sun-dried tomatoes and basil were then added. The pizza was smokey and had a combination of sweet-tangy flavours owing to the caramelised onions and base sauce.
Paneer Tikka Pizza – Thin crusted delight with lots of paneer, capsicum and onions and a tangy sauce.Loved it!
We also tried pizzas from their Cheese Festival menu –
Stracciatella Pizza – Thin crusted base, topped with and Italian sauce and lots of cream. On top were tomatoes and basil and the start –Stracciatella cheese! Small shreds of this cheese and Parmesan made this one a sinfully delicious option. The combination of cream, tomatoes and black pepper was delicious! Loved it! This is a must try!
Camembert and Blue Cheese Pizza – This pizza is cheese heaven! Mozzarella, Camembert cheese and blue cheese! Although we know that blue cheese is significantly different from feta cheese, we felt the same tang and creamy texture in this cheese. It was scrumptious! Another must try!
Since we were here for their 1st birthday party and we were treated to Nutella Pizza and Chocolate Calzones made for the birthday celebrations! *Happy Dance*
Thin crusted base with a spread of Nutella and an option of topping! Strawberry, marshmallows and bananas – what is not to love!
The chocolate calzones are a dessert version of the smokey dough balls. Filled with chocolate and dusted with lots of sugar, this is sinister, to say the least!
We also sipped on Lychee Lemonade and Masala Lemonade both of which were refreshing.
Overall Experience: Pizzalicious! The service is prompt and friendly but the place is a little on the higher side cost-wise.
The Battle: Did you see the amount and variety of cheese up there? Try to put those Cheese special pizzas down, no just try and you will know how difficult life is!
Most people do. But most people like them for the people. We like them for two reasons – holidays (yup, we do work, eating is not all we do!) and obviously, food!
Okay, another question. You like pizza?
Hopefully, you do! ‘Coz if not, then we have a problem! Anyway, since we can’t see you nod, we are gonna assume you like pizza as much as we do!
So now, imagine if festivities and pizza come together! Well, that is what happened with the festive menu at PizzaExpress. It is not all pizza (like we would complaint) but it was definitely festive!! Imagine Sangria, and Chocolate Cheesecake and Blueberries and hot soup! Yup, all of that!
We decided to try some of the delicious options in the limited festive menu at the BKC outlet of PizzaExpress. The restaurant is huge and really spacious with an open kitchen, where you can watch in awe, as the pizza dough is rolled and flipped in the air and tossed around! The service is really prompt and friendly. The manager is very approachable and ready to explain each option well before you order.
Here is a peep into what we hogged on:
Spinach Artichoke Tuffo with Dough Balls: A delicious combination of feta cheese, cream, spinach, capers and artichoke. This was probably the first time we were introduced to Artichoke. It has a very delicate taste, nothing very distinct. The dip overall was creamy, with a good mix of chilli and spinach’s flavours. Served hot, we kept going back for it!The dough balls were crispy on the top and fluffy. Perfectly baked.
Berry Fresca & Ginger Fresca
Ginger Fresca is a refreshing drink with juliennes of ginger, lime wedges, mint and ale. None of the flavours overpower each other. Berry Fresca is another superb option with raspberry juice adding a mildly sweet and tangy flavour and topped with sprite. Lemonade is a non-fizzy option with lots of crushed mint leaves.
Calabrese Verde is a thin crust pizza having a base of passata with tomatoes, chillies and pepper, that gives it a distinctly spicy taste. Topped with spicy jalapenos, rocket(arugula) leaves, olives, bell peppers and lots of Mozerella cheese… So delicious! Just perfectly spicy and toothsome!!
Penne Con Cilantro is made with their signature coriander pesto sauce. A surprise addition was the pickled onions that have a piquant-sweet flavour.
The pesto sauce was creamy and had an appetising aroma.
The pasta was cooked al dente (a little firm to bite), but you can tell them your preference if you would rather prefer it fully cooked.
What is festive if no crazy sweetness is involved! Just look at that goodness!
Warm blueberry compote with crumbs and a flavourful vanilla gelato scoop – the flavours did the tango as we had the first spoonful! After that, the dish was wiped clean in a jiffy! Warm Blueberry Crumble is a delectable mix of gooey blueberry compote with its sweet taste and the richness of butter crumbs, with vanilla bean gelato adding intense vanilla flavour to it. Loved it to the last crumb that stuck to the pan
Overall Experience: Amazing. The food is really good, with service that is at par with the amazing ambience!
The Battle: Try keeping your hands off the pizza of say, a minute? I am sure you can’t.
I went in saying, only one slice of pizza, nothing more, but ended up fighting till the last piece was snatched from my hand!
Those days when you travel far and explore and land at amazing cafes are the best! We came across one such amazing place over the weekend – Chaai Centre in CBD Belapur.
Chaai Centre is located on a semi-busy street and is not difficult to locate – just follow the maps. The cafe is not very huge but spacious and inviting. There is ample parking space in front of the cafe/tea house. Hungry and in need of caffeine dose, we made our way to Chaai Centre.
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Once we enter, the coffee bar/kitchen area catches our attention. As we were settling down on one of the tables in the corner, we notice a shelf packed with books and a few sayings about coffee & tea on the wall leading to the mezzanine floor. Kulhads, pretty cups, take away cups, colourful kettles and a huge variety of flavours and liqueur are arranged on the wall behind the counter. A variety of desserts and bakery items are on display at the counter. There is a vintage looking wallpaper adorning the walls.
We leave our table downstairs and make way upstairs to the mezzanine floor. The seating upstairs is equally comfortable for a little dark for a coffee shop. They have to revamp it, as was informed to us. They also have an outside seating which is definitely what we would prefer in the evenings.
All the thoughts that were going on in our minds were interrupted by the threateningly loud growls from our tummies and we jumped to the Qwik Bitesection on the menu. We went for Nachos – crispy round tortilla chips, topped with a spicy salsa sauce.
Our nostrils were being treated to the amazing and heartwarming aroma of coffee being brewed and we immediately jumped to the coffee section.
The place is famous for the many varieties of tea which were recommended to us by Mr Haider Sayed, one of the owner-partners of Chaai Centre.
But us being the stubborn ‘we are coffee people’ type [which was about to be modified, if not changed], we ordered Chocolate Frappe instead.
Chocolate Frappe is a thick and chocolaty coffee drink, topped with ice cream and choco-chips, perfect to the last sip.
Mr Haider then recommended Tiramisu Coffee Chiller. I am beside myself thinking of the right words to describe this drink. A concoction where the crisp, sharp bitter taste of coffee is not lost to the tiramisu liqueur. A strong drink that makes you wince (at first), but feel strangely refreshed and excited! It makes you go back for more. This is one drink every coffee fanatic should treat oneself to!
With good coffee and the faint hustle and bustle of the coffee shop, we got comfortable and checked out the menu for more. There are sandwiches, rice bowls, wraps, salads, pizzas and more to choose from. And then we saw noodles aka Maggi.
If you see Maggi in the menu…you order it! That is the mantra we live by.
And so, a bowl of Soupy Noodles made its way to our table. Hot soupy noodles with lots of veggies….paradise! I stained my trousers at least thrice as I fought for the noodles! Perfect for the upcoming (hopefully) winters!
Indian Hottest is a spicy and loaded thin crust pizza. Lots of veggies and cheese with chilli flakes – literally made my lips burn but my hands kept reaching for more! If you love spicy, you should definitely give this one a try!
The refreshing coffee chiller we had, made us look at the beverage menu once again and that is when Tisane caught our attention. Intrigued we googled and found that Tisane is the name for Herbal Tea, a hot beverage made with a decoction of herbs, etc. and water. Now it was only water and herbs and the options were not very threatening either. How wrong could Berry Bunch go? If nothing it would be flavoured water..and that is when we tried something new for the first time. We asked for Hawaiian Paradise Tisane.
We got to smell ….? Hawaiian Paradise and I would not be exaggerating if I said I could wear it as a perfume! If fact, I remember I said that, out loud! The aroma is just mind-blowingly fruity and floral. Hibiscus, cranberry, passion fruit, etc. etc….just beautiful!
While we waited for out tea to be brewed, we got to learn a little more about the other tea options at Chaai Centre and how they make it their motto to brew the perfect cup for you!
And then arrived the much awaited Hawaiian Paradise Tisane. We were given shot glasses as it was our first time trying an herbal tea.
My stomach was fluttering with anticipation. Will I like it? Is this a mistake? Will coffee feel betrayed! Okay not the last one, but the rest, yes! I agree it is too dramatic, but one can’t help what one feels! We took in the amazing aroma as the tea was poured into the glasses.
First sip – Not a mistake, definitely not!
Second sip – With a nod to my partner in crime, I would happily drink this daily.
Third sip – Who else I am bringing here next, to try this!
And then we enjoyed the rest of the tea with a faint smile on our face. The aroma is one of the highlights of the tea and the taste is sharp. Loved it!
So happy were we, that we had Masala Chai as well, on Mr Haider’s recommendation of course. It was served in a kulhad. I have had one experience with tea and it was not good! Like really not good. …. on the other hand, claims to have tea at times. Which are these ‘times’, I am yet to see. Anyway, I was already making deals with him to finish my tea if I could not. But one sip, and I wanted more of it. I do not know how the ideal masala chai is, but it did not put me off and I actually poured myself the remaining tea as well! The Kulhad added to the experience with the earthy tone only making the…. better!
To up the ante of our meal, we next tried Demi Glace – pasta in a brown sauce. Demi-Glace is a classic French brown sauce that is richly concentrated and flavourful. The Demi Glace sauce used in our pasta was made by reducing a number of vegetables to a thick brown sauce. This is not something we have tried earlier, but will we try again? Definitely! And so must you!!
The sauce in itself was just so delicious with garlic, cilantro and veggies adding to the incredible dish. Garlic bread served with the pasta was equally toothsome! Fresh bread, crisp outer layer and so buttery! Yumm!
We also tried Peach Iced tea, which was flavorful and refreshing. The liqueur is prepared in house. The drink had a strong essence of tea and was well complimented by the peach flavour.
Paan shake is another must have drink here. It just elevates ones entire experience to the highest level. The intense aroma and flavour of gulkand, cherry and paan leaves is amazing. The shake is thick and consistent and really refreshing. It will make you fall in love with paan, all over again!
Overall Experience: The service is courteous and friendly. The place is pocket-friendly and the menu expanse is good enough.
The Battle: The battle you ask? I think I can’t pick one here! We fought for another bite or sip of each and everything here! Just loved the place. Strongly recommended!!
Good, bad or jerks… we all have friends. Some are pure bliss to be with while some are a pain in all the wrong places at times. Then there is a category, where they are a pain but still a blessing. I have one such friend, who is a pain coz she practically lives soo far these days – Navi Mumbai and a pure blessing, well coz she is, and ‘coz I get to try some amazing food and visit awesomesauce cafes in Navi Mumbai!
Da Capo Cafe and Bistro is one such impressive cafe in Kharghar. The walls are covered in colourful art and the ceiling is decorated with an artsy rope design. There is a mezzanine seating along with an outdoor smoking area. The cafe is spacious and well lit.
The music is funky and they have many board games to chill with. What I really liked was a small bar-like section, where they prepare coffee and coolers. A coffee bar per say!
We spent around 4 hours here on an early Saturday morning, shaking our heads to some funky music, licking our fingers and making merry over a game of Monopoly.
Here is a peep into our ‘breakfast turned lunch’ day’s food:
Pancakes – Three pancakes with blueberry sauce. The pancakes were good (who can get them wrong?) The highlight was the blueberry compote. Perfect consistency and no added sweetener, making the taste just perfect!
Choco-chip coffee – Chocolate-based cold coffee. Not too sweet and not at all watery. But that is not where it ends? You see, the goodness is settled at the bottom – chocolate chips! Loads of those!
Nachos – Crispy tortilla chips, loaded with beans and onions, cheese sauce and salsa. The sour cream is just delicious!
Raise your hands if you like mushrooms. Would you believe if I told you, I never liked mushrooms? In fact I hated them. Why would anyone want to eat something that is, first of all, a fungus and second of all bland? Why… Why would you eat bland fungus? My best friend surprisingly is a fan of this fungi. So for her sake, I started having a bite or two of the mushroom dishes she would order. I don’t remember when it started, but in the end, was that I do not hate mushrooms anymore. And thank god for that, else how would we have tried the heavenly Fungi Fritti at Da Capo.
Fungi Fritti – Crisp mushrooms, stuffed with spinach, a combination one would sulk at otherwise but saved by the spicy and creamy gravy. The gravy is spicy enough to make you sweat but so palatable that you would kill for just another drop of it. Hesitant at first, there being so many people and all… we literally licked the plate. It is that delicious. It is a must try here!!
Colours are amazing. We all like colours. But can you imagine your pizza bring colourful? The Rastafarian Pizza is. Carefully color-coordinated toppings, greens and yellows and reds, 12 of your choice on one pizza!! I guess that is a new definition of loaded for me! Thin crust, cheesy and perfect!
Veggies Stuffed Peppers – What comes to our mind when we hear this, is veggies stuffed in a capsicum, just like the good old vegetable that mum prepares as a bribe to get us to eat capsicum. Accept it, we all ate it for the potato stuffing inside!
Anyway, let us not digress, these stuffed peppers were nothing like that. Non-spicy peppers were stuffed with a filling of cottage cheese (paneer) and cheese with a few tiny pieces of veggies. Served with a delicious heap of flavoured rice, mild-spicy green chutney and sour cream!
Now each of these can be gorged on alone, but do not make that mistake. The delight is in having all of these together. How you manage that is up to you, but we just mixed it all up in a huge messy looking pile, that did not last more than a minute! Super delicious!
Ginger Lemonade – Refreshing with really intense flavours of ginger. I am crushing on the combination of ginger and lemon these days!
Overall Experience: Da Capo Cafe and Bistro has some super delicious food for when you want to indulge! The service is friendly and the ambience chic.
The Battle: We literally fought over Fungi Fritti and Stuffed Peppers. Literally. One could hear spoons clanking and forks rattling. An occasional ‘Lay off my food, you gormandizer’ could also be heard!