Located in a commercial complex off Salunke Vihar Road, Pepe Nero is a cozy little Pizza joint that serves hand-crafted pizzas and pastas. Stressing on the hand-crafted bit. Read on to know more.
I pass by Pepe Nero everyday on my way back from work. You know how this works…you see something new, you keep seeing it everyday, one thing leads to another and before you know it you need to try it out. So this is precisely why I decided to give this joint a try. Worth it? Hell yeah!
Tucked away into a corner on a busy street, the ambiance of Pepe Nero comes across as a breath of fresh air. It’s nothing too fancy, but it’s got a comfortable vibe that immediately makes you feel at home. I guess this would mostly be because of Sunit, the owner and chef at Pepe Nero. He’s a jovial, friendly host who keeps the energy level at the café extremely high at all times. You’d literally leave feeling as if you walked into his own house for a meal. Sunit will help you out with your order, make a few suggestions or two, and don’t be surprised if you end up ordering dishes that are not even on the menu! Yes he’s a little excited and passionate about his cooking, and he will make sure you love what you order.
The menu is very limited, and I honestly feel that’s a good thing. You’re coming there to have a good time over some good food, and you don’t want to be breaking your head over a 100 different options that all sound similar. The major portion of the menu is covered by pastas and pizzas. There are also 2 preparations of Maggi available ( a girl in the office next door wanted Maggi, and he offered to make some for her. After that, it’s become a regular with all the colleagues at her workplace. Hence the addition to the menu) Pepe Nero also serves tea, coffee and soft drinks. Kheema Pav has been added today, let’s see how it fairs.
I initially settled in for a Bolognese Pizza (new addition, and Sunit REALLY, REALLY seemed excited about it) but changed it to a half-and-half of Tandoori Chicken and Bolognese. I also ordered a pasta with barbeque chicken because I was intrigued by the combination. Not to mention hungry.
The cooking takes a little time (30-40min) since everything is freshly prepared in the kitchen, from scratch. Everything from the dough to the pizza bases to the toppings and sauces is prepared by Sunit (who by the way is a graphic designer with his office just above Pepe Nero. And a biker. Wow, I know right?)
The pizza was BEAUTIFUL, if you know what I mean. Thin crust, crisp, cheesy and difficult to put down, this 9” beauty can easily be polished off by a single person. I preferred the Bolognese to the Tandoori Chicken pizza (the tandoori one was a little bland compared to the Bolognese) The pizza was fresh, mouth-melting and DIFFERENT. It was not like the commercial preparations you get usually, you know what I mean? There was a distinct taste to it, something you can attribute to the hand-crafted cooking. I’m definitely going back for the Bolognese Pizza again (he also swears the BBQ pizzas are flying off the shelves)
As you might have realized, I am not a big fan of pastas. So this didn’t really stand out for me. The Pasta with BBQ chicken could have been a little tangier I suppose. If you love your pastas, I think you could give it a try.
Overall I think I’m going to like this place- they also have home-delivery for those who feel too lazy to get out. If you’re looking to catch up with some friends at a quiet place, give this joint a try. It’s probably one of the best places to eat a meal at in Wanowarie right now (I can only think of Fat Cat’s Café and maybe Coffee Jar otherwise) For those who’re looking at moving from coffee shops to pizza parlors, you shouldn’t miss out on this one.