Restaurant Review: Pita Pit

Middle Eastern cuisine is a firm favourite with both my husband and I. We love the flavours, we love the textures and the light, fragrant dishes—all the way from relatively rich rice-and-meat dishes to simple pita-olive oil-za’atar snacks. So, when we discovered that a place called Pita Pit, obviously specialising in pita, had opened at Select CityWalk, we decided to give it a try.

Pita Pit: a view of the counter.

Pita Pit: a view of the counter.

Pita Pit (originally a Canadian chain, now with stores worldwide) sits on the first floor of the mall, opposite the vastly more popular (and much more visible) Krispy Kreme. Pita Pit’s tiny: there is a row of three or four high wooden tables next to the wall outside. Each table has two green-upholstered bar stool-like chairs, and that’s it. Less than a dozen people can sit here and eat at any given time. It was approaching lunchtime, so I quickly nabbed a table for the two of us, while my husband went off to get us a menu.

At this point, we made an unsettling discovery: while Pita Pit does list a range of pita wraps (baked potato, hummus, falafel, fresh paneer among the veggie options; chicken Caesar, chicken club, chicken breast, chicken tikka, ham, turkey, and chicken seekh kabab among the non-veg), everything is actually very fluid. You choose what size of pita you want (9” or 6”), what type (regular or whole wheat), what main filling—chicken, ham, potato, falafel, etc—and then choose from a range of options for sauces, dressings, vegetables, cheeses and so on.

The advantage, I suppose, is that this means the staff making the food don’t need to learn recipes, since each customer tells them what they want. On the flip side, this has two huge disadvantages: one, the staff are liable to forget exactly what the customer asked for, especially as a customer can theoretically order up to 30 odd ingredients. (This could be got around by getting the customer to tick, on an order sheet, what they want, but Pita Pit doesn’t seem to have thought of that). The second problem is that if customers aren’t too clued in to melding flavours, they could end up with some pretty bizarre pitas, which they will probably end up blaming on Pita Pit.

Served up: a pita.

Served up: a pita.

Anyhow, we placed our orders at the counter and my husband hung around, waiting for the dishes to be prepared. Just as well, because the person making up our order got confused and had to be reminded of what we wanted added to our respective pitas. A wait of between 5 and 10 minutes, and the pitas were handed over, both whole wheat, 9”, and toasted, as we’d asked for (not that it makes much difference; the quantity of sauce means that you can’t really tell if the pita’s toasted or plain).

I’d ordered a chicken club (with turkey, chicken, and chicken ham), along with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and mint mayonnaise. This tasted nice and fresh, and they’d been very generous with the filling, so I was more or less satisfied (not overwhelmed) with what I got. The pita was on the soggy side and therefore messy. I also realised that I might have been better off with a sauce other than mint mayonnaise—a good chef might have been able to suggest something that would fit better.

The chicken club pita.

The chicken club pita.

This problem was even more pronounced with my husband’s pita. He’s very adventurous, so to his chicken Caesar pita (which included bacon and smoked chicken), he’d got added just about everything—tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, mustard, etc. The staffer who’d put together the pita had also used hummus, which seems to be the standard spread on all their pitas (something I don’t understand; hummus has such a lovely and delicate flavour of its own, it’s completely wasted if a customer’s going to ask for other strong dressings and sauces—everything from BBQ to salsa, ketchup to sweet chilli—to be added). The result was a highly flavoured (and not in a good way) pita, with too many conflicting tastes. My husband didn’t seem to mind it, but I didn’t like it.

The chicken caesar pita at Pita Pit.

The chicken caesar pita at Pita Pit.

Although Pita Pit do offer various soft beverages, packaged potato chips, and three desserts (apple and walnut cake, and two types of cookies), we gave all of these a miss. If you intend to eat a full meal at Pita Pit, you’d probably need to add at least a couple of these to your order. Our two pitas cost us Rs 634, inclusive of all taxes. Not fantastic food, and I, for one, will not be back.

Pita Pit
F-73, 1st Floor
Select CityWalk Mall
New Delhi

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