Tucked away in the farthest corner of a seemingly imposing building, is a small and humble pizza place with the personality of a giant. For a restaurant that started just 11 months back and run by a food-crazy couple – Srini and Liean – Zza Bar has certainly won several hearts with its homely and cozy setting, a mouthwatering menu and the friendliest owners/chefs that Manipal has probably ever seen. The smell of roasted potatoes wafted through the open kitchen as we stared at the agreeable and self-built wood oven.
Zza Bar started with a handmade menu with three options and in course of less than a year has expanded considerably, now providing an array of pizzas, pastas and standard desserts such as Apple Blonde and Tiramisu. All the options are mentioned with their ingredients and include cheeses like gouda, romano and blue cheese that famous franchises cannot boast of. The freshness of the seasoning was evident as Liean showed us unroasted oregano and told us how she makes her own chili flakes.
Our pizzas were served on classic wooden boards and the presentation was simple and subtle. Service is slow as the place is short on staff. There is no doubt about the cleanliness and hygiene of the kitchen as it is open and spotless. The food was delicious but some people might find it a little bland as the use of condiments is limited. The downside of the place is their exclusively vegetarian menu, though they provide two amazing substitutes – Veg Sausage and Veg Ham and Cheese, which taste heavenly. Their Eggplant and Hawaiian pizzas are a must-try. 9″ and 12″ pizzas are available immediately but order has to be placed beforehand for the 20″. Delivery is available through Foodzoned and the charge difference is minimal. However, the place itself is a little heavy on the pocket. Being an open restaurant, the place tends to get very hot too. However, the food makes it totally worth it.
Dining at Zza Bar, with its six tables and interesting instrumental music is almost like having food at a friend’s place. The owners constantly make you feel at home and hearing them talk about food is a completely different experience. Their passion for what they do is commendable. It’s the first place of its kind in Manipal and its originality is beautiful and refreshing. It is definitely worth a visit or two.
Service and Speed: 3/5
Cleanliness and hygiene: 5/5
Clean water glass and water: 5/5
Health value: 4.5/5 (pizza standards, of course!)
Suitable for a birthday treat: Yes
Address: B-13, Hotel Central Park,, Udupi-Agumbe Hwy, Manipal
Reviewed by –
Evit John (photographer)