Pannipitiya's dining scene just got hotter. Which is to say it went from deep-freeze to fractionally defrosted. What precipitated this great culinary revolution in one of the city's more distant and less-appreciated suburbs? Well, the fact that Dominos opened in neighboring Maharagama.
Now I've been more than a little critical of fast-food franchises and I'm really not sure the expansion of multinational mediocrity into our suburban hinterlands is a good thing (there's even a pizza hut in Yakkala!) but (and maybe this is somewhat hypocritical ) when it's 10 PM and you're sitting in your old pol-watte somewhere off the high-level road and a trek out to the, most likely closed, local appa-kade seems like more effort than its worth dial-a-pizza can be pretty life saving or hunger assuaging.
For years pizza delivery or well any kind of food delivery in the backwoods of Pannipitya meant cajoling the Maharagama Pizza Hut branch to send a driver a few kilometers up the road (yes its within your delivery area, you have been here before many times). Actually they've been pretty efficient averaging about 40 mins for delivery however recently I've noticed a decline both in delivery speed and, pizza quality. There have been some particularly soggy, tasteless efforts sent my way of late - which is definitely a bad thing because even at the best of times Pizza huts offerings are far from good and a poor effort is close to inedible..
All this explains why Domino's appearance in Maharagama is an event. I'm suddenly not at the sole mercy of the Maharagama Pizza hut's kitchen and capricious delivery men. So the other night, struck by a bout of late night hunger, I eschewed the usual 729 729 (pizza hut) and dialed (7777888). Now Domino's menu, which seems to have come straight from the Indian- Domino's franchise (Tandoori Chicken, Keema) is definitely less promising than Pizza Hut's and in the past I've found their currified options pretty inferior however their straight up Italianish Margherita is serviceable so I went for a medium one of those (Rs 630 but really Rs 800 with tax) on a thin-crust base.
Importantly, much more importantly than food quality in the outer suburban delivery stakes, ordering and dispatch were pretty excellent- obviously they are new and keen. My pizza arrived in less than half an hour, faster than Pizza Hut has ever achieved with only the one phone call when the driver was at the top of the road. Of course in terms of food-quality it's a chain pizza pie so there are innate limitations and the bar is low but with this is mind it wasnt a bad effort. A generous amount of sweet tomato sauce a thin, slightly too biscuity, base with some fairly insipid cheese topping - not great but not bad and washed down with a bottle of freshly-delivered coke I'd rate this as better better than a fruitless quest for late night appa and somewhat better than the areas Pizza Hut. So if you're hungry, you're feeling lazy and you live in Pannipitya, Maharagama, Nawinna or Kottawa you know who to call.