Pizza is no stranger to unconventional pairings, but there is one combination that you can find in Singapore that is particularly unique. Head on over to Pasir Ris Hawker Centre to find GOPIZZA’s newest outlet in the East, an India Edition that offers Indian cuisine-inspired pizzas.
While the GOPIZZA stores may have Korean options like the K-Bulgogi Pizza, the one in Pasir Ris is the only outlet to offer unique Indian flavours.
The mastermind behind the India Edition of GOPIZZA is Derek Cheong, who fans of the MasterChef Singapore TV show will recognise as one of its participants and the eventual winner for season two. This marks his first foray into the hawker scene after winning the competition.
He was certainly dressed for the part too. When I met Derek at the store, I initially did not recognise him, given he wore a simple apron as opposed to the familiar white robes seen on Masterchef.
The collaboration between him and GOPIZZA started with a fortuitous meeting with the company’s CEO outside a pizza restaurant, choosing the location of Pasir Ris Hawker Centre for the simple fact that he also lived in Pasir Ris. As for why Indian cuisine was picked for this outlet, it all stemmed from Derek’s love of Indian food — a love he was eager to share with customers.
For the India Edition of GOPIZZA, Derek has created five pizza flavours inspired by colourful cuisine — Chicken Tikka Pizza, Kofta Pizza, Mushroom Masala Pizza, Butter Chicken Pizza, and Palak Paneer Pizza. In addition to the pizzas, there are Indian-styled sides that you can order, like the Madras Curry Wings and the Mushroom Pakora.
Like GOPIZZA’s usual offerings, all of these pizzas are designed to be ready for customers to eat super quick; around five minutes from making your order. After making the order, the assistant swiftly prepared the ingredients onto the pizza base before placing it in the gas fire conveyer belt, where it shortly came out wholly cooked.
Out of the menu, I got to try the Butter Chicken Pizza and the Palak Paneer Pizza, with Madras Curry Wings as an accompanying side.
Butter Chicken Pizza
Butter Chicken is one of the most iconic Indian dishes, and you won’t be surprised to know that this creation works well in pizza form.
Remarkably, Derek has managed to recreate the butter chicken taste here — that rich, creamy flavour profile that makes it so well-loved by people. The addition of the cherry tomatoes adds some extra sweetness, and the cheese brings a pizza-like texture when you bite in. The chicken comes in small chunks but is tender and moist.
Overall, the Butter Chicken Pizza (S$10.90) is an excellent marriage of the two food items. Eating it was like having a heartier version of a delicious naan dipped in some butter chicken; if you are a fan of butter chicken, you should definitely order this.
Palak Paneer Pizza
Palak paneer isn’t as widely known as butter chicken, but it is one that I also love and frequently have whenever I have some Indian food. If you aren’t familiar with it, the original dish is like a curry but is made with pureed spinach (the palak) and topped with cubes of Indian cottage cheese (the paneer).
I was interested to see how this version of it as a pizza would fare, and I concluded that it was good but not as like-for-like to the original dish as the Butter Chicken Pizza.
You aren’t getting much of the palak taste as you would as the original dish, which is understandable given that it doesn’t have as strong a flavour as butter chicken. It works more subtly here, with an ever so slight earthy and tangy taste underneath. Instead, much of the focus is on the cheese, though the green pepper slices give a little crunch and bitterness to balance it out.
The Palak Paneer Pizza (S$10.90) is a valiant attempt at incorporating palak paneer into pizza. However, given the milder taste profile and the fact that you’re not getting as much spinach as the original, I still prefer it as a curry dish than as a pizza.
Madras Curry Wings
Despite being one of the side menu items, the Madras Curry Wings (S$8.90) felt like a hefty meal on its own!
The chicken has this thick coating that is nice and crisp on the outside but, more importantly, is very flavourful from the spices used in the batter. A curry drizzle is added on top, which adds a little more flavour, but you’ll get most of it from the skin. Inside, the meat has similarly been cooked well, coming out tender and moist. All in all, I feel like it is a heartier version of the Chicken McCrispy from Mcdonald’s.
Though it has curry in the name, it actually isn’t spicy at all, so don’t be afraid to dig in if you are averse to spice. Even without the pizza, the Madras Curry Wings make a good side order to have!
I was stuffed full from all the food that we got from the GOPIZZA India Edition, so I wasn’t able to have the other Indian-inspired options on offer. But you can try them yourself by heading over to the store at Pasir Ris Hawker Centre. Do they satiate your Indian food cravings? Let us know on our socials on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok!
You can also keep updated on Derek’s food journey by following him on Instagram!
GOPIZZA India Edition by Derek Cheong
Location: Pasir Ris Hawker Centre, #01-19, 110 Pasir Ris Central, Singapore 519641
Opening hours: 11am to 8pm
Photos by Russell Loh of the DANAMIC Team.