Domino's Cheese Crunch pizza and Custard Bliss review

The review might be biased because I have a soft corner, soft edges and soft volume for pizza. I had a cute crush on this cute girl. We had been talking for a while but didn't hangout ever. One day I forgot the keys of my flat at office. So, I had to wait till my flatmate arrived. So I called this girl and asked if you would like to go to domino's with me. She obliged. Years later, suddenly it came to our conversation and she says, "you are smooth". Surprised me asked, "Of course. Thank you. Could you elaborate with an example?" She responds, "people find parties where both are invited, go to common hangouts, house parties. You call on a date like a boss!". I argued for 30 minutes, "I called you on a pizza not a date. Pizza is pizza. Pizza is pious. Pizza need not be a date. Wait, nothing bad about a pizza date though".

Random Call: Sir, in association with ________ we would like to invite you to a wine tasting session. Would you like to...

(Ya, my name is no longer GvSparx because of Facebook's new policy)

Domino's sent us a cheesy invite to be a part of their bliss in sharing their two latest products - Double Cheese Crunch pizza and Custard Bliss dessert. It ended up being far more eventful than talking about two products. People love athletes biting their medals, entertainers lifting up oscars, getting their tongues onto delicate pizzas. Everyone does. Is that all? Nothing succeeds like success. Wins are boring, if you ask me. Perfection is almost repulsive. The roundness of earth, the letters in your handwriting, twins, nothing is perfect. Practise makes a man perfect. You sensed it right. There could be a million wrongs before one perfect comes out. I love reading the papers torn for that final poem. Her "yes" won't be exciting if there were no noes(don't try this, ladies). Remember the spider that climbed and fell 16 times before it reached the top? Failures make success delicious.

So before a pizza comes out on your table, do you wonder what all goes behind the curtains? Data Scientists/Decision Scientists! Prepare yourself for a datagasm. Before any dish is rolled out to a complete market, it goes through following filters:

  1. It has to be tasty
  2. Very tasty
  3. It should be quick to prepare. (so that people don't ask if you are making a pizza or growing crops)
  4. It should be space efficient (cranes and bulldozers are not usually appreciated at pizzerias, kids might ask for a ride you see)
  5. Even if it is operationally viable, it cannot hit the table till it is proven to be commercially viable
  6. Does it cannibalize? (It should not make people eat people) The new pizza should not eat into sales of old pizza. If it does, it should improve the bottom line
  7. It goes through a test control method. Test and control stores are identified. The test store is very similar to its test store. So when you introduce a new pizza in a test store. You can compare how it augments sales in comparison to control store. If it shows a statistically significant increase in sales it might be added to menu.
  8. It should be consistent to have it, take-away and delivery.
  9. It should be consistent across all stores (very tricky)
  10. It must touch your heart
I managed to complete the count to 10(yay). Before we headed to taste, Mr. Murugan Narayanaswamy Senior Vice President Marketing at Domino's Pizza walked us through the Domino's India journey. How the marketing campaigns changed - "hungry kya", "yeh hai rishton ka time", "yeh hai rishton ki home delivery"? How the assortment changed from high end pizzas to sub-50 bucks items? How free delivery brought a huge inflection in the history of Domino's pizza? It was enriching particularly for me, because coming from a decision science a.k.a. Business Analysis environment, I relish when eateries take data driven decisions. When marketing has a clear callouts like "Hey we deliver pizza in 30 minutes" or "we serve a pizza for 50 bucks", the end consumer responds. It could be positive or negative but you at least have given escape velocity from the planet full of generics. I learned that Domino's did that big time.

For the first time I walked into a domino's kitchen while in conversation with Chef Narendra Singh Jaravta, Head Chef at Domino’s Pizza. We learned from him how each individual in the kitchen goes through rigourous training. In order to ensure that each pizza has correct volume of toppings, every morning chefs calibrate their handfuls to different quantities. It reminded me of the movie Aankhen (2002) Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, Arjun Rampal walked with feet tied with a rope of specific length to ensure consistency in step distance. But everything can't be quantified in cooking. So I asked,"Do preparation methods change with kitchens across the country with such enormous difference in temperature, altitude, humidity etc.?". He responds, "it does, chefs are good enough to take care of that".

Dominos zingy parcel paneer review

Finally coming to the review of the three course meal. Zingy parcel veg is certainly a delight. Your tongue senses two textures one of the crispy crust the other of the tender cheese embracing pieces of paneer. It does not need any dips or ketchup. It is fabulous. Then came the amalgamation of thin crust and cheese crust, Double Cheese Crunch pizza.

Domino's Thin Crust Cheese Crunch pizza

I am much bigger fan of cheese crust than thin ones. So my review is biased in that regard. This pizza is like an oreo biscuit or an ice-cream sandwich. It has molten cheese between two thin crusts. I loved the cheese no doubt. The crust could have been crispier and flakier. Toppings are customizable like any other domino's pizza, so your pallette is the limit.

Finally, Custard Bliss dessert  is an amalgamation of pizza crust and hot custard, more like those gooey donuts. Eating the crust was hard work. I am not a fan of donuts but the kid inside me still liked the custard filling. Sprinkled with finely powdered cardamom sugar, it is only as sweet as it should be. Go ahead and give these a try these #dominosdelights and let me know what do you feel.

Dogs and Women: Not allowed

Classical conditioning (also known as Pavlovian or respondent conditioning) is a learning process in which an innate response to a potent stimulus comes to be elicited in response to a previously neutral stimulus; this is achieved by repeated pairings of the neutral stimulus with the potent. God!

This smart guy Ivan Pavlov rang a bell(conditional stimulus) in front of his dog before giving him food(unconditional stimulus). He repeated this over and over again. And one day he rang the bell but didn't present the food, the dog still salivated.

I strongly believe that is the case with most of our superstitions and rituals. We know what is to be done but don't really know why it is to be done. Multiple events need to happen in conjunction for a response. Since we only know one of those(the conditional stimulus) we end up salivating like the dog without the food.

You have an emotional self and a rational self. Their intersection is called the wise self. Our emotions and rationales are both biased due to excessive conditioning. We are capable of making correct decisions if only we feed our minds with the required information. We all need to ask more questions to make informed decisions.

I have written this poem not just against the practice of not letting women into temples while they are on their periods. I am writing this commenting at the practice of jumping to answers without knowing the question, calling things right and wrong without listening to opinions, accepting and rejecting rituals without asking the reasons. Indian culture has been the most liberated cultures. People who feel Indian culture is closed and skipped the idea of evolution, need to visit ancient temples of Hampi to understand the roots we actually believe in. You see warriors, dancers, musicians, animals, women, and Gods on the same wall. It struck me first as an anomaly. It wasn't. Anomaly was the conditioning of my mind. Gods and followers, humans and animals, men and women, complete each other. And together, we complete the universe. Indian culture not only accepts and understands that fact but celebrates and announces at its core, on the walls of temples. It's never too late to revisit the lost fundamentals.

Script:            Roman                देवनागरी  

माँ आई कमरे में बिना दस्तक कर,
फेरा हाथ बेटी के मस्तक पर।
कहा आज तू सब काम त्यज,
कान्हा को भी मन ही में भज।

हज़ारों साल हो गए उस बात को,
प्रणाम आज के विज्ञान को।
नाचती कूदती चूमती अर्श को,
लाड़ली चली कान्हा के दर्श को।

पर समाज का सनातन धर्म से अजब मतभेज,
देवी का देवालय में प्रवेश निशेध।
गोपियाँ इंतज़ार में पत्थर हो गई,
कान्हा बिन मंदिर महज़ ईमारत हो गई।

"क्या" सबको है पता,
"क्यूँ" किसी ने पूछा नहीं।
देवी को दूर कर, पत्थर को पूजकर,
पुजारी आज पूछता है...

"क्यूँ" उसे कुछ मिला नहीं?

Beautiful Devi's Sculpture at the entrance of Achyutaraya Temple in Hampi
Achyutaraya Temple, Hampi
A practice qualifies to be universally correct neither by its tenure nor its followers.

The world needs to know, understand and question. 

Goodbye Mu Sigma

Finally! That's the word. Just like all innumerable good bye mails, here's mine. I am writing a blog because most of the people mentioned here have moved to greener pastures. I have a sense of dilemma regarding these good bye mails. I mean do the writers intend to say "kaise kahein alvida mehram" or are they like "o manu mera to ho gya ab tera kya hoga".

When you talk to that person, the first question you ask is "where are you going?". And when they answer something like Google or Facebook. You go through all stages of break up in a minute. 
Denial- "yaar iska kaise ho gaya"
Regret- "mujhe bhi 6 mahine pehle apply karna chahiye tha"
Anger- "bhai mai ghar ja raha hun, kheto me hal chalaane"
Sadness-"mujhe lagta hai mere resume directly spam me ja rahe hain"
Moving on- "arre mera pyaara dost, bhai jaate hi referral daal diyo"

We all have been on the worse side of this. Doesn't look that bad in retrospect. Anyway, I must shed some light on my journey. It started way before I joined Mu Sigma and I think it will continue way beyond this day. Around 11pm, I guess 23rd Feb 2013, I got my offer letter, the moment was precious. Before joining, I came across Facebook group Mu Sigma Freshers 2013 created by Saket. I made quite a few awesome friends there including but not limited to Ayush, Subhojit, Akanksha, Shounak, Vishwanath, Srishti, Shradha. We would share tiny details from cafeteria, lakes, coffee vending machine and free hot chocolate. 

I landed in Bangalore on 30th August 2013. Bangalore welcomed with cold wind and ankle high water. I was supposed to join office on 5th September but I came early so that I could find a suitable accommodation in time. To which Yogendra says, "ek flat nahi dekhne gya, 5 din sterling me baith ke bus Facebook karta raha". This way I met awesome 29th August batch people, Shubhendu, Shubham, Ashwin, Ashish, Protik, Amrita, Ahana, Aparajith and many more. I personally feel I belong more to 29th August batch than I belong to my 5th September one. 

I landed in a MSU batch which had 3 Malyalam evangelists and 1 Hindi speaker, my poor self. I still remember getting a call from Deepak on Sunday that our mentor wants to kill us. And we worked like crazy to create the presentation. Thanks Vinaya and Sachin for entertainment at expense of Deepak. That truly kept my motivation level up.

Post that Swedish House Mafia was brilliant experience too. Defining problems which we ourselves had no idea about. Talking to Ravish and Aditi in Hindi was an enlightening experience. Still remember Gaurav 'Kalam' Arora written on my desk because I always ended up saying "kalam hai?" when asking for a pen. Had a lot of fun with SHM team the boss, Rohan, Arshdeep, Kavya, Pratik, Ashish, Pavneet, Anoop, Hardeep and our oil well owner Abdul. 

Would also like to mention my first trek to Skandagiri with Pushkar, Ashwini and Akanksha. PFB some pictures. I fell in love with hills like fell literally. After my accident, although Mu Sigma management responded as ridiculously as it could, my colleagues truly kept my spirit high. Surbhi, Guneet, Karishma, Priyank and Amrita visited me almost daily when I was hospitalized. I and my family still can't thank you enough for your support, love and care. Goutham and ADG ensured that I handled a lot of office fuss for me. Truly indebted.

Flew back to Delhi, came back to Bangalore after a couple of months. Shifted to PSN. I belong more to 6016 than my own flat. Saini, look I wrote your name first. Bhai dunia ka akela banda hoga tu jo pyaar pyaar me R seekh gya. Bipin, bhai dilli chalo. Mojo, bhai elaichi wala paneer is the best I ever had. Kurju, launde sher hote hain. Gautam, antakshri champ hai launda. Akshit, hum bhi Gurgaon aa rahe hain bhai. Bansal, tanfeeth ka bataaya nahi yaar tune. Dera(Devansh), mera naam daal lio reimbursement me. 

I must put of record our super talented, enthusiastic and energetic Nautanki group. As Shashwat once said "hum jahan khade hote hain line wahin se shuru hoti hai". You have to be a veteran to remember the response to it. It was a great experience working with co-actors like Anubhav, Surag, Meeshu, Newbie, Khanjan, Shashi, Hitin, Chinmay, Nupoora, Amrita, Pavan, Harsharaj, Pranjal, Sushmita, Divya and Asad. Our expose performance mimicing key guys was legendary. Trust me the video will never be released.

I learned a lot during my transportation project. Varun thanks for accompanying me in office on my birthday till 6am. I know how much you appreciated me inside for that. Hope to see you in the US university jisme wo apki lambiwali gayi hai. Rohit sir, I learned a lot of management skills from you. I hope I can leverage them someday. Rajashekar, can't thank you enough for fixing my SAS and ccliisa issues. Bennett, you would remember me for long. Wait, "that's what she said". Apoorva, keep smiling like you always do, while I wonder how could you come back. How! Vichoo, if lives could be saved by Tableau, the ALs would declare you God. Aashish, we will meet in Delhi and crib and cuss together over coffee. Niyanta, would always be a big fan of your hairdo. Shreeya, wish you become next Indian idol. Chirag, all the best for CEO position. Shruti, thanks, KT really helped. It ruined my life perfectly. Manali, may the green tea business prosper with dedicated customers like you. Annesha, sunflower smile and sunflower color suit you. Vaishnavi, I know you can't hate me enough. Arun, I need to learn how to brainwash people. Piyush and Deepti, welcome to the account, hope you enjoy your stay here.

Asad, hope your wings don't get cut like your hair. Tanjul, hope you are having a great time at home. Ruchika, one day I wish you earn more by your paintings than your paycheck. Surbhi, become the best analyst of the universe and stay as good at heart as you always are! Dhadheech, all the best for your future(aur kuch samajh nahi aa raha). Guneet, now I know amusing things people say and do when drunk. Will miss our enlightening discussions while roaming with you, Akanksha, Hemant, Init, Karishma and Chourasiaji. Guneet(male), I always see you as a powerhouse and one of the very few who give a solid handshake. Shrutika, do become the best TT player of the planet. Nibedita, you exemplify sweetness of rossogulla. 

Finally since I will be leaving Bangalore, I would miss my poetry open mic group a lot. Anshul and Priya the contenders for next chairperson, Sanjay-the deputy, Paridhi-ministry of home(read PSN), Sudhanshu- law ministry, Prakhar, Gurdeep, hope you all keep it up. I keep getting messages asking for meetups, so let's keep what we built over time. Akshada, sorry I missed my piano lessons.

Pouring more nostalgia, I suddenly came across a poem about first job,  I wrote in March 2013. I will miss you for sure. 

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