Though invitations keep flowing in, ‘Happy’ birthdays are hard to come by these days – happy is the part missing on my side as a guest. To quench my quest for a celebratory experience that imparts fond culinary memories, my sister decided to invite me to her sister’s birthday party at the Pizza Hut. I returned the favor by eating as much as I could.

As soon as I entered, the attendants asked me all sorts of appropriate questions and helped point me to the right birthday table – that was appreciable or else a comedy of errors would have turned into a tragedy of the commoner. The birthday corner was done with balloons and shiny decorations as well as well laid-out tables.

Birthday etiquettes aside, we started with the green salad. Most of it was the expected green stuff most salads are made of except for the pickled cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Done with fresh lime juice, the lettuce and the cucumber were enough to tickle my taste buds and got me to look forward for more. Garlic bread, grilled with cheese on top, was next. It’s served in a cute steel bread basket. I copied a small girl sitting across the table and put the garlic bread on my plate. I then showered it with the oregano and chipotle – the taste was like uh-huh.

Now the best part about parties is that you can order as varied dishes as you want without worrying about whether you will be able to finish them. The tortillas were adequately crunchy and were topped with spicy chicken. I am a greater fan of thin crust pizzas though. So the tortillas were an almost-pizza-like experience for me. I was gulping down huge helpings of lemonade at the same time.

Then it was the pan pizzas that made their entry. I have never got to like pans elsewhere, but the ones here look cute (maybe because they are new). The cheese and herbs made a succulent topping, which was a pleasurable experience with the soft and well-risen base. The larger pizzas with cheese-filled crust are a true delight. I can’t wait for the winter to bite through the crust and have cheese threads hanging in the air.

Well, we didn’t know Pizza Hut had its own culture of celebrating birthdays. So, before we cut the cake, all the staff gathered round the table, summoned the audience and sang the most sung song in the world. Some announcements, a small game and dollops of vanilla ice-cream – courtesy Pizza Hut – followed.

As we were preparing to leave, my sister said that she could still take in some more. So I dived into the menu once again and came up with the suggestion for pasta in Mushroom Sauce mainly because it was the Chef’s recommendation. We chose Fusili over Spaghetti and used the no-service balcony for a nicotine break in the meantime. The aroma of our order filled our nostrils before it landed on the table. The mushroom sauce was subtle and the pasta was filling. Well-portioned, I liked the garnishing and the minimal spicing – a gratifying experience.

Quoting and unquoting a Kathmandu restaurateur, “People go to restaurants to meet and not to eat,” Pizza Hut is quite the contrary – it is where people meet and eat. Whoever says Pizza Hut is a hangout is a serious culinary retard.

Forget about Vegas, what happens in Pizza Hut must not stay there. I wish someone would break the Pizza Hut monopoly of having the most amiable service in town (counting star hotels).  !