Monday, July 25, 2011

Pizzeria Mozza, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Does size matter?  It's a matter of personal preference.  Italian or American?  Again, it's a matter of personal preference. 

I'm talking about pizza of course.  It comes in all different shapes and sizes, flavours and toppings.  Then there's the crust: deep pan, thin crust and stuffed.  There's something for everyone when it comes to pizza.

My first ever pizza was made my brother, when I was about six years old.  He came home from school with a sardine pizza; my mother congratulated him on what a lovely looking pizza it was. As a kid who grew up eating prodominantly chinese cuisine up to this age, I had never seen a pizza before.  I just stared at it with as much curiosity as I could muster.  What was this alien looking thing I wondered.

In terms of taste, I just remember liking it.  I was never averse to fish as a kid and it was in fact served at home on a weekly basis along with many other seemingly unusual items to a kid growing up with a limited Western diet, even today. 

But why sardine pizza, I never found out.  Perhaps that was all his teacher had to offer in his pizza making class back then.  Still, I have thankfully moved on from sardine pizza, although I still like mine thin crust, but with slightly more authentic toppings.

Pizzeria Mozza - one of the 7 celebrity chef restaurants in the Marina Bay Sands - is a Mario Batali restaurant.  Renowned for their California style pizzas, my partner and I decided to head there for a late lunch after a hefty shopping session in the retail complex.

Arriving just after 3pm, this place was heaving with every table occupied.  Luckily, we managed to get two seats at the pizza bar ... which makes for a perfect viewing platform for pizza-making watching.  We perched ourselves down onto a couple of high stools to enjoy the show.

Two chefs took to the helm of each of the wood burning ovens, one chef spun out the dough and another took care of the toppings.  This pizza production certainly ran like a tight ship.

As we sat waiting for menus, we educated ourselves to some interesting pizza facts courtesy of the paper place mats sitting before us.  For example, according to Pizzeria Mozza, did you know that 'half of all pizzas are purchased on fridays and saturdays'.  It just goes to show what a weekend treat pizza is; coconut is a popular topping in Costa Rica; and 'those aged between 3 and 11 prefer pizza over all other foods for lunch and dinner.'  

With a lot of staff busily buzzing around this place, I managed to hail one down to place our order.  A Salumi piccante, mozzarella, tomato & Fresno chiles ($26 nett) along with an Insalata mista ($8 nett). 

Like eager beavers waiting to be fed, we sat watching the chefs making the pizzas and delicious looking hot antipasti.  Now before I go on, I would like to note that sitting at the pizza bar is not conducive for those who need to eat 'like now'... in otherwords me.  It also didn't help matters further when I read that the pizzas may take up to 45 minutes to prepare and cook, but that the wait is definitely worth it. 

However, our salad came out quickly and there's nothing like a bit lettuce to pacify those hunger pangs is there.  At least it was a decent portion and it kind of reminded me of a Christmas tree, although I wasn't sure why.  

The dressing was (without trying to sound all pretentious), slightly piquant, and the lettuce was fresh and crunchy. 

Having watched what we thought was our pizza being made, it arrived a bit later, but not too long later.  It wasn't the most beautiful looking pizza I have ever seen.  In fact looking at the photo below, it does look pretty ugly.  Looks aside, this pizza was I have say, pretty tasty.  The base was wafer thin which is how I like it, and the crust had a cracker-like texture, which for me was a relief as I'm not one for a doughy crust.

As usual, I wolfed it down along with whatever salad was left.  The chillies were subtle, but enough to allow for a little heat to come through and the salami was deliciously juicy.  All in all, I really enjoyed it.  

Nevertheless, halfway through munching at this pizza, we decided that one would simply not be enough.  We had to order another.  So I flagged down another waiter to order the Prosciutto di Parma, rucola, tomato & mozzarella ($27 nett).

Now this one took quite a while to come out.  In fact we had to ask whether the order had been logged or not.  After checking the log, our waitress came back to assure us it was on its way.  And sure enough, it came out five minutes later. 

Now this one looked a little more pretty, perhaps because of the vibrant green rocket sitting against the landscape of the pink parma ham.  And now I am starting to sound like a pretentious art critic.  Well, I used to be arty farty back in the day when I did both history of art, and art A-Level ... years ago.

The parma was tasty and the peppery rocket gave it a lovely garden freshness.

The chefs are kept busy throughout their shift, making pizza upon pizza.  I somehow doubt they want to see or eat pizza when they are not working ... I know I wouldn't.

This place is family friendly, couple friendly and even solo diner friendly.  Music plays out in the background giving the place a relaxed but upbeat feel, and there is also a bar at one end.  It makes you feel as though you are on holiday. 

If you like California style pizza, Pizzeria Mozza is a great place to come for a casual lunch or dinner and a delicious bite to eat.  They don't just do pizzas, although obviously it is their mainstay.

And lastly, it's not cheap as far as pizza goes, but this is afterall, a pizzeria at the Marina Bay Sands.

Pizzeria Mozza
2 Bayfront Ave, #B1-42/46 The Shoppes @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Daily: Noon-Midnight

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