Pizzeria Mozza is the Singapore outpost of celebrity chef Mario Batali. To be honest, the rotund, orange-crocs-wearing chef is one of the few celebrity chefs I can actually recognise...probably because I think he looks like the human incarnate of videogame character Super Mario. I can't be the only one who thinks that, right?????
The casual Italian pizzeria is buzzy and sophisticated, in part due to the beautiful statuesque model-types that seem to gather at the restaurant (I'm not sure what they eat, if at all...it's all carbs here!). Reservations are strongly advised; it was a full-house the whole 4 hours we were there.
The food's commendable, but I felt it was a smidge overhyped. It's not to say the food was bad at all, but I felt a little letdown by all the fuss about their pizzas. Pizzeria Mozza was good, but it was no standout. It's like meeting the nice-but-plain Jane, when you're expecting a va-va-voom bombshell. Maybe I should have lowered my expectations, but this IS a celebrity chef restaurant afterall, and it can't be unreasonable to expect some pizazz, some oomph...a little sparkle of a truly magical meal at such a restaurant? It would have helped if the damned menu had English translations of the Italian names of the dishes...I had to ask the wait staff for the full rundown of the menu, and google translate the rest like a tourist in Rome, and THAT was frustrating. Bottom line is: tamper your expectations
The Grilled Asparagus & Avocado ($17) with shreds of hard-cooked egg and chopped almonds was a lovely balance of crunchy and soft, set against a backdrop of clean, clear flavours.
A must-try, the Meatballs al Forno ($17), a blend of pork and beef mince, were juicy, hearty and scrumptious.
Another must-try, the Cauliflower Fritti ($15), lightly battered and fried to a beautiful gold, was nuanced, barely adorned, simply relying on the natural sweetness of the florets for flavour.
I liked the Wild Mushrooms Bruschetta ($19), with spinach, chile, burrata, and copious lashings of aceto balsamico, for its piquancy, but my friends found it too overt.
The Fried Potatoes with Sage & Rosemary ($16) with chickpeas could have been very pedestrian, but was helped along by a good dose of frying fat, sea salt and the heady aroma of the herbs.
The Prosciutto di Parma ($20) were soft wispy ribbons of gloriousness. I'd break a diet just for this.
The white-sauced Funghi Misti Pizza ($30) with taleggio and thyme was a great meatless option, layered with a melange of oyster, shitake, shimeiji and white button mushroom varieties.
The carb-heavy Egg, Bacon & Yukon Gold Potato Pizza ($38) was elevated by a generous sprinkle of fragrant thyme and caramelised sweet cippolini onions.
We really liked the Caramel Copetta ($16) topped with fluffy marshmallow sauce and salted peanuts. Incredibly sweet, but matched perfectly by the burnt smokiness of the caramel sauce.
Mozza makes their gelato and sorbet in-house, and they're just sumptuous, the Melon Sorbetto, Vanilla Gelato, Espresso Gelato ($17 for 3) were thick, rich and creamy.
The complimentary Herbed Cheese Crackers were addictively good.
10 Bayfront Ave
B1-42 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Tel: 6688 8522
Open daily from 12noon to 11pm