Here’s the thing about pizza. There’s really a slice for everyone. Purists love the simple tomato and basil Margherita. The more adventurous won’t mind avant-garde creations of bone marrow and pesto slathered on a crisp crust. It’s the kind of meal you can have on a romantic date, but it’s also comfort food you’ll order in and enjoy in your pyjamas.
The idea of pizza, flatbreads topped with simple ingredients like tomatoes, oil and garlic, started in Naples as a quick-fix invention to feed hungry, blue-collared workers on the way home from work.
But it’s so much more than humble pie now.
Culinary bigwigs like Nancy Silverton — we’re still mourning the closure of Osteria and Pizzeria Mozza here in Singapore — and Wolfgang Puck first elevated pizza by putting on gourmet toppings like smoked salmon or baby lamb. Chefs battled it out to master the art of a perfect crust (you get the lightest, pillow-y crust only by putting aside the rolling pin and stretching out the dough by hand). And then there are the ovens — custom-built domes lined with bricks and wood to fire up dough at really high temperatures.
So much goes into making the perfect pie that the very first episode of David Chang’s Ugly Delicious was dedicated to finding out just how important traditional ingredients and cooking methods are to creating the dish we know as pizza.
Keyyes shares our top picks on where to go for gourmet pizza in Singapore.
Soft in the middle, crispy around the edges. Amò gets their pizza dough spot on by stretching the dough slowly and flipping it to introduce more air. The dough is then brushed with extra virgin olive oil from Beppe de Vito’s (also owner of Braci) family farm in Puglia, which gives the crust a lovely aroma and more vibrant colour.
But what we love about Amò is how they understand the importance of stopping friends from fighting over that slice with more toppings. The pizzas are sliced upon coming out of the oven, before each piece is dressed individually with an equal amount of toppings. Not playing favourites here works.
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Plank Sourdough Pizza
Baker & Cook founder Dean Brettschneider is the man who made sourdough loaves catch on in Singapore, and the Kiwi baker uses this same know-how to turn out equally good pizzas. The dough at Plank Sourdough Pizza is made from a sourdough starter Brettschneider made from 26 years ago, and is the secret to the rise of their pillow-y, crunchy crust.
Keep an eye out for the oven. The 1.2m tall beauty was specially flown in from Italy, custom-made by a fifth-generation-owned manufacturer of artisanal bread ovens to ensure the pizzas slide in and out easily from this kiln.
64 Namly Place, Bukit Timah
If you had to pick somewhere for a romantic date that involves pizza, Publico is the perfect spot. The interior is chic yet cosy, bathed in warm light with plump seats for comfort.
The pizzas are cooked in brick stone ovens, and their pizza dough a cross between sourdough and straight dough, so you get a crust with a good bite.
The must-have here is the Tartufata pizza, with mozzarella, porcini mushrooms, smoked scamorza and truffle.
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Blue Label Pizza
Travis Masiero, the guy behind Luke’s Oyster Bar & Chophouse, is known for his famous burger: the Travis Burger, with butter-toasted buns, freshly-ground chuck patties and his not-so-secret mustard-pickle-mayo sauce. He’s now stamping his mark on turning out excellent pizzas.
There’s a deck oven in his kitchen, the kind commonly found in high-end New York pizzerias, and the dough is long-fermented before it’s slid into this flaming cavity. Get the Travis Supreme, his idea of an open-faced cheeseburger with all the works — from said ground chuck and cheddar-bacon melt on a sesame crust, to a generous drizzle of Masiero’s magic sauce.
#B1-01, 28 Ann Siang Road