If you follow me on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Tinder, you know that I'm in Singapore. I've been here for just over a week and won't be back to the US until August. I've been like a kid in a candy store, hopping from hawker stall to hawker stall, restaurant to restaurant. I don't want to shock anyone with these strange Far East treats, though, so we'll start things off with something more familiar: pizza. Motorino, a New York City based Neapolitan pizza shop, has spread its wings in recent years and expanded to Singapore, Manila, and Hong Kong. After eating so much good pizza in St. Louis, I had to try it out and see how it compared.
Motorino Singapore is located in Clarke Quay, a touristy area with restaurants like "Wings", a US Air Force theme chicken restaurant, Hooters, and, in years past, a hospital themed restaurant. It's the place to go to see drunk Australians playing in a fountain made for children. The restaurant itself is small, about 10 tables inside and nearly the same on the patio.
Like any good pizza place, the oven is the focal point, the beating heart of the restaurant. It also helps to keep the restaurant warm on cool nights - something that doesn't exist in Singapore - so it just served to make the restaurant nearly unbearably warm. You've got AC! Turn it on!
We started the meal with their meatballs, baseball-sized balls of juicy pork coated with a thin, slightly sweet tomato sauce, basil, and a hint of pecorino. I could have done with more cheese (who couldn't?), but these were a big hit at the table. One of the pizza customization options was to get these on top, something I'll do if I return.
Our first pizza was the Soppressata Piccante, a spicy salami pizza with chili peppers, oregano, and sea salt. (There was a yellow spotlight behind us, shining onto our table, which meant that after sunset, the pictures started looking a little wonky. Just pretend they look perfect.) I liked this one - the mix of good tomato sauce, melty mozzarella, and the salty & spicy soppressata gets my approval. I thought the topping to crust ratio was a bit off, though. You can see that the crust pieces are pretty substantial.
Their dough is, by design, breadier than I prefer, so I actually ended up not eating most of the crust. Sacrilege, I know! It was all so I could eat more of the next pizza, though! I had good intentions.
Our second pizza was the Cremini Mushroom and Sausage. From the description - Gaeta olives, garlic, sweet sausage, thyme - I thought it was going to be bursting with flavor. Somehow it ended up being very one-note, essentially a cheesy mushroom toast. Everything else was overpowered (or there simply wasn't enough) to counter the mushrooms. I only had one piece of this.
Aside from the mushroom pizza, I liked my meal at Motorino, but wasn't blown away. St. Louis wins this round, without a doubt in my mind. Next up for my global pizza tour will be Mario Batali's Pizzeria Mozza. It's been almost two years since I've had it, but it was my #1 favorite up until I left Singapore. Will it take down St. Louis' finest? We shall see in the next few weeks.