These are, by far, the best chicken wings I have EVER tasted. Of course they should be damn good, the wings came from Mario Batali's kitchen.
I've had my eye on Osteria Mozza ever since arriving Singapore and learning that Mario Batali has a branch of his establishment at Marina Bay Sands. Sadly, since the Osteria is only open for dinner, we decided for the next best thing for our last lunch in Singapore...
"Pizzeria Mozza is a bustling, urban, burst of flavor and color and the perfect atmosphere for any occasion - whether it be a business lunch, late night snack or a group party."
"The wine bar provides a vibrant venue with a selection of over 100 wines and in this energetic and lively section of the restaurant, diners can see chefs at work as they prepare fresh pizzas from two wood burning pizza ovens."
It was bustling, all right. Even at 2pm, there was still a long line waiting to try some of Molto Mario's signature dishes. I was a bit hesitant because everyone seemed to have reservations to get seated, but luckily, the hostess was Filipina and was able to pull some strings and found a spot for us at the Pizza station.
The Pizza Station
Mozza is not just the brainchild of world-renowned chef Mario Batali, but a partnership with Joe Bastianich (Masterchef, anyone?) and pasty chef du jour Nancy Silverton.
The oven area is the best place to be seated, if you aren't picky about sitting on bar stools. You get front view of those yummy pizzas in action as they are being made.
And since we were very near the service core, I soon realized that most of the chipper servers are Filipino. And very, very hospitable, as are most Filipino servers abroad tend to be.
Atop the bar are plates of fresh oregano and oven-roasted cherry tomatoes to act as decor, but actually serve a dual purpose as topping and garnish for most plates that come out of this station. I asked if I could help myself to a tomato. Answer: NO.
The table setting is a mixture of kitsch and content.
Inside the paper envelope is a postcard with inventions "You Can Thank Italians For...". I never knew Liposuction was an Italian export. All the sexy ladies can now say grazie for that. I took this with me and wanted to mail it to a friend.
The place mat was an interesting mix of translated phrases on how to get to the train stazione and other helpful terms, plus a schedule of the train from Roma to Grosseto. This kept me entertained while waiting for our orders.
Non lo treva?
For drinks, they had sodas in vintage glass bottles. I ordered an Agua Fresca, a refreshing Grapefruit and Rosemary concoction that would've been perfect paired with a shot of vodka, or two. The rosemary added an interesting herbaceous tone to the drink.
We were served Parmesan Crisps to start with. It was light, salty and crunchy. We were off to a delightful start.
As I saw pan after pan of chicken wings being plated every minute, I knew we had to start off with a plate.
Chicken Wings ala Diavolo
DAMN! These wings are spicy as a devil, indeed. The wings were infused with beautiful spices and herbs, doused in chili olive oil, and cooked to perfection. The meat was tender and the spiciness elevated the peppery aftertaste to make these wings on a league of their own.
The Secret Weapon: Green Onion cooked under the wings, releasing a fragrant aroma that's absorbed by the wings as they sizzle on the hot plate.
I can see our pizzas coming out!
Joy, the chef at the garnish station, makes the finishing touches to the infamous crispy-thin Batali Pizza.
Bacon, Salumi, Fennel Sausage, Pancetta, Tomato & Mozzarella
Ok, I've eaten a lot of good pizza in my haydays, especially when I lived in Italy for a couple of months, so I was expecting a true Italian pizza if I was to pay SG$37 for a very tiny pizza. There was a lot resting on this first bite. It was mindblowing.
First the crust: It was perfectly executed; paper thin but crispy on the bottom and held through all the toppings on it. Even the crust was appealing because there was sea-salt incorporated in the dough. Next is the topping. The fennel sausage, home made at the Mozza kitchen, was chunky and full of flavor. I am not a fan of fennel because of its slight licorice aftertaste, but its inclusion in the pork meat complemented the slight sweetness of the pork. The flavor was so bold and meaty that we were satisfied even if it was less. This pizza disappeared instantaneously. But, of course, I cannot be satisfied with just one...
Funghi Misti, Fontina, Taleggio & Thyme
Pizzeria Mozza's version of the meatless, but meaty, mushroom pizza. With a mixture of fresh and dried mushrooms, from crimini, portobello, chanterelle and porcini, the earthiness made the pizza quite filling and had a very robust flavor. The taleggio and fontina cheese gave a kick of brine that highlighted the hint of thyme.
This was my favorite over the two pizzas, though I enjoyed both of them. If I could do a 2-thumbs up, I would. Worth the pricetag and the waitlist. Even if the pizzas were personal-sized at 10-inches, we could not finish half of this and had to take it home with us. I ate it when I got back to Manila. SO DAMN GOOD.
Even the doggy bag/box was interesting, with oodles of random trivia plastered all over the box.
Now I get the madness over Molto Mario and his pizzas. Artisanal, authentic, and definitely filled with amore. Now I want to try Osteria Mozza's Egg-yolk and ricotta ravioli with sweet-potato.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel
10 Bayfront Avenue
+65 6688 8868