Well I had to try it sooner or later, after hearing a lot of good things about this place. Mario Batali is a Celebrity Chef from American, who has opened up restaurants in New York (his flagship restaurant is called ‘Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca’), Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and now in Singapore – 14 restaurants in total.
Chef Batali’s Singapore restaurant, called Mozza, is located in the fabulous location of the Marina Bay Sands, and he is in good company, with other 5 other Celebrity chefs in the the vicinity, as follows: Chef Daniel Boulud (New York), Chef Wolfgang Puck (Los Angeles), Chef Santi Santamaria (Barcelona), Chef Guy Savoy (Paris), Chef Tetsuya Wakuda (Sydney) and Chef Justin Quek (Singapore). I must check out these other places – then again, my daily allowance only goes so far – ha!
From left to right: From left to right: Daniel Boulud (New York), Guy Savoy (Paris), Mario Batali (New York), Santi Santamaria (Barcelona), Wolfgang Puck (Los Angeles) and Tetsuya Wakuda (Sydney).
Chef Batali actually has split the restaurant in two: Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza. The Osteria is more of an up-market restaurant featuring a Mozzarella Bar and servicing pasta, seafood and meat dishes, but is opened in the evenings only. Whilst the Pizzeria specialises in Pizza and has its own Wine-Bar and is opened from midday through the afternoon and into the evenings.
A booking is highly recommended for both restaurants, and my work colleague, who my mum and I went with, with his wife, was very organised and managed to place the booking during the middle of last week. In fact, on this point, when he tried phoning at 10am when the lines were open, it was already a busy time to book, with us being left on-hold for a while, luckily their call-back service is very effective, and we managed to get the booking earlier today at midday! So leave time for booking, and use that call-back service – it worked perfectly!
I’ve managed to take (as a souvenir) a copy of the menu, and the dish options on offer was tantalising delightful. Starters range from S$8 for a Mixed Salad, many dishes at a price-point of between S$14-$18 and the top dish of Prosciutto di Parma and Bufala Mozzarella (that’s Parma Ham and Mozzarella to you and I!) priced at S$32. Pizza’s started from S$18 and topped out at S$38 for the seemingly ‘special’ variety! The menu has a nice variety of choices with quite interesting mixes of pizza toppings too!
We started with the Calamari al Forno with Fagilio and Oregano, Proscuito di Parma & Bufalo Mozzarella, Mozza Caprese and Tricolore with Parmiagiano Reggiano & Anchovy Dressing. All exquisite entrées, with excellent flavour. The one that really worked for me was … well actually any of them that contained the Buffalo Mozzarella (that was about 50% of our starters, ha!) – must have been home-made, very tasty, very pure and melted in my mouth – delicious!
We decided to share the pizza – well it was only lunch-time, and I still had a bit of work to do during the afternoon – and my mum and I decided to share the Picante Pizza – which had Salumi, Mozzarella, Tomato and Fresh Red Chiles, and my colleague, Tom and his wife decided to have the Potato Pizza – which had Egg, Bacon, Yukon Gold Potato, Cipollini and Thyme. Both were quite tasty. They were fair sized, and I think I could have ended up eating a whole one to myself without struggling too much – next time!
We decided to go with the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – a nice red little number, that accompanied the food very nicely! I’ve always been fond of a nice Montepulciano – my number two choice behind a nice Barolo! You can’t beat a full-bodied Barolo with any meal!! In fact the wine selection was quite nice too
I was quite puffed, so decided against dessert. But we didn’t really want to miss the opportunity, so one was ordered ‘for the table’, I can’t remember the name of it – but it was it looked quite attractive – well as attractive as a dessert can be! And I had a small mouthful; it was a very nice choice even if I say so myself. My mum and I also ordered an Espresso, and mine was served first, and I do have to say, whilst the size was perfect, the structure of the Espresso wasn’t. A perfect Espresso is one when you have a layer of oil and brown coating on the top, and mine didn’t, whilst my mum’s was actually spot-on! Very strange indeed. Anyway, I enjoyed it in any case.
The overall experience was very pleasant. The atmosphere was electric in the restaurant, it was very busy throughout our visit and table service was very good indeed. My only comments about this place is that it definitely seems to serve an Asian audience – the observation is that they don’t seem to serve the Entrées or Main Courses dishes together, they get delivered when they are cooked and ready – this is very unusual, as a standard Italian Restaurant (in Italy and Europe) would not do this. I am not entirely sure why, whether it is throughout all of Chef Batali’s restaurants, or just this one, but it was one observation that we noted.
But overall, it was a very enjoyable lunch – and I probably would visit one of Batali’s other restaurants in the future, whenever I see one around – ha!
Lastly, whilst we were walking back to the MRT, we notices that there was a yacht called “Audi Ultra” – and we were advised that this was actually owned by Audi as part of the those Yacht races – and this was the fastest yacht in its class. It is here in Singapore to coincide with the launch of the A6 – which is coming to town in December 2011.
I might give it a test drive if I am still around Vorsprung Durch Technik!