La Bottega Enoteca Showcases immaculate Pizza dough making — Both Pillowy and Crispy
As simple as Pizza sounds, pizza making is undoubtedly a finesse decided by the finest margins through control of the gluten and taming of the woodfire. It’s a kind of exquisite artistry that, despite its humble roots, Singapore has a shortage of — but if discerning gourmands have a favourite establishment to flock to for pizza, it has to be La Bottega Enoteca.
Exclusive home dining seems to be the format for layperson cooks to test their concepts at the moment, so it’s not surprising that La Bottega Enoteca’s genesis came from its time as Casa Nostra, formerly operating out of the owner’s abode.
And it’s not hard to understand why, as home dining allows the freedom to explore and the flexibility to R&D at any time. On top of that, with owner Antonio’s passion for this Italian classic, the chef has managed to effectively hone his skill during his home-based endeavours.
When the demand for Casa Nostra surged as word of mouth went amok, he decided to move into this rustic little hideout at Joo Chiat for a more capacious operation, as well as a sprinkle of Italian pizzazz in the decor.
La Bottega Enoteca is a beautiful transposition of a foreign diaspora — you’d find traces of his homeland while stepping into its outdoor space, guilefully set up with worn-out bricks and wooden furniture, reminiscent of the Italian countryside.
My lunch here was a modified version of La Bottega Enoteca’s classic 3-course Set Lunch ($79) which was designed to flaunt the versatility and depth of flavour in Quinby’s Chilli Honey.
Since this standalone restaurant is meant to be a more holistic trattoria in execution, the menu doesn’t tunnel vision towards pizza. And boy, the starter of Bresalao ($32 ala carte) was sublime. Delicate and silky cured meat loaded with fat-rich umami that’s just enough to dazzle but not overwhelm.
Before the pizza, an honourable mention is also warranted for La Bottega Enoteca’s Focaccia di Recco ($48 ala carte), an immensely delicate and wafer-thin cousin of the iconically plush Genova style most are familiar with.
An array of cheeses are melted into the sheer focaccia dough, imbuing each bite with a genial touch of clean dairy richness. As something simple and entirely focused on textural excellence, it accomplishes its raison d’être quite fabulously.
Ultimately though, people flood La Bottega Enoteca’s reservation system for one reason and one reason only — the pizza. As feverous as the hype can get, does the dough live up to expectations?
The answer is a resounding “yes”, the 72-hour-fermented “Newpolitan” pizza dough was flawlessly light, exceedingly fluffy, and imparted with a smoky gentle char.
Built on such a masterfully built dough canvas, even the most inelaborate set-up would astound. However, the stripped-down combination of red peppers, fior di latte, and housemade salami went above and beyond — inobtrusive but harmoniously balanced with a good deal of heat and salami richness.
La Bottega Enoteca’s pizza isn’t just restricted to “Newpolitan” dough, Antonio’s experiments have also led to an alternative “Supercrunch”. Unlike the former, it booms with thundering crackles as the teeth break through the crispy hollowed-out dough reminiscent of a fritta — quite an impressive juxtaposition of dough textures.
Our special Quinby’s Honey “Supercrunch” came adorned with housemade Nduja, onions, and chilli honey that combined together as quite an intoxicating potpourri of aromatics.
Between a little sting of Nduja spice, a faint touch of brusque raw onion acidity, and the dainty kiss of honey florals, you will find yourself deeply satiated by this bewitchingly sapid and exuberantly crispy slice of pizza.
That said, there’s a caveat to my meal here at La Bottega Enoteca — this is a modification of their regular experience. Nonetheless, purely with respect to the dough textures and flavour combinations, it’s a no-brainer to recognise this as one of the best Pizza restaurants in Singapore, if not the best. Sure, it’s priced on the higher side but many will gladly pay for excellence.
Make your reservations here.
La Bottega Enoteca
- Address: 346 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427596
- Hours: (Wed–Thurs) 5:30pm–10:30pm, (Fri–Sat) 12pm–2pm, 5:30pm–10:30pm (Sun) 11:30pm–4pm, 5:30pm–10:30pm
*This was an invited tasting.