$20-$40

La Pizzaiola, Jalan Riang: Slumming to Investigate How Rich People Eat Good Pizzas (Yes, They Eat With Their Mouths Too! Shocking!)

la-pizzaiola-singapore-reviewLa Pizzaiola has two outlets, one at Braddell Heights (which is really at Serangoon), and the other at Teacher’s Estate (Yio Chu Kang). The outlets are situated within estates of landed property, aka rich people’s land, aka bus11-won’t-take-you-there. (ok, I suppose you could take “bus 11” and hatch your eggs at the same time.) But if you do get there, the trip is worth it.

[By the way, “slumming” is a term used in Victorian times, when rich people “slum” and dressed up in tattered clothes to visit poor districts as a form of “tourism.” I know, it’s sick. But is it called “slumming” when a poor person (like me) visits  a wealthy district? Or is it called “Pretty Woman-ing”?]

Although the food is worth it, the ambience is kinda schizophrenic. When we were there, there were two groups of people: families with bawling babies or lovers on dates. Sky roof, yellow lights, cement floors, mosaic tiles, slightly worn; the decor of the place, like someone’s hipster home, is warm and slightly unpretentious. We took to the place immediately. It’s good to be rich, or at least pretend to be rich.

La Pizzaiola is opened by Italian Chef Loris, who strives to recreate his childhood experience in Italy, and with the food, he has managed to do so.

Chef Matthew White from Alt Pizza (my favorite pizzeria in Singapore) has told me before that the optimal timing for a pizza to be in the oven is about 60s. Here, due to the limitation of the gas oven, the pizzas stay in the oven for about 4 minutes, which is still a decent timing, creating a good crust. The pizzas here aren’t the newfangled thin-crust versions for people on Atkin’s diet. But they are also not thick. They have a nice chewy dough, in between thin and thick crusts, that is pleasing.

When you go to a pizzeria, you must order their eponymous pizza, right? La pizzaiola ($20.90), consisting of mozzarella, roast beef, parmesan, Italian rockets, and truffle oil, is one of their more expensive items. It has almost everything on it, and isn’t bad. But I wonder if the pizza is overcrowded and too busy. Next time we visit, perhaps we would go for a simpler and more elegant pizza, like the classic margherita or napolentana (tomatoes, mozzarella, anchovies, capers).

la-pizzaiola-serangoon-menuWe asked the server for their best-selling pasta. (The service by the way was good but hurried. It was a full house but we were taken care of. Perhaps they should employ more wait staff?)

I couldn’t tell the difference between the fettuccine pancetta ($16.90) we had and carbonara which is also on the menu. Both are tossed in cream sauce and have bacon and mushroom. (Well, ok, pancetta is cured, but bacon is cured then smoked; same same but different, you know.) Maybe it’s the addition of sundried tomatoes that make the difference. Maybe my rich readers can enlighten me?

In any case, the pasta is delicious. Perfectly cooked al dente. The cream sauce isn’t too heavy, and just covers the pasta without drowning it.

la-pizzaiola-jalan-riangWe were too late and there was only the torta pistocchi ($9.90) left. Torta means cake, and Pistocchi is the names of bakers, the Pistocchi siblings (a brother and sister), who first came up with the cake. It is supposed to be gluten-free, no sugar, no eggs, no flour, no sugar. Basically, it’s like balls of truffle chocolate made into triangular shape. It’s dense and best for sharing.

La Pizzaiola is a lovely restaurant that serves excellent homely Italian food. It is the kind of restaurant that I like immensely, serving good food in an artisanal (that is to say, not large-scaled, commercialized, backed by megacorporations) way. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves here. My only complaint is that the locations are too inaccessible for common folks like me who want to enjoy good food too. Why should rich people get all the fun?

We paid $56 for two persons.

La Pizzaiola
15 Jalan Riang Singapore 358987
T: +65 6282 5031
11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm, closed Tue
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Food: 7/10
Service: 6.75/10
Price: 6.5/10
Ambience/Decor: 6.5/10
Overall: 3.344/5

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