Taking over the space of jazz bar B28, Blue Label Pizza (BLP) exists at a back alley beside The Club Hotel at Ann Siang. There is no signboard to indicate the shop name, but from the outside, you can peer through the wide panes to see that the decor is really classy and almost intimidating for a pizzeria. BLP is opened by the same people behind the very expensive and popular Luke’s Oyster Bar (LOB) just down the street. Given how popular and well-reviewed LOB is, we went to BLP with high expectations… that weren’t met.
For starters, we had the insanely priced state fair fries ($25), which consists of handcut Idaho potatoes, black pepper gravy, fried egg, aioli, and shaved truffle. But, as you can see from the photo, that is not the usual shaved truffle. The usual shaved truffle looks similar to pencil shavings, but this is shredded like seaweed shreds. Perhaps the menu can be more accurate.
Tastewise, this is fantastic. The fries must have been double- or even triple-deep fried so that they are super crispy, so crispy that even the wet toppings do not dampen them. But by doing so, BLP has sacrificed the nice softness within the fries. For $25 fries, they need to be the best fries ever, but unfortunately, a fortnight ago, we had amazing fries, much better than BLP’s, at a $35 buffet. Take note: the buffet is a mere $10 more than BLP’s fries.
We also got the chicken wings ($14 for 3 whole pcs, $28 for 6 pcs). There is a choice between buffalo wings or honey-garlic sriracha wings, both of which come with blue cheese ranch. (Keep the blue cheese dip for the fries! They go very well.) We opted for the latter flavour because we thought it is something different, but in the end it tastes like a lighter cousin of buffalo wings.
We asked the waiter about the number of pieces of chicken for $14 and $28. He said 6 pieces and 12 respectively. Technically, he wasn’t wrong, but really it’s 3 whole wings and 6. Anyway, the wings are just ok. It’s fried too hard on the skin, and the meat has withdrawn into itself that the chicken becomes too skinny, without much meat. Old Chang Kee or any decent cze char stalls have better wings.
For pizza, the bestseller is Summer in San Sebastian ($34). Any foodie worth her/his salt knows that San Sebastian, a tiny coastal town in Spain, has the highest concentration of Michelin-studded restaurants. Perhaps the name of the dish has inspired people to order it, because the taste sure doesn’t.
The toppings for this pizza include chorizo ragu, Hokkaido octopus, espelette chili and aioli by the side. If you have eaten pulpo tapas before, this pizza is like the tapas dumped onto the crust; quite an original idea. The octopus is tender and chewy—an excellent element–but the pizza is so spicy I can’t feel my tongue when I’m with you… but I don’t love it… I don’t love it, oh. I had to stop eating for ten minutes before I could continue eating anything else.
The Travis Supreme ($31) has ground chuck, sesame crust, special sauce, cheddar-bacon melt. It’s a moist, saucy pizza with shredded cabbage to provide a nice textural crunch. It tastes almost Asian, like takoyaki. This is a good pizza but…
All four of us didn’t like the crust. Yan Dao even declared, “Worst crust ever.” Not sure if it’s the technique (too much oil?) using stone fire or the dough, but the crust has a similar texture as if it is deep-fried; it’s entirely crispy. The edge of a good pizza should be fluffy inside, but here, it’s like an over-fried youtiao on the verge of becoming a good biscuit.
I admit that I didn’t manage my expectations. I went with a mind that LBP would be one of the better pizzerias in Singapore; I had already set the bars high before I stepped into the restaurant. The wonderful service and the classy ambience cemented my pre-judgement and added to my anticipation.
Although I went with a preconceived, idealised notion, when it comes to the food, there is always a “but.” “It’s nice but…” “The octopus is tasty but…” I’m not sure if I should make excuses for restaurants with “buts.”
Including a Japanese craft beer ($15) for me, we paid $140 for four persons.
Blue Label Pizza
28 Ann Siang Road, Basement 1 Singapore 069708
tel: +65 9821 9362
M-F 12pm-2pm, M-Sat 6pm-12am
Here are some better options:
–Alt Pizza, Suntec: One of the Best Pizzas in Singapore (Good Draught Craft Beers too!)
–Pizza Express, Scotts Square: Fantastic Feasts and Where to Find Them
–Pizza Fabbrica, Kampong Glam: One of the Best Restaurants This Year
–Amo Restaurant, Hong Kong Street: Excellent Pizzas and Sharing Plates, Best for After-Work and Adult Gatherings
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.