Hello and welcome back to Panda Peeks, where we check out the best and brightest of Singapore’s restaurants. Last time we tried Indonesian eatery, Pondok Jawa Timur. This time we’re heading to the land of rich culture, Roberto Baggio, crumbling historical monuments, high fashion and organised crime, Italy. But wait, what about Italian cuisine? The Bel Paese has given us some of the most popular dishes worldwide – spaghetti bolognese, lasagne and of course, pizza to name just a few.
We sent foodpanda Singapore’s Geraldines (yes, we have two. Geraldine Lim on the left and Geraldine Sim on the right) to test out Motorino Pizza.
Located in nightlife central, Clarke Quay, Motorino’s features a large outdoor terrace to compliment its classic pizza house styling – think black and white tiled floor and chalk board menu.
The restaurant’s centrepiece is a huge, wood-burning oven which cranks out delicious, slightly charred pizza infused with a slight hint of the wood itself. A side note on this however. While a 500°c oven may be all well and good on a winter’s night in Italy, it’s not the best in tropical Singapore. The Geraldines insisted on dining al fresco to take advantage of the ambiance, but mainly because said oven made the interior swelteringly hot.
1 | Starters
– Roasted Chicken Wings –
Chili Flakes, Red Onion, Mint, Lemon, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
These wings were certainly something to get in a flap about (sorry, couldn’t help that one). Along with the appealing presentation, barbecuing at 1000°F (that’s 500°c in new money) ensured a crispy exterior and juicy, tender meat on the inside.
Francis, the personable owner of Motorino’s, recalled misty-eyed how this dish always takes him back to when he’d cook chicken wings on a simple barbecue in East Coast park. Good days, good days. The wings were drenched in a delicious, mildly spicy sauce which made eating these a messy affair. But let’s be honest, eating wings always is. Touches of extra virgin olive oil gave the whole dish a light sensation. All in all, a perfect start that doesn’t leave you too bloated for the coming meal.
Top tip from the Geraldines: Eat with your hands (and your mouth of course)
2 | Mains
– Classic Motorino Meatball Spaghetti –
Tomato, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Meatballs, Basil
From this dish, it’s clear that Motorino’s have mastered the art of al dente pasta (that’s semi-firm pasta to the uninitiated). It’s not so easy to find in Singapore. The rich, intense sauce, made using Heirloom tomatoes, certainly tastes like a precious family recipe handed down through generations and was perfectly thick enough for the dish. Finally, the meatballs. They were not greasy at all, slightly seared on the outside, and soft and juicy on the inside. An excellent culinary treat all the way from Sicily.
– Brussels Sprout & Bacon Pizza –
Fior di Latte, Garlic, Pecorino, Bacon, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The second main course was in the form of worldwide favourite, pizza. For those who are unversed in true Neopolitan pizza, don’t let the heavy, greasy fast food varieties colour your perception of the original Italian version. Motorino’s dished up some of the real stuff, with a thin to fluffy crust and slight char to add flavour.
The pizza may look burnt on the edges, but Francis explained that these are the natural markings that come from cooking a pizza at 500°c and add a tanginess to the crust. However, the really unique thing about the pizza is that it’s cooked with Brussel sprouts and bacon. The intense heat of the wood-burning oven caramelises the natural sugar in the vegetable and gives it an entirely different taste which plays off against the saltiness of the bacon.
Top tip from Francis: Add a few dashes of hot, spicy Tabasco sauce for even more tanginess
3 | Dessert
– Tiramisu –
Apparently, tiramisu means ‘pick me up’ in Italian and this dessert certainly finished the meal on a high note. Homemade and topped with powdered chocolate, the firmness of the sponge fingers contrasted beautifully with the rich cream, with a balance struck between sweet and the slight bitterness of the coffee. The tiramisu was of a perfect size to end the meal – not too big, not too small.
So thanks very much to Francis and Motorino Pizza for having us. Until next time!
Motorino Pizza Singapore
Address: 3A River Valley Road, Merchant’s Court, Clark Quay
Opening hours: every day 11:30am – 11pm
Follow this link to order online.
See map below for directions:
Hailing from the South-West of England, David is passionate about writing and despite his country’s reputation for culinary ineptitude, also enjoys cooking and feasting. He spends his free time climbing up rocks, drinking scrumpy cider from a pint glass, kicking a ball around a pitch and screwing pieces of wood together (making furniture).