Pizza Al Crudo
I seem to be having pizza every week now. Which isn’t a bad thing by any means, of course.
For a self-proclaimed bread fanatic, this is pretty much a given. As long as something required yeast in the making, I’ll be all over it like a plague of locusts that would put Moses’ to shame.
Alright, so that wasn’t the most flattering of similes. But really, if you don’t like pizza, well…who are you?!
So tell me you could skip merrily by a restaurant signboard, boasting a not-so-modest chalked scrawl of ‘1-for-1 Pizza’ and I’ll instantly drop all previous allegations. I promise.
I’m talking about a restaurant from the Garibaldi group of restaurants (aka Italian Food Done The Proper, Respectable Way). I’d pick this over Canadian 1-for-1.
Located along Nankin Row, 3 Pickering Street at China Square Central, it was relatively quiet for weekday night. Lunchtimes there are supposedly an insane rush and crush of corporate suit-ups, flocking to the rows of casual dining restaurants for a meal. It isn’t hard to guess why though – besides the obvious proximity to the financial district – because Ricciotti has promotions for every day of the week:
Ricciotti@China Square Special Promotion
Monday to Friday from 5pm onwards & whole day on Saturday
- WINE OF THE MONTH AT $28
- 1 for 1 Pizza
Ricciotti Daily Specials
||Beef Lasagne at $12 (Usual Price $17)
||1 for 1 Pizza (Choice of any pizza)
||1 for 1 Pasta (Choice of any pasta)
||Any Panini or Salad at $9 (Usual Price $14.80)
||House-pour Spirits at $5 (Whisky, Vodka, Gin etc)
||1 for 1 any Wines (On Bottles or Glasses)
||1 for 1 Homemade Gelato
*All 1 for 1 promotions refer to items of same or lower value.
It doesn’t get any better than that really. And when there’s a glass of red wine for $6 and a bottle for $18, I don’t know why people are still going to Pastamania.
I’m rather baffled as to why the area was so darn quiet on an eve of a public holiday, and Ricciotti wasn’t even packed, so the probability of grabbing a seat inside where there’s blessed air-conditioning should be in your favour. Which, incidently, bravely, stupidly, wasn’t something I did because of the warm, orange glow of the lights which would make for an instant photography nightmare. So we lounged outside – or at least tried to while pointedly ignoring our skin prickling with the start of perspiration – basking in the almighty glory of our lovely equatorial weather. Speaking of photograhic nightmares, I should remind myself: Suck it up and bring the damned DSLR when you go out for dinners. Talk about disgusting photo-noise man.
Pizza Al Crudo
When it comes to pizzas, I don’t care about the fancy names and what have yous, I order anything with parma ham the moment I spot it. Parma ham and arugula/rucola/rocket. Whoever thought that the amalgamation of paper-thin dry-cured ham, peppery greens and tangy basil-infused tomato sauce would feel at home on a pizza should deserve a Nobel prize. Or whatever the Nobel prize equivalent of good food is. The Pizza Al Crudo was all of this and better. The crust, in my tastebuds’ united opinion, was what sold me. See that crackling, lightly charred outter rim? It is, first and foremost, crunchy (which is a surefire 10/10 for me. I’m easy to win over, really. If you’re crunchy, I’d fall in love with you.), and then chewy. It’s elasticity was remisniscent of one of them rustic, hearty, thick-crusted French loaves, none of that commercially soft white-bread nonsense.
I can’t say I’ve had the perfect pizza base and crust though, because while I could’ve nibbled away the rims, leaving behind all the ingredients, the base was as saggy as a ninety-year-old grandmother. If you’re not so adept with a fork and knife, I’d caution you with using hands because this is another one of those restaurants where eating pizzas for a first date is to be done with discretion, or not done at all.
Oliver ordered the Pizza Pizzotto, a simple and timeless combination of bacon, egg, mushroom and mozzarella cheese. Anything with bacon cannot possibly fail. Bacon on pizzas is like the butter to all cooking. Not essential all the time, but when it makes an appearance, suddenly you’ve got restaurant-worthy fare. And with perfect, melty cheese dappling the pomodoro base, this was another score.
I think it was only from the third slice the both of us had that the gravity of consuming an entire 12 inch pizza each started to hit. Ten minutes later, Oliver’s tummy started doing the funky like it has been the past…half a decade or so of his life. Tsk. He was full after his fourth slice. Needless to say, there wasn’t room for dessert this time.
I paused mid-chew, and stared. “What?”
“My tummy’s hurting,” he whined.
“Eh,” I looked around. “Go shit then, should be a toilet somewhere.”
“Nooo, I’m just full….”
I waved a hand dismissively. “Ah don’t worry, I’ll finish the rest of my half, and your…five-eighth…”
We dapao-ed in the end.
Ricciotti (China Square)
3 Pickering Street
China Square Central – Nankin Row
Tel: 6438 8040
10am – 11pm
(Closed on Sun)