p Picks and Pecks: review: osteria mozza

Saturday, June 29, 2013

review: osteria mozza

address: Marina Bay Sands, Bayfront Avenue B1 Galleria Level 42-46

One of the limitations of dining alone is that you're constrained to about two courses at the most - and you don't get to sample the entire menu in front of you by (gently) coercing your friends to pick items so that each plate is unique. Also, you miss out on conversation, which is crucial to the thorough enjoyment of food - in my opinion.

In this case, I hoped to remedy the situation by sitting at the bar at Osteria Mozza, so that I could stare into the depths of the wood-fired pizza oven. 

Sympathetic staff were quite attuned to this - I assume they were used to travelers coming in alone. They kindly offered smaller portions to me - a side order of prosciutto instead of a full order - so that I could make the most of the menu. 

But first - bone marrow. Lovely  soft, rich, decadent marrow... grilled in the bone split down the middle. You scoop out the gelatinous morsel onto the toasted bread, like a bit of better butter. The marrow was seasoned perfectly - I've had marrow that was nothing more than an oily mess because care wasn't taken with the amount of salt and pepper to bring out its delicate flavor.

Next, a lardo pizza and the proscuitto. The lardo was thin sheets of cured fat, sprinkled with rosemary, on a pizza crust that got scorched in the oven. You almost need to concentrate to taste the whiff of rosemary on the fat - although it sounds oily, in reality it is light and delicate thanks to the thin crust. The proscuitto though - looking paper thin, it was smoky and funky - perfect for picking up with my fingers and eating it alone.

One benefit of dining alone - no one watches your manners! I realized close to the end of the meal that I had eaten almost all of it with my fingers, and dessert was no exception. 

The cannoli was recommended by the staff - saying that this was a "light" dessert. Well, light might be relative - the cannoli came with vanilla ice cream piped into the cannoli shells, covered with crushed pistachios at either end. To top it off, stewed cherries in kirsch were spooned over the cannoli. If the only cherries you've eaten are the obscenely red cherries that they add to Shirley Temples, then this would be a revelation - they were soaked with a musky sweetness and concentrated jamminess (is that even a word!?)

Would I come back? Definitely - sitting at the bar meant that the staff fussed over me and I got a bird's eye view of every pizza that came out of the oven, even if I couldn't eat each one.

address: Marina Bay Sands, Bayfront Avenue B1 Galleria Level 42-46