Photo: Blue Label Pizza
If you do a Google search of Blue Label Pizza, the first result reads Blue Label Pizza - The Best Pizza in Singapore.
Confident or arrogant?
One thing is for sure, the new restaurant by American chef Travis Masiero, who also owns Luke's in Gemmill Lane and The Heeren, is worth checking out.
Blue Label Pizza & Wine, which takes over the old B28 Whisky Bar premises in Ann Siang Road, is set to be one of my favourite hangout spots, the way Luke's was until the prices made me dizzy and I couldn't afford to eat there anymore.
For now, I can still afford one of Masiero's pizzas. Maybe even two. It will be tough picking them, but I'll try.
The two I like best are Umami Bomb and Salmon Gravlax EBP ($29 each).
Umami Bomb lives up to its name, with sliced shiitake mushrooms, spinach, lemon, anchovies and goat cheese, all known for their deeply savoury flavour. Combine them and the pizza is robust and gutsy. I do not miss the meat. Better yet, the toppings sit on a phenomenally crisp cornmeal crust which does not sag in the middle. I usually leave behind the rim of the crust, but finish every bit of the one at Blue Label.
I initially dismissed Salmon Gravlax as gimmicky, but I judged too soon. The EBP in the name is Everything Bagel Pizza and the rim of the crust is studded with sesame and fennel seeds, which usually go on top of bagels. The salmon slices are firm, the chive cream cheese softens and becomes creamy on the hot crust, and I would like to buy jars of the tangy pickled onion.
A good option for meat lovers is the J-Dog ($32), a red sauce pizza topped with pork sausage, bacon and pepperoni. What stops this one from inducing food coma? Slices of pickled jalapeno, which cut through the richness of the meat.
There are other good things to order. Chicago-style Spinach & Artichoke Dip ($21) makes for compulsive eating, although I would prefer the handmade potato chips the chef used to turn out at Wine Garage many years ago, to the corn chips he serves with the dip. Berkel Sliced Meats & Kielbasa ($34) with Iberian ham, coppa, fennel salame and Polish sausage is excellent too. I wish the flavourful and snappy kielbasa would make its way onto a pizza.
For dessert, there is soft serve. The flavours vary and the current Spiced Pumpkin Swirl ($8) has the benefit of not being sweet. It is a strange dessert that is almost devoid of sweetness, but the thick, creamy texture makes me go back again and again with my spoon.
If all this food isn't enough, order Grandma's Carrot Cake ($12), a slab the size of an HDB block. It is homespun but sophisticated, the way Blue Label is.
The Best Pizza in Singapore? For now it is.
Where: Blue Label Pizza & Wine, 28 Ann Siang Road (nearest MRT stop is Telok Ayer)
Open: Noon to 2pm, 6pm till late (weekdays), 6pm till late (Saturdays), closed on Sundays
This story was first published on The Straits Times.