Afterthoughts – Pizza, Mama Mia! at Motorino
Recently, I’ve fallen into a love affair with pizza (as evidenced through my recent postings). This past Friday, I decided to sneak a peek at the newly opened Motorino to taste for myself what everyone has been raving about.
Well, a peek is really all I got, since the server cheerfully delivered the grave news – the wait list would be 1.5hours! Standing around while my stomach self-digested was certainly not my idea of a “fun evening out” so I took to the streets of Soho to scavenge for an alternative. Seriously, I am not a fan of all these no reservation policies popping up around new restaurants. If I make up my mind to eat somewhere, I expect a guaranteed table instead of wandering around aimlessly waiting for hours – have some respect for the diners’ time!
Despite my ramblings, undeterred, and determined, I made my second attempt the following day for a matinee performance, and my perseverance was royally rewarded.
The perfect pizza must go with the perfect pizza wine. I love sipping light, refreshing wines during afternoons, there is just something so elegant and effortlessly European about the whole affair. We started the meal with refreshing, chilled glasses of Gragnano, a frizzante red hailing from a town of the same name outside of Naples. Semi-sparkling with a hint of sweetness, it’s the perfect wine to cut through the richness of pizza oozing with cheese. (I loved how they served this deliciously fruity wine – in an unpretentious little glass)
I have a weakness for eggs (it’s always my top 3 foods to pack if I were ever stranded on an island), so when I saw the Pizza Al’Uovo on the weekend brunch menu, I had to have it! A doughy, yet thin, pizza layered with fior di latte (mozzarella, from a cow instead of a buffalo), fried farm free eggs, smoked pancetta, fresh basil, pecorino, and drizzled with chili oil – it was perfection. I’ve never had pizza of the same texture anywhere else in HK – thin in the middle and radiating into thicker density towards the crust. Chewy, doughy, yet thin – it was uniquely delicious. The fior de latte was luscious, and in my opinion, brimming with more milky, creamy flavour than the predictable buffalo variety. I loved how the eggs were semi-cooked and oozing with golden yolky silkiness. It was a challenge cramming it all in my mouth without breaking the yolk! The basil added spikes of interest to an otherwise soft plateau of rounded flavours.
Folding my pizza like a New Yorker (of which I am not).
The Mister and I played safe and balanced our menu choices with a predictable favourite - prosciutto di Parma. You can’t really mess up a prosciutto pizza, it’s predictability delicious, and sometimes, you just crave a sure thing. The pizza was generously draped with ribbons of salted ham, and I fell into utter infatuation with the fior di latte. The sharper, saltier pecorino provided well-timed punctuation to the overall composition.
Verdict: This is a no brainer, as already demonstrated with my illustrious comments above. I like things that surprise me, and Motorino’s chewy yet thin, flavourful dough really struck a chord. This is a hip, fresh little shop that whips up quality food with a good dose of creativity, while still staying very down to earth. It’s the perfect little matinee spot, and I will certainly be back for more, along with a few more glasses of that sublime pizza vino. Next time, maybe I’ll tackle the brussels sprouts with roasted garlic, or sink my teeth into the cremini mushroom with sweet sausages. Oh, the anticipation!
14 Shelley Street, Soho
Tel: 2801 6881