Last Updated: February 14, 2021
If all food were a high school, pizza would probably be the popular kid. There’s little to deny the appeal of hot stringy cheese and splashes of tomato sauce atop a lovingly browned crust. I know it, and so does five-month-old Craft Pizza.
Amidst my search for the eatery, I turn the corner onto Boat Quay and all its waterside glory. I indulge in a slow saunter along the river, peering into bars bustling with the chatter of office folk after hours, heartily empowered by foamy beer mugs. It’s a heartening sight for a country so recently graduated from dine-in limits of five, and now to eight. Food is, after all, a rightfully communal affair.
But I digress. Stopping me in my tracks is a nondescript flight of stairs which points me towards Craft Pizza’s entrance above. Their furnishings are endearingly simple, where walls come bathed in a parmesan yellow, juxtaposed against mahogany tones of its furniture. All that is squeezed into snug quarters no larger than a secondary school classroom, though small talk and food are definitely encouraged here.
Fairy lights hang overhead as I cosy up into my chair. There’s something decidedly homey about the atmosphere that makes anyone and everyone feel welcome. If that isn’t enough, a polite greeting from the Prosciutto Bruschetta (S$15) should do the trick.
Delicate assemblies of parma ham, arugula, and bufala cheese rest atop superbly crunchy focaccia bread. All starters need to be as violently flavourful as this one, or at the very least, half as well thought out. There’s also cleverly secluded cloves of garlic in there which brings this starter from hero to infinite possibilities of deliciousness.
A playful venture into the pasta selections leaves me with the Pesto Alla Genovese (S$24). My choice isn’t entirely on a whim though. I do relish in seeing my name on restaurant menus—a luxury obviously afforded to the very few and privileged. *flips hair*.
I must say, this plate catches me a little off guard. It begins with casarecce, a pasta variant admittedly unknown to me prior to this meal. Gorgeously coated strands come beaming with flavour, bringing out the very best of the herb’s heady fragrance.
The folks behind Craft Pizza don’t skimp on ingredients either, because generous sprinklings of pine nuts breathe a much-applauded aroma to the sauce. It’s entirely reflective of the kitchen’s ethos, where honest, thoughtfully prepared food comes first over running up the grocery bill. Among all the dishes that night, this bowl gets mopped up the quickest. I desperately wish for all usage of basil to present like this. It really does do justice to
my the name.
At this juncture, I’m left a little starstruck by the opening plates. But collect myself I shall, for the deserved main event of the evening still lies in the pies. This is, after all, a pizza parlour. In the spirit of all things educational, we go back to the basics with the Craft Red (S$17).
I tear away at its blistered and blackened crusts, dissecting this pie with a focus that demands prompt rewarding. Bright acidic tomatoes and creamy mozzarella arrive hand-in-hand in an aggressively seasoned duo that checks sharp, tangy, and savoury all at once. It’s only further ameliorated by a semi-thick crust that exudes a profound fragrance and chew. It’s textbook outstanding, and I reckon that Craft Pizza can easily sway the populace with this.
As with all things good, I spring for a repeat indulgence, this time with a white San Salsiccia (S$25). Tomatoes aren’t invited to this party, but that doesn’t make it any less lively. Dollops of ricotta cheese sprout alongside sweet Italian sausage and twirls of caramelised onion. There’s a tussle of sweet and savoury here that proves a refreshing change from the pizza before. You’ll be more than satisfied with this well-balanced, dependable pie that pleases the fussiest of eaters.
Elsewhere, there’s the Bronx Bomber (S$28) protesting with a trifecta of pepperoni, Italian sausage, and meatballs, draped in melty blankets of mozzarella. The outer layer bursts open at the slightest tug of a fork, splitting open a mecca of flavour that puts this in the calzone hall of fame. Devouring this one isn’t the least bit difficult, even on a stomach packed to the brim.
A glass of Hazelnut Trifle (S$14) signals the end of our evening. Dessert isn’t a practical choice here, given how stuffed I already am. But hey, the heart wants what it wants. Our serving arrives with the Nutella financier a little lopsided in its disposition, but that doesn’t stop us from attacking it spoon-in-hand. It works wonderfully as a sweet, nutty finish to a lovely dinner, but don’t expect to be blown out of the water. Though sometimes, ‘it works’ is all you really need.
The time spent at Craft Pizza extends a little further past the final plate. Hunched over excellent and thoughtfully prepared food, engaging in conversation and light banter does seem inevitable. I neatly place this spot into my list of bring-your-family-and-friends-down locations, eager to plan my next visit down. At its centre lies a pizzeria which serves up some of the best pies and pasta in town, making this riverside spot along Clarke Quay one imbued with simple joys and lasting memories.
Expected Damage: S$20 – S$30 per pax
Our Rating: 4 / 5
35A Boat Quay, Singapore 049824
35A Boat Quay, Singapore 049824