Saturday, 4 April 2015

Motorino Pizza - New York comes to Hong Kong

I love pizza!

It's a great way to start, right, stating the obvious.  Pretty much everyone loves pizza, and with good reason, it's a simple staple that just tastes great.  I've spent plenty of time in cities around the world where the pizza is supposed to be the best, including Rome and New York (see post here).  I found the pizza in Rome to be the best, but unfortunately, the pizza in New York was a mixed bag, ranging from completely amazing to pretty much 'meh.

Living in the Mid Levels means that I'm forever traipsing up and down the escalators (or magical anti-gravity machine) that runs from Central, right the way through Soho to Conduit Road.  It's hard not to notice that there is a little slice of New York, right in the centre of Soho.  Motorino Pizza is a little pizza joint that opened up in Brooklyn New York, a neighbourhood pizzeria with big ambitions. With outlets in New York, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore Hong Kong, the team from Motorino are bringing a slice of the Big Apple to Asia.

We'd zoomed up the magical anti-gravity machine dozens of times before we thought we'd stop in and see if we could be transported back to New York, and memories of our greatest holiday. Motorino is a pretty compact little restaurant and stepping through the front doors did transport us back to our time in New York.  Exposed brick walls were reminiscent of little cafes in the Little Italy and were very much a feature of many of the pizzerias in NYC.  

After grabbing a seat at one of the very close and cramped tables, we were given couple of menus to look over.  As you'd hope, the main focus of Motorino was on pizza but there were a couple of antipasta options, but with nothing really standing out, we turned our focus to the pizza options.  With around a dozen options, there are most pizza combinations that you could hope for, and next to the pizza was pretty comprehensive list of ingredients that you could add - should the mood grab you. Keeping it simple, we just ordered off the standard menu.

I'm a sad traditionalist when it comes to pizza, so it was no surprise when I ordered the Margherita, which came with a rich tomato sauce, mozzarella di bufala and a drizzle of olive oil.  I was a little surprised to see that some pecorino cheese was added, a little bit of a deviation from the traditional Margherita.  When delivered, the pizza looked the goods.  The tri colour of the Italian flag was represented but I was a little disappointed to see how much crust was on my pizza, it was thick and there was a lot of it.  My first bit of the pizza told me everything I needed to know...  Good flavour from the tomato sauce and the creamy mozzarella was also good, but my pizza was soggy!  The pizza dough had not been delivered crispy and it felt a little thick, which seriously detracted from the overall pizza experience.

Wondering if it was just my pizza, I checked in with SC to see how her Soppressata Piccante was going.  Again, the ingredients were all there, the spicy sausage was nice and hot, just as it should be but the pizza had way too much crust and was soggy as well.  

There are some pizzas that you get where they start off crisp, but due to the olive oil and tomato sauce, they go soggy.  For me, this is acceptable, but the Motorino pizzas were not like that, the dough was a bit thick and just didn't go crispy at all.  There are a couple of things that could have happened here, either the pizzas were not cooked long enough, or the pizza dough was a little thick.  I tend think that the pizzas were not in the oven quite long enough, my mozzarella could definitely have been a little more melted.

So, our trip to Motorino was true to our trip to New York, where on the whole the pizza didn't live up to expectations.  In my experience, for all the hype, NYC pizzas don't really come close to their European counterparts.  

There are quite a few pizza joints in Hong Kong and we've had some pretty decent pizza here, it just turns out that Motorino is not on the list.  Look, it's not terrible pizza, not by a long shot...  The ingredients are all good quality and the tomato base is actually very good, but the line between great and average pizza is very thin (just like a good pizza base should be)....  The perfect pizza needs all the components to come together and that includes a crispy base and it just didn't happen.

SC's wine punch - good accompaniment to a tomato base pizza

You can see how thick the pizza dough turned out - it led to soggy pizza
Great colour and that tomato sauce was lovely - the mozzarella was not quite melted fully - could have spent more time in the oven
My pizza looked the goods but just didn't deliver
keeping it cool
Midway up the Soho escalators
Motorino has been in HK since 2008

1 comment:

  1. Although this place is probably not cheap, but they are centrally located, have fabulous staff and delicious food, and most importantly, the best views of the city. I would definitely recommend this party space nyc for any kind of fancy event – all my friends talked about throwing parties here only.


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