Serangoon’s latest pizza haven
On a rainy Tuesday evening, a newly opened pizzeria in Serangoon, a short walk from Nex mall, became a cosy sanctuary for the cold, wet and hungry – like my friend and me.
The three-month-old, 38-seat Gusta Sourdough Pizza Co, which dishes out its style of Neo-Neapolitan pizza, pushes the boundaries of flavours and ingredients.
The light, fluffy and perfectly burnished dough – slow-proofed between 24 and 30 hours – is made with a blend of Italian and Japanese flours and Fleur de Sel de Guerande, one of the world’s finest sea salt.
On this chilly day, we sought comfort in the Raclette Cheese & Potato ($26.50) – a carb lover’s dream come true. The sourdough base carries a layer of lush raclette cheese and mozzarella, as well as thin slices of potato.
It is not as rich as it sounds and I’m sure we could have polished off the whole pan. But we have other pizzas to try.
Like the newly launched Parma Ham & Peach ($27.50), where the caramelised peaches add a lovely sweetness.
If you love the classics ($20.50 to $24.50), there are Margherita, Hawaiian and Italian Sausage. Add on sides such as burrata ($18.50) with juicy cherry tomatoes and sliced roast beef ($16.50) with chimichurri sauce.
Once operations stabilise, owner Sean Lai hopes to launch more flavours and open for lunch as well.
I have my eye on the mala chicken ($24.50) and another soon-to-launch pizza with freshly shaved truffles which Mr Lai hinted at.
Where: Block 326 Serangoon Avenue 3, 01-378
Open: 4.30 to 9.30pm daily
Tel: 8118-7552 (no reservations)
Steamed rice bowls at Musubi
Westies looking for a place to eat clean amid the festive feasting can head to two-month-old Musubi Japanese Tapas & Seiro Gohan at Jem mall.
I was hoping it would serve spam musubi – the popular Hawaiian snack with luncheon meat on rice.
But the restaurant’s name in Japanese kanji is directly translated as “steamed beauty”, so the menu focuses on steamed rice bowls – inspired by the art of wappameshi (a Japanese dish cooked in special round containers).
Many dishes also feature koji – fermented rice added to ingredients which enhances flavours with less salt required.
The $25 lunch set offers the best value – with a choice of flavoured steamed rice and accompanied with mini chawanmushi, tonjiru miso soup and six side dishes.
Rice options include shoyu-koji beef and lemon-koji chicken. On the a la carte menu, the rice bowls are priced from $12.50 (for dinner) and from $14 to $17.50 for lunch (with a choice of soup or chawanmushi).
The sides offer a quick sampling of other dishes on the menu, including steamed ika (squid) siu mai, lemon-koji karaage and yuzu macaron.
Other offerings such as udon and Japanese-style tapas are available.
Where: 04-13/14 Jem, 50 Jurong Gateway Road
MRT: Jurong East
Open: 11am to 10pm daily
Coffee classes at the Common Man Barista Academy
Not sure what to get your coffee-crazy friends for Christmas?
Sign them up for a class with the Common Man Barista Academy, which is by the folks behind the popular Common Man Coffee Roasters chain.
As workshops pick up steam again in the post-pandemic era, the academy is offering nine different classes, with up to 20 sessions weekly.
The Essential Coffee Knowledge class ($50 for 1.5 hours) provides an informative overview of how and where coffee is grown and processed, along with its unique characteristics.
Aspiring baristas can go for the Fundamental Barista Skills session ($170 for 2.5 hours), where they learn how to pull espresso shots and milk frothing techniques.
The Fundamentals of Latte Art class ($170 for 2.5 hours) covers the techniques of aerating and texturing milk, and how to create basic latte designs. The advanced version ($190 for 2.5 hours) delves into more intricate latte art.
If you love pourover coffee, go for the Fundamentals of Pour-over Brewing or Fundamentals of Immersion Brewing. Both workshops ($150 for two hours) focus on Filter Coffee, detailing the differences between Pour-over and Immersion brews.
I attended a mini crash course, which was specially arranged for the media and packed the various classes into almost three hours. It was led by two instructors – Mr Keith Yee and Mr Ker You Quan.
How did I fare? Let’s just say my latte art still requires plenty of practice, but I’m now equipped with a proper foundation to boost my brewing skills.
Where: Block 52 Chin Swee Road, 03-71
Open: 8.30am to 5pm (Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays), 9am to 6pm (Tuesdays and Fridays), closed on weekends