|D.O.P. Mozzarella Bar and Restaurant at Robertson Quay|
A play on the European Union scheme of Protected Designated Origin, DOP Mozzarella Bar & Restaurant by Luca Iannone, one-time owner of Capri Italian Restaurant at Bukit Timah, opened without fanfare at Robertson Quay in early July.
As its name implies, the restaurant prides itself on buffalo mozzarella from the owner’s hometown of Campania, where cheeses are made according to strict production rules that comply with the Consortium for the Protection of Buffalo Mozzarella. Founded in 1981, it is the only institution recognized by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to protect and promote mozzarella di bufala DOP from Campania.
While buffalo mozzarella is the star of the show at DOP, it is far from being the main cast and a quick glance at the glass-encased chiller at the bar will reveal other mozzarella options like smoked buffalo mozzarella, treccia, home made burratina (from cow’s milk rather than buffalo milk) and burrata (from Puglia). These are best sampled via the “Make Your Own” antipasto (S$27) where diners pick one mozzarella, one side dish and one cold cut from a selection. We had a parcel of house made burratina, some deliciously warm caponata as well as a mix of cold cuts including Parma ham, salami and mortadella. (4/5)
Additionally, DOP also offers an extensive menu of “sfizi” (Italian for snacks).
Don’t miss the octopus from Italy slow-cooked for three hours with tomatoes, capers and olives (S$19). Served in a cocotte, the little chunks of octopus are coated thickly in its braising liquid and are good on its own or slathered richly on accompanying toasts. (4/5)
If you’re game for more cheeses, try the “fior di latte” (mozzarella cheese made from pasteurized or unpasteurized cow’s milk), a parcel of mozzarella weighing 125g is stuffed with Parma ham, sundried tomatoes and basil, battered and deep-fried. Eat it hot so that the outside remains crisp and the insides all “melty” and enrobed with umami from the stuffing. (3.75/5)
DOP also serves up some rustic plates of pasta and risotto like the little pillows of homemade gnocchi tossed with sliced porcini mushrooms and whole walnuts in a creamy mascarpone cheese sauce (S$21). Or the homemade scialatielli (a type of thick and short pasta that looks like linguini or fettucini) served warm with melted caciocavallo (a stretched-curd sheep or cow’s milk cheese with a tear-drop, edible rind) in the cheese’s melon-like, hard rind. (3.75/5)
Have these with the affordably priced wines (starting from S$9 per glass or S$40 per bottle) and don’t leave without trying the flourless chocolate almond cake (S$10).
60 Robertson Quay #01-04A The Quayside, Singapore 238 252 | +65 6908 0830 | dop.restaurant