Anyone who’s had the pleasure of visiting the Big Apple will have no trouble telling you that the experience of grabbing an enormous, cheesy slice of New York-style pizza on-the-go is one that staves imitation. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t countless pizza pie partisans who’ve tried, and Philippines-based Yellow Cab Pizza Co. is among the few who’ve managed to turn their adoration for the New Yorker staple into a recipe for international success. After expansions and subsequently satisfied pizza lovers in Qatar, United Arab Emirates and China, Singapore gets a slice of the action with its first Yellow Cab Pizza store at CityLink Mall.
Despite its nondescript location underground, the storefront’s immediately visible yellow signage is hard to miss. Flaunting a feature wall adorned with illustrations by the store’s head honcho and self-proclaimed ‘Pizza Girl’, Tiara Chopra, the shop’s interior is warm and inviting, while adopting a trendy, unpolished edge to separate it from Italian pizzerias or family restaurant chains – an apt parallel to its Manhattan muse. While indoor seating is limited, a spacious, yellow-bathed outdoor area doubles as an al fresco dining area and laidback beer garden. With eclectic furnishings that include seats fashioned from oil drums and stools crafted with bicycle handles (note: the bells are not for getting the wait staff’s attention), it’s easy to forget that you’re even below ground.
Appetisers like the finger-licking Hot Wings ($8 for four pieces/$11 for six) make clear that despite Yellow Cab’s position as an Asian take on an American spin on Italian food, bountiful flavour doesn’t get lost in translation. On the pizza front, those looking to get a single slice of pizza will need to look elsewhere; only full discs on offer here – but with generous pricing starting from $14 for a 10-inch pizza, you’d be loco to not want to polish off a whole pizza yourself. Yellow Cab achieves a dough base that is thin and crispy enough to crack with flaky texture in every bite, while thick and sturdy enough to make sure toppings don’t end up by your feet instead of your mouth. Anyone serious about pizza will immediately recognise the pizza’s easy ‘foldability’, which points to getting the dough right from the get go.
With a whopping fifteen different signature pizzas, where does one start? New York’s Finest ($16 for 10-inch/$26 for 14-inch/$38 for 18-inch) is a safe bet to start with and can be likened to the ubiquitous ‘Supreme’, packed with pepperoni, beef salami, Italian sausage, ham and vegetables (no pineapple, thank goodness). Those looking for variety without going overboard can look to the Four Seasons ($16 for 10-inch/$26 for 14-inch/$38 for 18-inch), which comprises four different pizzas – the pork-flooded NY Classic, Quattro Formagi-inspired #4 Cheese, the sharp and salty Anchovy Lovers, and the aromatic Roasted Garlic and Shrimp seafood affair – quartered into one single pizza.
Unquestionably the most interesting and unique item on the menu is the Dear Darla Pepperoni ($15 for 10-inch/$25 for 14-inch/$36 for 18-inch), an ode to the puppy love of The Little Rascals’ lead starsfor it’s inclusion of alfalfa (get it?). With a thinner, softer base that’s cut into squares, diners are encouraged to toss a bundle of alfalfa on each slice and roll it up like a wrap. While Italians and New Yorkers alike would undoubtedly balk at the suggestion of rolling up a handful of green sprouts with a slice of pizza, the results are a delicious and eye-opening reinterpretation of the modern wrap. Frankly, we’re surprised the idea hadn’t been cooked up sooner.
Wide range of beers to choose from, including the dependable San Miguel Pale Pilsen ($8) and Aussie brews James Squire Pale Ale ($9) and Little Creatures Pale Ale ($9.50). While pizza and beer go hand-in-hand, you could do worse than stray from convention and give the Hoopers Cloudy Lemonade ($12) a crack, a sweet and sour old-school lemonade that goes down smooth, but packs a creeping punch.
While CityLink Mall isn’t necessarily the most natural setting one would think of to dine within, Yellow Cab Pizza Co. is well worth getting off the train for (and a convenient detour for hungry commuters in the CBD). We’ve got a new favourite pizzaiola in town, “and it was all yellow”.
B1-01/02 CityLink Mall, 1 Raffles Link. Open from 11am to 10pm daily. For more info, visit facebook.com/yellowcabpizzasg.
Text Trent Davis
Images Yellow Cab Pizza Co.