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Sad Yuppie Pizza

Ate at Flour + Water, which just opened in our neighbourhood to massive amounts of publicity. After an awful-ish week, and starting on another one, both the spouse and I needed a night off.

Small and not particularly cosy on the inside, the tables were so crammed together, people could barely move. It was loud. We had to shout at each other to be heard, which was what everyone else was doing too, and that only made the noise levels worse. As we waited for our food, I felt increasingly unwelcome there. I don't usually feel that way about eateries, so when it happens, it gets quite disconcerting. It really felt like too many people in too small a space.

I originally read the restaurant's menu online, and was keen to try their egg pizza. Unfortunately, we must have come in on restocking week or some such, since the menu was limited, featuring repetitive (and not necessarily seasonal) ingredients. No egg pizza for me.

We ordered 2 pizzas and 1 appetizer. After a 35 minute wait with no food, the waitress brushed us off with, "The kitchen is backed up," then looked embarrassed when our pizzas came a minute later. She seemed almost ready to argue with us about whether or not our appetizer arrived too, though she eventually just took the appetizer off our bill when we requested that.

Now, when a restaurant has a nice name like "Flour + Water", I tend to assume that their food will taste like a little more than say, flour and water. We both agreed that our pizzas' crusts were some of the best we'd had in the city. They were thin crusts, with a lovely yeasty quality, and just the right amount of bite. However, the toppings did the crusts no justice. My Pizza Margherita was bland. The ingredients (tomato paste, mozarella cheese, a few leaves of basil) tasted fresh, but lacked any distinct flavour. On a pizza as straightforward as a Margherita, every ingredient should shine. It's about the natural zest in the tomatoes, the creamy richness of the cheese and the salt of the pesto lurking beneath it all. It's like the har kau (prawn dumplings) of dim sum -- a litmus text of the chef's skills. Failing this is like a crime against the cuisine.

I didn't try scanner_darkly's pizza (something with mussels, which I don't usually eat), but I did notice it seemed a little bare as well. Literally, a basic pizza base with mussels on top.

By the time we left the restaurant, it had gotten even fuller than it had been before. At the time of writing, it's a 2-week wait just to get a table. There was a pretty large crowd of walk-ins jamming up the doorway too. It's a little sad, but I have a feeling this place may run on yuppie/foodie hype for a while yet.

On the way home, we chanced upon a cool-looking German cafe that had mysteriously appeared a block away from our street. Only opening for lunch, the menu had a good selection of tasty things like cheese spaetzle and sausages cooked in beer. It must've just opened (to no fanfare), since we don't remember seeing it there before leaving for Malaysia.

Today, the husband tells me there is an intriguing creme brulee cart touring the Mission. How is there a creme brulee cart running in a 3 block radius from our house and neither one of us has noticed it yet?! Expect stalking, with spears.


Jun. 24th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
Mmmm. Walnut/gorgonzola! Not...so sure about the mac&cheese one though.
Jun. 25th, 2009 01:59 am (UTC)
the mac and cheese one was ok. I was probably let down because I know that I can make a mean mac and cheese at home.