Matto Bar & Pizzeria
Add: Super Brand Mall, GF50, 1/F, 168 Lujiazui Xi Lu, near Lujiazui Huan Lu
. 陆家嘴西路168号, 正大广场1楼, 近陆家嘴环路
Tel: 5081 0966
Price: [lunch sets] 68~128 RMB [a la carte] 150~250 RMB/person
Visited on: 2012-07
Please note that this is an arranged tasting.
Matto, the new pizzeria by JIA Hotel, has been generating a lot of buzz lately especially among my friends in the F&B industry. “Great food at reasonable prices” is the phrase I keep hearing. Time to trek across the river to give it a try?
“Matto” is a light-hearted term meaning ‘crazy’, ‘mad’ or ‘wild’, and this style is certainly reflected in the restaurant design. The interior is a blend of industrial and natural materials infused with a sense of play – the hand-sketched graphics and MATTO characters on the black walls both add a sense of fun and personality.
Chairs imported from New York.
A ceiling covered with European-style metal tin.
The focal point of Matto is its pizza oven, which was hand-built by an Italian artisan using bricks and stones shipped from Italy. The specific materials and construction ensure that there is even heat distribution throughout, giving the pizzas their distinctively fresh, fire-baked flavor. Helming the kitchen is Enzo Carbone, a Naples-born chef who grew up in a family of trattoria owners, you can read more about him here.
We began lunch with a plate of Burrata (98 RMB) flown in from Puglia, served with vine-ripened tomato and rucola. Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream, with an unusually soft texture and a rich, milky, buttery flavor. Drizzled with olive oil, salt, and black pepper, it’s a simple and lovely appetizer.
Matto Fritto Misto for Two (118 RMB) is a platter of fried calamari, fried mini calzoni pizza filled with salame, ricotta and mozzarella, and fried aborio rice ball. Liked the calamari and calzones, but not so impressed by the aborio rice balls.
Cute plate, by the way.
Next up, the focus at Matto – pizzas. I chose a Matto specialty pizza made with Homemade Ricotta, Porcini, Mozzarella, Rucola, and 25-Year Aged Balsamic (148 RMB), which arrived sizzling hot on a 12” pizza stand. The aged Balsamic gave the pizza a distinctively sweet flavor, which worked rather well with the cheese and porcini.
Even more interesting was Montanara (88 RMB), a classic Pizza Margherita, fried. It was my first time trying a fried pizza, and while this not good for the waistline, I really quite enjoyed it. The pizza dough was first fried then baked with Margherita toppings, served puffy and just waiting to be sliced open!
Mezzanelli (88 RMB) with organic egg, grana padano, pork pancetta, and black pepper. It’s ok.
For a bit of midday dirnking, try Maestro (58 RMB), a blend of vodka, strawberry liqueur, maple syrup, Balsamic and lemon juice. Light and refreshing, won’t ruin your afternoon work day at all.
Moving on to desserts, starting with Matto Tiramisu (48 RMB) which turned out to be rather watery and bland.
Renaissance Prosecco and Mango Mousse (38 RMB) was a step up.
But my favorite was Amalfi Classic Frozen Chocolate and Homemade Ricotta Cake (48 RMB). The consistency was like that of a semifreddo, and the flavor rich but not overwhelming.
The verdict? Matto is indeed what people claim it to be – great food at reasonable prices. Its lunch sets, priced at 68~112 RMB, are especially attractive for those working in the Lujiazui area. They’ve even got a breezy terrace with bright yellow chairs (don’t these just lighten up your mood instantly?) that would be perfect for happy hours. Monday to Friday 3~8pm, 50% off on all draft beer, draft prosecco, soft drinks and wines by the glass. Anyone up for it?