Pizza News

Think Small’s: This Pizzeria in Singapore Only Seats Four People

Small's, owned by Chef Bjorn Shen, offers Neapolitan-style pies, "inspired snacks" and an offbeat "pizza omakase" experience.

If you hate crowds, restaurateur Bjorn Shen’s new store in Singapore might be the place for you. It’s called Small’s for a reason: It can only seat four people, tops.

Featuring Neapolitan-style pizzas and minimal elbow room, Small’s books dinners for foursomes three times a week at a price of S$500 (Singapore dollars). A recent menu offered a choice of “inspired snacks” that included hot wings, deep-fried lasagna, meatballs and a Caesars salad, along with “new school pizzas” such as the Pizza Black (octopus, octopus bottarga and squid ink); the Dirty Board (prawn butter, black truffle and yeast); Pizza Vongole (clams, pecorino and samphire); and Pizza Alla Banh Min (kurobuta pork, mortadella and pate).

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“If you like your pizza thin and crispy with lots of toppings, you’ll hate us,” a January 18 post on Small’s Facebook page reads. “If you love good bread and quality toppings, you’ll have a great time with us.”

According to CNA Lifestyle, Small’s is a “tiny closet of a room that opens onto the courtyard of [Shen’s] flagship restaurant, Artichoke.” Shen believes it’s the smallest restaurant in Singapore and even the smallest pizza bar in the world.

this pizza shows Chef Bjorn Shen of Small's in Singapore

“This is my culinary version of a man-cave,” Shen told CNA Lifestyle. “This is where I geek out and do all my cheffy things.” It also gives him a chance to try out new concepts “without the bull—- and risk of actually opening new restaurants all the time,” he added.

The space previously served as Artichoke’s office, “where we were very unproductive,” he told CNA Lifestyle.

Shen is a national celebrity in Singapore and a judge on MasterChef Singapore. Since opening in 2010, Artichoke has received accolades for its Middle Eastern-inspired cuisine. At Small’s, he offers an offbeat dining experience called pizza omakase—omakase is a Japanese term for a menu chosen by the chef rather than the guest—that includes a lot of interaction between Shen and his diners.

this photo shows the bubbles in the crust of a pizza at Small's in Singapore

Per the Robb Report, Shen’s high-hydration pizza dough is made with a blend of flours combined in a secret ratio and cold-fermented for three to five days, then baked in an electric oven imported from Italy. The fermentation process yields a dough with complex flavors and bubbles under the surface of the crust. “It means that the crust will be puffy and light, with a good bounce, as opposed to being dense,” Shen told the Robb Report. “Most commercial places make a quick dough that’s rested overnight so that they can save on fridge space, and I don’t blame them because I know that operations can really be hindered if you have a big seating capacity and you had to leave all that dough in the fridge for that long. But because I only serve 12 people a week, I can do these sorts of things that make little operational sense otherwise.”