Antonio Miscellaneo, 46, bristles with nervous energy. The swarthy Italian is bustling nonstop about his condo loft-cum-private diner in Joo Chiat. The setup is unique to say the least: a tasteful stone dining table with elegant floral napkins and glassware juxtaposed against a no-frills plastic table. The latter the kind of portable stand you break out to play blackjack on during Chinese New Year gatherings. But here’s where much of the action happens — where Antonio ‘performs’ for his guests. On it, he gingerly shapes the dough for his signature Neapolitan pizza.

He uses his fingers to gently nudge the shiny, soft lump into a neat disc. At one point, the dough looks as if it’s about to tear — but it’s pliable and sturdy enough that it doesn’t. He dresses it with tomatoes, cheese, drizzles it with olive oil and carefully slides it into the oven. The process is tricky; the pie is so fragile that at one point, refuses to budge from the paddle to his hulking Italy-imported pizza oven that barely fits within the apartment's narrow balcony. “This dough is too wet,” frets Antonio, though he manages to shove it in on his second attempt.

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