Whether it’s smothered in creamy carbonara or doused in fragrant olive oil, no one can resist a steaming plate of pasta. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of restaurants in Singapore to get your fix of aglio olio and lasagna.
But not all pasta joints are created equal. Those worth their salt don’t just get the sauce right, but also cook their pasta perfectly al dente, with that hard-to-achieve balance of chewiness and firmness. And then there are restaurants that take it a step further by making their own strands of spaghetti and linguine on the daily.
If you’re a pasta lover, you owe it to yourself to check out these three new spots that serve fresh, handcrafted pasta dishes made with skill and lots of love.
The centrepiece of this intimate eatery is an 18-seater bar where you won’t find jiggers and bottles of spirits, but an open kitchen with laces of hand-pulled pasta dangling overhead. The latter aren’t just for show—they’re the raw materials for Chef Alessandro Giustetti and his team to work their magic, treating diners to a mesmerising spectacle of kneading, tossing and masterful plating. While there are other seating options, we highly recommend booking a spot at the bar to get your money’s worth.
Speaking of which, the price of the mains here go from $28 to $42, so dining here ain’t cheap. But trust me when I say they’re worth the, ahem, dough. Each and every one of the 11 mains are made with a different type of pasta—each handmade daily with a unique mouthfeel, texture and flavour—that best complements the seasonal ingredients.
Fettuccini in truffle butter, $42
Reginette with rabbit ragu, $34
Mama’s Baked Pasta al Forno, $28
Highlights from the menu include the Fettuccini with truffle butter, a generous serving of shaved truffle and hand-grated parmigiano. In my opinion, this dish embodies the spirit of fine Italian cooking, where only a few ingredients are used to leave space for each to fully express itself. This is a subtle dish done to perfection—a dance of textures, flavours, sights and smells that left me smiling from the first bite to the last.
Be sure to also try the Lagane—flat squares of pasta served with chickpeas in a garlic-chilli sauce. One of the oldest known pasta recipes, this creamy, spicy dish is quite unlike anything I’ve ever had, and is a must-try.
While pasta’s the main attraction, the starters are equally impressive, especially the smoky, tender Veal Tongue served with pickled vegetables and salsa verde, as well as the Arrosticini (grilled lamb skewers seasoned with sea salt, rosemary oil and lamb jus), which is served in a traditional terracotta pot. For dessert, go for the Sicilian Cannolo made with a red wine-infused shell, sheep’s milk ricotta and chocolate chip—you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better canoli on the island.
Pasta Bar also scores bonus points for the fine list of Italian wines (my pick: the Balto 2016, a bold red from Tuscany), the cosy setting, and the impeccable choice of music—an eclectic mix of classic alternative pop ranging from Portishead to Cocteau Twins. In short, it gets just about everything right and is defo worth checking out, whether it’s date night or an evening out with your fellow pasta-loving BFFs.
Pasta Bar is at #01-05, 55 Keong Saik Road.