The Place Gourmet cuisine in coffee shops, or local Kopitiam, has been trending the past few years, which is nothing but good news for foodies like us. Imagine getting your fix of French or Italian cuisine at wallet friendly prices while trading off some form of comfort such as air-conditioning, which brought us to Ah Bong’s Italian, a fuss-free stall which serves comfort pasta dishes at affordable prices for the masses. Located in the two-faced coffee shop in the Tiong Bahru enclave, Ah Bong’s Italian is the brainchild of Accountant-turned-Chef Chris who decided to pursue his passion in culinary few years back, formerly trained in various stints such as Chef Bruno Ménard’s La Cantine. Personally, I like the concept of a modern Italian stall serving “Ang Moh” food in a quaint coffee shop in the estate, which inadvertently makes the humble stall even more charming.
*Update: Ah Bong’s Italian has moved to 103 Beach Road, #01-02, Singapore 189704
The Food There are no more than three mains on the menu most of the time, so it really depends on what you are in for on the day you drop by. It is a plus for me that the portions at Ah Bong’s Italian is fairly petite, which makes it ideal for me to order at least two different varieties for a meal. My all-time favourite has been the reasonably priced Mac and Cheese ($5 – top up $1 for truffle oil), which hit all the right notes with its al dente texture and right amount of cheesiness. Highly recommended to try at least once.
Of course, I could not resist trying a few more dishes after making all the way here, so that explained the Pork Genovese ($6) and Fish Roe Carbonara ($8) which were equally hearty. All the ingredients at Ah Bong’s Italian is freshly prepared as I understand from Chris, such as the fish roe which inspired him to create the Fish Roe Carbonara for the day. On a side note, I like the stark contrast of the vintage-theme utensils for the pasta.
Pork Genovese (S$6)
Fish Roe Carbonara (S$8)
Rants Not much glam fare having “atas” Italian pasta in a kopitiam, so prepare some tissues for a sweaty dining affair on a hot day. That said, we couldn’t bear to rant further with the great quality and reasonable price.
Will I Return Again? While Tiong Bahru has become a hipster enclave these few years, we are glad that there is a stall called Ah Bong’s Italian at a corner of the charming estate which stay true to serving hearty comfort food. This is undoubtedly going to be one of my pit-stop if I happened to be in this area.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 3/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Ah Bong’s Italian
56 Eng Hoon Street
#01-46, Tiong Bahru Estate
Monday to Friday: 10am to 2.30pm
Saturday: 9.30am to 2.30pm
Ranted by The Ranter