The Place Located at Keong Saik Road few doors down from The Guild, the few weeks old Pasta Bar is a pretty open concept kitchen and restaurant space which focuses on none other than Italian pastas. The space takes reference from traditional pasta bars in Italy, with 18 bar counter seats where you can watch the chefs at play in the kitchen. The restaurant is helmed by Genova-born Chef Alessandro Giustetti, with precious culinary stint like Garibaldi. You can’t miss the hanging pastas at the counter the moment you enter the restaurant. Other than counter seats, there are also eight tables for bigger groups.
The Food There are eleven types of handmade pasta on the menu, along with other antipasti, meats and desserts. At a glance, the menu does remain me of Bar Cicheti located at the nearby Jiak Chuan Road, where I had a good dining experience previously. The pasta dishes are mainly chef’s family recipes and traditional Italian dishes, which I have not personally heard of some of them before. Chef uses different types of flour such as soft wheat, semolina, ‘OO’ or truffle flour, so you can expect some of the featured pasta to even have truffle flavour.
I started with an antipasti, the Veal Tongue (S$24) with pickled vegetables and salsa verde. The presentation is nothing fanciful, where you get thinly sliced tender veal tongue meat which goes well with the salsa verde sauce.
On to the homemade pastas, I started with the Pappardelle (S$30), a broad and flat shaped pasta with rabbit ragu, olive and pine nuts. The texture of the pasta is al dente, a good combination with the heavier flavour of the rabbit ragu. My only gripe is that the flavour of the pasta is quite salty.
The Tortelli (S$26) is my absolute favourite dish of the night. Shaped like wanton, the texture is anything but al dente, which works well for this dish. It is filled with pumpkin over sage sauce, where the pumpkin lends the pasta a nice naturally sweet flavour.
The last pasta which I managed to try is the Lagane (S$28), a vegetarian option which doesn’t use any egg in making the pasta. This is a Southern Italy dish which has elements like chickpea, chilli and spicy garlic. There is a dash of chilli powder on the pasta, which spots an al dente texture and a tinge of spiciness. I am neutral towards this dish as it is probably my first time trying lagane pasta, and I am not a big fan of chickpea as well.
For desserts, I had the Sicilian Cannolo (S$14), which is surprisingly acceptable for me. I was of the impression that it would be too sweet, but the filling of the sheep’s milk ricotta and chocolate chip are not too sweet. A noteworthy mention is the crispy fried dough here which has the component of red wine, hence the darker colour of the dough.
Rants The space of the restaurant is quite compact, which may not work well for bigger party sizes. For drivers, parking in the Keong Saik vicinity could be challenging especially on weekends.
Will I Return Again? The idea of a pasta bar is a fun one, which is not common in Singapore. If you love Italian food, Pasta Bar is worth a try.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
55 Keong Saik Road, 01-05
Tel: +65 6222 0627
Sunday to Saturday: 6pm to 11pm
Ranted by The Ranter