All eyes are on Pasta Bar, the unpretentious resto that serves authentic and lesser-known pasta dishes hailing from Southern Italy.
Keong Saik seems to be having a moment right now. From plant-based burgers to regional French cuisine, it’s giving us more reason to hop over to the hip ‘hood. Next on the list? Effing amazing pasta that’s freshly hand-pulled daily. So gather your pals or schedule date night – Pasta Bar is going to blow your mind with homemade pasta and regional Italian cuisine.
Before we get to the pasta, let’s talk about the interior. Intimate (sits up to just 34 diners), cosy and homely is the vibe as you’ll get as you enter this quaint New York apartment-style space. And with an open kitchen and bar counter, you can watch the chefs put their skills to work and even have a chat with Head Chef Alessandro Giustetti.
Chef Alessandro draws upon his Genovan roots, rich culinary heritage and experience with Michelin chefs and established restaurants including Garibaldi to whip out an unpretentious menu of 11 pasta dishes. You might think that pasta’s just a combination of water and flour but we’ve learnt there’s so much more to it. With 11 different otherworldly doughs, no two pasta dishes are the same – so you get a variation of mouth-feel, shape and consistency.
For starters, whet your appetite with arrosticini ($19), tender lamb on skewers served with rosemary infused olive oil or burrata to share ($38) with a homemade pesto ‘Genovese’. Side note: Chef Alessandro gifted us a portion of this pesto and we were scraping the sides of the jar in just two days. Dive right into the pasta menu with a familiar favourite – pappardelle with rabbit ragu ($30), made with semolina and double ‘00’ flour for a silky smooth texture. If you’re craving for something sweet, the tortelli with pumpkin and sage ($26) are like little pockets of caramelised goodness.
But since Pasta Bar pays homage to lesser-known dishes, don’t leave without trying the eggless lagane ($28) with chickpea and a spicy kick of chilli and garlic. It might not be the most pretty dish but you’ll get an earthy, tangy flavour and a taste of Southern Italy in just one bite. Trivia: word has it that it’s the first pasta dish ever recorded and Pasta Bar’s the first to serve it in Asia.
In the mood for something other than pasta? The mains shine with the veal tongue ($24) with pickled vegetables and salsa verde. This dish serves as Chef Alessandro’s efforts to avoid produce wastage and while some might shun away from it, we found the dish to be rather tender and not gamey at all.
Even the dessert menu and drinks are created with cool and unique twists. We were welcomed with a truffled old fashioned ($24) concocted with truffle infused scotch, porter syrup, shaved truffle and for dessert, you’ll find that the Sicilian cannolo with sheep’s milk ricotta and chocolate ($14) is darker than usual. It’s infused with red wine as the acidity cuts away the sweetness. Smart!
‘My menu truly appreciates the art and culture of pasta, and my diners will leave with a full stomach and a smile on their faces!” says Chef Alessandro. He’s definitely hit the mark. With a relaxed vibe that’s cosy enough for an intimate gathering or date night and with a menu of honest-to-goodness pasta dishes, we’ll go ahead and say that Pasta Bar would satisfy any pasta snob. Oh and we’re not done with this place yet. We’ve yet to try the highly-rated chef’s daily dish of lasagna that sells out almost every day. Hold a table for us, Chef.
Pasta Bar, 55 Keong Saik, #01-05, Singapore 089158; Opening hours: Sunday-Saturday, 6pm – 10:30pm. Closed on Mondays.