Also known as Aglio Olio – Singapore’s version of pasta. We used to laugh at this, because it used to say “The Singapore’s version of pasta”. It was everywhere – on their menus, on the glass feature wall, and on the big yellow umbrella in the alfresco dining area. They must have finally copped on, though, because when we went for a quick dinner on Monday night after a fairly long hiatus, everything except the umbrella had been changed to a grammatically acceptable form.
This place really does serve pasta, Singaporean style. They essentially have 3 types of sauces – aglio olio, cream and tomato-based. You then have a selection of ingredients, ranging from bacon, ham, chicken, seafood and mushroom. Then the final aspect is the chilli level. There’s mild, normal, spicy and extra spicy, and the levels dictate how much chilli padi they add. Be warned though – mild already has a few slivers, so if you can’t take the heat of chilli padi at all, you may be better off asking them if they can hold the chilli completely.
A had the aglio olio with chicken, and I had the bacon cream-based sauce. I usually don’t order cream-based pastas, not because I don’t like them, but because I think they’re just too sinfully rich and fattening, and also they tend to get a bit gelak towards the end. But the chilli padi here nicely deals with the latter point (the fattening part is, alas, still an issue). The kick of the chilli makes each mouthful interesting and alive, so you don’t get the cloying richness of the cream sauce.
A had his mild, and I chose the spicy level, which really did kick some serious ass (literally too, the next morning, heh). However I have to admit that I’m quite a chilli padi addict so for those normal people out there, it’s probably safest to stick to mild or normal.
They do some fairly decent side dishes too, like Mushroom Nuggets which are essentially deep fried breaded mushrooms, and fried chicken wings.
The mild pasta I had was already a bit spicy. I’d advise against choosing the chicken cause you get occasional chunks of cartilage. Bacon seems like a good bet though.
Service is very attentive and good when the place is empty like last night, but expect long waits if it’s full. Overall, if you’re looking for a nice, simple and affordable pasta (Singapore’s version!) place in the area, this is what I’d recommend.
Note to self: Yogurt smoothie is not bad. Have that if not in the mood for coffee.
China Square Central
3 Pickering Street #01-40/41
11 am to 11 pm daily