Pasta. That five letter word instantly evoking memories of all things Italian. Nowhere does pasta taste better that’s for sure. When you live far from Italy though you must get your fix elsewhere. Singapore has no shortage of Italian restaurants, all offering one form of pasta or another. My favourite pasta restaurants tend to be those that are family run, homely and not too hard on the wallet. Here are eight to choose from, including an alternate option for the gluten free peeps out there.
PerBacco for Great Value Pasta Lunches
PerBacco was such a pleasant little surprise on a visit there a couple of months ago. It’s one of those places that’s been on my list forever but I never quite made it to. Luckily @mooniphique suggested it as a lunch venue and off we went. The space in Tanjong Pagar is massive, there’s a full front bar area and then a restaurant seating at least 50. Decoration is quaint and wine focussed with barrels, bottles and boxes adorning the walls. Staff were super friendly and helpful too.
I don’t remember whether it was a coincidence or not but three of us chose pasta on our visit. What I love about the entire menu at PerBacco is the wide choice of options. There is an a la carte menu, a promotional lunch menu (which is really just a very good value bowl of pasta or pizza) or a choice of two four course set menus. The promotional lunch menu pastas are a very reasonable $12.90++ each, whilst a bowl of pasta from the main menu starts at $15++. That’s for a half portion but it was plenty for lunch when combined with a little bruschetta and a cheeky shared dessert. Full portions of pasta start at $30++ and are massive.
I chose the Bucatini with anchovies ($15++) and loved the combination of salty anchovies with thick bucatini pasta and crispy garlic slices on top. Seeing that our choices weren’t that big we decided to sneak in a delicious orange crepe for dessert ($14++) also to share. All in all a great value lunch in a nice space.
20 Craig Road, Tanjong Pagar
phone +65 6635 7130
Bella Pasta for Pasta by the River
Bad restaurants don’t tend to survive that long in Singapore. The fact that Bella Pasta (and Bella Pizza) have been around forever is an indication that they’re not too shabby. I’m not saying it’s the best pasta in the world, but if you fancy a decent bowl of pasta in a scenic location then Bella Pasta is hard to go past.
We tried the Spaghetti Alle Vongole ($23++) and the Linguine Al Gambero ($33) on our last visit. My vongole was good, with aldente pasta and lots of clams. I did think the sauce lacked a bit of oomph though. My partner, H, went for the Gambero, complete with beautiful, tender prawns and my little taste of that made me wish I’d ordered a serve. It had a nice spice with a good amount of sauce.
You can enjoy your meal with a glass of house wine or beer at a very reasonable $12++. Seating is best outside by the river but there is also air-conditioned seating inside.
30 Robertson Quay, #01-09, Singapore, 238251
phone +65 6734 0139
Closed Tuesdays, open for lunch and dinner on all other days
No Menu Bar for City Side Pasta
For a casual bowl of spaghetti in Telok Ayer you can enjoy the street side charms of No Menu. With seating only outside this isn’t one for everyone. But if it’s a balmy evening, sitting outside with a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine watching the hubbub of Telok Ayer is a nice way to spend the evening.
I really enjoyed a bowl of Orecchiette with Pesto and Broccoli ($26++), it was the right mix of healthy and hearty. Husband loved the Spaghetti with Prawns ($28++) the bowl was full of already peeled prawns (tick) and the sauce was not too heavy. A glass of house wine will set you back $10++. Service is worth mentioning, the staff know the dishes and are quick to assist when needed.
No Menu Bar
23 Boon Tat Street, Singapore
phone +65 6224 0091
Maggie Joan’s for Comfort Pasta
Whilst far from an Italian restaurant Maggie’s wowed me with a plate of Pappardelle Ragu ($26++) recently. The ragu was rich with real meat pieces as well as minced meat. The dish was topped with perfect shavings of parmesan to complement the already tasty dish. This is serious comfort food for a rainy day.
110 Amoy Street, Singapore (entry from Gemmill Lane)
Open for lunch Mon to Fri 12pm to 2.30pm
Open for dinner Mon to Sat 6pm to 11pm
Paper Crane for the One-for-One Deals
For another cheap and cheerful option check out Paper Crane’s 1-FOR-1 pasta deals every Tuesday and Thursday. We tried the pan fried sea bass spaghetti ($18++), a delicious combination of sea bass cooked in brown butter with tomatoes and roasted onion. The spaghetti with smokey tomato sauce and sausage ($16++) was also good, but not as memorable as the sea bass.
While we were waiting for our mains we also tried the popcorn fried chicken. These little pieces of crispy decadence were highly addictive and delicious. You can read more about Paper Crane here.
Paper Crane (at the back of the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations)
96 Waterloo Street, Singapore
phone +65 6837 0836
Open 11am to 10pm Monday to Saturday
Trattoria Nonna Lina for Crab Pasta
It’s been a while since I visited Trattoria Nonna Lina but one thing I do remember is the Penne Granchio. The sauce was deliciously spicy with a generous serving of crab and lovely, aldente, pasta. You can read more about Trattoria Nonna Lina here.
Trattoria Nonna Lina
61 Cantonment Road, Singapore, 089757
phone +65 6222 0930
Osteria Mozza for Something Fancy
Osteria Mozza is a slightly odd fit in this list. All the rest are homely Italian restaurants whereas Mozza is in the behemoth of Marina Bay Sands. We went recently before going to see Chicago at the theatre that’s across the way from here. I’d highly recommend Mozza if you’re after a pre or post show eat and/or drink. We enjoyed a lovely meal, and whilst it’s not cheap, it’s certainly not over the top.
What is over the top is the amazing Egg Raviolo ($25++). This dish stood out for its beauty and decadence. The raviolo is tossed in sage butter and when you dig your fork into the pasta the inside explodes with a gooey egg yolk creating a luscious sauce that will almost have you licking your plate. That’s it, I’m super hungry now!!!
2 Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay Sands Shoppes, B1-42 Galleria Level
phone +65 6688 8522
Food by Rebel Kitchen for Non-Pasta
If pasta isn’t your thing, then try the zucchini noodles (zoodles) at Rebel Food. I love the combo of a rich and meaty Bolognese on top of crisp and clean zucchini noodles. You can read more about them here.
Kitchen by Food Rebel
28 Stanley Street, Singapore
phone +65 6224 7008
Open 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday
Where’s your favourite place for a pasta fix?