Inside Scoop: Ah Bong's Italian

We get to know Chris and his passion for pasta.

1. You used to be an accountant. What made you start Ah Bong’s Italian?

I wanted to be a chef since I was about 10 years old. I still remember spending my playtime writing imaginary menus with my cousin! Funnily and believe it or not, I also wanted to be an accountant! So I spent my younger years in the corporate world whilst cooking leisurely for friends and family in my spare time. With the support of my family, I finally took the plunge and made a career change about four to five years ago. I guess you can probably call it a mid-life crisis 😊


2. What’s the story behind the name?

The shop is named after my elder daughter. When she was younger, she used to topple over and knock her noggin on the floor, creating a “bong” like sound, thus earning her the nickname!

3. Any interesting stories behind your creations?

The Birthday Pasta is so named because it was actually a dish I made for my daughter’s birthday. The sauce is from a homemade broccoli pesto and some black pig bacon. I thought it would be a sneaky way to get the kids to eat their greens. Thankfully it was well received during the party by both kiddos and adults! It has since been a usual feature on our menu.

4. What or who inspires you?

About 12 years ago (I think), I visited a little hole-in-the-wall pasta restaurant in Sicily. Just good ol’ traditional food without unnecessary fuss or a multitude of ingredients. The pastas were fresh, mind-blowingly yummy and the environment was friendly and unpretentious.

5. What was your goal when you first began, and has it changed along the way?

The goal when I started Ah Bong’s was to create a variety of traditional pastas in a friendly environment and at an accessible price for all to try. To date, our food is still very simple and pretty traditional. Food is prepared in small batches, and the menu is kept small and changes frequently to ensure freshness and variety. Prices are still very affordable and we continue not to charge for service or gst.


Photo by Burppler Jason Wong

6.  Any memorable moments or highlights from this journey in F&B so far?

Every time I see a return customer, it is a moment of great gratification for me.

7. What’s the strangest or wackiest flavour combo you’ve experimented with?

We had a pasta called WTF! pasta which contains chicken, cheese and a secret fruit.  So far, only six customers have guessed correctly what the secret fruit is! Keep a lookout on our Facebook and Instagram for the return of the WTF! Pasta! Muahahhahaha. Why is it called “WTF!”?  Because that was my exact reaction when I first saw the recipe.


Photo by Burppler Veronica Phua

8. If you could only serve one dish at Ah Bong’s, what would it be?

It would be a traditional pasta dish from Rome called Cacio e Pepe. Delightfully simple with only two ingredients — cheese and pepper!

9. Uh oh, there’s no pasta left in this world, nor are you able to make your own! What would Ah Bong’s serve instead?

Bread! I love making bread. It is therapeutic and warm fresh bread always brings a smile to people’s faces.


Fresh bread with burrata, shared by Burppler Jamy Undies

10. What do you think is the greatest misconception about pasta?

That pasta should come with lots of sauce! Personally, I feel, once the noodles are consumed, the plate should be clean, with minimal traces of sauce left.

11. What is your personal favourite pasta dish?

I love fresh pasta with homemade basil pesto. We source our basil from a local supplier, which ensures that it is harvested only upon order! This results in a pesto that is so bright and flavourful. The fresh pasta adds another layer of richness and its texture allows the sauce to adhere to it beautifully.