Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia!

These Italian eateries are sure to satisfy even the most demanding mafia dons for authentic, appetizing Italian fare. And it will definitely satisfy you.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

Yet another pasta offering by @lumbre.sg is the Rigatoni Pasta Stuffed with Seafood and Bisque Sauce ($28++). However, this one was more memorable than the preceding pasta dish due to its uniqueness & unctuousness. Stuffed rigatoni isn’t common, so it was a novelty that needed to be sampled.

The hollow cavities of the al dente rigatoni pasta are stuffed with a chopped up seafood mix, swaddled in zucchini slivers and immersed into a shallow pool of foamy seafood bisque. The bisque is undeniably umami, with a deeply satisfying salinity that could only come from shellfish slowly boiled in seafood stock, and it’s the main seasoning for the entire dish.

The zucchini is sliced into ribbons so thin they’re translucent, but they’re thick enough to render a refreshing crunch as you gnaw on each individual rigatoni. It’s a welcome textural contrast to the soft, al dente characteristics of the rigatoni pasta and the perfectly poached seafood stuffing within. Speaking of the seafood filling, it was brilliantly bouncy in texture, while maintaining a satisfyingly meaty chew as you bite into it. If I were forced to guess the identity of chopped seafood trio stuffing, I’d say it’s a medley of prawn, squid and perhaps a smattering of clams within.

At the end of the day, the identity of the seafood components within the rigatoni don’t quite matter, as they are merely a congenial component in a dish that unites the best of each element to create a superb symphony of sumptuousness on a plate.

@pitypartypasta has recently restarted operations in the incredibly bussin’ suburb of Joo Chiat, albeit this time as a delivery/takeaway only concept. Their menu has expanded a bit from their Sprout Hub days, and what I’m (almost) certain is a new arrival to the party is their Pork Ragu Pasta ($16, excluding any possible delivery charge).⠀

A tantalising tomato ragu that’s gloriously laden with lots of minced pork is ladled onto tortiglioni, and that’s all she wrote. It seems to be a common theme of pasta dishes: incredibly simple ingredients that rely on the quality of said ingredients & the skill of the chef to be delicious. Pity Party is definitely all party & no pity, because their chef has the skills to pay the bills and they’ve got some top quality ingredients to work with.⠀

The ragu isn’t particularly liquid, and is more ‘minced meat with a bit of sauce’. It makes sense when you consider that they primarily do deliveries, and that dummy thicc ragù got me licking my lips. It’s perfectly balanced in all departments: it’s slightly tangy from the tomatoes, slightly sweet from the tanginess getting balanced out, and sufficiently salty to provide satisfaction. It was gloriously garlicky, and had a healthy amount of herbs in it that gave it an amazing aroma. Rosemary, thyme and sage are the holy trinity of herbs, and you can’t name a more iconic trio.⠀

As for the tortiglioni, which is rigatoni’s big brother, it was just over al dente, with a delightful bite to each big noodle offset by just the right amount of softness. These hollow canals were the perfect mode of transport for the marvellously meaty ragù, as it is strong enough to withstand the weight of the mouthwatering meat sauce.⠀

With utter bangers like this palatable pork ragù pasta, it’s gonna be a pity if you miss out on this pleasurable party.

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I’ve fawned over @wineconnectionsg wondrous weekday set lunches before, and now I’m back for more. Instead of one of their tremendous thin crust pizzas, I went for their luxurious lasagna this go around. Wine Connection’s hearty homemade beef lasagna normally costs $16.90 as part of the set, but do you really expect an alcoholic like me to eat lasagna without a glass of wine on deck? Why yes OF COURSE I WILL be having a glass of merlot for an extra five dollars, yes please and thank you.⠀

Wine Connection might be perceived as a slightly upper class watering hole, but their chefs are more than up to the task of producing fantastic food. The tomato base of the beef ragù strikes an ethereal equilibrium between the sweet & sour tastes inherent in all tomatoes, and the minced beef is present in sufficient strength to impose its beefy saltiness upon the entirety of this cheesy, majestically melty mess.⠀

The perfectly chewy & supple sheets of pasta sandwich each layer of bewitching beef ragù and dollops of ricotta and repeat itself in a scrumptious symphony. Of course, that symphony comes to an electrifying crescendo when it gets thoroughly topped with a glut of gratinated mozzarella cheese before getting broiled under an infernal flame. The result is one of the most breathtaking sights to ever grace this planet. Better than some poxy waterfall or mountain if you ask me.⠀

Tl;dr? Bro just read the caption lmao it ain’t that long you lazy ass mf

The final dish we had at @fyrjalanbesar was the sublime Spinach & Mushroom Ravioli ($22++). It’s not covered by #burpplebeyond 1-for-1, but that’s quite alright. Each serving consists of four average sized parcels of pasta wrapped around the gift of a spinach & mushroom filling that might be bound together by ricotta cheese.⠀

While I was expecting more filling in each ravioli for the price I was paying, the fillings within were plenty flavoursome. The umami moreishness of the mushrooms interacts well with the slightly sharp & vegetal flavour of the spinach, and they’re wrapped up in a thin, supple pasta dough that was cooked absolutely al dente.⠀

The superbly savoury crème sauce inundating the dish is fortified with truffle oil & parmesan, giving the rich cream sauce the heady aroma of truffle and the satisfying sapidity of the grated parmesan. Everything in this dish is soft and requires minimal chewing, so it could’ve gotten a bit boring without the intervention of some crunchy toasted walnuts. Cheese, cream & nuts go well together, and Fyr’s redolent ravioli is yet another testament to that immutable fact.⠀

Ravioli ravioli, give me the pasta I deservioli. 🤌🏽🤌🏽🤌🏽

1 Like

@cuginisingapore is a long running Italian establishment in Singapore, but this is my first time ever sampling their fare. And if this plate of Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese ($35++) is any indication of the standards at Cugini, this’ll be the first of many visits.⠀

Bolognese pasta has always been a bit of a Plain Jane, and I usually pass it over in favour of flashier menu options. This time, some invisible force compelled me to order a portion of the bolognese, which happened to be a special on the Friday I popped in for dinner. I owe said invisible force a couple of beers, because this bolognese is beyond breathtaking.⠀

The meaty ragu of Iberico pork & wagyu beef has been painstakingly & slowly simmered down into the thick, tantalising sauce you see, resulting in meat that quite literally melts in your mouth without chewing. The proteins have broken down so well over the course of the braise that merely prodding a piece of meat with your fork is sufficient to break it up. The sauce is definitely much more on the heavy, beefy & sapid side as opposed to the more common tangy tomato-y flavour profile, which I thoroughly loved.⠀

The homemade tagliatelle was epic, with a sprightly springiness and a delightful bite. The just al dente noodles were perfect for mopping up every last drop of the ridiculously rich & redolent ragù, and its broad flat profile was the perfect pasta for delivering that majestic, meaty ragù as efficiently as possible onto your tongue. The chunks of carrots from the soffritto (the Italian equivalent of mirepoix) base that were present within the pasta were stunningly soft, a testament to the painstaking amount of time & effort put into cooking down the ragù into its gloriously delicious final form.⠀

The terrific Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese is an eye watering $35++, but it is ludicrously mouthwatering, and I’d splash the cash again without hesitation.

The Fiery Crab Shrimp Aglio Olio has a pretty impressive title, and it actually lives up to the hype. Besides the half dozen bouncy, fabulously fresh shrimp that’ve been seared superbly, there’s a fair bit of shredded crab claw meat lurking within the lusciously lubricated linguine. Delivering on the ‘fiery’ part of the name is an abundance of dried chili flakes that’ll turn up the heat. You will be reaching for a cold drink to alleviate the heat, and it’s quite coincidental that Beer Basket just so happens to sell ice cold beers. Hmm. Really gets my noggin’ joggin’.

So, once Lockdown 2: Electric Boogaloo is over, you must head on down to Beer Basket and rob them with your accomplice, Burpple Beyond. Once more, thanks for the hospitality, @beerbasketkatong & @burpple!

@pitypartypasta is decidedly not new, but it is very definitely out of the way of most, as it’s a stall in @city_sprouts. The Squid Ink pasta will set you back by fourteen bucks nett, and it’s a shocking steal for freshly made pasta. The homemade squid ink tagliolini is tossed in a piquant potpourri of seafood broth & homemade coconut wine, and garnished with a smattering of seafood.⠀

The surprisingly creamy broth & coconut wine mixture tilted towards the sweet end of the spectrum, which is fine for a seafood pasta. The springy, amazingly al dente homemade tagliolini managed to get a fair bit of the sweet-ish sauce to cling to it, and every mouthful is a velvety, sweet, and utterly unctuous pasta experience.⠀

The seafood medley which comprised of clams, shrimps and squids were relatively fresh & cooked perfectly, comprehensively coated in the same sweet but palatable broth. While the pasta could’ve done with a touch more salt, it’s still a sumptuous seafood pasta that can and will give restaurants a decent run for their money. Ain’t nothin’ pitiful about this pasta, it’s all PARTAAYYY!!!

Pasta tends to be a simple dish, which leaves it entirely up to the quality of the ingredients & the chef to make or break it. Over at @gastronomickitchen, they got both aspects amply covered, which is why it’s become my go to spot for bargain pastas done right.⠀

While the white wine mussel pot ($8.90 nett) could benefit from stronger seasoning, the fresh mollusks themselves were flawless. Thoroughly cleaned, these sizeable shellfish were pleasantly perfumed with the fragrance of white wine & garlic & cooked to tender perfection. Delicious, and a side dish made for sharing. Pasta Loft serve these pleasantly piquant pastas on the (almost) daily, and they won’t break the bank too. What more can a broke man want?

3 Likes

Pasta tends to be a simple dish, which leaves it entirely up to the quality of the ingredients & the chef to make or break it. Over at @gastronomickitchen, they got both aspects amply covered, which is why it’s become my go to spot for bargain pastas done right.⠀

The seafood tom yum pasta ($10.90 nett) sees your choice of pasta tossed in a tom yum sauce fortified by a fair bit of cream. The creamy tom yum is insanely incendiary which does overpower many of the other flavours on the plate, but the unmistakable essence of lemongrass is most definitely there. Get a drink or three to extinguish that fire so you can finish off the fresh, pleasantly portioned medley of seafood along with the heap of al dente pasta that’s thoroughly mixed in with the creamy, spicy sauce.⠀

Pasta Loft serve these pleasantly piquant pastas on the (almost) daily, and they won’t break the bank too. What more can a broke man want?

2 Likes

@peperonipizzeria doesn’t just do perfect pizza pies, they craft a charming Calamari Fritti as well, for the relatively reasonable price for $14++. Fourteen bucks for an appetiser is about right, and the sumptuous squid certainly warrants that price tag & possibly a little more.⠀

The felicitously fresh, snappy squid is coated in a beautiful batter that forms a stunningly crispy shell, which forms a perfect yin/yang contrast with the tender yet compellingly chewy squid. It’s salted superbly, but the sharp lemon mayonnaise & the mildly spicy arrabbiata sauce exponentially elevates this otherwise simple appetiser. The lemon mayo adds a redolent richness to the entire affair that’s kept in check by a zing from the zest of the lemon, while the mildly spicy arrabbiata adds a subtle, savoury spiciness to the proceedings.⠀

In summary: get the calamari at Peperoni Pizzeria. Thank me later in the form of US legal tender hundred dollar bills later. What can I say except you’re welcome.

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@linorestaurant Lamb Ragu Garganelli (additional $3 to the $28++ 3 course set lunch) is a remarkably rich dish that’s a little more complex than its homely presentation would suggest. Besides the hearty tomato ragu that has chunks of fork tender lamb as its meat base, there’s an overwhelming abundance of garganelli pasta and some eggplant caviar somewhere in that pasta.⠀

The sauce base was a little more on the sour side, which may have been an attempt to mask the natural gaminess of the lamb. It worked, but Lino may have overdone it al little with the sourness. There’s still a bit of that powerful flavour lingering around to remind you that you’re still eating lamb, but the muskiness is muted. Still, if you’re really finicky about that, you might wanna give this a miss. One improvement that could be made is to portion more lamb into the pasta, so you don’t end up in a situation where you plough through nothing but pasta. It’s not a bad thing when the garganelli is cooked to perfection, but it can get pretty monotonous real quick.

I’m not sure what the eggplant caviar does for this dish, but it was lost on me. Still, there’s zero doubt that this plate of al dente (hopefully housemade) garganelli pasta was absolutely ambrosial with the redolent ragu. Its tubular, rigatoni like structure traps more sauce than any other pasta would, and that’s just plain genius. The lavish shaving of parmesan cheese on top adds a mildly milky & sexily stretchy segment to the rich pasta. Seriously, who doesn’t love cheese?⠀

Trust me fam, this plate of pasta doesn’t look or sound particularly appealing, but you gotta try this at least twice. Better yet, wash it down with a $10++ glass of housepour red wine. Yep, it’s $10++ at happy hour, which just so happens to be all day every day. Noice.

2 Likes

If the week could start as pleasantly as every lunch does at @linorestaurant when you order the porchetta, ain’t nobody would be bitching about #mondayblues. Lino is the classier, more refined older brother of the casual & fun @linoppbar, but both have stunning steals for set lunches. I’ve covered @linoppbar ridiculously value for money $20 set lunch before, and @linorestaurant 3 course set lunch is only eight bucks more expensive.⠀

Yes, I know, this does NOT look like porchetta at all. That’s what I thought too when the waiter first placed it at my table. It looks a lot more like shaved ham, doesn’t it? Where are the crispy cracklings that everyone desires & expects from porchetta? Look, it might not be porchetta per se, but it is most definitely delicious. The shaved pork is smoky & scintillatingly salty, and is everything you’d ever want in a palatable pork dish. The surprise stunner here is actually the julienned apple that’s amply dressed in a very addictive apple & celeriac remoulade.⠀

The apple is sweet & crunchy, while the remoulade is creamy, slightly sour & a little peppery from the celeriac, which revolutionised the admittedly one dimensional salty porchetta. The competently compiled flavours & textures united to form an exquisitely executed appetiser. This is guaranteed to get your salivary glands going hard and you all fired up for the rest of your stellar set lunch.

Alcohol may not be good for my body, but my body is good for alcohol.

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