In most of our local Chinese coffeeshops, you would probably see usual offerings like economic rice, chicken rice, noodle, and zhi char, but a stall that's specializing in pasta? Definitely not the most typical.
Instead of being just another generic Western stall, The Pasta Boutique (which is located in a Bedok coffeeshop) aims to differentiate itself by serving good quality pastas and main courses at affordable kopitiam prices.
Founders Mark and Eddie (who have years of experience working in restaurant kitchens) decided to do it because they feel that there's a serious lack of decent kopitiam pasta in Singapore. "Whenever I want to have some nice pasta but don't want to pay more than 10 bucks, I don't know where to go", said Mark.
It is for this reason that most of the pasta dishes at The Pasta Boutique are priced affordably under $10.
A plate of simple Cacio e Pepe starts at just $5.80, while Aglio e Olio is at $6.50. We only need to pay at most $10.50 for "fancier" options like Chili Crab, Spicy Prawn, and White Wine Prawn Alfredo.
There are also crowd-pleasers such as Carbonara ($8.50), Garlic Butter Pomodoro ($6.80), Creamy Bacon & Mushroom ($9.50), and Creamy Chicken & Mushroom ($9.50).
For the pasta itself, there is a choice between Spaghetti, Linguine and Fettuccine. Add-ons such as Bacon ($2), Mushrooms ($2), Chicken ($2), Prawns ($3), and Truffle Oil ($2) are available.
We like that the spaghetti for our Spicy Prawn Pasta ($10.50) was cooked to a most ideal al-dente texture.
Each mouthful was firm to bite, and full of flavors from the combination of garlic, white wine, cream and parsley. The chili padi and chili flakes gave it a right note of spiciness, and made it very appetizing. I find the topping of freshly grated parmesan cheese a tad distracting though, and personally prefer it without. Love the succulent prawns, and the tinge of zest from the cherry tomatoes.
My friend find the Chili Crab Pasta ($10.50) immensely spicy, and literally broke out in sweat over it. Upon initial bites, the pasta somehow had a strong "hae bee hiam" or spicy dried shrimp sambal taste, but the crustacean flavor of chili crab sauce did came through after that. The finely-julienned lime leaves invigorated the entire dish with a refreshing and aromatic touch, and the generous topping of crabmeat was delightful.
No doubt the chili crab pasta will suit those who like local flavors.
While handmade pastas is preferred anytime, it could be too much to expect from a humble coffeeshop setup considering the space, manpower and time constraints. But, Mark and Eddie still made a considerable effort to freshly-make their own ravioli at the stall.
The Salted Egg Prawn Ravioli ($13.80) is filled with chunks of prawns, and is paired with creamy salted egg sauce with chili padi and curry leaves. It somehow came across as more of wanton rather than ravioli, but that aside, we enjoyed it as a whole.
Besides pastas, the menu also features a selection of main courses such as Chicken Chop with Chili Crab Sauce ($9.80), Seabass with Spicy Salsa Verde ($12.80), Garlic & Thyme Lamb Chops ($14.80), and Mediterranean-style Sirloin or Ribeye Steak ($18.50).
A noteworthy mention goes to the Chicken Chop with Herbs & Spices ($8.80) for its lovely piece of boneless chicken thigh that is first brined, then seared to perfect deliciousness. So good enough on its own, I don't even need to dip it in the accompanying mushroom sauce. The sides of ratatouille and mashed potatoes that are made in-house were very commendable too.
What we have experienced at The Pasta Boutique is tasty and quality food that is affordably-priced. Portions are hearty which gives more bang for the buck.
The stall's drawback could be its location. It may be convenient for those staying in the neighborhood, but can be rather far to travel for us living in other parts of the island.
The Pasta Boutique
Address: New Century Food House Coffeeshop, Blk 539, Bedok North Street 3, #01-619, Singapore 460539
Contact: +65 9859 9850
Opening Hours: Daily 11am-9.30pm
Prices are stated in Singapore dollars and nett. Information is correct at point of published date.
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