Where to find handmade pasta in Singapore
The makings of a great Italian joint always circles back to authenticity; a foundation of hard work where there's no such thing as shortcuts. We're talking flour to dough, hours of kneading and slightly marred pastas that you won't find in vacuum packets at your local supermarket. The pay off often means a fresh bowl of al dente strips, tossed in a sublime mixture. Although funnily enough, when the pasta is fresh, the condiments tend to take a backseat. So call us snobs (we don't care), for favouring the value of handmade pastas. If you care as much as we do, take note of our favourite spots.
Think traditional Italian pasta is too much of a cliché? There may be some truth to that – but the classic dishes that are at the root of them are legendary for a reason. Chef Alessandro Guistetti's pays homage to the Italians' piatto unico (meaning a complete meal), by handmaking pasta every single day. And the beauty of an age-old tradition like pasta making is that the craft passed down generations of true-blood Italians is perfected. This is the case for Chef Alessandro, who has mastered the inherited techniques of using the semolina and '00' flours in combination with whole eggs, egg yolks and/or water, with each ingredient adjusted and kneaded to bring the pasta to its final form.
Hero dish: Squid ink tortelli
#01-05, 55 Keong Saik Road
Opening hours: (Tue-Sun) 6pm to 10.30pm
This contemporary restaurant prides itself on their pizzas (they are named after the linens that cover pizza dough as it ferments, after all) – but their pastas cannot be put to shame either. They've taken on the challenge of offering both of those Italian dishes freshly made from scratch, which is quite a feat of a menu – so bring a friend to conquer all their au naturel carb options. Bonus: they also have a Lino bar.
Hero dish: Tagliatelle All'arogosta (with Maine lobster, lobster bisque and tomato sauce)
7 Binjai Park, Tel: 6463 7800
Opening hours: (Mon-Fri) 4pm to 11pm, (Sat-Sun & PH) 11am to 11pm
Pastel-colored everything. From its visually pleasing exterior to their handmade pastas drying on the racks by the window, you could say that this cozy halal pasta bar along North Bridge road is all about the aesthetics. Get creative as you design your own pasta dishes — their dough comes infused with ingredients like beetroot, paprika and dill. A note of caution: not all pastas are made equal here. Their paprika mafalde was a little too thick and starchy for our liking.
Hero dish: Dill & lemon Pappardelle with Puttasesca sauce
785 North Bridge Road, Tel: 8768 0785
Opening hours: (Mon-Sun) 12pm to 10pm
The unassuming shophouse space at Kandahar Street is one of those touted restaurants that you have heard via word of mouth, mainly because, you don't need glowing advertisements when your food is this good and honest. Cicheti (pronounced Chi-Keh-Tee) prides on churning out their offerings fresh — be it the seafood, pastas or pizzas from their wood-fired oven.
Hero dish: Handmade pappardelle with lamb shoulder
52 Kandahar St, Tel: 6292 5012
Opening hours: (Mon-Fri) 12pm to 2.30pm & 6.30pm to 10.30pm, (Sat) 6pm to 10.30pm
It's a bold and confident move when a restaurant chooses to create a menu merely revolving around pasta, wine, and antipasti options. But we're not worried as it happens to be Cicheti's sister bar-restaurant. Titled Bar Cicheti, this hideout at Jiak Chuan Street is a sexier, more upscale version of the OG restaurant; ultimately backed by handmade pastas and robust Italian flavours. We recommend opting for the smaller size in serving, which allows more room for more options.
Hero dish: Cacio e pepe
10 Jiak Chuan Rd, Tel: 6789 9801
Opening hours: 12pm-2:30pm, 6pm- 10pm
Fashioned like the al fresco piazzas dotting Italy's coastline, Publico at InterContinental Robertson Quay is the ideal place to unwind with your closest crew on a Friday night. As much as we adore their wood-fired pizzas and outstanding starters, their pastas have won a special place in our hearts. Think twirls of al dente noodles dabbled with piquant spices and sauces.
Hero dish: Lobster spaghetti
1 Nanson Road, Tel: 6826 5040
Opening hours: (Mon-Thu) 5pm to 11pm, (Fri) 5pm to 12am, (Sat) 12pm to 12am, (Sun) 11am to 10.30pm
Bella Pasta is no stranger to folks who love their Italian food, and boasts a good waterfront view if you decide to dine al fresco. The sister restaurant of Bella Pizza (the pizza-heavy alternative to the brand) pride themselves on their pastas being freshly made everyday. From shells to flat ribbons to cannelloni — you name it, they have it.
Hero dish: Homemade egg pasta stuffed with ricotta and spinach in tomato sauce with melted mozzarella and fresh basil
#01-09 30 Robertson Quay Riverside View, Tel: 6836 5692
Opening hours: (Mon-Fri, closed on Tue) 12pm to 2.30pm & 6pm to 11pm, (Sat-Sun & PH) 11.30am to 11.30pm
Despite its breezy revamp last year, The Cliff at Sofitel Singapore is still very much about hearty Italian fare. Fortunately. Their new menu showcases a stellar selection of modern and rustic delights while putting a delicate spin on fresh produce. To add to that experience? A panoramic view of the South China Sea. Some call The Cliff one of the most romantic restaurants in Singapore.
Hero dish: Spaghetti "alla Chitarra" with smoky lobster
2 Bukit Manis Road Sentosa, Tel: 6708 8310
Opening hours: (Mon-Fri & Sun) 12pm to 10pm, (Fri-Sat) 12pm to 10.30pm
Surprise, surprise. You can in fact, tuck into a freshly made bowl of pasta from a place called Pizza Express. Turns out flat dough circles aren't the only thing that the UK-chain excels in. Disclaimer: Not all pastas are made from scratch, so we definitely recommend ordering the ones that are rolled with a little more TLC.
Hero dish: Garganelli with asparagus, butternut squash and fresh mozzarella
#B1-08/09 Scotts Square, 6 Scotts Road, Tel: 6538 0083
#01-01/02 Duo Galleria, 7 Fraser Street, Tel: 6702 1514
251 Holland Avenue, Holland Village, Tel: 6463 0783
#01-20/21 Marina One, 5 Straits View, Tel: 6581 9283
#02-20 & 27 Century Square, 2 Tampines Central 5, Tel: 6260 6383
Opening hours for all above branches: (Mon-Sun) 11.30am to 10pm
#03-230 Jewel Changi Airport, 78 Airport Blvd, Tel: 6245 9522
Opening hours: (Mon-Sun) 10am to 10pm