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Which is honestly a really fair comment on this Fiery Cheese Crusted Beef Burger Spaghetti with a Slow Cooked egg ($18.90) — that’s literally what this is called on the menu. It wasn’t terrible: the sizable burger patty was fairly well seasoned, and I liked the (albeit chewy) parmesan disk beautifully plated around it. However the patty was completely overcooked (read: tough and dry), what I imagine to be their take on an arrabbiata sauce tasted like something straight out of a jar, and the noodles were so overcooked they were like the ‘spaghetti’ aka tomato noodles asian parents use to always make. In that sense it was very much like a pasta from Swensen’s: great if I were a 10 yo once again, middling at best now.

It’s hard not to love a simple, well-executed cream-based pasta sauce that’s as rich in flavour as it is light on the palate. It’s thick enough to thoroughly coat each strand of pasta, yet light enough to be a great canvas for the smoky garlic grilled prawns tossed in, as well as the generous heaps of sweet, briny ebiko. Tbh I found the sauce a wee too salty that night, but I’m guessing it’s a one-off cause the seasoning’s usually pretty much spot on.

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While their gnocchi dish was certainly extremely tasty and delish as a whole, what with the tons of meaty forest mushrooms and creamy mushroom velouté, I can’t unfortunately consider this among the better ones around simply cause of the pasta itself. Gnocchi’s a really tricky one to get: you can serve it straight outta the boiling water or seared for a lovely crisp, but either way it’s gotta be pillowy soft and (almost) ethereal I’d say. I’ve heard others sing praise of Caffe Cicheti’s, so maybe it was just my portion that day that was overworked and gummy. Still I have to admit that texture aside this was superbly yummy, and I’ve also heard their kitchen team’s going through a little adjustment and aren’t at their best, so I’m definitely not writing this one off just yet!

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When I think ragu, I imagine a rich, hearty, meaty sauce carrying the sweetness of the tomatoes and aromatic veggies, saucy but thick enough to cling onto my pasta. Caffe Cicheti’s Tortiglioni duck ragu however, wasn’t that sort. I liked that they were generous with the meat, but the sauce was pretty watery (much like the tomato water you get from squeezing them), and the flavours weren’t tied well together. Like it tasted as if the meat was folded into a loose crushed tomato sauce instead of being braised in it. Pasta was also harder than it should be, but the biggest 👎🏻 for me was the overpowering fenugreek seeds. There were so many of those in the sauce, and it completely masked all the other flavours.

That’s how good this plate of homemade fettuccine with red shrimps and uni butter sauce is. The homemade pasta is fabulous to begin with, bouncy and al dente with a fabulous resistant bite to it. Then there’s the generous amount of sweet, plump and moist Argentinian red shrimps that’re cooked juuuust right. And then you’ve got the silky rich, buttery and briny uni butter sauce tying it all together, with just a touch of citrus and earthy chives to lighten it up. It was so good. My friends would tell you how I desperately tried to get every bit of the sauce in my spoon, and I’d say I was that close to licking the plate 🤭

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Good Time Carbonara: homemade alfredo sauce, tons of smoky bacon, shiitake mushrooms, and mee pok. Yep you read that right, mee pok in place of pasta. Swapping the noodles doesn’t make the most innovative of fusion food, and while I commend the effort I can’t say it necessarily works. The thing about pasta is that it’s a lot thicker than mee pok, so when cooked right and al dente, it has a nice bite and carries the accompanying flavours well. Unfortunately mee pok’s a lot thinner and even if cooked right (ie not soggy), it’s still really soft and limp and doesn’t add as much texture as pasta. Every mouthful’s pretty much just a lot of sauce without a good contrast. Can’t say I liked the mee pok over regular pasta, but for what it’s worth the sauce is fantastic and they were extremely generous with the bacon and mushrooms.

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Chocolate pappardelle — you can bet your ass I’ve never heard of, much less tried, anything like it. Theoretically with the earthiness chocolate has, it’s got so much potential for uses in savoury dishes (mole sauce anyone?); but I’ve never seen a local establishment use it as excitingly as South Union Park. Weaved into their handmade pappardelle dough, the chocolate lends an amazing aroma and nutty depth to the dish, especially when you slurp it with a mouthful of tender braised beef and it’s flavourful jus. Take all of that with the chewy, al dente handmade pasta, and a touch of underlying sweetness from the sherry, every bite is literally a fireworks display of flavours and textures. I know this sounds really out of the box and possibly too crazy for some; but if you would just trust me and take a leap of faith, I promise you’re in for a huge treat.

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I’ve had a massive craving for pastas since watching the Italy episode of The Final Table, so a couple of friends suggested dropping by District 10 for some of their homemade pastas the other day. I distinctly remember their angel hair with black truffles to be pretty yummy, with extra points for using REAL truffles, and I’m pleased to say it’s still as good as I recall. Tossed in a light parmesan cheese sauce, the dish is very faintly perfumed with truffle oil, with most of the truffle aroma coming from the actual shaved fungi — very commendable at a price of $28. The pasta wasn’t what I’d call al dente, rather a softer egg noodles kinda texture which is typical of homemade angel hair pastas really.

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Of course that meant die die must try regardless of how much food we’ve already ordered, and while I was a huge skeptic to start I can very confidently say I’m a convert. What I enjoyed about their Ravioles de Royans is how humble, plain, unadorned even, but outrightly delicious it was. The cheese-stuffed dumplings aren’t your regular ones, each barely the size of your nail. But don’t let the size fool you — precisely cause of that you get a huge cheese bomb with every mouthful, made even cheesier and better with the generous shavings of parmesan. There is a downside to that as well though: small as these dumplings of joy are, it means you get quite a bit of pasta at times as well, and once the dish has sat out for abit it can get a little too hefty and jelak

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Hearing Angus Meat Ragu had us all salivating and looking forward to the meal, especially when we glimpsed the option of handmade pasta. And when it came ooooh look at that mound of meat?! So we dug in, rather enthusiastically I may add, only to find braised meat that tasted unfortunately one dimensional. It lacked the depth some really good mirepoix and tomato paste would’ve added, and more like a starchy meat sauce than a traditional ragu. Points for the al dente pasta which I personally enjoyed, but the flat flavours made the dish boring and jelak after a couple of mouthfuls. Would’ve helped if they reduced the portions a little or added another element to help keep it balanced!

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“Daily Specials” always scare me, cause idk if they really change it often or it’s just a repeat on the menu lolol. This basically turned out to be a watery, under-seasoned carbonara with cubes of overcooked beef. It wasn’t terrible, but it’s not the rich, creamy, cheesy kind of carbonara I like. It took the cashier 10 minutes to recommend this from the menu, so I guess that speaks loads? 😕

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First bite: "This is pretty tasty!"
Second bite: "And spicy."
Third bite: "Like really spicy."
Fourth bite: "K I give up."

If you like your spice and some real heat, then NOOSH's Duck Lemak Pasta should make it to your list of "To Tries". I'm really not too bad with 🌶but damn this was on a whole new level of heat. Honestly the duck was meh (your usual supermarket vacuum-packed ones) and pasta was soft and overcooked, but the sauce was really tasty and for that they win a huge thumbs up. Though the spice really does get in the way of all the flavours and make it impossible to get pet half the plate.

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Spending all my time eating (and eating) cause what else is there to do in small 🌞🌞 Singapore?

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