Handmade, unconventional, customizable and affordable — what’s not to love at the new Pasta Supremo? Unless you’re a stickler for traditional recipes, that is. Because you won’t find any of that here, seeing as how everything comes with a twist. Not even classic carbonara or marinara pastas are left untouched.
Debuting as a pop-up eatery at Suntec City, the new concept comes courtesy of owner Shawn Kishore, the man behind quirky Taiwanese zi char spot The Salted Plum. And since most of us are more likely than not to get lost in the maze that is Suntec, we’ll help you out with pinpointing its location: It’s right opposite Gudetama Cafe, by the convention centre.
As to the reason behind launching a pop-up instead of a full-fledged restaurant, Kishore explains that it’s to test the waters first. Y’know, ’cause we’re all familiar with the typical fickle Singaporean diner (we’re guilty, too). So if things go well, the place could stay on past its supposed end date in late 2020.
A casually decked-out space for grab-and-go meals, weekday lunches, or laidback dinners, Pasta Supremo takes classic Italian recipes and turns them into its own renditions, while lowering price tags to be readily accessible for all kinds of diners, whether you’re on a budget or in baller mode. It’s got no room for frills, which means more thought and experimentation goes into every component of each dish, and the results are pretty darned tasty.
For $8, you can get a basic bowl of Haus Marinara, but if you’re keen on building your own creation, the handmade pastas are available for customization ($5-$10, for one protein and one topping). Dyed with natural ingredients such as blue pea flower, beetroot, and activated charcoal, each strand is vibrantly hued, and can be admired at the open concept pasta station. For endless pasta-bilities, pair your chosen carb with the likes of bak kwa jam, scallops, truffle oil, sous vide eggs, 24-month aged parmigiano reggiano, and unagi.
To sauce it all up, start from the Haus Marinara ($8) of tomatoes, onion, basil, oregano, and oil rendered from pork belly, then work your way up to the fiery mix of green Sichuan peppercorns, red chilli, roasted garlic, and rendered duck fat ($8). Alternatively, the creamy mushroom sauce ($10) douses puréed shimeji, shiitake, and seasonal shrooms in heavy cream and cheese, while the Asian pesto ($14) takes inspiration from Thailand with basil leaves, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, extra virgin olive oil, and candlenut.
Oh, and if your stomach is rumbling extra loud that day, you can upsize your regular order for an additional $4. No worries about that gelat (overwhelmingly rich) feeling, though — instead of drowning in dressing, the pastas here are coated with sauce just slick enough to be flavorful.
For the undecisive, you’ve got a couple chef creation choices to ruminate over. The Supremo Porky Marinara ($15) should appeal to any meat lover, with its juicy house-made pork meatball and sprinkles of pork croutons plus parmigiano reggiano. Meanwhile, the Prawn Olio Olio ($20) douses pasta pieces with lashings of Sichuan sauce, tossed with garlic tiger prawns, lap cheong (Chinese sausage) crumble, and tobiko for that Asian spin.
A different take on cream, the Carbonara, But Not Really ($18) takes curly threads and layers ’em with a light film of sauce, combined with charred chunks of bacon and a mix of mushrooms. And if you’re going meatless on Mondays, Vege Wege Pasta ($22) satisfies your pesto cravings with its blend of burnt miso corn, mushrooms, and cheese.
In case pastas aren’t enough for your main meal — or maybe you’ve made a habit of stealing away from the office for mid-afternoon tea breaks — the menu also offers sides, desserts, and the aptly-named section that is “Stuff on Bread”. Try the spiced chicken skins ($6) for a slight tingle of heat during your cheat days, or load up on protein with the 300-day grain-fed fatty wagyu ($15) that’s served with pickled daikon to cut the meat’s richness.
As for the breads, which are actually the only item not made in-house at Pasta Supremo, you can get slices of toasted ciabatta with mushroom and black truffle cream ($4), avocado and feta ($4.50), cheese ($5), or bak kwa jam ($5), a savory spread of bacon and barbecued minced pork bits with dried Thai chilli that you know your hips will chastise you for but you just can’t stop yourself anyway.
Jars of creamy pistachio mousse with pistachio praline await for dessert, alongside a regularly revolving selection of tarts and cakes. But if you’re after something strong to curb that food coma you feel materializing, have a few swigs of Thai black cha ($3), kopitiam-style coffees, or house wines. Free-flow salted plum juice, honey lime juice, and water are also available for those who get the Supremo set ($3.80).
When you think about what goes into the sauces and meats, coupled with the restaurant’s generous scoops of pastas, this probably isn’t the place to venture into for weight-watchers. But if you’re totally into robust flavors and can polish off a solid pasta plate with relish, this joint won’t burn that big a hole in your pocket.
Pasta Supremo is at 01-365/344/373/374 Suntec City, 3 Temasek Blvd.
MRT: Esplanade/Promenade/City Hall
This article, Pasta Supremo: The Suntec City pop-up with affordable DIY pasta bowls and unorthodox flavors, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!