Tangled is the name of my favourite Disney movie, but it may very well also be my (new) favourite pasta place. Having a ‘go-to’ pasta place just seems like an adult thing to do, amongst sending your car for routine checks, and sorting out your child’s tuition fees every month. Yes, I’ve now decided that having ‘a pasta place’ falls under the ever-growing list of what makes adulting, well, adulting.
In the wake of La Mensa, we’re now spoilt for choice when it comes to affordable pasta that stays true to the sacredness of the art. Tangled, I find, is another reliable option that won’t cost you both kidneys, and it is now, I say, that we put a stop to this heresy of paying forty dollars for dough tossed in sauce.
What I tried
Tangled’s menu gets straight to the point with nine carefully curated, tried-and-tested combinations. But there’s also the option of building your own pasta if you absolutely must have a say in it—I don’t blame you, the Karen in me really jumps out when it comes to mealtime, too.
Perhaps the most unlikely offering you’ll find here is the Mango Tango (S$9.90), which sees twirls full of squid ink spaghetti topped with prawns and tangy mango salsa. Very much like Halsey & Marshmello, you’ll find that the unexpected duo actually works, and just like their single, ‘Be Kind’, the Mango Tango is also the breath of positivity that we all could desperately use in this economy. It’s bright, forward, and savoury all at once, and if that isn’t culinary genius, then I’m not sure what else is.
As I’m mixing in the Pinky Promise (S$11.90), I can already hear distant screams from our intern, Ariel, who’s made it her life mission for everything she owns to possess hues of pink, and who also so happens to harbour a hankering for anything that has the word ‘pasta’ in it. The Pinky Promise marries both her adorations in one succinct bowl and is a gorgeous pink-forward combination of beetroot pasta, salmon, and creamy mentaiko sauce.
I was at the forefront of our partnership with Mentai-Ya, so the disclaimer here is that my expectations when it comes to mentaiko are impossibly through the roof. Though a tad bit too cloying than I’d hoped, the Pinky Promise stays true to its word in delivering a sucker punch of creaminess if that’s the kind of violence you’re waking up and choosing today.
Readers familiar with my work (thank you, truly, for sticking around) will know that if you say the words ‘seafood’ and ‘umami’ enough times, I’ll appear like an athlete on steroids. I ask for very little in life—just a slap in the face with briny, savoury goodness to start the day with.
What The Crab (S$13.90) puts a local twist on the establishment’s seafood offering, and boasts a decadent black pepper crab sauce that has me materialising into the human form of the heart-eyes emoji. Thick chunks of crab grace the briny, umami seafood sauce and it all comes together with tobiko like a reprise in a Wicked The Musical finale.
I can already foresee Truffle Shuffle Shrooms (S$8.90) as one of the establishment’s best-sellers seeing as how Singaporeans will practically do anything for even a whiff of truffle these days. Featuring heaping portions of sautéed mushrooms and a poached egg, the dish comes as a great vegetarian option, but those with meat in their diets might lament the lack of protein in the mix, just as my dining partner does.
Now’s also a good time to weave in the fact that sauce-heavy pasta like the Pinky Promise, What The Crab, and Truffle Shuffle Shrooms all come packed separately from their sauces as if it’s not the most ingenious thing in the pasta arena since someone decided to sprinkle tobiko over pasta. Dabao-ing pasta home will no longer be a race against time, and we can all finally put soggy pasta behind us where it belongs—in 2020.
Unsatisfied until I actually build my own pasta, I have a go at the customisable option, throwing in Pappardelle Ricce (mushroom) in Pesto sauce (S$7.90), Chicken Meatballs (S$3.50 for two pieces), Roasted Tomatoes (S$1), and a Poached Egg (S$1.50) that work in tandem to form a multi-coloured madness that frankly has even the mad hatter tripping just a bit.
I love each element as-is, but a combination of them altogether just seems like putting Riri and Bey on competing stages—queens cancelling out queens. Maybe I should’ve just left the pairing to the pros, after all.
Vera’s ‘Chef’s Kiss Award’
I hate to be predictable, but crab sauce almost always takes the cake—or should I say claw—for me. As long as the thought of seafood doesn’t make you gag or break out in hives, then you should definitely give What The Crab a go at some point. The only thing I love more than having seafood-based pasta on the menu is seafood-based pasta that’s absolutely worth every calorie.
Tangled currently only operates out of a kiosk, but we’ve gotten used to the dabao life anyway. If anyone’s wondering, I say shelve the usual takeout options (I’m not naming names, but I think you have a clue) and include Tangled in your next meal run. It’s pasta that’s well-thought-through, lovingly made, and utterly deserving.
Expected damage: S$7.90 – S$13.90 per bowl
Other articles you might like:
The post Tangled, Chinatown Point: “Thought-through, lovingly made, and utterly deserving” appeared first on SETHLUI.com.