Bravissimo, Pasta Brava!

Turn a corner down Craig Road and there it is, nestled among furniture and craft stores, an Italian high-end casual dining restaurant, Pasta Brava.

The old-fashioned Colonial exterior with wooden doors, window shutters and a rather tight entrance hides a pleasant surprise. Despite being an Italian restaurant, the interior is traditionally Peranakan, the wood furniture and walls painted a vibrant red.  Beautiful paintings hang off the wall accompanying a display cabinet featuring various plates and other décor. I was thoroughly impressed at how the overall atmosphere could fuse two distinct cultures, yet maintain the traditional consistency of both.

What intrigued me most was the table setting. The table was covered with two layers of material, the first was the usual white tablecloth, and over that was a large sheet of paper on which we could doodle with the sticks of coloured chalk they thoughtfully provided. Since it was my brother’s birthday…

The menu was in Italian so I jumped at the only English word I could read: ‘lobster’ — and since it was my Dad’s treat, thanks, Daddy! For a table of four persons, we ordered an appetiser and four different pasta dishes. Of course, there are meat main dishes for meat-lovers but here’s what we ordered:

1. Funghi Trifolati Alla Romana – Portobello Mushrooms ($16)
2. Fettuccine Alla Carbonara – Fettuccine Carbonara ($20)
3. Ravioli Con Carne Di Manzo Al Gorgonzola Minced beef stuffed Ravioli in light gorgonzola cheese sauce ($22.50)
4. Stracci Ai Gamberi E Capesante – thin pieces of pasta in saffron cream sauce ($22.50)
Not in photo: Tagliolini Con Aragosta – Tagliolini with half lobster, I chose Arrabbiata sauce ($30)

Pasta was done al dente, meaning slightly undercooked. We sampled round the table and I personally thought that all dishes were decent, though not exceptionally fantastic since I’m not a very big fan of pasta. My favourite was the Ravioli and my least favourite was, quite unfortunately, the lobster I asked for. Although the lobster was done nicely, the arrabbiata sauce was not to my taste.

What comes after the main course? Dessert! This was what I was looking forward to. Here’s what we ordered:

Tiramisu Al Mascarpone E Caffe – Tiramisu Cake ($10)

Panna Cotta Al’amaretto – Crème Caramel w Amaretto Liquor ($10)

Not in photo: Lava Al Cioccolato – Chocolate Lava Cake w Vanilla Ice Cream ($12)

My favourite dessert has got to be the tiramisu. The liquor was strong but not overpowering which enhanced the lightness of the mascarpone.

One last thing worth mentioning was the very attentive staff. Service was poised and sharp. Noticing my earlier tabletop artwork, they still presented us the tiramisu cake with a candle lit — even though they had no clue whose birthday it was. That was certainly something I did not expect. I would definitely recommend this place for couples on a date or for families celebrating special occasions. Rather pricey, but definitely worth the money for pasta gourmets. Smart casual attire would do in the day, but you should ditch the shorts at night.

Pasta Brava
11 Craig Road, Tanjong Pagar
Singapore 089671
Tel: 6227 7550

Opening Hours:
Monday to Saturday
12PM – 2.30PM & 6.30pm – 10.30PM
Closed on Sunday and Public Holidays
Open for dinner service if PH falls on Friday or Saturday

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