Ah Bong Italian – Affordable Pasta Cafe Opens At Tan Quee Lan (Near Bugis)
The used to be more-elusive Ah Bong’s Italian at Tiong Bahru has moved to the more accessible Tan Quee Lan Street (near Bugis MRT).
Ah Bong Italian started as humble pasta food stand at a Tiong Bahru kopitiam, frequently featured as a “hipster hawker stall”, operating for 4-5 hours or so from 10 to 2:30pm. Note: This kopitiam stall has ceased operation.
Yet, I couldn’t help but notice there were at least 2-3 other helpers at this small stall, Must be doing quite well I suppose!
Owner Chris holds a degree from the London School of Economics, and also a Diploma in Culinary Arts from at-Sunrice. Additionally, he has trained under three Michelin star chef Bruno Menard at La Cantine.
Don’t call him Ah Bong though. That is actually the nickname of his 3 year old daughter.
His fondest memory of Italian food was discovering an unassuming “hole-in-the-wall” pasta shop in Sicily.
When he first saw the kopitiam at Eng Hoon, he felt it had that “x-factor” with that retro and rustic feel, enabling him to re-create a delightful experience at an unpretentious place.
Taking over the space left vacant by Gastrosmith, owner Chris continues to serve pasta dishes at affordable prices. Though seems slightly more expensive at this outlet.
The pasta variety changes daily, though some of the favourites include Crab Meat Aglio Olio ($14), Atas Duck Ragu ($16), Carbonara ($10), Barramundi Cream ($13) and Fresh Pesto ($12).
One of my regular to have is the Birthday Pasta ($9), so much so that I have it during my birthdays – no kidding.
A simple linguine cooked in roasted broccoli pesto, black pig bacon, and a touch of spice from the chilli. Nothing fanciful, but decent fare for its price.
I cannot help but think that the pastas used to be better during the earlier days, somehow had a better bite, and more consistent in flavours. I suppose that is the inevitable with diversifying?
This Ah Bong Italian has a wider range, offering sharing items such as Truffle Fries ($6), “Almost There” Pork Belly ($12), Comfort Eggs ($8), coffee and gelato.
Ah Bong Italian
103 Beach Rd, #01-02 (below Marrison hotel), Singapore 189704 (Tan Quee Lan Street area)
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2pm, 6pm – 9pm (Mon – Sun)