Ah Bong’s Italian dishes out affordable pasta lunch sets
Update: Ah Bong’s Italian is now permanently closed.
Anyone who loves carbs as much as I do will understand how comforting a good plate of pasta can be. Unfortunately, many hipster cafes serve run-of-the-mill pasta and it costs a bomb to dine at fancy places that offer something close to what you’d get in Italy. Ah Bong’s Italian brings to us commoners a middle ground – simple yet tasty pastas that won’t break the bank.
Their weekday lunch sets cost $12 nett and comes with a drink and dessert. For those who are there for dinner, be it on a weekday or on weekends, you’ll get a free drink if you get a pasta and starter. And for self-proclaimed alcoholics, there’s a secret all-day, every day, happy hour where you can get two bottles of beer for $15 or two bottles of cider for $25 – shiok or what?!
Food at Ah Bong’s Italian
Contrary to its name, Non-descript ($12) had a distinct flavour that came from a generous amount of mentaiko. The linguini was chewy without being tough, and the cubes of pickled cucumbers were refreshing and complemented the noodles. Since this came as a set, we got a soft drink and tiramisu, which was the dessert of the day, as well.
Let’s be honest, the truffle trend can be pricey to keep up with. That’s why Poor Man’s Truffle ($12) was so appealing to me. The pasta used was orecchiette, which means “little ear” in Italian. Although that sounds mildly disturbing, these ‘little ears’ acted as mini bowls that contained mushroom pesto and parmesan, making sure each bite was flavourful. This didn’t taste like a typical truffle dish, but the mushroom pesto’s earthy flavour was nevertheless satisfying.
Comfort Eggs ($8) lived up to its name with perfectly done onsen eggs. Tasty slices of Mangalica (Hungarian Pork) sausage and mushrooms were laying underneath the wobbly eggs. This side proved to be as delicious as it looked, especially with truffle oil and parmesan cheese tying various flavours together.
Take a video of the soft yolks breaking over the mushroom and sausages to own the #foodporn game.
Singapore doesn’t have a strong cheese culture, and many of us tend to associate good cheese with pungent smells and fancy restaurants. However, Burrata and Homemade Bread ($14) from Ah Bong’s proved otherwise with its soft texture and gentle flavour.
Burrata is an Italian cheese with an outer layer of mozzarella that encases soft curd and fresh cream. The cheese we had was pillowy and creamy without being overly rich and the bread was airy and lightly toasted to a crisp. The slightly-cooked cherry tomatoes were extra sweet and went well with the generous drizzle of olive oil.
Last but not least, Tiramisu. This quintessential Italian dessert came in a small ramekin but packed a punch in flavour. Slightly sweetened mascarpone cream balanced out the mild bitterness of the coffee-soaked ladyfingers underneath. Chocolate shavings also added more sweetness and depth to the dessert. Don’t be deceived by this unassuming little treat, it was delicious!
Ambience at Ah Bong’s Italian
It was barely a five-minute walk to the restaurant from Exit D of Bugis MRT. You can dine indoors to enjoy the cosy cafe atmosphere, or sit outside on cool evenings. Unlike their original branch at Tiong Bahru, this outlet has air-conditioning so you won’t have to deal with the heat.
There is a quirky mural in the sitting area that matches the rest of the restaurant’s colour scheme. It makes a great photo backdrop for when your meal arrives or during a group dinner.
The pastas here are tasty and worth the price you pay, but don’t expect them to blow you away. Ah Bong’s is a great go-to for those who are looking to enjoy comforting dishes without having to spend big bucks. Their menu changes every day so be sure to check out their Instagram page for the latest updates.
This is an independent review by Eatbook.sg.
– Convenient location
– No GST or service charge
– Menu changes daily so they may not have the dish you want
Recommended Dishes: Poor Man’s Truffle ($12 for a set), Burrata ($14), Comfort Eggs ($8)
Daily 12pm to 2pm, 6pm to 9pm
Address: 103 Beach Road, #01-02, Singapore 189704