Weets Eats: Supremely tasty, affordable pasta at Pasta Supremo
Restaurants come and go quickly in Singapore. It is heartbreaking because such closures can wreck careers, bank accounts and relationships.
Which is why the people at Five Ten Holdings (who are behind The Salted Plum, a Taiwanese zi char eatery) are so clever.
Instead of committing to a full restaurant, they took over an outgoing one and created Pasta Supremo as a pop-up restaurant.
It will remain at Suntec City (next to the convention centre) until the end of 2020, before either it expands or another pop-up concept takes over.
This casual pasta place taps the current trend of customisation: Pick your pasta, sauce, toppings and protein, and your meal is ready.
I would rather let the chefs do their job and go with what they create. That is why they are chefs and why I slow-cook my chicken into mush.
But I do know what I like, and when it comes to pasta, I like it messy.
The Supremo Porky Marinara ($15) is one of the messiest I have encountered. There is a mound of pasta at the base, with a hearty tomato sauce, bacon, pork meatballs and deep-fried lard over that. And then freshly grated 24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano cheese coats everything.
It can be overwhelming - the flavours are robust, the meat balls are hefty and the umami from the cheese hits you hard - but it just works.
Of course I am biased because almost anything with deep-fried pork lard is good. And this dish is tremendous.
Lately, I have been trying to moderate my meat intake and have been on the lookout for dishes that will satisfy occasional vegetarians like me.
I found that in the Vege Wege Pasta ($18).
The pasta is almost an afterthought because the Asian pesto is the solid foundation of the dish. The addition of mushrooms (such as shimeji, button and shiitake) and cheese enhanced it too.
It does not look like much but it will give you such satisfaction.
The prettiest pasta is the Prawn Olio Olio ($20). It is colourful and shimmery, but there is a fiery bite. The Sichuan garlic oil made with green peppercorn singes the tongue.
Pasta Supremo also has a small but good selection of snacks, in case the pasta does not fill you up.
The Spiced Supremo Chicken Skins ($6) is one of my favourites. Why some people are put off by fried chicken skin, I will never understand.
The secret mix of spices (with Sichuan peppercorn, cumin, coriander, and chilli) lifted the dish, but I would have added a dash more cumin - my current favourite spice.
For a $15 beef dish, the 300 Day Grain Fed Fatty Wagyu was surprisingly good, with a sesame sauce that tied it all up.
Pasta Supremo is about being relaxed and keeping it real, but some people who ate there found the wait staff too chill.
Wrong orders and long waiting time are two complaints that even good food and wallet-friendly prices cannot overcome.
Hopefully these are just teething problems (it opened in February) and they will be resolved soon. Otherwise Pasta Supremo may just end its run as just a pop-up.
Suntec City Mall Level 1, Tel: 6909-8138 (restaurant does not take reservations)
Opens 9am to 9pm