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Vegetarian Friendly Factor –
Family Friendly Factor –
Pasta Fresca da Salvatore (around Boat Quay) was one of the first few restaurants we dined at when we moved to Singapore over 12 years ago. My husband and I quite enjoyed that meal and were pretty psyched when we discovered the Bukit Timah branch, which was closer to where we then resided. I was really into Italian food in those days and Pasta Fresca became a frequent haunt for the next couple of years. After all these years, I still remember the San Giovannese pasta that I absolutely loved at Pasta Fresca and semi-successfully replicated at home. My kids are now big fans of my version although they haven’t tasted the original.
Recently, we chanced upon the Siglap branch and headed in for what turned out to be a relaxed vegetarian lunch. As soon as we were seated, the kids were given paper and crayons, which kept the little ones busy till the food arrived. Score!
I started with a Homemade Iced Lemon Tea (S$ 5.10++), which was quite refreshing – just the thing needed to beat the afternoon heat. Pasta Fresca da Salvatore has quite a few vegetarian dishes on the menu. The onsite restaurant menu doesn’t have ingredient details but the online vegetarian menu (for catering) has dishes clearly marked according to whether they contain onion, garlic, dairy, eggs or cheese – so you can use that as a reference. *I have also mentioned some of the ingredient details at the end of the article.
Pasta Fresca has a Kids A La Carte menu with choices of pasta and pizza, as well as a Kids Combo Set. But, we opted for dishes off the regular menu for our trio to share. The kids asked for their staple Italian food – pesto pasta and cheese pizza.
The Al Pesto Genovese (S$19.90++) was just the right amount of creamy, quite good and lapped up by the trio in minutes. The sauce is made with fresh basil, blended with pine nuts or walnuts, garlic, olive oil, parmesan and cream. *Ask for the parmesan cheese to be omitted, to make this dish rennet-free.
The thin crust, 12” Margherita (S$18.90++) was also good though I would have preferred for it to be crispier. However, if your kids like mine, prefer softer pizzas, then this would be an ideal pick.
While I was trying to choose something for myself, I decided to refresh my memory from years ago and ordered the San Giovannese (S$18.50++). The olive oil based pasta was loaded (perhaps too loaded) with cherry tomatoes and olives. I thoroughly missed the absence of capers but overall, the San Giovannese was really good – definitely recommended but I would ask the olives to be halved next time. If you want it vegan, opt for the fettucine instead of spaghetti, as the fettucine is made sans egg.
We also ordered the Cannelloni Ricotta e Spinachi (S$21.50++) – rolled pasta sheets stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese and oven baked in a creamy béchamel sauce. The Cannelloni actually turned out to be quite disappointing. The stuffing tasted dry and too spinach-y and the béchamel sauce was way too creamy. You’d do better to order something else. On a previous visit, I have had the Melanzane Alla Parmigiana (S$14.80++), which is eggplant baked in layers of mozarella and tomato sauce, and it was absolutely brilliant. Highly recommended!
Overall, the food at Pasta Fresca is quite good, with quite a few vegetarian and even vegan options. They offer the widest range of freshly made homemade pastas in Singapore. The pasta is made without preservatives or additives. Recently, they have even partnered up with Singapore Health Promotion Board and now offer healthier menu choices and wholegrain pastas. Pasta Fresca @ Siglap also earned the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2017.
Other vegetarian dishes on the menu include Garlic Bread, Bruschetta Al Pomodoro Fresco, Freshly Baked Breadsticks with Spicy Tomato Sauce. They also offer Piadina, which is baked pizza bread with a light spread of tomato sauce, olive oil, chilli and rosemary – so you could opt for this if you’re looking for something cheese-less.
For the Vegans
Vegans can opt for fettucine and choose an olive oil based or tomato based sauce to go with it. Minestrone Soup, Aglio Olio e Peperoncino, Al Pomodoro e Basilico and All’ Arrabbiata, to name a few. *Do note that the pastas are only vegan if paired with fettuccine. On a previous visit at another branch, I tried the Grigliata Mista Di Verdure (assorted seasonal vegetarables grilled and seasoned with olive oil and herbs) which was also quite good – great for sharing accross the table.
- Pasta Fresca da Salvatore does not use any lard for cooking. Only olive oil or soybean oil is used.
- Only vegetable stock is used for all of the soups (like that used for Minestrone soup).
- All cheese at Pasta Fresca contains animal rennet. Upon enquiry, they mentioned that they are working on sourcing non-animal rennet cheeses without compromising on the taste of their food.
- Mascarpone does not contain animal rennet.
- All breads contain dairy, rendering them unsuitable for vegans.
- Pasta Fresca’s Fettucine is produced without dairy or eggs – so it is suitable for vegans. The rest of the pastas are made with flour, olive oil and eggs.
Pasta Fresca da Salvatore: Locations at Bukit Timah, Boat Quay and Siglap. Click here for addresses.