LINO Pasta Bar: Savoury Pasta Dishes Below S$20 at Orchard Rd

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I don’t know how the Les Amis Group does it, but every new concept they gift to Singaporeans is almost a no-fail course to our bellies. Their latest expansion sees LINO restaurant create a sister brand, LINO Pasta Bar, that focuses on a concise menu of highly-curated pasta dishes.

Housed at centrally-located Shaw Centre, I managed to snag myself a table just before the bountiful lunch crowd.

They offer an affordable three-course Set Lunch menu for only S$22++ that comprises of an appetiser, main, and a dessert. However, choosing to go for the a la carte menu won’t break the bank either.

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Very rare do I come across a caesar salad that really hits the spot for me. LINO Pasta Bar’s Caesar Salad, Poached Egg, Pancetta Chips, Anchovy Dressing (S$8) was surprisingly an instant win, given that I could enjoy the crunch of lettuce and croutons, the softness of the boiled egg, as well as relish the mild pungency of parmesan and the salty anchovy dressing.

Most similar salads end up prematurely soggy, complete with a shallow reservoir of dressing pooling at the bottom of the bowl.

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If it’s a terribly balmy day out, the Cold Angel Hair Pasta With Yuzu, Salted Seaweed And Ikura (S$18) will help ease your discomfort. It was bright and zesty, with enough umami to have me wolf this portion (which happens to be a half-portion so that I could stomach more pasta) down in less than three minutes.

The salted seaweed was as much aromatic as it was a seasoning, and I excitedly anticipated the other pasta dishes to come.

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Never having tried any version of cacio e pepe (a modern Roman dish, which translates to ‘cheese and pepper’) before, their Mafalde Cacio E Pepe, Fried Egg (S$15) was a novelty to me. The ribbon-like pasta carried a gratifying chew, and was made absolutely moreish with the ample sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

Visually, it was a pedestrian dish, although this could easily be an easy brunch favourite in place of the standard breakfast platter with eggs and sausage. It was the simplicity and straightforwardness of the recipe that truly won me over.

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A splash of Asian influences can be found in Mentaiko Chitarra With Soft Boiled Egg, Cream, Plum And Seaweed (S$17.50). To describe this as an umami bomb would be both accurate and a gross understatement; it was rich, deep, aromatic, savoury, and incredibly toothsome.

I was taken aback by how uncloying it was, and that made me more determined to polish it all off! The only feedback I would extend would be to add a protein like shrimp to add some body to the plate.

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You still can’t beat a meat pasta, in my honest opinion. Their Rigatoni Oxtail In Tiger Beer And Black Pepper Sauce, Watercress (S$19.50) knocked it out of the park. The oxtail was decadent and tender, requiring little wrestling with my teeth. The rigatoni served as large short straws, ideal for ensuring not a single drop of sauce went to waste.

If you’re wondering if the Tiger beer came through, I would have to say moderately. It certainly wasn’t a punch to the palate—most likely due to the potency of the black pepper sauce.

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I am on a never-ending quest for the best tiramisu in Singapore, and so far, I can count on one hand my favourite places. LINO Pasta Bar’s Tiramisu (S$6) is now a new addition to that mental list; it had the right ratio of mascarpone to coffee, and it was the perfect level of bittersweet.

If the entire casserole were placed in front of me that afternoon, trust me, I would’ve gone in for many more helpings.

My expectations soared as I masticated my way through lunch at LINO Pasta Bar. The recipes were uncomplicated, and even with the Asian touches for some, they didn’t reveal themselves to be pretentious. It’s all about hearty eating with simple food, and sometimes, that’s all your hunger calls for.

Chope Reservations

Expected Damage: S$15 – S$25 per pax

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 5 / 5

LINO Pasta Bar

1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, #03-23, Singapore 228208

Our Rating 5/5

LINO Pasta Bar

1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, #03-23, Singapore 228208

Telephone: +65 6235 4653
Telephone: +65 6235 4653
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