L’operetta Corner Bar is not just another fancy, atas Italian restaurant in the CBD area. It’s apparently home to the “best pasta in Southeast Asia” (or so they claim) and has an unpretentious, laid-back atmosphere for some authentic Italian food.
It isn’t just about how they cook it, but also the ingredients that L’Operetta uses, which are fresh, simple and of the best quality.
Just around the corner of Boon Tat Street, you’ll find L’Operetta stretch across three blocks of shophouses.
During lunch time, it is bustling with office diners who are hungry for a good plate of pasta. At night, the space winds down to give way to a more laid back, family-friendly environment for drinks and delicious food.
To start off your meal, try the antipasto Burrata Cheese and Parma Ham ($38/ $52) that goes really well with wine. Though slightly pricier, the huge ball of burrata cheese atop a generous serving of freshly cut Parma ham with a mix of salad greens makes it quite worth it.
The burrata cheese melted in my mouth with each bite, creating the perfect combination of saltiness and creaminess with the Parma ham. However, the salad dressing was too oily for my liking and ruined the freshness of the salad greens. Maybe request to have the dressing on the side instead.
L’Operetta’s take on the traditional Tomato Bruschetta ($8) is worth a try. The juicy tomato salsa with crunchy garlic-buttery toast makes for a decent appetiser.
Make sure you get one of the pastas as your main. While every pasta option on the menu sounded awesome, we ordered a few of the recommended ones to try.
The Classic Carbonara ($15, Lunch) is best when savoured hot off the pan. Contrary to most carbonara pastas in Singapore, the classic version isn’t supposed to be drenched in a thick creamy sauce.
I particularly loved L’Operetta’s take on this classic, which was cooked with only Italian pork cheek ragu, egg and cheese – a much lighter alternative to the carbonaras that I’m used to.
Next on our agenda was the Linguine Clams White Wine Sauce ($20, Lunch/$28, Dinner). It seemed like nothing special at first but the flavours really won me over.
Served with a generous mix of clams and herbs, the linguine was cooked to perfection, and the sauce had no fishy aftertaste. I was only left wishing for a stronger taste of the white wine in the sauce, but that may just be the alcoholic in me talking.
My favourite was definitely the Gnocchi Burrata Cheese Tomato Sauce ($18, Lunch/$28, Dinner), which featured the same fresh burrata cheese as the antipasto.
The creaminess of the buratta cheese paired perfectly with the sweet and tangy homemade tomato sauce, creating a simple yet flavourful plate of pasta. I’d recommend sharing this though, as it may get a little jelak after awhile.
We had the Spaghetti Prawns Aglio Olio ($20, Lunch) last. The huge serving of prawns tossed with cherry tomatoes, asparagus and a mix of herbs made it a really delicious plate of aglio olio and justified the price.
However, I didn’t quite take a liking to the thin spaghetti and strong olive oil taste. Perhaps, it could have been better with an extra tinge of spiciness for a bit more kick.
If you aren’t a fan of pasta, opt for the Diavola ($26) instead, which is a tomato sauce, spicy salami and oregano pizza.
As a huge lover of anything cheese-related, I thought that this spicy salami pizza could have done with a lot more cheese. However, it’s still worth a try as Italian homemade pizzas are always better than those available in your usual delivery options.
The Calzone ($28) is a traditional dish that can be found in almost every Italian restaurant. Served with tomato sauce, salami, mozzarella and ricotta cheese, it looked like an enlarged Italian version of a curry puff.
The crust was less crisp (and tasted a bit like naan) as compared to your usual pizza crust. It was a good dish to share but wasn’t one of my favourites of the night.
An Italian meal isn’t complete without desserts and I have to say that you better not leave L’operatta Corner Bar without trying the Tiramisu ($12). Served unpretentiously, you have to take a huge scoop to enjoy the fluffiness and lightness of this classic Italian dessert.
It was the perfect mix of cocoa, coffee and alcohol, complemented by the airiness of the cream. This version wasn’t too far off its authentic counterparts in Italy.
If you aren’t up for something with alcohol in it, try the Vanilla Pannacotta with Mixed Berries Sauce ($10). The thick, creamy vanilla-infused Pannacotta was ideal with the tangy and slightly citrus-y mixed berries sauce.
L’Operatta Corner Bar has won my heart with its impeccable service and honest take on Italian food. As it is still rather unknown as an Italian dining spot at night and over the weekends, you should check this place out for some quality time with family and friends before it gets too crowded.
If you wish to beat the crowds, take-away options are also available.
Expected damage: $15 – $25 per person