Perhaps one of the most classic dishes of all time is carbonara. While it’s usually made with eggs, cheese, bacon and spaghetti, it’s not a common sight to see different variations of the classic dish we love. We’ve found 7 different carbonara dishes that are worth trying.
Bacon is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Carbonara. However, here at Symmetry, they have added a twist to that by replacing bacon with a fresh chunk of halibut. They have 4 different menus and the Mentaiko Carbonara ($ 24++) comes under the weekday brunch menu which is available from Tuesday to Friday. The dish comprises a slab of delectable miso halibut, linguine, furikake, uluru, lemon gel and mentaiko. The fish is fresh and packed with flavor. Although it may seem like an odd combination, I thought that the halibut complemented the creamy pink sauce. My only gripe would be the pasta which was a tad too cooked for me.
Opened 3 years ago, Old Habits got its name from its owners’ habit of collecting old items such as CDs, gramophones, telephones, sign boards, watches and even street signs. They have their own twist on the classic carbonara dish which replaces regular bacon with beef bacon. Topped with a creamy egg sauce, the Beef Carbonara ($ 10.50) wasn’t as flavorful as expected. Every bite yields a strong egg flavor. The pasta was cooked to the right texture but I felt that the dish was too salty. If you like beef, this might just be for you.
Address: 38 Telok Blangah Rise, #01-135, Singapore 090038
Phone: 9644 2777
Opening Hours: 11am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm daily from Tuesday to Thursday. 11am to 1030pm on Fridays and Saturdays. 11am to 9pm on Sundays. Closed on Mondays.
This next one is one of my favorites. If you’re looking for value, Creation Café is king. We went during lunch time so we got our carbonara with a soup and a cup of iced lemon tea. The owners were very warm and it’s no wonder why they’ve been around for over 17 years now. The sauces are all handmade daily because they believe in upholding quality. For $ 11.50, I’d say the price is unbeatable, given the portions. Topped generously with ham, sausage and mushrooms, the carbonara earned an easy full rating from us. While the sauce is a tad sweeter than others, it can get a little jelak for some. For me, the creamier the better. Great service, great food and great prices. What’s not to like?
Builders at Sims
Located just a 5-minute walk away from the Aljunied MRT, Builders at Sims offers a cozy cove for one to sit back and chill with friends. Like other cafes, they offer a decent spread of food and drinks. We got their carbonara which closely resembles the classic carbonara dish. The sauce was flavorful but not that creamy which may be a plus point for some. The pasta was done al dente, just right in my opinion. The dish is served with an egg confit resting on the pasta so make sure to burst it and mix it! On a side note, I’ve also tried and tested their Ratatouille pasta and French Toast; both of which are worth a shot. Note that they only take cash!
Address: 53 Sims Place, #01-160, Singapore 380053
Phone: 6747 1837
Opening Hours: 1130am to 9pm daily from Tuesdays to Saturdays. 1130am to 4pm on Sundays. Closed on Mondays.
La Strada Restaurant
A popular choice for Italian food along Orchard Road would be La Strada restaurant. Unbeknownst to some, this Italian restaurant is usually fully booked and it’s not wise to simply walk in for a table. I arrived 15 minutes after they started operations and was lucky to grab the last table which wasn’t reserved. This is perhaps the most extravagantly-priced carbonara dish in this list but for good reason. The dish consists of guitar string spaghetti (chitarra), truffle butter, egg confit and ham crumble. For $ 28++, it was quite disappointing as the portion was rather small. However, the quality of ingredients used more than made up for it. I liked the extra layer of flavor from the truffle butter which is hard to miss. Although the salty ham crumble helped to cut through the cream, I would have liked to see more of it in the dish.
Pasta & Donburi
These days, it’s not uncommon to see quality hawker food that gives restaurants a good run for their money. Pasta & Donburi is one such hawker stall. Run by Kenny, the hawker stall specializes in (you guessed it) pasta and donburi. What makes them stand out is the ingredients and sauces which Kenny makes from scratch daily. He doesn’t use MSG in any of his sauces. He shared with me that he works 16 hours a day (including preparation). What dedication! The sauce is more watery; it is not as rich as others. If you like something lighter on the tummy, this is the one to go for. Generously topped with bacon bits, this pasta offers great value for its price. The pasta was a little too cooked for my liking but it’s not a deal breaker. Highly recommended!
Address: 20 Ghim Moh Road, #01-53, Ghim Moh Market and Food Centre, Singapore 270020
Phone: 9176 8650
Opening Hours: 1130am to 230pm, 5pm to 8pm daily. Closed on Thursdays.
Grill & Pasta
Situated in Sembawang Hills Food Centre, Grill & Pasta offers an affordably-priced plate of carbonara. Out of all the carbonaras featured here, this is probably the creamiest. I liked that the consistency of the sauce was not too sticky so I still managed to finish everything. For $ 7, you get a lot of pasta slathered in a rich cream sauce. While the pasta was a little overcooked, the generous portion made up for it. It could use more bacon though. Overall, I prefer the homemade sauce from this stall as compared to the sauce from Pasta & Donburi, but Pasta & Donburi offers the more value-for-money option.
Address: 590 Upper Thomson Road, Sembawang Hill Food Centre, Singapore 574419
Hopefully, this list has helped you to figure out where to head for your next carbonara advernture. I’m a sucker for homemade and affordable food; my personal favorite is from Creation Cafe, what’s yours?
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visits and paid its own meals at the stalls featured here.
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