Tapasta Bar (a witty portmanteau word of tapas + pasta) appears to be just another bar along the stretch of Pekin St, Far East Square. Lots of alcoholics imbibing as if COVID is a thing of the past. Tapasta Bar seems a tad quieter than the other bars but there is a change of chef in the beginning of the year and the food is delicious.
Filipino-Chinese chef Marvin Ang started with the Tao Group at USA. And when the Tao Group opened Koma at MBS, Ang came over to help start up the restaurant. At the start of 2021, he moved to Tapasta and revamped the menu. It’s a simple menu consisting sections on tapas, grain bowl, cold cut platters, pastas, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
From the tapas section, the pulpo a la plancha ($24) or octopus tentacle is super delicious. Although the octopus is a tad chewy, the flavours bloom beautifully. It’s topped with dehydrated tomatoes, dil sour cream, paprika oil, and a good measure of olive. All that umami adds complexity to the dish.
I could see from my partner’s face that he was controlling his temper not to chide me for ordering the beef cheese sandwich ($16.80) because he thought it was costly. But when it arrived, he was not only appeased but very happy with it. It is mindblowingly delicious. The beef is braised in ale and covered in a delectable, creamy mushroom sauce (think: thick mushroom soup). The caramelized onions add a nice sweetness. And that heartattack-inducing bread is covered in butter.
The sandwich comes with a house-made creamy tomato soup which is also fantastic. A slight hint of spiciness for excitement under the sweetness of the tomatoes. Robust. This dish is a must order.
From the pasta section, they recommended the seafood spaghetti marinara ($19). The tomato base tastes like a thinner, spicier version of the tomato soup. This pasta is slightly better than the average marinara—I mean, how much can marinara pasta differ from one another. Although it lacks the WOW factor of the previous two dishes, they give a very, very generous amount of seafood including tiger prawns, clams, and black mussels. So generous that there is more seafood than pasta, making it a super hearty and homely dish.
We were satisfied with both the delicious food and the friendly service here although there was only a server and Ang the chef running the place. Given time, Ang at Tapasta will be a worldclass chef. When he does, remember we spotted him first. Including a glass of beer, we spent about $80 for two persons.
Far East Square #01-01, 39 Pekin St, Singapore 048769
t: +65 8704 6854
11am – 10.30pm, closed Sunday
You may be interested in…
–MadASS, Raffles Place: Sister Restaurant of Mad About Sucre Serves Bento for Lunch, Tapas at Night.
–Drunken Farmer, Stanley Street: Spa Esprit Group’s Natural Wines and Everything Sourdough (Pizzas, Waffles, Even Fried Chicken)
–Chojiro Osaka Sushi Restaurant, Telok Ayer: One of the Most Popular Kaiten-zushi in Japan
–Solo Ristorante, Amoy Street: Your Ticket to Northern Italy
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.