About Pasta J
Dear diners, please note that Pasta J allows small, well-behaved dogs inside the restaurant
The crew at Pasta J are artists, maestros of the mix whether it’s their pesto, a bestseller in Singapore, or their homemade ice creams. Pasta J is the brainchild and passion project of chef and owner John Chan, and it’s his personal collection of recipes that dominates the offering at Pasta J’s flagship Upper Thomson Road premises (a new outlet can be found at The Arcade in the CBD). What’s distinctive about Pasta J, besides the home-style approach and the delicious Italian-inspired dishes themselves, is that Chan is eager to share his discoveries – you can buy many of the products and sauces he’s created for his restaurants and take them home to relive the experience.
If you had to choose an enduring symbol that sums up the Pasta J experience, it would undoubtedly be the Punchy Pesto, made from a carefully balanced blend of over 15 ingredients including – most importantly – basil grown aeroponically and thrown in the mix minus the sticks and stems. It is famous in Singapore, and you can find it laced through dishes like the deliciously rustic pesto pasta with toasted prawns and fresh squid at this Upper Thomson Road restaurant. Most of the dishes here are prepared according to recipes compiled by chef and owner John Chan, whose lack of formal training picks him out as one of those culinary auteurs that are the stuff of legend.
Chan’s flagship Pasta J in Thomson quickly gained a reputation for excellence with Chan’s library of idiosyncratic recipes, inspired as they are by Italian and western cuisines but embracing Singaporean and Asian influences. A natural gourmand, Chan has also stocked Pasta J’s cellars with a great range of craft beer and boutique wine, and loaded the sweet counter with homemade desserts. Highlights here include the pandan ice cream, made from scratch with crushed pandan leaves soaked overnight for an incredibly delicate flavour. As with the rest of Pasta J’s dishes, the desserts are all natural and are the epitome of slow food. The salmon carbonara pasta takes days to prepare, brined for at least four days with a special mix of seasonings, herbs and vinegar, making for a dish that some rate higher than similar dishes found in Michelin-starred restaurants in Hong Kong. The mushroom soup is rendered down for hours, and when it comes to dessert no stabilisers are used and the ice creams are churned slowly to impart the richest, most concentrated flavours possible. Not to mention the incredible Pasta J signature steak, using no sauce whatsoever but prepared with a special technique for maximum yumminess. For genuine homestyle slow food in Singapore, Pasta J is your go-to guy.
Super flavourful food. Pesto is so delicious and rich! Pasta is always so so al dente. Caramel Carnivore and the Bourdain is just so tasty.
We celebrated a friend's birthday at Pasta J. Three of us ordered pesto with prawn, to satisfy our cravings of pesto from our Europe exchange days. We ordered 2 cups of mushroom soup, and they were as superb as our virgin experience a year ago. As the birthday boy mentioned, everything is good!
Once again had a great time dining with a Friend, service was excellent and food did not take too long to come. Ordered a Super striploin, medium rare, it was cooked well and the meat was very tender. It was served with sides of mashed potato, carrots and mushrooms in cream. They also offer some sort of sea salt and chili pepper, which I declined. The only complaint I had was on the portion size, which was a little lacking, with the meal only able to satisfy my appetite just sufficiently. 10/10 would continue coming here, still surprised the owner doesn't recognise me yet :P
Excellent food and service as always, great place to hang out with friends and talk with the quiet and warm atmosphere. Brought my dog here and for the first time did not need to leave her alone when going out for dinner. Definitely recommended for anyone who doesn't like leaving their furry friends alone!
Great experience at Pasta J so much that I just had to write a review for them! Had a nice quiet dinner as we went early on Thursday night at around 630pm. The ambience was great with some cute dogs inside and the service was excellent as well, introducing the food and giving recommendations. We had the mushroom soup, the pesto crackers, seafood laksa pasta and clammy addiction pasta. All of them were fantastic and I would highly recommend them. The mushroom soup was one of the strongest that I had ever tasted, and for its price, I think its really worth it. Compared to other mushroom soups such as those at Soup Spoon or other franchises, the mushroom soup here is cheaper and maybe ten times nicer. The only sad thing was that it didn't come in a big pot so that I could enjoy the mushroom soup for the entire meal. As for the pesto crackers, until now I still don't really know what's pesto, but I do know that it tastes amazing and is not some bland veggie sauce that I expected when I saw its greenish appearance. It goes well with the slightly salted crackers, and there was enough of the pesto dip that we could generously spread the pesto sauce on the crackers without worrying that we would finish the dip first. Almost bought a bottle of it home, but realised that I have no idea what to dip it with or how to cook it. Maybe next time! As for the pastas, I really love their chewy texture which is the first time I actually remember any pasta having a chewy texture. The seafood that came together with it were fresh and sweet as well, especially the squid in the seafood laksa which was BBQed extremely well in my opinion, giving it a nice charred feel. The clammy addiction was also special compared to the usual clam vongole pasta as the sauce was bacon-based if i remembered correctly, which gave it a meatier feel with the meaty bits complimenting the chewy pasta. Perhaps one small issue would be that we personally felt that we might have preferred tom yum as the sauce instead of laksa for the seafood laksa pasta. However, that is just our personal preference and the laksa flavour at Pasta J was actually a pretty legit laksa flavour. I apologise for the kinda long review (this is like literally the first time I wrote a food review and I have no idea what I'm doing now), but I really enjoyed my meal there and just wanted to share it with you as well as the shop itself for their efforts. Our only complain will be that we couldn't try more things at one go (SO MANY THINGS WE WANTED TO TRY), but I have no doubts I'll be going back again to try these other things such as the clam soup, the salmon carbonara, as well as numerous others which I can't really remember! Good job Pasta J and hope you guys will be able to keep it up when we go back again next time!
We ordered the Caramel Carnivore, the Mad Mac & Cheese as well as the Muddy Mushroom Soup. Our children enjoyed the soup as it was thick and creamy with generous portions of mushroom. The only downside was that the soup came served in a mug, which is probably sufficient for one person. If you wish to share the soup, then each person would just get a few mouthfuls. The Mac & Cheese came next. Our kids loved the macaroni and the melted cheese. The meat patty was huge, so part of it ended up in the adults' tummies. After that came the Caramel Carnivore. Wow, it was bursting with flavour. It is likely a result of hours of marination and careful preparation. The fullness of flavour was, however, also the reason why we couldn't finish the food as it became a little overwhelming after the initial few bites. The real issue for me was the lack of vegetables in the dishes. It was all very meaty and would likely appeal to some. However, it may not fulfil one's requirements for a balanced diet. All in all, it was a delightful dinner for my family. Worth a try!
Food at Pasta J is always fresh and made with love. Enjoy the pesto pasta, mac and cheese and stout beef stew. We had the sorbet and Pandan ice cream for dessert - John's recommendation did not fail. Best part is, the place is dog friendly! They even had a waterbowl prepared for our pooch.
Food is always good at Pasta J! I have been to Pasta J many times and I enjoyed each and every dining experience. The ambience is relaxing and the owner, John, is very friendly.
Although the price is a little steep compared to other western cafe or restaurant, but the food in Pasta J is really worth the try. Their service is good as well. Definitely recommended and will return for more food :)
Pasta J is nice! Foods are special and yummy. The restaurant is also dog friendly, which is awesome! Do try their homemade dessert. I like the pandan flavor ice cream! ;)