The rustic wooden furniture and cobblestone flooring here begets that casual and laidback atmosphere of an authentic Italian restaurant. And if you choose alfresco dining, you'll be rewarded with riverfront serenity – one that a city dweller will sorely appreciate.
Food wise, the menu is rather well-balanced with plenty to choose from. But without starred items or chef’s hats to jump out at us with full conviction, it’s best to rely on the staff’s recommendations in order to kick potential disappointment out the window. The quad of grilled and smoked Scarmorza cheese wrapped in thinly sliced Parma ham atop sliced tomatoes (Scarmorza Affumicata Con Prosciutto, $21) proved to be a choice starter to whet our appetites with. Unlike Burrata that is commonly used in a dish like that, Bella Pasta uses the lesser-known Scarmorza cheese, which is chewier and somewhat similar to Mozzarella. Fork through every element on that plate and dip it slightly with the accompanying balsamic vinaigrette reduction for that tangy contrast.
As a lover of both shellfish and pasta, the Linguine Fruitti Di Mare ($26) was an absolute delight. The generous portion comprised a seafood party of squid, clams and prawns but what I enjoyed best was the sweetness of its seafood-tomato sauce that held on with every bite.
Possibly the best dish that day however, was the Char-grilled pork belly (Pancetta De Maiale Alla Griglia, $30), accompanied with rave-worthy sautéed potatoes, mushrooms and a Barolo wine sauce. While we did miss the crackling skin of a roasted pork belly, this char-grilled version delivers its promises of juicier morsels thanks to the grilling technique, which allows the glorious fats to be locked in instead of rising up to form that crisp exterior.
If tiramisus aren’t your thing, you won’t go wrong with the classic Panna Cotta ($10). This creamy number dusted with vanilla bean passed our wobble test with flying colours. Our only wish – more of that lovely mixed berry sauce please!
Don’t miss their value-for-money set lunchFor just $20, Bella Pasta’s three-course set lunch menu gets you a choice between their soup of the day, salad or swordfish carpaccio, for example, followed by a main, dessert of the day, with a cup of coffee or tea at the end to ease you back into work-mode. The selection rotates regularly, inclusive of meat, pasta and vegetarian options available. Available only on weekdays, 12 – 3pm. Bella Pasta, Riverside View, 30 Robertson Quay, #01-09, Singapore 238251
Written by Peh Yi Wen Images: Peh Yi Wen