Neat mounds of pasta drying in the front window display of Tipo in the Bugis area are the first sign that this is an authentic pasta bar experience.
When you enter the narrow shophouse space, you are greeted by a tall, multi-level pasta drying rack, with more multi-coloured pastas airing out.
At this newly opened Muslimowned joint, all the pasta is freshly handmade and the name of the joint comes from the high-quality grade of wheat flour typically used to make pasta, called Tipo 00.
The flavours and shapes of pasta on offer change regularly and when I visit during a weekday lunch service, the three flavours available are ribbon-shaped paprika mafalde, rolled-up garlic casarecce and broad, flat lemon pappardelle.
You can have the pasta in either regular-sized “regulare” ($9.90) or the large-sized “grande” ($12.90) portions, on which you can build your own mix-and-match pasta combinations.
There are also pre-set pastas such as creamy chicken and mushroom and seafood pomodoro.
785 North Bridge Road, tel: 8768-0785; www.facebook.com/tiposg; open: Sundays to Thursdays, noon to 10pm; Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 11pm
I have one called the Royal Ragu ($13.90), which came with beef ragu sauce, arugula and a small dollop of ricotta cheese. The beef chuck was fork tender and every bit of my curly, paprika-flavoured
mafalde pasta was coated in the sauce.
While the paprika gave the pasta a beautiful, burnt orange colour, it did not lend much to the pasta taste-wise.
That said, the long strands of pasta were cooked perfectly al dente.
My dining companion had a regular-sized “build your own pasta” with garlic casarecce, creamy Alfredo sauce, black truffle paste, grated parmesan and a sous vide egg. With the toppings, the dish
came up to $14.90.
The combination of flavours made for a rich dish, but the garlic casarecce was overwhelmed by the other flavours.
Tipo is run by The Black Hole Group, the same people behind other cafes like Working Title burger bar and Afterwit Mexican taqueria. As with any new spot, there were teething issues such as having insufficient waiters to service the floor and running out of things such as iced tea.
That said, the impressive, highquality pasta is far superior to the kind you get at your mass-market, family Italian restaurants, at a similar price point.