Restaurant Review: la pasa – Singaporean cuisine on Alinga St

johnboy 8 December 2008 24

I hadn’t been expecting to be doing restaurant dining when I went out on Friday afternoon. But she-who-must-be-obeyed put her foot down demanding food and a kebab apparently wasn’t going to cut it.

So I wasn’t really dressed fine dining (black t-shirt, cargo pants, hat hair) when we darkened La Pasa’s stylish door on Alinga Street in Civic. (In the base of the Novotel building).

To their credit though the staff did not bat an eyelid and were helpful and attentive throughout.

La Pasa bill themselves as “Singaporean cuisine”.

If you haven’t had the pleasure before then there’s a few things you need to know. Singaporean is basically Chinese in style, but with Malay and Indian influences then jazzed up by a couple of centuries of relative affluence as a center of trade in Asia under the British. On top of that it’s very tropical. So there’s lots of coconut and pineapple involved.

It had been a hot afternoon so we ordered the coconut juice which came out wonderfully sweet and cold with a dressing of soft coconut pulp. At $4 each they’re worth popping in for at the bar alone.

For entree we had excellent duck pancakes and then for the main king prawns with ginger and shallots and their zesty steak.

All were extremely well executed.

There was a slight snarl with our green coconut rice (as in the rice was green) arriving after the mains. But (horror of horror in Canberra’s service with a snarl dining culture) I got an unsolicited apology for that slight mixup.

The menu covers a lot of ground with a genuine variety of dishes rather than five meats and five sauces making a menu of 25 dishes.

I’d really love to go in with a large group and banquet properly.

All up I had chance from $60 which was an extremely pleasant surprise.

I’ll be going back. Probably soon.


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24 Responses to Restaurant Review: la pasa – Singaporean cuisine on Alinga St
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toriness toriness 10:43 pm 09 Dec 08

it is isn’t it!

out of interest, did you read the article?

i have finished said bottle of wine 🙂

G-Fresh G-Fresh 10:30 pm 09 Dec 08

toriness said :

those disparaging to and dismissive of the vegetarian = ignorant meat-eaters who are wholeheartedly doing their bit to ruin the planet. if you have children, feel some guilt for wrecking their future!

Hilarious.

toriness toriness 8:35 pm 09 Dec 08

and apologies to JB for being offtopic (although surely it qualifies as right of reply?).

3 post nutbag status achieved for the first time. i would like to credit the bottle of jamieson’s run cab sav i am making my way through 🙂

toriness toriness 8:33 pm 09 Dec 08

excuse my sloppy linking skills 🙂

toriness toriness 8:33 pm 09 Dec 08

those disparaging to and dismissive of the vegetarian = ignorant meat-eaters who are wholeheartedly doing their bit to ruin the planet. if you have children, feel some guilt for wrecking their future!

http://www.theage.com.au/news/entertainment/epicure/who-needs-meat/2008/12/01/1227979895605.html?page=fullpage

fabforty fabforty 8:21 pm 09 Dec 08

Estelica said :

Goodness me! I am Singaporean, went there once in my early uni days had some corn soup and chicken stir-fry, did not have a good impression, was generally disappointed.

If I were to find a good nonya chinese kitchen around the area, Asian cafe would still be my preferred choice. For good nonya Malaysian kitchen, I recommend Mamak Corner in Garran shops, they serve good Malaysian Roti & Rendang dish.

I second Mamak Corner, although it is a while since my last visit. Rioters beware, though, from memory you would only go for the food – not the decor or the “operating theatre strength” lighting. It may have changed since my last visit though.

What are the recommendations for Dickson, which is closer to home for me ?

che che 6:37 pm 09 Dec 08

also covered back here
where it also got a good write up
glad to see they are maintaining a good standard

Hdopler Hdopler 2:34 pm 09 Dec 08

It’s crap, nothing like Singaporean food in Singapore. Bleh.

poptop poptop 12:41 pm 09 Dec 08

The site says “Although sounding a tad spanish, la pa sa’s name is derived from the popular festival market ‘lau pa sat’; a heritage building located in the central business district of Singapore.”

seekay seekay 12:39 pm 09 Dec 08

Sounds great – but why has a Singaporean place got an Italian/Spanish sounding name?

poptop poptop 8:50 am 09 Dec 08

It’s probably more the case that we notice the errors. Perfect service is invisible.

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 8:41 am 09 Dec 08

That actually sounds pretty tempting JB. But I beg an answer as to why oh why can restaurants in Canberra just not ever get everything right. It sounds like it was quite close in this case, but green rice…c’mon man. That’s pretty school boy error material.

It seems to be a recurring theme in all reviews on here as well as my own and friends experiences. It’s not that hard to just get everything right! Or apparently it is?!

farnarkler farnarkler 8:17 am 09 Dec 08

If only the rest of the world would follow your lead with the banning of chewing gum. I agree Asian Cafe is really good food.

Estelica Estelica 7:54 am 09 Dec 08

Goodness me! I am Singaporean, went there once in my early uni days had some corn soup and chicken stir-fry, did not have a good impression, was generally disappointed.

If I were to find a good nonya chinese kitchen around the area, Asian cafe would still be my preferred choice. For good nonya Malaysian kitchen, I recommend Mamak Corner in Garran shops, they serve good Malaysian Roti & Rendang dish.

farnarkler farnarkler 4:44 am 09 Dec 08

The beauty of Singaporean food is it takes a little bit of everything and blends it into its’ own recipes ie Singapore noodles. Do they do lime juice? I renew my addiction to it when ever I’m on a Singapore stopover.

ant ant 11:51 pm 08 Dec 08

Singaporean food is an interesting conglomeration, generally known as Nonya cooking. Charmaine Solomon has a good lot of it in her Asian cookbook.

I thought that drink was a Spider, never heard of coconut juice being sold and with the cream on top, it looks brilliant.

el el 10:14 pm 08 Dec 08

+1

G-Fresh G-Fresh 10:05 pm 08 Dec 08

toriness said :

i have only been there once and as a vego i was very unimpressed with my meal

A vego doesn’t deserve to critique restaurants. Eat some meat you mamby pamby

toriness toriness 8:57 pm 08 Dec 08

i have only been there once and as a vego i was very unimpressed with my meal – it was meant to be some sort of vegie stirfry (there was precious little to choose from on the menu for me) and i basically got a plateful of tasteless bok choy and beans. i find chinese food dull as dishwater as well – so had i known this influence on singaporean food, i wouldn’t have bothered at all. it’s probably my own fault for my lack of food cultural knowledge.

fabforty fabforty 6:22 pm 08 Dec 08

We have had work lunches and functions at La Pasa and have always been happy with it. The service is good (not over the top) and the food excellent. The banquets are really good for groups – something for everyone.

The duck pancakes are especially good.

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