It must take a lot of guts to go against conventional thinking and open up a stall selling Italian and Japanese food in a Singapore market and food centre. This is what Pasta and Donburi by Kenny has chosen to do at Ghim Moh market. After a long period of shutdown, the Ghim Moh market and food centre has re-opened. It looks cleaner and slightly bigger but the overall layout is roughly the same. Another thing that has changed for the better is that new stalls have opened up and Pasta and Donburi by Kenny is one of them.
The simple, almost zen-like signboard at this Ghim Moh pasta stall stands out among the other bright and gaudy signs that shout out their yong tau foo and economy rice offerings. The Pasta & Donburi stall is manned by two very pleasant fellows, the chef and the manager that looks after the front of the house. I gathered that Kenny is the chef. The food sold here ranges from the most expensive salmon with pasta ($7.50) to the most basic garlic and mushroom pasta ($5). Order, pay and you get a ticket with an order number that frees you to buy other stuff before coming back to collect. A digital display indicates the ticket number that is ready for collection. Very civilised indeed! We tried a garlic and mushroom pasta and a chicken donburi, both for takeaway, for which an extra 20 cent charge was levied for each container.
The garlic and mushroom pasta was prepared in aglio olio style. The taste was quite basic. I realise that for $5, we should have realistic expectations, but I think a bit more garlic would have improved the taste tremendously. The pasta was cooked al dente to almost perfection. A bit dry, but that was easily solved by buying some yong tau foo soup from the stall two doors away (see our earlier post). We were very pleased with the yong tau foo and pasta combo not only because of the way the taste combined but it also made us feel glad to be in Singapore where we can get such diverse types of food at our neighbourhood market.
We have nothing but good things to say about the chicken donburi. The chicken was perfectly fried but still moist and tender. Compared to the basic pasta, this dish was full of ingredients, many pieces of chicken, a thick swathe of fried egg and a generous sprinkling of seaweed. At only $1.50 more ($6.50) this was a much better dish than the pasta. We think it is comparable to chicken donburi dishes served in restaurants costing two or three times more. They use good quality containers and we think these are good candidates for takeaway meals.
We are glad that the guys running Pasta & Donburi by Kenny at Ghim Moh market and food centre had decided to set up shop there. It is nice to get more variety of food in one place. However, people are creatures of habit. While long queues for the famous Ghim Moh roast meat and char kway teow stalls continue, the number of people buying Italian noodles or Japanese rice was quite modest.
Pasta & Donburi by Kenny
#01-53, Blk 20 Ghim Moh Road Market & Cooked Food Centre
20 Ghim Moh Road