Author: Sassy Eater.
Have you ever heard about PasarBella in Singapore ? From the name, you can guess that must be something about ‘Pasar’ (Market in Indonesian).
And you’re right, PasarBella is actually a mash up of ‘Pasar’ and ‘Bella’ (Beauty in Italian term).
When you arrive at the Grandstand Turf City, it looks extremely unimpressive with its bland huge structure and playing fields. But first step into PasarBella, you will be surprised with this Melbourne’s-Queen-Victoria-Market-inspired quirky place with rustic interior and an eclectic mix of stalls.
There is a wide range of food to tickle your taste buds. There is fabulous Cheese Ark for a platter & wine, and if you are missing your meat, there are combos of ribs, roasts, shanks…. you name it! Seafood galore and great deli counters too. For the sweet tooth…gelatos, cakes, macaroons. Great mix of beers and wine, coffee and tea. It is a good place to find your organic products with interesting good choices too.
So you can walk around, see what you like and order food from one stall, cakes from the other stall, coffee from another and so on. It’s almost like a buffet, just that you are ordering and paying each stall individually. Other than few stalls with exclusive seating area, free seatings can be found in every corner. But the place can get crowded on weekends so if you need more space, head up to the mezzanine level accessible by an iron spiral staircase.
I have been going to PasarBella for more than two years now and I always like bringing guests here as an alternative to the usual shopping places. And every guest that I brought here was always pleased with the food and the ambience.
Keith Crackling Roast #02-K37 is one of some stalls that I hardly missed whenever I come here. And I always order the Full Combo of Crackling Pork and Honey Roasted Pork ($18). I love the crispy crunch followed by moist and succulent meat layers. The mash potato and the fragrant rice complement the dishes heartily. And I always choose the apple sauce and the chilli cuts. This is an ultimate crackling pork roast experience.
Laman’s Delight #02-K38 is a Russian-inspired bakery serving authentic Russian-style cakes. The cakes look enticing and have a very rich flavour and taste uniquely delectable.
Russian Napoleon cake ($14/slice) is a very popular Russian cake. I find Laman’s Delight’s version is a bliss, made up of layers of puff pastry and smooth buttery creamy filling and the top pastry layer is dusted with pastry crumbs.
My favourites are Naomi cake and Pomegranate cake ($12/slice).
Fresh pomegranate seeds add a crunch to every bite of the decadent creamy base and the velvety Pomegranate cake which infused with hibiscus and pomegranate juice.
And Naomi Cake… How can I resist a cake with such a beautiful name ? Both the Bailey’s and the salted caramel give extra depth and soul to the chocolate cake, and with plenty of chocolate ganache, Naomi never fails to satiate my craving….. every single time, period.
And I always have a cuppa at Dutch Colony Coffee Co. #02-K67. They have a great selection of quality coffee beans from different parts of the world. You can choose to order an espresso-based coffee or a single origin bean and you can also specify the brewing method. I’ve visited a number of coffee shops here in Singapore and I have to say that Dutch Colony Coffee is one of the ace tasting coffee that I’ve ever had. It ‘s a well balanced coffee with a nutty and sweet chocolate tones.
Once in a while I like to buy French Macaron ($3-$3.50) from Bonheur Patisserie #02-K63. They have more than 30 flavours of handmade macarons ranging from classical flavours like Rose, Salted Caramel and Pistachio to Asian flavours like Seasalt Gula Melaka, Thai Iced Tea and Yuzu, there is always something for everyone. And the super cute decorated macarons attract kids who can be seen queuing up around the corner on weekends.
Cicely Kitchen, #02-K33 is one stall featuring a seasonal ‘family cooking’ menu of wholesome and daily-homemade comfort foods, such as soups, salads, pastas and roasts. I tried their Aglio Olio Spaghetti, and it’s a decent one.
Thai Affair #02-K42 is one of some new traders in Pasarbella, serve a tantalising street snacks, Spring Rolls ($6) and Thai Fish Cake ($8). They were appetizing, a very well balanced of Thai herbs and spices.
The Moo Ping BBQ Pork Stick ($10) is the case where “I judge a book by its cover”. I was so attracted by the picture in their board menu, where the pork sticks looks so juicy and luscious. The verdict was unfortunately quite far from the mouth watering picture in the menu.
But I like their flavourful Thai Basil Rice ($8). I tried twice and in both occasions this menu didn’t fail me.
One stall that always catch attention is Papito’s #02-K27 (formerly Le Patio) for it’s one metre (in diameter) pan full of bubbling Seafood Paella ($13.50), a generous mix of prawns, mussels, baby octopus, squid and chicken chunks, all stained with the dark golden hues of saffron mixed into their special sofrito (a mixture of lightly fried onions and garlic, onion and cherry tomatoes). You definitely should try this, since Papito’s announced its win at the 2nd Oceania International Paella Championship, edging out teams of paella chefs from Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia to take home 1st place.
So from a gigantic pan of seafood mix of Spanish Paella from Papito’s to the succulent roast meat from Keith’s Crackling Roast, the desirable cakes from Laman’s Delight to the freshly roasted specialty coffee from Dutch Colony Coffee Co., PasarBella is one place foodies would be spoilt for choice.
The ambience was good and offer a twist compared to other eateries in Singapore. This mash up joint definitely appeals to anyone who had ventured overseas or for those seeking an experience similar to a trip aboard. And there is always something new to discover here so it is worth coming back from time to time.
My suggestions for my fellow foodies/tourists,
1) Best time to come is around 10 am – 5 pm as some stalls closed at 7 pm on weekdays.
2) Best days to come are weekdays. Weekends are always much more crowded than weekdays, it can be a hassle to find a seat too.
3) Free Shuttle services daily provided at designated bus stops from Clementi, Botanic Gardens, Toa Payoh MRT stations & Bukit Timah Road.
PasarBella at The Grandstand Bukit Timah
200 Turf Club Road
Mon to Thu – 10am to 9pm
Fri to Sun – 10am to 10pm