Review: Visit this underrated hidden pasta gem Ameising La Volta for fresh pasta and tapas

By Gary Lim July 14, 2023
Review: Visit this underrated hidden pasta gem Ameising La Volta for fresh pasta and tapas
Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere
  • This dine-in only restaurant in Bencoolen dishes up delish pasta and both hot and cold tapas 
  • Choose between classics and creative spins with four types of handmade pasta
  • Our reviewer couldn’t get enough of the chilli crab pasta, unagi puffs, and avocado ramen egg salad

If you want good pasta in Singapore, you typically go to a bona fide Italian restaurant or you beeline for one of those newer breeds of specialty joints around town that are all the rage.

We’re talking about places such as Tipo Pasta Bar, Eleven Strands, and La Mensa — they aren’t quite authentically Italian, but still serve up very good plates of pasta. 

Ameising La Volta, which opened at the doorstep of Lazada One at Bras Basah Road two months ago, belongs to the latter.

The backstory

Ameising La Volta
Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere

This is the latest concept by the Ameising group, which boasts CBD favourites such as Ameising Bar & Dining and Ameising Hikaru among its brands. 

Ameising La Volta, a stone’s throw away from Bencoolen MRT station, might specialise in pasta and tapas, but it still retains the group’s signature of taking inspiration from Japanese flavours. 

The chef leading the new concept, Caleb Ang, used to run Mono Izakaya, a modern experimental izakaya in Jalan Besar. He brings over some of his star dishes, including the unagi puff and melon ice cream with parma ham.

Our verdict

Ameising La Volta
The chic interior adopts a sleek white and gold theme, with marble-esque table tops, brass table lamps and dried flowers on the pillar. Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere

There’s not been much buzz around the restaurant since its opening, which is strange, because I say with some confidence that Ameising La Volta is a hidden gem to be watched. 

It combines the flair of an upscale dining venue with the coolness of a casual gastrobar — suitable for both casual luncheons and a nice dinner date. Prices make sense for its downtown location and the quality of the food. 

Service is also on point, with the wait staff taking several minutes to talk me through the menu upon being seated.

The handmade pasta (from S$18) I ordered was excellent, as were the cold and hot tapas (from S$13). You might want to partake in one of its artisanal highballs or craft beers for an especially good time.

One thing to note is that Ameising La Volta is strictly dine-in only — it does not allow takeaways so as not to compromise the freshness and quality of its food.

What it’s good for

Ameising La Volta
A new way to eat unagi. Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere

From the hot tapas section, the unagi puffs (S$13 for three) are divine. I’ve only had unagi on rice, so this is a refreshing spin that’s worthy of the hype. Crispy puff pastry comes delicate and golden, each encasing a generous slice of unagi, or Japanese eel slathered in a sweet and salty tare sauce. 

The warm pastry is baked light and flaky, pairing perfectly with the medium-soft bite of the unagi. There’s a sprinkle of aonori, or dried seaweed, to amp up the umami and add a distinct “ocean aroma”. It’s a real steal for the price.

Ameising La Volta
Eggs and umami galore. Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere

I ordered the avocado ramen egg salad (S$13) from the cold section, and the first thing that came to mind when it arrived was: “Where’s the avocado ramen?”. Turns out, the avocado was a slightly tangy mousse at the bottom of the plate and the “ramen” referred to ajitsuke tamago, popularly known as ramen egg. 

While avocado noodles would be a fascinating thing to try, this is still a seductive starter that’s again heavy on the umami, thanks to little heaps of ikura, cured parma ham, and avruga pescaviar — named as such because it is made from wild smoked herrings instead of sturgeon fish (the only fish used for making caviar).

The soy-marinated medium-boiled egg and creamy avocado base make this an especially indulgent appetiser.

The pasta menu is split into “Reinvented Classics”, which take their cue from more conventional pasta dishes, and “Creative Spins”, featuring more innovative Asian-inspired creations such as omu pasta, cheesy creamy butter chicken, and unagi “yaki soba”.

Ameising La Volta
Move aside chilli crab, black pepper is the star here. Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere

While all of those sound delicious, I opted for the spicy black pepper crab (S$28) with fresh fettuccine (you can also choose from fresh linguine, maltagliati, pappardelle and gluten-free sweet potato noodles). 

While it isn’t possible for fresh pasta to achieve the same level of firmness (al dente) as its dried counterpart, some restaurants take theirs a bit too far and you end up with limp, almost mushy pasta. But chef Caleb, who makes the dough himself, does it beautifully. 

Each bite is springy, rich (I can only imagine how many egg yolks went into this) and spicy, soaking up flavours from the accompanying ingredients well. 

Like a good stir-fry, there is dried chilli, capsicum, onion, and a savoury-sweet black pepper sauce that’s addictive as heck. Throw in copious chunks of crab meat and you’ve got a winner of a dish.

Ameising La Volta
A well-curated booze menu. Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere

Ameising La Volta has a fantastic alcoholic repertoire, including fancy shochu and soju highballs made with things such as yuzu compote and frozen Sarawak pineapple. 

It also has a decent craft beer selection on tap and by the can (think brands such as Sydney’s One Drop Brewing and Melbourne’s Deeds Brewing Company).

What it could improve on

If I had something to gripe about, it’s the fact that the restaurant ran out of ice cream during my dinner there, despite my early visit around six in the evening. 

It doesn’t sound like a big deal, until you realise that the only two desserts at Ameising La Volta are ice cream-based: A melon ice cream wrapped in parma ham, and a double scoop of imported Japanese ice cream. 

A larger choice of desserts would solve that; after all, a meal at a good restaurant feels incomplete without a sweet treat to bring a sense of balance to an otherwise very memorable experience.

Our quick takes

Is it conducive to conversation? Yes, unless you visit during peak lunch hour.

Is a reservation necessary? Good to have but not necessary.

How to get there? Ameising La Volta is right in front of Exit B of Bencoolen MRT station.

HungryGoWhere paid for its meal at this restaurant for this review. Still hungry? Check out our reviews of Tinto and Hashtag #3

Ameising group’s Ameising Bar & Dining is on the GrabFood delivery service and offers free delivery (up to S$3 off) with GrabUnlimited. It can also be found on GrabFood Dine-in.

Alternatively, book a ride to these restaurants.

Ameising La Volta

Lazada One, 01-01, 51 Bras Basah Road
Open: Monday to Saturday (11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10.30pm)

Lazada One, 01-01, 51 Bras Basah Road
Open: Monday to Saturday (11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10.30pm)

Gary Lim-HungryGoWhere

Gary Lim


Gary eats and knows things, which he attributes to over 30 years of eating and drinking — surely that must count for something, he surmises. He was previously the deputy editor at City Nomads and content lead at Burpple.

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