Eleven Strands Review - Affordable Handmade Pasta Located in Serangoon

Secluded in beside Serangoon Stadium, you’d be surprised at how packed this place was despite the mild inconvenience to get there. Eleven Strands is a new concept by the team who founded South Union Park, but with their focus on classic French-Italian dishes.

Handmade Pasta

Handmade pasta is generally more flavorful than dried pasta since eggs are incorporated in the dough. In comparison, in order for dried pasta to have a longer shelf-life, it’s commonly made with semolina flour, or durum wheat, and water only.

Texture also plays a part. Handmade pasta might have a rougher mouthfeel, especially if it kneaded and rolled out grandma-style (on a wooden board with a rolling pin). On the other hand, store-bought dried pasta has a smoother surface area, rendering it less capable for holding on to sauces.

So is handmade pasta better? According to Pasta Evangelist (which must be a credible source given the name), fresh pasta is better with butter-based sauces and fillings while dried pasta is better for heavier, meat-based sauces.

Eleven Strand’s Menu

Compared to South Union Park that is famed for their speciality pasta like the Duck Confit Tagliatelle, Eleven Strands places the emphasis on the classics. This includes but is not limited to Aglio Olio, Bolognese and the Prawn Basil Pesto Pasta (S$24). You can also add on S$4 for their handmade Tagliatelle.

Eleven Strands also serve mains such as Braised Lamb Shank and Pan Seared Barramundi. We didn’t get a chance to try it but it did look very promising.

Personally, we thought that the Pesto Pasta (S$24) had a skewered flavour profile which leaned more towards the nuttier side. This could be from the larger ratio of Parmigiano Reggiano and pine nuts in the pesto. It could also be due to the additional pine nuts that were added.

Furthermore, it wasn’t as herby as I hoped it would be. They might have added other vegetables with the basil, giving it a slightly more refreshing flavour than a pure basil pesto would. But to be fair, the overall flavour was not bad. Also, the prawns were really fresh, with a satisfying crunch.

The next dish we tried was the Short Rib Pasta (S$25). The velvety red wine sauce coats every chunk of meat and strand of linguine perfectly. It was rich, yet surprisingly light, with just enough savoriness at the tip of the tongue that gets you hooked into the flavour. The short-ribs had absorbed all the richness and herbs of the red wine sauce and was rather tender. The portion of meat could be larger though.

Lastly, the Crabmeat Pasta (S$25), with the option to be cooked in red or white wine, was surprisingly our favorite dish. It was tossed with crabmeat, cherry tomato and parsley. Simple ingredients but with masterful execution which brought out the best of all the elements.

With its sweetness infused into the sauce, the crab meat shaved off the crisp, nutty flavour of the white wine. It had an overall mildly sweet flavour which was weighed down by aromatics such as garlic and parsley. Furthermore, adding cherry tomatoes was ingenious. Its tart flavour added pops of brightness in a dish that otherwise would have had a very docile flavour.

Verdict

The restaurant was large, but had poor acoustics, making this an unideal spot for a nice catch-up. Furthermore, I would like to bring up its rather inaccessible location as another factor. But to be fair to them, it’s not something that can be changed. For anyone who’s already making plans to visit Eleven Strands, we do recommend making a reservation in advance as we had to wait for 30 minutes for our table.

Would I come back? Frankly, without Burpple Beyond‘s 1-for-1 promotion, the pasta dishes aren’t exactly worth-it at its price, especially if you have to add on S$4 for the prized handmade tagliatelle.

Location: 66 Yio Chu Kang Rd, Singapore 545568
Tel: +65 9487 1398
Opening hours: 12pm- 9:30pm (tue-thur); 12pm- 10pm (fri); 11am- 10pm (sat); 11am- 9pm (sun); closed on mondays

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