An unpretentious cafe in the East, South Union Park specializes in handmade pasta and brunch with a little Italian flair. An indicator of this cafe’s success is its long queues despite being a 10 minute walk from Kembangan MRT Station. I had to beg my way in without a reservation on my first visit, and was only allowed if I could leave before 12pm, their busiest hour.

You might also be familiar with their sister cafe which is equally inconvenient to get to; Eleven Strands, located 15 minutes from Serangoon MRT Station.

Handmade Tagliatelle

Just like Eleven Strands, South Union Park serves handmade tagliatelle. I phrase it like this but South Union Park is actually the OG (original gangster, ie original). Rolled out thinly, the tagliatelle was springy and delicate and maybe it’s a placebo effect, but I did find the sauces clinging onto the pasta better. What do you think? Is handmade pasta worth the hype?

Anyway, in comparison to Eleven Strands that focuses more on classics, you’ll see more interesting dishes such as the… Chocolate Pappardelle (S$24) and Squid Ink Pasta (S$24)

Perhaps one of the more popular item, the Duck Confit Tagliatelle (S$24), possessed multiple layers of flavours. Tender, the duck confit acquired a meaty and complex flavour from its cooking process. The hazelnut then accentuates the earthiness of the protein. For balance, lemon zest and a vibrant masalaa cream.

Next, the Beef Shank Pasta (S$23) was coated with beef jus and topped with beef shank, shallots and parsley. The sauce had a nice depth of flavour that was balanced by a tartness which I’m assuming is from tomatoes. However, it was a little too dry and my pasta was a little clumpy, especially towards the end.

The Dish You Have to Get

A dish that I highly recommend everyone getting is the Squid Ink Bone Marrow (S$14). Coined as ‘meat butter’ this dish was served with the bone and 3 slices of brioche. I’ve had this on separate occasions and both experiences were starkly different. The first had a deep mellow flavour that tugs at your heartstrings. It exuded feelings of comfort, as one would with a hot chocolate in winter. In comparison, the most recent dish had more robust and complex flavours. The richness of the bone marrow was there but it was diluted by a prominent tang. It was also slightly over-seasoned, in my opinion. Regardless, it was still really good, just not as good as it was before.

The toast wasn’t just a mere vehicle to transport that buttery goodness. No. It was the star of its own show. Crunchy on the outside, fluffy insides, and bestowed with a heavenly smoky aroma. Mind you, they retained their pristine texture even after half an hour in the open.

Unique Brunch Dishes

Next, Croque Madame (S$22) stands out from the crowd with its tomato hollandaise. I was really excited to try their rendition. Instead of a sharp tang, the hollandaise possessed a more rounded sweetness. It did make it less ‘heavy’ than béchamel which is traditionally used.

The Duck Confit Hash (S$24) had a good portion of duck, potato and spinach. The flavours came together harmoniously. And bonus points for infusing the duck’s aroma throughout the entire dish. I’d recommend eating this immediately so the hash doesn’t get soggy. 

Verdict

One of my favourite cafes in Singapore with the high-quality pasta and brunch, not forgetting the transcendent bone marrow dish.

South Union Park is also on Burpple Beyond for the main dishes.

Location: 101 Jln Kembangan, Singapore 419139
Tel: +659061 8703
Opening hours: 5:30- 10pm (Wed- Fri); 11am- 10pm (Sat- Sun); Closed on Mondays

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