Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another Change at Amici Tanjong Pagar

Spaghetti alla bolognese

I popped on down to Amici's Tanjong Pagar location today for one of their speedy S$8 lunches. And I wasn't expecting anything eventful to write about, seeing that I'd been here so many times for this stuff already. But some things seemed a little different today. First off, their S$8 (US$4.75) lunch specials had disappeared; instead, there were set lunches at two and four times those prices. I asked about this, and fortunately the proprietor said he was OK giving me the S$8 plates. So I went ahead and got a simple bolognese; I wasn't in any mood to waste time and just needed something quick and dependable.

At first, the food seemed to take a bit longer today, but I didn't think much of it. Then when I got my plate, it immediately looked different too, with shredded cheese, a thicker consistency, and a deeper color. When I finally took a bite, all my doubts were erased; this was indeed different, and in a very good way. The noodles were much thinner and firmer, and most importantly, the sauce was much richer. The previous one wasn't bad, but it was only marginally better than some of that reheated bottled stuff that I could do myself at home. Today's, on the other hand, was much richer and clearly not Ragu.

I asked the proprietor if they had changed chefs, and he confirmed it. The last chef had departed, and so they pulled the chef from their Holland Village location. This guy was clearly much better, and it showed in his food. Sure, it may not have been as speedy as it used to be, but it wasn't excruciatingly long either, and the payoff is in the taste of the food. The best part about it is that it's still only S$8, although you'll have to ask for it as it's not advertised anymore. I'll definitely come back and see what other magic he's whipped up for the rest of the dishes; the proprietor had recommended the vongole to me next time.

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