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Saturday, 2 June 2012

Big Portion and Big Taste – Anton’s Pasta Bar

_MG_9230 copy It was a beautiful night and we were looking for something dumb to do. So we went to Anton’s Pasta to stuff our face. It was quite the drive along E. Hasting as the traffic was so busy. Parking on the street was really easy to find. However, getting into the restaurant was no easy task as there was a half an hour line up. I was glad that summer is kicking in and we didn’t have to stand in the blazing cold because unlike Stepho’s, there was no heat outside. On this warm summer night, Ying and I cheerfully waited and carried out our conversation regarding how we can help Nabeel get an Asian girlfriend.
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_MG_9218 copyAfter much wait and brainstorming, we eventually made it into Anton’s. We have heard many good things about this place and how it is filled up every night to the brim. Their portion is supposedly very large and if you can finish a plate of dinner pasta yourself, you get a pen. I dare not try.

The interior is dimly lit. However, it was not romantic. It was loud and cheery! It is the kind of place you want to bring your family to. We could hear a lot of laughter and chatting from tables surrounding us. We were given 2 menus and it was extensive. There were so many variety of pasta with names I could not pronounce. The waitresses were rather busy but they still managed to circle back with us several times to see if we were ready to order.

I was so intrigued by the menu that I even read how this place started out back in the 80s by this Italian dude named Tony. How he envisioned his business: cheap and abundant and tasty. We were about to find out whether his vision is still upheld to this day.
The first to arrive were two huge pieces of bread and a lot of butter. The bread itself was nothing special. It wasn’t moist and warm. It wasn’t hard and crusty. Each piece was half the size of Ying’s face… My first thought when this arrived was, how the heck am I supposed to finish. Somehow, we did thanks to the next dish.
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_MG_9220 copyOur appetizer finally arrived. We got the calamari alla marinara, which is essentially fresh squid in a tangy tomato sauce. When we ordered it, the waitress reminded us that their calamari isn’t the usual deep fried appetizer found at most restaurants, but rather fresh squid. We were totally fine with that… in fact Ying isn’t a big fan of deep-fried foods anyhow. It was a full heaping plate of large, fresh squid bathed in a yummy tomato sauce with fresh cherry tomatoes and a slightly spicy kick! The sauce was so good that we started soaking the bread in it, which made the bread taste a million times better.
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_MG_9223 copy For our main, Ying and I elected to share a plate of Conchiglie Frutti di Mare or mixed seafood & mushrooms in a cream sauce. Well, more like I wanted a cream sauce pasta and told Ying to pick one to her liking. :P I love cream sauce pastas, but Ying is more of a tomato sauce girl. Oh well, I got to have my favourite tonight. Yum! It arrived on a heaping plate, though it was mostly conch shell-shaped pasta swimming in cream sauce, interspersed with some shrimp, scallop and mushroom. Ying thought that the pasta was a little bit undercooked, even though it took forever to get to us… She thinks that they forgot our order and rushed it.
Sure enough, after we were done eating, we still had enough food to pack two big boxes home. In fact, Ying packed these for our lunches for the next day and we STILL had some left over pasta. Ying noted that the pasta tasted much better after it was microwaved – i.e. it became softer and more of the right consistency. She also appreciated the mixture of the marinara sauce of the calamari with the creamy pasta.

The Yummies:
  • Large portions at a good price!
  • Friendly service
  • Cheery atmosphere
  • Parking is usually available
The Yuckies:
  • Long, long, long lineups no matter what time you go
  • Pasta was so-so tonight – and somewhat undercooked too
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