Ruben Luong indulges in Pasta Box, a carb-lover’s heaven in District 1. Photos by Vinh Dao.
Where should you eat if you’re in the mood for quick pasta? Pasta Box on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street in District 1 will hit the spot.
French-Vietnamese expat Tuan Cheron started Pasta Box seven months ago near the entrance to hem 18A, a well-known alley home to numerous expats, and subsequently customers. Customers mostly order Pasta Box in special pasta box packaging online but anyone can also takeaway or sit down at the small, trattoria-style restaurant for their pasta fix.
Its hearty menu started out with only six basic pastas like tomato arrabiata and spaghetti bolognese but has since expanded to include other various pastas like seafood or funghi. There are also chicken and sausage paninis or caesar and pasta salads that round out meals and serve all moods.
Pasta Box definitely values a small menu that doesn’t sacrifice freshness or authenticity. Cheron, who is related to the owners of DeciBel Lounge and helps out in their kitchen, previously worked in three Italian restaurants in Australia.
Cheron thus imports all of his tomatoes, herbs and pasta from Italy to preserve the refined Italian palate but also manages to charge an attractive VND 48,000-68,000 for pretty reasonable portions.
He uses his own original recipes, and his pesto pasta (VND 58,000) is a customer favourite. It’s light but rich with linguine prepared al dente, doused in olive oil and garnished in mint basil, easily enjoyed on hot days.
The salmon pasta (VND 68,000) is perfect whether or not you enjoy salmon as the protein to your pasta. It’s elevated with hints of dill and prepared in a heavenly pink sauce that combines tomato and Cheron’s favourite cream imported from France.
Appealing to a more local diet, Pasta Box debuted a new menu last month that features the restaurant’s original pasta staples with three dishes that incorporate rice but which can be substituted for either french fries or pasta.
That said, don’t hesitate to have the steak burger and rice in funghi sauce (VND 53,000) for a satisfying work lunch. You’ll love the aftertaste from the minced beef and pork patty marinated in a subtle barbecue sauce and swimming in Pasta Box’s velvety mushroom sauce.
In total the new menu has 17 dishes full of absolute carb goodness, but with such simplicity, convenience and Italian charm at Pasta Box, you’ll have no qualms regarding the ensuing carb intake.