MELBOURNE | ALT Pasta Bar is a new laneway pasta bar, specialising in pasta dishes with an alternative twist. I recently visited for What’s On Melbourne to grab some snaps.
Housed in the space that was formerly home to Café Lafayette and Restaurant Shik, ALT Pasta Bar is a low lit, moody spot, with exposed brick and an open kitchen. It works well with the CBD, laneway vibe. Co-owner and head chef Mino Han brings his experience making pasta at some of the city’s best Italian restaurants to ALT, using traditional techniques to create something different.
Native Australian ingredients and Japanese flavours are a common thread throughout the menu, and everything is made on site from scratch. Unique to any restaurant I’ve visited, is Han’s dedication to not using salt. The umami ‘saltiness’ instead comes from other ingredients, like sodium extracted from celery stalks. You’ll find that one in the Hiramasa kingfish, sliced and served with a fermented kumquat sauce, celery, and caviar.
Other interesting things include dishes like smoky abalone topped seaweed pappardelle; blue cheese and daikon risotto; and a delicate tartlet filled with fermented sardine, curd, and fennel. The menu changes regularly, and I can imagine it’s only going to get more exciting as Han and the team progress.
It’s not all experimental. Classics include things like spanner crab with squid ink fettuccine and bisque, topped with pastrami crumble and the shell of the crab. It’s a must order. Also great is the cacio e pepe made with pici (a thick, hand-rolled pasta), and a generous amount of Pecorino Romano.
To drink, it’s a succinctly list of local wines and beers, plus creative cocktails that draw inspiration from the menu.
ALT Pasta Bar
30 Niagara Lane
Telephone: 0402 220 614
Tue – Sat: 5:00pm to 11:00pm