Platypus Kitchen, Singapore

previously catering to mainly the working crowd at their first branch in the heart of the cbd at clifford centre, Platypus Kitchen is now catering to a more diverse clientele at 2 other locations – bugis junction and bukit timah plaza.

i first heard about it when i was interning at raffles place last year but unfortunately never got the chance to try it during my short working stint. so i was really excited to hear about their new branches that are a lot more accessible to people who don’t fancy heading into the business district to jostle with the working crowd!

occupying a spacious area on the third floor of bugis junction, Platypus Kitchen prides itself on offering not only the widest selection of handmade pastas in singapore, but also as mediterannean bistro serving quality food at affordable prices. i paid the bugis junction outlet a visit last tuesday night, and thought they did pretty well at living up to the reputation they have created for themselves!20130806_200241
platypus kitchen at bugis junction

it was definitely affordable, with a set menu (for both lunch & dinner!) starting from $16.90 that included a choice of starter (pumpkin soup, mushroom soup or salad), a pasta (an additional $1-$2+ was added for certain more “gourmet” pastas) and a drink (a whole range of exciting-sounding but not so exciting-tasting options):20130806_185750

the selection available in the set menu was surprisingly extensive and gave indecisive me quite a headache deciding what to get – everything looked/sounded so good! luckily we had decided that the set menu was too good to pass on, so that limited our choices to the (not so) few you see above; the main menu takes being spoilt for choice to a whole new level and is a real nightmare for the indecisive like me, though i suppose that is a happy problem? and a very good way of getting people to keep returning to try more of what they have to offer!

20130806_185850 happy val with the a-la-carte menu

we both chose the wild mushroom soup as a starter which i felt was passable but certainly nothing to shout about. it had bits of mushroom in it that added a slight chunkiness which i like, but i thought the soup could definitely have been thicker and creamier. it seemed slightly watered-down (probably ladled out from a giant ready-made pot), and definitely could do with a bit more of a really fragrant portobello mushroom type of kick! but that said, maybe that’s too much to expect from a mushroom soup that comes as part of a set menu or otherwise at a very reasonable price of $3.90 a bowl.20130806_190500
mushroom soup and lychee peach tea

the drinks on the other hand, were really rather terrible. my lychee peach tea tasted nothing even remotely like lychee or peach! if not for the fact that there was a lone lychee bobbing around in the drink, i would have thought they’d sent the wrong drink. my friend’s mango peach tea was just slightly better, but both were as diluted as each other and just tasted like iced tea without the sugar syrup. a big disappointment, especially when i got excited by the range of interesting flavoured teas they had that came with the set menu.

for our pastas, we ordered 2 of their most popular pastas – a truffle carbonara tagliatelle and a black & white scallop & crab. both were good, but the black & white was the one that really stood out for us!!! (note 3 !s to denote excitement and sheer delight :P)

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black & white, scallop & crab $17.50 / an additional $2.40 with the set menu

the black & white is something i will definitely go back to Platypus Kitchen for – a mixture of egg and squid-ink tagliolini with crab and scallops in a white wine consomme. i loved the mixture of noodle types, the white wine consomme which had a tinge of zestiness in it, and the generous servings of crabmeat and scallops. the ingredients were fresh and the consomme was light, its very subtle sourness giving the sauce a really refreshing lift. i absolutely loved this dish!

as for the truffle carbonara, i normally avoid creamy pastas like the plague (the closest thing i’ll have to anything creamy is a pink sauce) but decided to give this a shot since it is one of the most popular dishes on the menu. plus it had truffle (my fave) which totally egged me on in my foray into the land of creamy sauces.20130806_191230truffle carbonara tagliatelle $16.50 / an additional $1.90 with the set menu

the carbonara was much lighter than other carbonaras i’ve had (that have managed to leave me unable to finish the dish halfway through it – an extremely rare occurrence, i assure you); you can probably see that from the picture above! it wasn’t just the fact that the amount of sauce that the pasta was tossed in was less than normal, it was also the fact that the sauce itself (an egg yolk-based sauce, apparently) was quite light. i think the taste of truffle (that was rather strong) definitely helped to distract me from the usual creaminess in carbonaras that can sometimes be overpowering. i also really enjoyed the mushroom slices, cheese and double-smoked bacon that topped the pasta pile. it was definitely one of the better renditions of carbonara that i’ve tried, but i still preferred the black & white since it was something more unusual.

although we were super satisfied and rather full after our pastas, we couldn’t resist dessert, of which they have a sizeable number of options! we ordered a sea salt caramel to share and were pleasantly surprised by the portion which was quite generous for its price, quite unusual at such cafes that can typically serve desserts in rather meagre portions!20130806_201447sea salt caramel $6.90

the most interesting/amusing part of the dessert was the popping candy that topped it. we only realised it was popping candy after we each took our first bites and started hearing loud crackling sounds emerging from the depths of our mouths – definitely awkward first date food… or on the other end of the spectrum, a (quite literally) sizzlin’ one? hahahahaha! popping candy aside, the dessert wasn’t fantastic but it was a decent end to a good meal. there wasn’t a very strong sea salt caramel flavour at all – it seemed to have been lost in the chocolate sauce and peanuts that were rather distinct flavours in this seemingly confused cake. that said, it still succeeded in satisfying our craving for a sweet end to the meal.

Platypus Kitchen is definitely a great place to go if you are looking for affordable gourmet pastas with quality ingredients. i’m already looking forward to the next time i get to return to try more of their exciting offerings!

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Platypus Kitchen

200 Victoria Street, Bugis Junction
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La Nonna, Singapore

checked out this italian restaurant on a tuesday afternoon, and we enjoyed an amazing 50% off the food bill (an ongoing offer they have at their outlet at namly place)!!! good food + great company + amazing discount + parallel parking success outside the restaurant = three happy girls.

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we had a late lunch at 130 and were the only customers when we arrived. they (rather unhappily; probably weren’t expecting any more customers for lunch) told us they were closing at 230pm but that didn’t deter us one bit! good food awaited us and we were ravenous!

the meal started with some bread rolls which were nicely warmed up.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the first thing we ordered was a crabmeat linguine in creamy tomato sauce – this wasn’t on the menu but my friend requested it and they were more than willing to do it for us, which was nice. it was very good! the crab was fresh and they were generous with it – definitely not shredded up frozen crabsticks or anything of that sort. the sauce was also great, it had a cream base but was light and of a great consistency – thicker than normal tomato-based sauces but not too thick at all!
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we also ordered their signature pizza which had tomato, mozzarella, parmesan, asparagus, egg and black truffle – it was a really delicious combination and this is something i would go back to la nonna for! not just because i LOVE truffle, but also because of the wet egg yolk (MY FAVOURITE OMG), asparagus and the thin crust! it was a light pizza and something very different from what you’d get from the commercialised pizza chains – the usual oily, unhealthy, processed pepperoni/pineapple/ham stuff.
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the third thing we ordered was the gnocchi. i can’t remember exactly what went into the sauce, but it was cream-based with a touch of lemon zest. we agreed that we preferred antoinette’s version of gnocchi in cream sauce (though that one seems to be heavier), but this was not too bad either! the gnocchi was soft and quite fluffy, and the sauce was not too gelat (i realise i use this word a lot hahaha but it is really the most apt thing i can think of in many situations!!!).
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the servings were pretty big so by the time we got to dessert, we only had space for 1 to share – the panna cotta, which was really really good, and quivering away in all its wobbly goodness! it was extremely well done, and we derived great excitement from watching the wobbly tower threaten to collapse as the waitress brought it to our table. it was light, creamy and of the perfect texture – a great rendition of a classic italian dessert!
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total bill: SGD42 (after 50% discount – AMAZING DEAL)

who i would recommend this to: people who drive as the namly outlet is pretty inaccessible  on foot. an alternative would be to go to the holland village outlet which is a lot more convenient to get to via public transport, but the offer there is a 1-for-1 offer instead of a 50% one. a place for a nice, casual, leisurely lunch with food that’s of a good quality and great value for money when the discount is available for lunch on weekdays!

will i be back? will definitely go back to enjoy the great savings at lunch and if i’m craving italian food!

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La Nonna
76 Namly Place
Singapore 267226

Singapore Foodspam

I AM IN HEAVEN.

Singapore = food, food and more food. And not just any food – amazing, delectable, delicious, mouth-watering, wonderful, sensational, marvellous, FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD.

this is the look i permanently have on my face:Image

one of sheer joy and excitement. my eyes light up like the high beam lights on my car when i see food. food from SINGAPORE. food from HOME.

took a while to get down to writing this post because i had some issues transferring pictures from my phone to my computer but its all been sorted now, so here i am!!!

been eating heaps since i got back and this post is 1) proof of that and 2) basically going to be a picture spam – you have been warned!!! after all, a picture paints a thousand words 😉

so, let’s begin.
random delicious things i have eaten since getting back (and this isn’t even half of it):

1. bak kut teh from my favourite bkt shop in singapore for dinner on the first day i got back! it is seriouslyyy good stuff, but its the herbal and not the peppery sort so it really depends on what type you like; this may not be your cup of tea! for those who are interested though, you can get some amazing piping-hot Klang-style bak kut teh at:

Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh
321 Beach Road

don’t forget to add yew char kway (aka you tiao) and some salted veggies to your order! 😉20130324_190638the braised pigs trotters were yummy too!!! check it out – bubbling away…20130324_190801

2. i’ve also had countless cups of bubble tea – what’s new? for those who know me well enough, you’ll know that i love this drink so much that i worked at a bubble tea shop for a few months while waiting to enter uni last year. during the interview when they asked me why i wanted to work there, i simply said “I LOVEEEEE BUBBLE TEA”, and i think it must have been the unmistakeable sparkle in my eye and quickened rate of speech (due to sheer excitement of talking about my favourite drink) that landed me the job 😉

i do have my favourites – honey milk tea with pearls/grass jelly milk tea/fresh milk tea/milk tea with pudding+grass jelly+pearls (yes i am a milk tea kind of person!) but i generally drink alllll kinds of bubble tea and love checking out random new stores that pop up all over the place just to suss out which ones serve the real deal 😉
TIP: Toa payoh central currently has a grand total of 5 (or more???) bubble tea stores. perfect for a bubble tea drink trail? hahaahah.
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3. finally tried plain vanilla cupcakes from holland village after hearing so much about them – and i think they are definitely better than the ones at twelve cupcakes!!! maybe it was the outlet of twelve cupcakes i went to, or maybe they were having a day where their cakes were a little off, but i was unimpressed when i tried the cupcakes at twelve cupcakes! i found the cake too dry and more like a muffin than a cupcake, whereas at plain vanilla, their cupcakes are denser and more moist – how i think a cupcake should be!
get some at:

Plain Vanilla Bakery

34A Lorong Mambong
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4. i am a fruit monster. and i am so happy to be back home getting to eat all my yummy tropical fruits (okay not everything in this picture is local, but look at the mangosteens and dukus!!!). here’s what happened when my sister and i went shopping for fruits when i first got home:
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5. amazing leafy, green, fresh & proper asian vegetables:
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didn’t realise how much i missed my legit asian veggies till i saw what my mother brought home from the market. think she got a little excited at the prospect of me being home and went all out with the marketing hahaha! but i’m not complaining.

6. bread – nothing that i can’t get in london but still good good food nonetheless:
freshly-baked fruit & nut loaf from baker & cook, a lovely little shop near my place, perfect for me to pop by for some good bread!

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Baker and Cook
77 Hillcrest Road

more yummy breads, from Maison Kayser this time – orange bread (L) and fig bread (R)! YUMMY.20130401_093631

7. something i grew up on and will always love – $1 ice cream from the pushcarts along orchard road! my standard order: attap chee ice cream in bread!!! i’ve always found it strange how people don’t know that these uncles sell attap chee ice cream; i’ve had to convince many disbelieving friends that attap chee ice cream does exist, these uncles do sell it, and YES, they have whole attap chees inside!!! hahaha. this uncle’s cart is the one i patronise the most – outside taka, at the crossing that will bring you to paragon! (and yes, i was so excited to be back and eating it again that i took a picture with the uncle hahaahhaahha)20130327_201323a

8. made a trip to peperoni’s – always going to be one of my favourite restaurants along the stretch of eating places at greenwood! super yummy squid ink linguine that made me look like i was wearing black lipstick for the rest of the meal:
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i love the pizzas they do at pepperoni’s too; they have the GINORMOUS family-sized ones which are always exciting and what i love is that they can do 2 flavours on 1 pizza! my favourites are the suprema, parma ham, frutti de mare, and the pancetta, and omg, you HAVE to try the giant portobello mushroom appetizer if you are there – it is to die for, especially if you are a mushroom lover like i am!!!

Peperoni Pizzeria
6 Greenwood Avenue

9. my mum had a friend visiting from the states and we had a mini local food feast at home! it was all very exciting and satisfying – 20130329_193631
CHICKEN WINGS!!!20130329_195953
POPIAH PARTY!!!20130329_200714
MEE SIAM!!!
along with many other things – oyster omelette, satay, chicken rice, kueh pie tee etc etc etc! YUMZ. i think i might have been more excited than her visiting friend… hahahahaha

10. homecooked wonders: i am so lucky to have a maid that is an AMAZING cook at home. here’s some of the stuff she has whipped up since i’ve been back – i have decided that i shall write a post on her one day hahaha just to honour her cooking prowess and skillz.
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had some traditional teo chew style yu sheng, just because i didn’t get to toss any over CNY this year 🙂20130330_200354
okay she didn’t cook this – we had it delivered hahahaa but still yumzzz. and i was super intrigued by how the pig is SMILING.. do you see it too!?!?20130330_204852
steamed fishhhh – something i have missed!!!20130330_205345
liver cooked to perfection – credit goes to my mum for this!!!
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my all-time favourite chinese soup – lotus root and peanut soup! omg i could eat bowls and bowls and bowls of this.20130331_195955tau suan!!! one of my favourite local desserts. she makes a mean pulut hitam too (Y)20130325_121626simple homecooked noodle soup with ikan bilis and an egg done just the way i like it – ah, how good it is to be home!!!

11. tau huay – lots and lots and lots of it. 20130330_212731

12. sugar cane juice!!! oh how i have missed you.20130331_132052

12. ngoh hiang – ALL-TIME FAVE, especially the prawn cracker (Y)20130331_132527

13. my favourite breakfast from ghim moh market – thosai/appam/soya bean milk20130403_082222

14. MEE JIANG KUEH – from my favourite stall, also at ghim moh market!!! its the best, srsly. 20130403_083434
okay i think i should stop now – i really apologise for the picture spam; i think i might have gotten a little carried away… but this is already a whittled down selection of food!!! i still have several individual places that i have visited and want to write about, and will get down to that soon and update when i am not stuffing my face or burying my head in books (who am i kidding – that has not been happening much at all) and hence have the time to write a proper post (like tonight when i decided that property law was just not happening for me 😦 as my friend very appropriately asked – “are you studying or eating???” )

till then, HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE!!!

much love,
rach (& her growing food baby)