Platypus Kitchen, by Lobster Shack at Bugis Junction

Platypus Kitchen at Bugis Junction

Address (Google Map): 200 Victoria Street #03-29 Bugis Junction

Opening hours: Daily, 12.00pm to 10.00pm

Introduction

Platypus Kitchen first opened for business in end 2012 and they pride themselves to serve the freshest handmade paste and to offer gourmet cuisine at affordable price.

They are actually the same group of people managing the famous lobster shack at China Square. In October 2014, they revamped their menu and incorporated their famous lobster roll from Lobster Shack as part of the menu.

Menu: Click to enlarge

Chicken Garlic Creme Risotto (S$16.90++)

I like my risotto’s rice grain to have a well-defined texture and Platypus’ rice grain is a little too mashy and soft. From the name Chicken Garlic Creme Risotto, i was expecting something more robust in taste.

The garlic flavour is strong and is to my liking but overall it fell short for it’s taste. The portion is good and presentation is great. This is an OK dish for me.

Spicy Diablo Crab and Prawn (S$18.90++)

The pasta is tossed in a herby pasta base with medium sized prawn and topped with a generous portion of shredded crab claw meat. Unlike what the name suggested, i thought it’s not really spicy.

I have no complain about the prawn and crab claw meat and I really love the texture of their handmade pasta. It’s actually like a softer and more moist version of Mee Pok. The only complain is the lack in flavour. It’s very lightly salted with the majority of flavour coming from the herb, which doesn’t add much taste to the pasta as well. A little saltier might been nice.

Lobster Rolls (S$23.90++)

My favourite is actually their lobster roll. A generous amount of butter is spread onto the roll and the lightly-fried bread is delightfully crisp on the outside. There is little or zero unpleasant seafood taste and i pretty enjoyed the texture of the chewy and succulent lobster chunk.

Each portion of their lobster roll also comes with a serving of thick-cut truffle fries and a side salad. Among the two flavours, the traditional and garlic, i enjoyed both but my vote goes to the traditional.

The lobster meat in the garlic flavour is tossed in a sweet mayonaise with a pinch of lemon. A generous sprinkle of crispy garlic slice and tomato cubes made up the majority of the condiments and goes rather well with the sweet chilled lobster meat. This is lighter in taste compared to the traditional flavour but enjoyable nevertheless.

The traditional, flavoured with buttery mayonnaise (and cheese powder I guess), chopped onion and sprinkled with pepper, is my favourite among all dishes. This lobster roll gives a stronger punch compared to the Spicy Roasted Garlic. Despite the potent mix of ingredients in the sauce, i can still taste the sweetness of the lobster meat.

Conclusion

Actually I’m am pretty impress with the pasta selection of Platypus and they did a very good job in describing their dishes in it. It made me wanted to order everything. It’s a pity that the actual taste ia a little different from the expectation. Not that it’s bad, just that it’s different.

From the four main courses that i ordered, i am pretty more into their lobster rolls although I think that the handmade pasta’s texture is commendable. I thought the price is pretty reasonable, given the variety and kinds of ingredient used.

I enjoyed the overall dining experience at Platypus. I think this place is quite suitable for family with kids. Firstly it’s very accessible, right in the center of Bugis Junction and the tables are well spaced out. During evening time, the place is also slightly dimly lited, which adds a little romantic atmosphere in the air for couples who don’t wish to burn a hole in their pocket.

I will go back to try out a few more of their handmade pasta selections. Have you tried any good pasta from Platypus? Feel free to leave a comment if you do and you think that it may does justice to their pasta range.

Advertisements

Alkaff Mansion – One of the Most Romantic Restaurants in Singapore

Alkaff Mansion @ Telok Blangah Green

Address (Google Map): 10 Telok Blangah Green, Singapore 109178

Opening Hours:

Lunch: Mon – Fri 11.30am to 2.30pm (last order at 2pm)

Dinner: Mon – Sun 6.00pm to 10.30pm (last order at 10pm)

Afternoon Tea: Mon – Sat 11.30am to 3.30pm (last seating at 2.30pm)

Weekend Terrace Brunch: Sat, Sun and PH 10.00am to 3.30pm (last order at 3pm)

Reservation Contact Number: 6510 3068

Introduction

Alkaff Mansion is reputed as one of the most romantic restaurants in Singapore. i celebrated my birthday once, and also attended a friend’s wedding at Alkaff Mansion. This is my third visit  and I would like to thank Jeanette from Sixth Sense Communications & PR Consultancy for the media invite and Alkaff Mansion for hosting me.

Sunset at Alkaff Mansion

History of Alkaff Mansion

The history of the Mansion goes way back to the 1918 and has been around for almost a century. The mansion was built by Arab (Yemeni) immigrants as their weekend retreat bungalow and was subsequently abandoned during WWII. It reopened as a restaurant in the 1980 but closed down in 2003.

In 2010, the management of Alkaff Mansion, LHN Culinary Concepts, won the bid from Singapore Land Authority and renovated the mansion at about $5 million and turned it into the current posh Italian restaurant.

The Interior and Ambience

I was quite mesmerised by the whole ambience of Alkaff Mansion when I first visit them in 2013. It is something quite un-Singapore.  What greeted me after a small flight of stairs are patches of lush greenery and the sounds of water fountain.

No traffic can be spotted here as the Mansion is totally tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  There was a performance put up by an unplugged band at the Gazebo that overlooks the outdoor terrace dining area while the guests enjoy the al-fresco dining that’s accompanied by the soft relaxing music.

The main dining area is at level one of the Mansion. Each dining table is very well-spaced from each other to ensure couple get to enjoy their private lovely dovely moments. The lavish interior design and the dimly lited dining area sets the perfect mood for a romantic dinner.

The Food Menu

The newly appointed Executive Chef, Simone Depalmas, is a native Sardinia (Italy) that had more than 20 years old culinary experience. Chef Simone added his own Sardinian flair to dishes and came out with a couple of refreshing items on their menu.

Alkaff Mansion Menu 1 of 2 (click to enlarge)

Alkaff Mansion Menu 2 of 2

Slow Cooked Sardinian Style Suckling Pig ($46++) 

This is one of my favourite dishes of the day. This Suckling Pig is roasted in it’s own fats for a few hours at 70 degree celsius to ensure the chunks of meat is evenly cooked and remain tender. The preparation method reminds me of duck confit.

The heat is turned high towards the end to produce the delicate crispy skin texture. I am pleasently surprise that this roast pork goes really well with the dash of berries compote.

Oven Baked Lamb Rack ($45++)

I tend to avoid lamb due to the distinctive strong smell that comes with it, but Alkaff Mansion’s lamb rack has none of it. The lamb rack is baked to a good medium pink that gives the lamb a smooth and succulent texture. i could not get enough of their caramelised onion and the sauce goes perfectly with the celeriac mash. I feel that the portion can be a little bigger though.

Porcini Mushroom Risotto Superfino Acquerello with Thyme ($28++)

The dish that gains my favour the most is not the most fanciful or the most expensive but it’s this simple and yet delightful dish. The rich garlicky mushroom broth is well-absorbed by the Superfino Acquerello fluffy-soft rice grain and this dish is complete by dousing a small amount of truffle oil. Those who like strong flavour like me will enjoy this risotto very much.

Fresh Mint Vanilla Panna Cotta ($14++)

Panna Cotta is my favourite kind of Italian dessert that is mainly made from cream, milk, sugar and gelatin, and Alkaff Mansion’s is one of the best that I had so far. The mixed berries sauce gives a good balance between the sweet vanilla flavour and a fruity sour-sweet taste and is complement by a very subtle taste of mint that gives a refreshing aftertaste. Savoring this sweet wobbly-soft pudding should be the best way to conclude a nice romantic dinner.

Other dishes

Gran Misto Di Mare – At $68++, consisting of Tuna Tatare, fresh Lobster, Tiger Prawn, Sea Bass and Octopus, this seafood platter will certainly make an impression on your first date. The portion is honestly is a little too big for two pax.

Fregola Ai Frutti De Mare ($28++) – Fregola is a uniquely Sardinian ball-shape pasta, each rolled into a diameter of 2-3 mm and toasted in oven. It’s then simmered in tomato-base sauce with clams and squids. The pearl-like texture is rather refreshing.

Conclusion

It’s always a pleasure to visit Alkaff Mansion. Despite the higher-than-average price tag, it’s truly a different dining experience that is reasonable to pay for the extra bucks. There is no pressure to leave right after dining. Grab a patio couch near the outdoor fountain area that’s dimly lited with a tea light and enjoy the rest of the night under the moonlight. This place will always be at the back of my head when my friends ask for recommendation for a classy romantic dinner venue.

For friends who are not driving, i encourage you to go down in a cab. It is possible to climb up to Alkaff Mansion from the bottom of the hill but trust me, get a cab, unless you are dining in running attire.

The Grand Marquee at a glance, mainly for holding functions like wedding banquet.