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.

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Choo Choo Chicken, The Authentic Korean Fried Chicken at Bali Lane

Choo Choo Chicken

Address: 33 Bali Lane

Opening hours: 10.30m to 11.00pm, Last order 10.30pm

Introduction

After having the best fried chicken in Seoul at Kyochon Chicken, i am quite interested in what Singapore has to offer given the current Korean food craze.

Choo Choo Chicken at Bali Lane (just beside a famous cafe Stateland Cafe) is one such restaurant selling Korean-style fried chicken. They offer mainly three style of fried chicken – Whole Chicken, Chicken Strips and Chicken Wings and they come in various authentically-Korean flavours like Soy, Spicy, Sweet, Crispy and Garlic.

The seating capacity of Choo Choo Chicken is really small and can house up to only 26 diners. Payment method is only cash and NETS.

Choo Choo Chicken Menu: Click to enlarge

Spicy and Soy Chicken Wings (S$29.90nett)

I ordered their chicken wings with two (Spicy / Soy) flavours and it cost S$29.90 nett for a total of 16 pieces of fried chicken. It’s good to be shared by two people.

The Spicy Flavor of Choo Choo Chicken

Their wings are fatter and fuller compare to Four Fingers and it’s juicer and not as dry. Choo Choo Chicken applies a rather generous coat of sauce on their succulent crispy wings and the meat tears off from the bones with little effort.

The soy flavour has a tinge of garlicky soy sauce fragrance. It’s lightly sweetened and the soy sauce doesn’t overpower the natural sweetness of the juicy wings.

If you like strong flavour and likes spicy stuff, you probably will like the spicy flavour more. It has a fiery zesty aroma but it’s taste less mild than it’s smell (at least to me cus i can take spicy stuff quite well). It has a good blend of sweet spicy sauce that is finger licking good.

The Soy Flavour of Choo Choo Chicken

However, their wings are a little oily (and that’s what made it juicy) and it’s a little overly cloying. The first six wings are really enjoyable but it’s a little too much for at the eighth. I thought it will be good if Choo Choo Chicken has an option for twelve piece wings so that two person can have six pieces each instead of eight.

Choo Choo Spam Rice Burger (S$6.90nett)

This dish is a decent surprise. I ordered this with little expectation but it’s actually quite satisfying. The idea is serving Korean rice patties mixed with Kimchi and a slice of Spam. The layer of salty Mayonaise complement the sour spicy Kimchi very well.

The rice is moist, well-flavoured with sesame oil and is mix in a generous portion of Korean Seaweed. Spam, which is very popular in Seoul, is also added to complete the final Korean touch. Love this unique dish of Choo Choo Chicken.

Conclusion

Choo Choo Chicken is serving some decent Korean fried chicken wings here. It’s authentically similar to those that i had in Seoul and the quality is not lacking either. The biggest drawback, in my opinion, is their price. Let’s take a quick comparison:

Fried Chicken Price Comparison
$19.50 for 24pcs – Kyochon Chicken Seoul ($0.81ea)
$22.00 for 18pcs – Four Fingers ($1.22ea)
$10.00 for 6pcs – Lola’s Paprika Honey Wings ($1.67ea)
$30.00 for 16pcs – Choo Choo Chicken ($1.88ea)

Choo Choo Chicken, just beside Stateland Cafe at Bali Lane

To be fair, I think the size of Choo Choo Chicken wings is slightly bigger compared to the other three. Choo Choo Chicken did however satisfied my craving for Korean Fried Chicken.

Choo Choo Spicy Sandwich at $7.90 with Potato Wedges

Probably it’s not something that I can eat on a regular basis due to it’s price and calorie count, but it’s worth the visit for the taste of authentic Korean Fried Chicken.

Great Angus Steak at Market Grill @ Telok Ayer

Market Grill

Address (Google Map): 208 Telok Ayer Street Singapore 068642

Opening hours: Mon – Sat 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10pm, Closed on Sun

Introduction

Market grill is a relatively new western grill bar situated along the stretch of shop house along Telok Ayer road that is nearer to Amoy Food Centre. Their menu is extensive considering the floor area of the restaurant. Probably due to the small seating capacity, they do not take in reservation.

Market Grill is rather well known for their steaks and burgers. For their lower range steak, the choice of cut is interesting that they decided to go with the less well known cut such as the bavette. Bavette is a cut somewhere at the stomach of the cow and it’s a french term for flank steak. A flank actually quite commonly used in the Chinese cuisine for “stir-fried beef”.

They also offer another cut known as the Wagyu Rump. A beef rump is very different to American and British. To the British, beef rump is actually referring to the Sirloin cut while the American refers rump to the round of the cow, that is the cut at the lower back, near to the hind legs of the cow. I read online that some people said that it’s really tender so i have to guess that it’s a British rump. Care to share if you have better knowledge of Market Grill’ rump.

Their menu: Click to enlarge

200 Days Grain-fed Black Angus Prime Rib

I ordered their 200 days grain-fed Black Angus Prime Rib that cost $150 at 1.10kg. If you read the finer print, this dish is actually good for sharing for up to three pax (which i did). A 45 minutes waiting time is required for the preparation of this dish.

The medium steak is served sliced for easy sharing and comes with a portion of thick red wine sauce and a portion of sarladise potato. To put it simply, sarladise means cooking it in fats (normally duck) and seasoned with garlic. The simple potato side dish is delightful as it absorbs the oil and it’s naturally flavoured by the fats and a tinge of garlic.

For their steak, it’s a 10 out of 10 for it’s appearance. The appearance itself explains why 45 minutes of waiting time is required. The steak is properly sliced to the appropriate thickness so that it’s chunky but yet not overly thick. The exterior is grilled to slightly charred that adds on a grilled fragrance with a simple and yet well-balanced marinate of salt and pepper.

The juicy and tender center

The medium steak is tender in the juicy center. Certain areas of the steak consist of small chunks of fatty beef. Although it’s not exactly melt in your mouth, it’s definitely not rubbery and the fats break down with little effort from the jaw. For more flavours, drizzle the thick red wine sauce over the sliced steak. For me, the steak itself is good enough.

Drizzle with Red Wine Sauce

Charcuterie Connoissuer Board

The outlook of this starter dish looks really sad, with a few piece of paper thin meat and slices of bread. However I will say that this starter is quite interesting but probably not something that Singaporeans will salivate over.

The Pate Forestier, which is a chicken liver paste flavoured with garlic and mushroom. It taste very much like foie gras paste and it goes very well with the toasted sourdough bread. This is my favourite among all.

Front to back: Pate Forestier, Duck Rilette, Rosette Superieure Saucisson, Chorizo Iberico, Veal Lyoner, Sourdough Bread

Duck Rilette is like the shredded version of duck confit, salted and cooked in fats. The Veal Lyoner (Lyon Sausage) taste very much like our cold cut ham. Nothing fantastic. The rosette superieure saucisson is a kind of thick, dry cured sausage that originates in France and there is a rather strong smell that is not exactly pleasant. Definitely not my favourite.

I guess I am not very used to such kinds of flavour, but it’s really an eye opener. All these come at a price of $28.

Onion Matchsticks

The onion matchsticks is actually onion rings. Sliced onions were coated in a thin batter and fried to crisp. It’s a little oily but really great to go with beer.

By the way, have you hear of a saying that matchstick can help to prevent tearing while cutting onion? Bite a piece of matching stick with the head facing out and it will absorb the chemical that caused tearing. Probably it won’t work though.

Conclusion

After reading this article from City Normads, claiming Market Grill to be the top 10 place for steak in Singapore, i decided to pay a visit. I’d researched on this place and the reviews are just so-so for the cheaper cut of steaks so i decided to try the premium range.

It turns out to be a good decision after all.

The non-overcrowding dimly listed restaurant/bar seems like a great place to chill out with friends after work while enjoying a reasonably-priced  meal (they do not charge 10% of service charge).

I didn’t have the chance to try their signature burgers so probably I’ll be back for those. For those who had their burgers, do feel free to share your experience with us.

The supposed signature Cod Fish Burger. My friend said that it’s quite flavorful but a little salty.

Au Chocolat – Excellent Truffle Fries and Duck Confit

Au Chocolat

Address: 2 Bayfront Avenue, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands L1-03

Operating Hours: Bistro 11.00 am to 12.00am (Daily) Last Order at 11.30pm
Operating Hours: Confiserie 11.00am to 12.00am (Daily)

Introduction

Au Chocolat (pronounced as “o sho koh lah”) is situated at MBS level one at the side that is very near to the Helix Bridge. It spans itself over two units, the Confiserie sells pastries, ice-cream and desserts while the Bistro, is a seated restaurant that serves main course. The price range of their dishes is considered as higher than an ordinary restaurant but probably one of the most affordable in MBS.

Their menu (with price) can be found here

Duck Confit – S$27.00++

What exactly is a duck confit?

Duck confit is a dish that is prepared by rubbing salt, pepper and other spices, wrapped and kept refrigerated for up to three days and this is known as the salt-curing process. The longer you place it in the fridge, the saltier it will become and the more it will absorb the herb and spices. The duck is then rinsed and poached slowly in the oven for generally from four to ten hours.

One of their must-try. Many agreed that this is one of the best duck confit (pronounced as “con-fee”) that they had in Singapore. For myself, I love their crackling skin and i think the taste has a little resemblance to KFC chicken original recipe. The waitress actually gave me a heads up that this dish will be salty and jsut to ensure that I’m OK with it.

I am rather satisfied that the duck remained tender despite the crispy exterior. It also comes with a mash potato side in chocolate sauce. I think not everyone can handle a orange chocolate sauce to go with a salty dish. Judge it for yourself. It’s pretty brilliant Imo. This dish also comes with slices of white wine poached pear. The only complain is for it’s small portion but it’s a no choice cus a duck can only grow so big as well as for their thigh. How about considering a duck confit two piece meal?

Ultimate Benedict – S$22.00++

Ahhhhh… Sweet mother of mercy. Just looking at the dish made me heavier by two kg! This dish is made up of roasted ribeye steak, crispy bacon strips, shredded chicken in cheese sauce (I think), sautéed spinach, two pancakes and two egg benny with their dark chocolate infused hollandaise sauce. It is a pity that the chocolate hollandaise sauce lacks a punch and in fact it taste rather bland. Among all the items, i like the shredded chicken best. As for the rest of the ingredients like the beef steak, bacon and pancake, they taste ordinary and tasted like what they should rightfully taste.

Will I order this again? Maybe not in recent visit. Did I regret ordering this? Not exactly. It’s actually a decent dish but just that having this ultimate benedict together with the truffle fries should had depleted all my available calories for the entire day. Those who are into calorie tracking are already sweating for me. It’s not something to feast on on a regularly basis.

Truffle fries – S$15.00++

Some of us would have already heard of this “best truffle fries” from Au Chocolate. I was wondering what is so great about this truffle fries that everyone is shouting out for and the price is not even cheap. And I realised why.

At $15.00, the portion is reasonably large and it’s good to be shared among four people. It’s sizzled with white truffle oil and seasoned with truffle sea salt and comes with a BBQ sauce and mayonnaise dip. I like Au Chocolat choice of a thick straight-cut instead of a thin one. As such, this fries were fried to a perfect crispness without losing it’s taste. I think it is not too exaggerating to say the this is the best fries that I had eaten. It is even able to retain it’s crispness even when it’s cold. The fries are really addictive and we finished the whole thing unknowingly. Bye bye to all my available calories.

Conclusion

Overall i am quite satisfied with Au Chocolat. I did not try their dessert as i intend to pop by Lady M Confection that is just across the Helix Bridge. This meal cost me not more than S$80.00 which i think it’s reasonable for it’s quality and location. In my opinion, the Truffle Fries lived up to it’s online reputation as well as it’s Duck Confit.

Didn’t have the intention to try their dessert on that day, so feel free to share if you had tried a very good dessert from Au Chocolat and think that it’s worth the try. I think i read quite a lot on their Choc-A-Bloc Tower Cake and the portion is really big! From the way i see it, it’s good to visit this place in a small group, like a group of four, so that we can get to share more dishes without stuffing yourself to death from the side dishes and desserts.

By the way, why not take a night stroll at our Singapore’s famous Helix Bridge after the hearty meal at MBS Au Chocolat?