I have always been a fan of Platypus Test Kitchen at Clifford Centre but to be frank, I have always been annoyed by their operating hours as they cater mostly to the office crowd and thus, they are always closed for dinner and on the weekends as well. The restaurant is renowned for its pasta creations and its extremely affordable prices and I am always there to fix my pasta cravings. Following the successful opening of their second outlet at Bugis Junction and their (thankfully) extended operating hours, I could hardly contain my excitement when the founder of the restaurant, Nicholas told me about this piece of news and invited me and a couple of my friends down for a food- tasting session.
A large spacious area with aplenty of dining tables and seats available as compared to the flagship outlet at Clifford Centre, the contemporary and cosy setting does provide a warm homely feeling. The cushion chairs, wooden furnishings, decorations and all do cause one to feel a little at home, a much appreciated ambience when one is looking for a casual spot to have a meal during a lunch break or when one has knocked off from work/ lessons.
Roasted Pumpkin Soup ($3.90), Wild Mushroom Soup ($3.90) and Chunky Tomato Soup ($3.90)
Fresh, simple and guilt- free, the selection of soup from Platypus Test Kitchen is recommended as well. The Chunky Tomato Soup has never failed me and of all three, it was my absolute favourite. Providing a burst of tartness on the palate, the soup was not too rich, not too light and it had certainly conveyed the perfect balance. A few others like the Roasted Pumpkin Soup as well and it did boast the rightful amount of tanginess.
Thick cut French fries with a nice hit of truffles and topped with Cheese flakes, this was a decent starter that more or less whetted our appetite. It was a pity that some of them were charred but stil, a generous portion and a pleasurable appetizer to share among a few.
Shrimp and Chorizo Gambas ($8.90)
Another satisfying appetiser plate boasting succulent prawns and gratifying slices of Chorizo sausages, it was a comforting match between the various meat ingredients and the light yet flavoursome dressing beneath.
Crab Cakes ($12.90)
There was a nice pleasing crunch to these warm potato fritters stuffed with chunks of crab claw meat. WHile they were considerably hearty and wholesome, I thought that the culinary team could have been a bit more generous with the servings of crab claw meat hidden within, and a little easier on the mashed potato beneath the well- breaded exterior.
Risotto Balls ($8.90)
Breaded and deep- fried, beneath the thin crisp of the gratifying orbs were packed with Risotto mixed with Mozzarella. While the combination together with the pumpkin puree might be a tad interesting, some might opine that it might be a little heavy on the palate after the first couple of bites.
Squid- Ink Scallop Ragout ($16.50)
I had something similar over at the flagship outlet over at Clifford Centre and the rendition here did certainly live up to my expectations. The Squid Ink Tagliolini pasta was cooked to al dente perfection and it was tossed in a light garlic sauce, causing the classic dish to be simple and satisfying. Certainly one of the few that I would consider as being on the milder side of the menu, one would get to enjoy a pleasing pairing of seared Scallops and juicy Cherry Tomatoes.
Lemon Prawn Parpadelle ($16.50)
Yet another decidedly light but no doubt a tangier option, there was a quirky touch to the dish that was strangely addictive. The significantly sour note was pleasantly surprising but I must emphasise that the sharpness of the lemons is kept at its minimum. Those who are either more adventurous or are not very fond of creamy rich pastas should certainly try out this bold creation, this would fill the bill.
Truffle Carbonara Taglitelle ($16.50)
My favourite delicacy for the day, the couple of us marvelled at this show- stopping pasta dish and this alone would be worthy of return visits.The gratifying layers of texture and flavour was soul- satisfying and when all the ingredients- the Egg Tagliatelle, double- smoked Bacon, Mushrooms bits and the well scented (with truffles) creamy sauce, were had together, each mouthful was simply pure pleasure. An absolute must- order, I would admit that I could not get enough of it and I had to help myself to multiple servings although we were supposed to be sharing.
Saffron and Caviar Risotto ($19.90)
There was a herby after- taste that lingered at the back of each mouthful, the delightful fragrance of Saffron that the few of us had rather enjoyed. Packed with flavour, the delicious sweet and salty notes came together in harmony. The rice grains fared considerably well in the texture department too, while the succulent char- grilled Prawns and Scallops provided quite a bit of bite.
Pushed Pork Belly ($19.90)
The new Platypus Kitchen outlet at Bugis Junction not only serves the usual pasta and risotto standards but it serves main dishes as well. Aesthetically pleasing to the eye, I thought this was quite a memorable number for the tastebuds too. Putting a new spin to how the Pork Belly dish is commonly executed, the rendition here had a fruity touch to it that was very much appreciated. Served with braised apples, garden vegetables and honey and clove apple glaze, the moreishly sweet combination was delectably delightful with the main highlight of the dish itself.
Guinness and Prunes Beef Brisket ($19.90)
Definitely a hearty option that would be a good choice for the carnivorous eaters out there, the tender chunks of Beef Brisket were very well braised and had a good mix of fat and lean meat. Done just the way one would like it, the meat had infused the tanginess from the prune juice (one would be able to spot the prune slices on the plate as well) and tomato bits and there was a tinge of boozy kick as well. The added fragrance had certainly caused the savoury profile of the dish to be a notch higher.
Mint and Lime Cooler ($6.50), Basil Lemonade ($6.50) and Pink Lemonade ($6.50)
A range of Sparkling juices that are worthy of a try as well, the Basil Lemonade is a mix of hand- squeezed Lemonade with fresh basil and we found it really refreshing and it would be a brilliant beverage to quench one’s thirst. Opt for the Mint and Lime Cooler should one be a fan of lime and kalamansi, I thought the sprigs and fresh mint was a smart addition. The Pink Lemonade, a pairing between raspberry and pomegranate, and along with home- made lemonade- it was gently sweet with its citrusy fruity notes.
Smite S Ale ($9.90)
I have never been a fan of alcohol or beer but the beverage that was infused with green apples and lemons, and garnished with apples, lemon and passionfruit- worked brilliantly with the right balance of bitter and sweetness.
Set lunchs are from $12.90 onwards while set dinners are priced at $16.90 onwards- with such affordable prices in town, dining at Platypus Test Kitchen is definitely a steal. Set meals include a soup, salad and a choice of beverage as well.
Once the tasting session was over and we were all walking out of the restaurant, I was certain that this is going to be yet another lunch or dinner hang- out near my school. The variety here remains an indulgently gourmet one with their menus changing from time to time as the culinary team is constantly experimenting new creations to excite their customers’ tastebuds. As I would like to emphasise again, with such cheap prices for the quality of the selection available, I would definitely recommend this venue to one and all.
On behalf of Nicholas Lin from Platypus Test Kitchen, one of the co- writers of Bachelor’s Banquet, The Food Nomads is giving away this culinary book away to one of our lucky viewers. Catered towards males who find it a hassle to cook, or simply can’t function in the kitchen, the book features a wide selection of cooking recipes to thrill your spouse, girlfriend, family or friends. Simply like our Facebook Page and share our Facebook post on Platypus Test Kitchen @ Bugis Junction- you might just be the lucky one who gets personally contacted by either Jay or myself and we will make the necessary arrangements for you to pick this book up from us!
Many thanks to Nicholas Lin from the Platypus Group for inviting us down for the food tasting session!
200 Victoria Street
Bugis Junction, #03-29/ 29A
Contact Number: 6333 4434
Mondays to Sundays, 12.00pm till 10.00pm
Jasper N. and Jay T.