Actor and host Ben Yeo is one lucky man. Who could recall that his enter into showbiz was by being talent-spotted while shopping at Orchard? 10 years later, he is one of MediaCorp’s most popular male artistes (won an award in 2012), an author, father of two and now co-owner of Play Kitchen.
Out of the many local artistes that I met or interviewed, Ben Yeo must be one of the friendliest and down-to-earth. There is no air about him. He once appeared on my radio programme years back as part of a Channel U ensemble, and I am surprised he still remembers me.
Ben is no stranger to food, having hosted a range from I Cook For You, My Yummy Lunchbox, Food Mania, Food Apprentice, and $2 Wonderfood, which by far is one of my favourite local TV food programmes.
His new foray into food business is through persuasion by colleagues and fans, therefore the birth of “Play Kitchen”, a humble stall selling pastas at Jurong Point’s Kopitiam (not to be confused with Feast at JP2).
The menu includes Asian inspired pasta items such as Smoked Duck Breast Penne ($7.90), Black Pepper Sirloin Aglio Oilio Spaghetti, and Sambal Belacan Grilled Fish Aglio Olio ($8.90). That is restaurant quality pasta at food court prices.
I was surprised to see that the chef behind the food court stall is Kelvin Chua, who used to be from the now-defunct Indulge Café at Cathay. Because I did like the food at Indulge, just that it was rather inaccessible.
My favourite fish was a popular-with-kids Suckling Chicken Steak with Aglio Olio Spaghetti ($8.90), with the top of the chicken ski remaining ‘suckling-pig-like’ thin and crisp, while the bottom is juicy with a specially made black pepper sauce.
Ben’s Play Kitchen is so called because he is a playful person and wants his chefs to have a fun time preparing dishes in a happy atmosphere, and he loves to ‘play’ and experiment with food concepts– creating the birth of a Hei-bee Clams Spaghetti ($7.90) inspired by a similar Asian dish often eaten in Kuala Lumpur.
Play Kitchen’s version can easily beat many of the pasta places at similar price points. Its not the traditional kind, and would get some getting used to. Even so, Ben added that the uncle aunties were very supportive and enjoyed these new versions of ‘noodles’.
Its unique taste, al-dente texture and family-friendly variety should be a hit with customers. I thought I had space for only one, I almost finished three pastas. Congratulations Ben and Kelvin!
Jurong Point 1 Level 3 Kopitiam Food Court, Singapore 648886
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 11:00pm Daily
Other Related Entries
Pizza Hut (City Square Mall)
Malioboro Soft Bone Chicken (Jurong Point)
Da Paolo Bistrobar (Rochester Park)
The Manhattan Pizza Co (Orchard Central)
Covelli Italian Bistro & Wine Bar (Orchard Central)