Squid Ink Linguine & Octopus at Arteastiq, Mandarin Gallery [Food Finds]

Hey guys! I have decided to dedicate a small segment: Food Finds on this space, featuring the delicious Italian / Italian-fusion dishes encountered during my daily life. Italian Cuisine has become so widely accepted all over the world that restaurants have been serving some interesting creations. Also, this would allow me to share some hidden gems which I stumbled upon with you guys, ain’t that great <3

Before sharing the first gem that I found, I wish to say that all opinions are my own and no compensation was given. This space is to chronicle my journey in learning more about Italian food and perhaps give you readers an inspiration on the next dining place to check out!

So with that being said, let’s get the show on the road 😉


Arteastiq, a quaint boutique tea house, was introduced by a dear friend of mine in June last year and I have been going back to this place frequently. Apart from offering shoppers a peaceful respite in the midst of bustling downtown Orchard, it has an art jamming studio next door. Pretty cool huh, gotta book a slot for myself one of these days~ 

Apart from offering signature tea sets, Arteastiq has an all-day menu as well, which makes it an ideal place to head to anytime of the day! Despite meeting my friends at weird timings, I will always order the Squid Ink Linguine and Octopus because it is so damn good and just leaves me wanting for more.


This beautiful dish was assembled together with squid ink linguine, light butter saffron cream, sauteed spinach, grilled octopus and crusted salted egg yolk bits.

What is so interesting is the use of salted egg yolk, which is normally eaten with porridge in Singapore. However, it is slowly becoming a trend here to use it as a sauce or seasoning such as salted egg yolk crab and salted egg yolk fish skin crisps. In this dish, the salted egg yolk added texture and a savory oomph to the sauce.

Next, the grilled octopus totally blew me away because it was so tender! Normally, I would have to chew it a couple of times to get the flesh to break apart. However, Arteastiq has done such a good job with the grilling that the octopus meat was flavorful, chewy without the rubbery texture. 

The last point which made me give this dish such a big thumbs up was how evenly the cream sauce coated the noodles. The cooking temperature was controlled well such that the cream had a velvety texture and adhered to the noodles. The sauce to noodle ratio was just right and by the time I was finished, there was no leftover sauce on the plate! 

Overall, Arteastiq has succeeded in creating an Italian-Singapore fusion dish. The subtle use of salted egg yolk bits complemented the butter saffron cream well. 

Apart from having the linguine, I am always excited to try their tea selection because hey, this is a boutique tea house! Arteastiq really takes pride in their menu I would say. They have prepared specific cookies to complement the tea which you have ordered. My all time favorite is the Honey Lavender Tea!


This tea is served with sugared shortbread cookies (I think) and a small jar of honey at the side for you to add till your desired sweetness. What I love about this honey is that it is so light and not syrupy sweet like maple syrup! Definitely a good choice if you want to enjoy your meal with a relaxed mind~

Arteastiq has 2 outlets in Singapore and I honestly prefer the outlet in Mandarin Gallery because of it’s ambiance. Though a tad pricey, I would recommend it as a place to catch up with your babes, or even have a romantic meal with your other half. 


Arteastiq (Mandarin Gallery Outlet)
Address: 333A Orchard Road, 04-14/15, S(238867)
Tel No.: 6235 8370
Website: https://www.arteastiq.com/
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri – 11AM to 10PM
                                Sat & Sun – 10AM to 10PM



Authentic Homemade Tomato Pasta Sauce [Recipe]

Oh Si!~

The tomato pasta sauce is such a basic sauce in every Italian household I just had to learn how to make it! In the past, this sauce would probably be an italian’s nonna’s go-to because of how easy it is to cook. The trick to a flavorful mean sauce would be to simmer it over low fire for a few hours before setting it aside for the flavors to further infuse with each other. This thus leaves them plenty of time to attend to their chores while magic is happening in the kitchen!

For all the meal prep lovers out there, incorporate this sauce in your menu for the following week and see how much convenience it brings. As a meal prep lover myself, this sauce has been so helpful because of how versatile it is and a pot can last me for up to 2 weeks. 

Normally, I would use it as a sauce for my sandwich (lower calories as compared to mayonnaise), bake it with chicken and mozzarella cheese in the oven or even just tossing it with fresh pasta. Easy peasy 😀

Let me further share with you a useful storage tip. Let the sauce cool overnight first. After which, separate the sauce into single portions in ziplock bags and freeze them. In this way, this will ensure that the sauce will not turn sour quickly and you can thaw them easily 😉

This recipe has been modified multiple times to achieve functionality and convenience at the same time. The lazy me does not usually add any additional ingredients to my tomato sauce pasta because the sauce is already packed with protein and fibre! Albeit a little time consuming, the fresh ingredients used will ensure that you have a balanced meal no matter how busy you are. 

Cooking the tomatoes to make a tomato puree.

Authentic Homemade Tomato Pasta Sauce

Use this versatile sauce for your pasta, baked meals and even as a spread on sandwiches!

4 hrTotal Time

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  • ½ Cup (120ml) olive oil
  • 1 ½ yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 can – Whole canned San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 pound fresh plum tomatoes (about 8)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Eggplant (Diced)
  • Minced chicken breast and pork (50g:100g ratio)
  • Bacon / Pancetta (Diced)
  • White button mushrooms (6 - 8 pieces)
  • Red wine: I use Merlot but you can use any red wine in your fridge.


  1. Heat 6 tablespoons (90ml) of the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Coarsely chop one of the onion + smash two cloves of garlic and add it to the pan.
  2. Sweat the onion and garlic until they are soft but not browned, 4 – 6 minutes.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, crushing them with your hand as you add them to the pan, and simmer the tomatoes until they start to breakdown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat. Let the mixture cool slightly, then transfer to a blender (I use a hand blender) and puree until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Dice the eggplants and bake it in the oven.
  6. Dice the bacon / pancetta and fry till crispy. Set aside to cool with the oil.
  7. Mix the minced chicken with minced pork. Season with salt and black pepper.
  8. Have ready a bowl of iced water. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  9. Using a small sharp knife, score an X in the skin on the bottom of each tomato. Blanch the tomatoes in the boiling water until the skin of each tomato begins to split and curl back a little from the X, 30 to 60 seconds.
  10. Using a strainer, immediately transfer the tomatoes to the iced water and let them stand until cooled, a minute or two.
  11. Starting at the X, peel the skin from each tomato and discard it. Cut each tomato in half lengthwise and dig out and discard the seeds, gel, and the base of the stem from each half.
  12. Finely chop the tomato flesh to form the tomato concasse.
  13. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons (30ml) of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Mince the remaining onion half and 2 garlic cloves and add them to the pan.
  14. Sweat the onion and garlic until they are soft but not browned, 4 – 5 minutes.
  15. Add in the baked eggplant and cooked bacon / pancetta (together with the oil).
  16. Add the tomato concasse and simmer the mixture until the tomatoes start to breakdown, 5 – 7 minutes.
  17. Add the reserved pureed tomato sauce and simmer the mixture for 15 – 20 minutes to blend the flavours and thicken the sauce.
  18. Add the minced meat into the sauce and stir till they all disintegrate to small lumps.
  19. Pour in the wine and simmer the sauce for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  20. Taste the sauce, adding salt and pepper until it tastes good to you. Add in the Italian herbs at this step.
  21. Cool the sauce overnight and portion out into ziplock bags/containers. Freeze them.



1118 cal


109 g


37 g


6 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Tomato puree.

Btw, I’m sold on making my own tomato puree because it is the game-changer when cooking your tomato sauce.

Tag me @theitalianflair on Instagram if you have tried out this recipe babe! Can’t wait to see them <3



Easy Fresh Egg Pasta [Recipe]

Hello everybody!! After a hectic few weeks, I have finally found the time to share with you how to make fresh egg pasta in the comfort of your home! All you need is about 20 minutes to get all the ingredients, mix them well and knead it into a dough. After that, you can just let the dough rest and attend to other errands! When dinner time is approaching, run them through the pasta machine and voila! Freshly cut fettuccine is ready to be cooked 😉

I first came to know of this recipe after attending Chef Jenna White’s introduction to pasta class and I totally fell in love with it because of the Al Dente texture of the pasta noodles. The egg to flour ratio was just right to ensure that sufficient protein was present to create a strong gluten network!

In addition, the recipe has been tailored to suit Singapore since we do not have Durum flour here, so I’m reallly glad to have another recipe to work with to produce beautiful results 🙂

So without further ado, let’s get cracking babes~


[Recipe] Easy Fresh Egg Pasta

Want to try making pasta noodles at home but there is no double 00 flour? Try this great recipe using bread flour as a substitute!

2 hrTotal Time

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  • 250g Bread Flour
  • 1 whole egg
  • 75g egg yolks
  • 15g Olive Oil
  • Dash of water - Depending on the texture
  • Semolina flour - for dusting


  1. Measure the bread flour and sieve it into a bowl.*
  2. Create a well in the flour.
  3. Pour the egg, egg yolk and olive oil in the well.**
  4. Mix the flour with the wet ingredients.
  5. Bring the mixture together by kneading with your hands until it is well combined and then knead the dough until it becomes elastic and shiny.***
  6. Flatten the dough to a disc shape and wrap in clingwrap.
  7. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
  8. Once dough is rested, dust the pasta maker with semolina flour to ensure that the dough does not stick.
  9. Put the dough through the machine as follows:****Roll the dough 5 times through the largest slot and dust it with semolina flour after each turn to prevent the dough from drying out.Turn the dial to the next catch and roll it through once. Continue step 9b for the remaining dials until you reach the desired thickness.I prefer to stop at the last second dial.
  10. Slot in the pasta cutter onto the pasta maker.
  11. Dust the pasta cutter with semolina flour and feed the pasta sheet through the cutter to produce pasta noodle.
  12. Twirl the noodles with your fingers to create a 'nest', set aside and dust it with semolina flour to prevent it from drying out.


*Bread flour can be used as a substituent because the protein content is similar to a combination of Tipo 00 flour + durum flour, thus creating a strong gluten network in your pasta. **The egg yolks are necessary to add richness from the fat and firmer texture from the protein. It also gives the pasta the bright yellow colour. Try to remove as much egg white as possible because they contain mainly water and protein. Hence, it could water down the dough. ***To test if the dough is elastic, stretch it and if it bounces back to its original position, the kneading process is completed. If dough is still crumbly,add 1 tsp of water and continue kneading. If dough is still dry,add 1 more tsp of water till desired dough texture is achieved. ****Running it past 5 times will help to knead the dough and after the resting stage. If the pasta dough becomes too long, cut it into half and dust one 1/2 with semolina flour while you work with the other half.



1277 cal


39 g


184 g


42 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

To cook the pasta, simply cook it for 1.5 to 2 minutes in a pot of boiling salted water. Should there be any extras, just pack the pasta nests in a container and store it in the freezer. They will last well for a couple of weeks 😉

This has been a really convenient hack for me because I can easily assemble an aglio olio in 15 minutes after getting home. All you need is to cook the noodles in salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Do not thaw the noodles because the moisture will change the texture.

Let me know how your pasta turned out if you are trying this recipe!! Or give me a tinkle if you have any questions 😉