I’m sure you’ve heard of “Tipo” but did you know that there are 4 different concepts under the brand? For someone who has never tried anything from the Tipo Group, this could be a good introductory guide for you! Here’s my full unbiased Tipo review.
Disclaimer though, I have only been to Tipo Strada and Tipo Gnocchi and based on my personal dining experiences, am able to give a short review of the vibes, location, and most importantly, food tried!
Table of Contents
What is Tipo?
To start off, The Black Hole Group birthed Tipo, an umbrella of 4 different Italian cuisine-inspired concepts. The most known concept is probably “Tipo Pasta Bar”, offering build-your-own & set meals with handmade pasta.
“Tipo Strada” has 2 locations in Keong Saik and Novena, in which artisanal coffee and snack options are served alongside the signature DIY pasta mains. Probably the one with the most exciting selection, “Tipo Pizzeria E Trattoria” tries the DIY concept on Pizza while maintaining its classic menu of pasta, and hot cooked mains.
The final concept “Tipo Gnocchi” speaks for itself. Specialising in only gnocchi pasta, customers are free to curate their gnocchi dish with a choice of sauce and toppings, at no limit.
In an attempt to aid your decision of where to start your Tipo trail, here is a review of what we had at Tipo Strada and Tipo Gnocchi.
Thoughts on the vibe
We decided to visit the Novena branch and was pleasantly surprised by the short walking distance to the restaurant from Novena MRT station. It was easy to spot Tipo Strada from a distance as one of the street level shops of Royal Square. The place made good use of their space with its pink and gold themed alfresco concept. We opted to sit indoors and it was rather cozy, if you don’t mind the next table being less than an arm’s length away from you.
Thoughts on the food
As I came with only one gal pal, we decided to try totally different things on the menu to see what Strada has to offer. For Strada’s process of ordering, we could only pick out the pasta type and sauce type which was paired with a fixed set of ingredients. What was interesting is that there are always 3 types of pastas offered when choosing your meal, and the pasta types changes often! We went with the fusilli in Truffle Mushroom ($17.5) and mafalde in Creamy Crab ($19.90).
Tipo cooks their pasta to al dente as a standard, and it was really chewy yet not undercooked. The truffle cream sauce coated the fusilli well and came with a generous serving of black truffle paste. For one who likes heavy cream and carbonara style pasta, you would probably like this a lot. This was purely a no-meat dish but it filled us up real good. As for the creamy crab mafalde, the visual was not what i expected at all. Unlike the red hot chilli gravy that Singaporeans are accustomed to, the sauce in the creamy crab was, for a lack of better terms, creamy.
However! There was something in the sauce that provided the spice I was looking forward to. Possibly also because I chose the mafalde pasta which was spicy on its own, I could not get through the plate without sips of water. The creamy crab sauce was so good but what I really enjoyed was the springy mafalde pasta. The shape and texture of it was really unique and brought me back to a comforting night at home with a hot bowl of korean instant ramen in front of the TV.
Tipo Gnocchi sits along North Bridge road, less than 10 minutes walk from Lavender MRT station. This stretch is known to house popular eateries like Huevos (a popular mexican restaurant) and Symmetry, hence it came as no surprise that restaurants here were almost full by 7pm on a weekday night.
Thoughts on the vibe
The interior of Tipo Gnocchi resembled a modern-day kitchen. With a long island bar facing the rows of square tables, and tall shelves with various abstract art and structures against the wall, the restaurant provides a warm and inviting atmosphere for customers to chat and dine. We also noticed the scatter of dried gnocchi along the window at the entrance and thought it was such a cute idea of promoting the restaurant’s concept.
Thoughts on the food
The menu at Tipo Gnocchi had a similar DIY concept as Tipo Strada with the only difference being gnocchi as the pre-determined star of the dish. Gnocchi could be cooked 3 ways with options being potato, sweet potato and fried gnocchi. Fried gnocchi sounded pretty interesting to me, but it being my first visit to Tipo Gnocchi, I wanted to try the “OG” take on gnocchi.
We ordered the Duck Ragu potato gnocchi ($24) and tried an upsize bowl of DIY goodness which comprises of potato gnocchi, kombu cream, grated grana padano (a type of cheese), roasted mushroom, lump crabmeat, garlic chips and chilli flakes.
All this added to $26! We were intrigued by the melon house-crafted mocktail ($9) and decided to give it a try!
First up, we’ve got the duck ragu potato gnocchi. It looked super yummy with the handful of grated cheese softly melted into the mushrooms and gnocchi. The gnocchi was cooked chewy and sweet, not just a whole mouthful of dough in my mouth, and made at a good one-bite size. However, I thought that the ragu sauce was rather lacking in depth and a little too watery for my liking.
Unfortunately, the ragu sauce did not soak into the gnocchi well, hence the gnocchi tasted plain at some points. The duck was pretty tender and complemented the gnocchi well.
Moving onto the star of the night, we finally got to try the long-awaited DIY bowl. Honestly, we went a little crazy and upsized it and really whacked the toppings. Our verdict: It was so worth it. Despite the pasta having largely a cream base, the kombu really provided the umami flavour to the dish and was further elevated with the addition of roasted mushrooms. We thought that it was a wise decision to add garlic chips and chilli flakes as they balanced out the heaviness of the cream sauce with stronger and spicier flavours.
If you can’t tell from the photo, there was actually protein inside the dish. We opted for crabmeat which proved to be underwhelming as the crab given was so little and robbed the dish of the seafood element.
As the drinks were a little pricey, we opted to try just the melon mocktail. I must say, the first thought that popped into my mind after taking the first sip was how the drink tasted just like melona ice cream. The mocktail comprises of fresh strawberry chunks, a slice of dried lemon and rosemary to top it off. I was impressed by how one sip could encapsulate sweet, sour, and woody notes that made a brilliant and refreshing drink.
Tipo Review Closing thoughts
For its well-thought-out concept and creativity infused into each menu, pasta lovers should pay a visit to at least one of the restaurants under this series. Between Strada and Gnocchi, I would prefer the variety of pasta that comes with the Strada menu as personally, gnocchi isn’t my go-to pasta choice.
Especially for picky eaters, the list of sauces and toppings are so extensive at Tipo that you’d probably be able to chance upon something you’d like! The ambience at the two branches we visited were casual and comfortable and you can even bring your fur kid out for a date over at the pet-friendly Tipo Strada!
We would recommend making a reservation ahead of your intended visit as Tipo is indeed quite popular nowadays and they are often fully booked out at peak hours.
- Tipo Pasta Bar: 28 Aliwal St, #01-07, Singapore 199918
- Tipo Strada: 103 Irrawaddy Rd, #01-09 Royal Square at Novena, Singapore 329566
- Tipo Pizzeria E Trattoria: 155 Waterloo St, #01-08, Singapore 187962
- Tipo Gnocchi: 785 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 198753
- Tipo Strada: 11:00am to 9:30pm daily
- Tipo Pasta Bar/ Tipo Pizzeria E Trattoria/ Tipo Gnocchi: 11:00am to 10:00pm daily
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