Ms Skinny Fat.

Skinny.Fat. Sophisticated.Fun. Adventurous.Grounded. Material.Zen.

I'm a Caffeine Addict

Sipping on my 4th cuppa at Seven Seeds. Melbourne, Australia.

Breakfast Any Time of the Day

Perfectly cooked Sous Vide Eggs Benedict. Skyve Wine Bistro, Singapore.

A weakness for sweet things

My love for cupcakes. It all began at L'uisine. Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

Itadakimasu

Colours of Autumn: Omakase Hidden Find at Giro Giro Hitoshina. Kyoto, Japan.

Wanderlust

The World is my Oyster. Home is where my heart belongs.

Frozen in Time

Shooting old school muscles on our off-the-beaten-path trip. La Habana, Cuba.

Riding into the Purple Sunset.

Decadent villa getaway complete with black golden sand. Alila Villas Soori, Bali, Indonesia.

Bagism is my religion

Latest addition to my bag family- The Proenza Schouler PS11 Mini Classic in Textured Brown. 2013.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Yi Dian Xin Hong Kong Dim Sum

I've been recently informed of a hidden gem in my hood which I've been too blind/distracted to notice. Yummy salted egg yolk steamed buns right under my nose? No way! And located next to my dinner/supper haunt along Upper Serangoon Road, Heng Long Teochew porridge, you gotta be kidding me!! To correct all my wrongs, I trooped to Yi Dian Xin Hong Kong Dim Sum with my mama for a dimsum brunch. 
I've honestly never noticed Yi Dian Xin in the very same coffeeshop as Heng Long because it's overshadowed by the corner store. Well I only visit at night when they're closed so I guess that's how I've been missing this. Prices are very affordable with the most expensive item only costing $3.50. Rice Roll with Prawn ($3.50) uses pre-made rice rolls but the texture is QQ enough and the prawns flavorful. For the more traditional and freshly prepared Chee Cheong Fun, head to the Punggol Nasi Lemak coffeeshop down the road, there's another hidden gem that does this. 
I had to have their Signature Salted Egg Custard Pau ($3.30) as it was raved about. The bun was kinda dense but fluffy enough and the filling was well balanced with milky sweet and savory notes. I loved that it's really flowy! Eat it fast! While the custard doesn't really coagulate when cooled, the bun doesn't retain the same texture as when it was warm.

Another pau to order is the Steamed BBQ Pork Pau ($2 for 2) which looks like any other decent Cantonese dimsum restaurant types. Dark sauce, chunky meat, flowered buns. What's not to love?
The Steamed Carrot Cake ($2.20) was another of my favorite. It's amazingly melt in your mouth with small chunks of radish and chinese preserved sausage. I'm usually more the pan-fried carrot cake girl but this won me over with the texture and that special soy sauce. I could easily finish the whole thing on my own.
The Prawn Dumpling ($3.30) had a rather thick skin but the filling was adequate. Siew Mai with Mushrooms ($2.80) was packed with juicy pork meat that wasn't too fatty. I actually like this one. Steamed pork ribs with bean sauce ($2.50) comes in the regular small metal dish and was rather tender. I do like this dish but always found it overpriced at dimsum places. 

From the deep fried section, I'd go for the shrimp dumpling (sold out). My Mama liked the Deep Fried Red Bean Paste with Banana ($2.50) which featured a light filo skin with a slightly coarse paste. I thought it was on the sweet and oily side though. Well obviously not my generation's kind of dessert.
Here's the menu for your reference.
The ladies in my family headed down on a Public Holiday again but this time we were too late! At 1230pm, they were only left with 1/4 of their items! It was a bad day for us because many stores were closed and hence everyone decided to eat dimsum. Heard from the owner that their dimsum typically sells out on weekend afternoons so do go early! 
So glad I found this place! No need to travel down to chinatown for my favorite Tak Po when dimsum craving kicks in! 

Yi Dian Xin
1012 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534752 
Tel: +65 9168 5587
Daily: 7am - 6pm
(Closed Alt. Tues)

Grub

If you enjoy alresco dining in a idyllic garden setting, then GRUB is probably gonna be up your alley. This restaurant is right smacked in the middle of Bishan Park, far from civilization (it's a walk from the ulu busstop so i'd suggest driving or cabbing) and amidst the greens and rocks and wildlife (mosquitoes). What's good is that the Cookyn Inc. folks are very picky on using natural ingredients and eating responsibly so you can eat without guilt. Also, your wallet will not be emptied as most dishes are priced below $15. 


Well i was under the impression that GRUB was still adopting a no-reservation policy but when i visited, groups without reservations were frowned upon. So make sure you call them up just to make sure anyway. S and i decided to give their brunch a shot and the options included the regular eggs and sausage combi along with a number of burgers. 
I heard much about the Crispy Fish Burger ($12) and GRUB uses either Monkfish or Haddock, both of which are sustainable white fish. My first thought was that this is a fish and chip dish masquerading as a fish burger! Actually it would have done better without the empty bun that was way too light tasting (i couldn't taste the bread at all). 

The fries and that homemade remoulade (they make their own mayonnaise) was simply amazing. Top it up with mentaiko sauce for an additional $2 and this would be the perfect fish and chips. 
I liked that the fish meat is dense and fresh and the portion extremely generous. 

I wanted to order the Slow cooked Pork Belly ($17) that is sous vide and seared and served with sauteed leeks and sweet potato mash but was disappointed to know that it is only available for dinner! BAH.

The Belgium Waffles with maple syrup and butter ($6.50) was a terrible mistake we made as a result. The batter was undercooked in the middle and it was also tasteless. The watery syrup (probably maple flavored and not real maple syrup) did little to enhance the flavor. I would rather have Prima Deli's cheap waffles which taste much better than this. 

Churros ($8) was highly recommended but the portion seemed too huge for us to tackle and i didnt think it'd be nice if we took it away. Well, you guys try it and let me know. 
Here's the weekend brunch menu. Liberty coffee is served at GRUB and priced at about $4-5. 
I wouldn't mind eating at Grub if there isn't a queue but the inaccessibility may be a deterrance.  

Grub
510 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 Singapore 569983
Tue-Fri: 11am - 3pm, 5.30 - 10.30pm
Weekends & PH: 9am - 4pm, 5.30 - 10.30pm
Closed Mon and last Tue of the month

Keyaki Weekend Brunch, Pan Pacific Singapore

Keyaki at Pan Pacific Singapore has recently introduced a new okonomi concept kaiseki weekend brunch. This 'as you like it' concept to kaiseki dining allows diners to customize their 8 course meal from the traditional Japanese formal dining format. With 5 options available for each course, the only problem I foresee is the indecisiveness on your choice of dishes and that to me, is always a happy problem.
The meal starts with Kobachi (a light amuse bouche) and Sashimi to waken your palette.
Our Kobachi options were delightful. I can never say no to a freshly made tamago and the layered Unagi omelette had the right firmness and sweetness. The Seared beef with ponzu sauce comes recommended too.
Sashimi was fresh, buttery and sweet. Hotate was unavailable when we visited. The Amaebi sweet prawn was big and juicy. I usually do not order raw prawns but i would certainly do this again. 

Once the digestive enzymes are activated, hot dishes such as Yakimono (grilled dishes) and Teppanyaki were served.
The Cod Teriyaki was fatty (and that's expected and demanded of this fish) and we ate so fast we practically inhaled the fish. 
One could not go wrong with the fresh prawn with bacon which was smoky, salty and sweet all at once. Another option to go for would be the pan fried pork with ginger.

Other dishes included Chicken Soup and White Bait wrapped in Beancurd Skin.
 
The Nimono course is simmered in Keyaki's homemade dashi stock. The Agedashi tofu batter was thin and hence did not turn too stodgy unlike many failed ones that I've had. The soft chawanmushi custard was yuzu flavored this season and acted well as a mid menu palate cleanser.
The Agemono deep fried course presented the usual tempura dishes. We had tempura prawns, fish and a delicate soft shell crab. 
For Teppanyaki, I'd highly recommend the beef. I could certainly do more with that fried garlic slices. 
To conclude, the Shokuji main course. I was surprised at the sushi rice of my California roll. Sushi is an art imo and it takes dedication to produce good sushi so I typically don't expect much from Japanese restaurants which do not specialize in it. However, the rice at Keyaki was pearly, sticky and well flavored. I was tempted to order another roll even though I was way stuffed. 
The buckwheat soba noodles were amazing too and should not be missed. We loved the firm texture and intense flavors, and the elegant presentation of the noodles. 
Desserts failed to impress however with a rather icy ice cream (red bean/green tea). The sessional fruits were local seasonal fruits, which was sorely disappointing. Perhaps the traditional zanzai (red bean soup) would be better. Keyaki should add a warabi mochi to the mix imo. 
Overall, a good meal at Keyaki. Our tummies were satisfied and not exploding (which is a good thing). I loved the ambience as well and adored the zen rock garden just outside the restaurant. Great place to bring the folks for a relaxing lunch. It's $75/pax and $125/pax should you go for the boozy option of unlimited sake, champagne, selected red and white wines and beer.
Keyaki
7 Raffles Boulevard Singapore 039595
Level 4, Pan Pacific Singapore
Tel: +65 6826 8240
Weekend brunch (and PH): 11.30am - 2.30pm



Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Malecon, Havana Cuba.

Through Her Eyes

Learn to be completely be with yourself. Let there be no distractions. Let the waves of thoughts overwhelm you. Let them crash and hit into you. Take the mess, the pain, the confusion. Because after, there will be stillness. Because there will be peace and calm. After. 













When was the last time you sat down and did nothing. What was the last time you were completely with yourself?
XOXO
Travelerintransit

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Kerasilk Keratin Treatment

Unmanageable hair is the bane of my life. The weather in nyc is great for hair with body due to the lack of humidity, however, that also made my hair really dry. Ok fine I think it was also because I was experimenting with a different shampoo.
So it got to a point where it was almost impossible to run my fingers through my wet hair during yoga class. Geesh it was horrible. 
A trip to Silkcut was absolutely necessary to my well being. And Wendy recommended the Kerasilk Keratin Treatment by Goldwell.
I'm sure you girls know that Keratin treatment is the god of all hair treatment and it can tame any unruly bed of hair. Goodbye Mr Grizzly Frizzly Fuzly Bear.
We started with a wash followed by the treatment.
The treatment consists glyoxylic acid and soothing ingredients ie keratin and silk proteins. The scent is amazing with fruity notes. The treatment creates new keratin bonds and stabilizes the new hair shape for up to 5 months.

Some blow drying and straightening to seal the treatment in.
As usual, always entertained by the Silkcut peeps while patiently waiting for my hair to be ready.
Last step was the Sealing Serum to lock in all that goodness. I also made sure i started on the Kerasilk aftercare shampoo and conditioner ($40 each) to maintain the silky soft hair. 
Here's the after result! I also did my touch up of my hair color (ash) and a trip to get rid of all those horrible dried up ends. :) We were darn amazed by how the purple highlights from my color treatment are still staying on my hair. Loving it though!
Quote "Ms Skinnyfat" and get a 20% off the Keratin Hair Treatment. Walk-ins not included and for first time clients only. Silkcut Salon is located in the fringe of Tiong Bahru and just a few shops away from the newly opened The Tastemaker Store.

Thanks to Wendy for working her magic as usual!

Silkcut Salon
22 Havelock Road #01-693, Singapore 160022
Tel: +65 6275 6108
Weekdays: 11am - 8pm
Weekends and PH: 11am - 7pm

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hotel Jen Singapore Dining Review

Traders Hotel has rebranded itself to Hotel Jen and you can expect things to shake up a bit in the coming months. Renovation work is in the pipeline and will start in Nov 2014. After which, Traders Hotel will transform into the young, hip, fun and vibrant Hotel Jen, just like its sister branch at Orchard Gateway
Z and i checked out Cafe Biz' weekend brunch with the rebranding of Hotel Jen. Even though the interior felt pretty much the same as the old Traders', the vibe is certainly lighter and more fun. Even the food offering seemed to cater to the hipper younger crowd too and that certainly sat well with our tummies.
Cheese from the Cheese Ark. What i liked- The milky Aarewasser 5 mths raw cow's milk cheese from Switzerland, the salty Bitto Storico 3 year raw cow and goat milk hard cheese from Italy and the mild Bleu Du Pic 2 mths raw goat's milk cheese from France. FYI, I can take strong tasting, pungent and savory cheeses so you may hate the ones I like.
The Foie Gras and Apple Terrine spreads like butter on toast. I was wishing for croissants but only found toasted baguettes. Do not give the artisan butter spreads a miss. I couldn't stop eating the butter. Yes.. BUTTER. Yummy prosciutto as well. 
Well sashimi is the standard at buffets. We thought the fish was pretty fresh. Actually the sashimi was better than the chilled seafood. I remembered that i liked the prawns the best when i dined at Cafe Biz the last time. The other seafood were so so. The lobster was on the bland side and a little chewy.  
The Western spread was alright. I thought the herb crusted lamb was done very nicely, even better than the beef roast. 
We were lucky to have Hotel Jen's GM cook us a mean mushroom risotto. It was yummy! 
The Asian selection fared ok too. There's Indian food which Z thought was flavored nicely. The naans however were dry and crispy. Boo. 
I found myself slurping a bowl of congee with the homey preserved ingredients. You can make it a teochew porridge buffet if you wish. 
The roast duck was juicy and savory. Wai ling, the marcomms manager was raving about the suckling pig that they have. The chicken rice is also rather tasty. Other asian dishes included Penang Laksa and Prawn Noodles
The dessert spread was insane but the only thing that i finished (and wanted seconds of) was the Durian Swiss Roll. The durians were from Batu Pahat, Malaysia!  

Back to Hotel Jen. I hope they'll do well with their new concept and i really liked the Orchard Gateway location which is superbly located in the heart of Orchard Road and right above the train station (Somerset). Rooms look cosy and bright and they offer free WIFI everywhere in the hotel and also PressReader access to over 2,500 online newspapers and magazines. All rooms have a full-size executive writing desk too so it makes for a good business hotel too.

Hotel Jen Singapore (Formerly Traders Hotel) 
1A Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249716
Tel: +65 6738 2222
277 Orchard Road, Singapore 238858