Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

When i'm in need of a comforting bowl of Vietnamese Pho, i'd naturally head to Long Phung in Joo Chiat for that warming noodles in beef broth. I've never been disappointed by their bowl, but it's always good to have a backup in case they are closed or when i'm not near the East. So here is another trusted alternative- Mrs Pho
Mrs Pho has been on my food list for a bit because it has been recommended by trusted foodie friends like Miss Tam Chiak and Superfinefeline. So after several half baked attempts to visit (despite being in the area), Jr and i finally dropped by for a taste test.   
Standard side order of Goi Cuon ($3.50 for 2). Thin and chewy rice paper rolls filled with rice vermicelli, slices of prawn and pork belly, paired with that 'chee cheong fun' sauce.
Now on to the star, their Pho! Have the Pho Bo Tai ($7.90) Sliced Beef Noodle Soup or the Pho Dac Biet ($8.90)- Special Beef Combination Noodle Soup. The former is a no frills bowl that comes with thin and tender beef slices, while the latter has meatballs, brisket, beef, and a half cooked egg. I thought the beef balls were very authentic and indeed they are freshly shipped from Vietnam weekly! As compared to Long Phung, we think that Mrs Pho does a more delicate bowl of noodles with milder flavors. Of course, you can always spice it up with the accompanying fish sauce, lime, and chili. If you are not for beef, there's also Pho Ga ($7.90) Chicken Noodle Soup, and Bun Mam ($8.90) Assam Seafood Noodle Soup. and other vermicelli and rice dishes. 
Start or end your meal at Mrs Pho with the Iced Ca Phe Sua Da ($3). I thought it was rather smooth and not too sweet really! The Avocado Smoothie ($4.50) was decent too. Now i know where to head to for a perk me up in the Bugis area! A good Ca Phe Sua Da is so hard to come by in Singapore. And of course, the pho. 

Come here if you can't take Joo Chiat's grittiness, Mrs Pho is definitely more for the young hipsters.

349 Beach Rd, Singapore 199570 (opposite Concourse)
Daily: 11am – 10pm

Have a taste of authentic contemporary Shanghainese cuisine at Avenue Joffre, especially with visiting legendary heavyweight Culinary Master Chef Zhou Yuan-Chang from Shanghai helming the kitchen till end May 2016. Chef Zhou's accolades run as longer than the extensive list of dishes that we sampled at this Resorts World Sentosa restaurant that features food from various Chinese cities like Szechuan, Guangdong, and Beijing.
We started with a mix of cold dishes. The sweet and sour spare ribs with dried mandarin peel ($19) was a delicate mix of flavors with a refreshing citrus flavor that was perfect with the meat. I liked how the dish wasn't too saucy/starchy, such that the crispiness of the meat could be enjoyed. 
It was our first time having the Shanghai Smoked fish ($16), a typical Shanghainese dish not often seen in Singapore. That crunchy fish was coated with a light smokey and spicy dark soy and we could certainly do with more of that sauce. 
I wished the Stir-fried prawns with wild garlic ($18) were bigger so that we could better enjoy the sweetness of the meat, along with the fragrant garlic-spring onion soy sauce. Eating the whole (mini) prawn isn't an option since it wasn't crispy enough and the shell is pretty hard in this one.
Baked Cheese Tarts are the new in thing people! Especially with the famous Japanese BAKE Inc. (BAKE) leading the trend come 29 Apr 2016 with their first S.E.A flagship in Singapore! Located at ION Orchard, the Singapore store will be BAKE CHEESE TART’s flagship store for Southeast Asia. YAY. 
For those not in the know yet, BAKE hails from Hokkaido, Japan, and that ensures the creamiest and smoothest cream cheese mousse in the snappiest shortcrust tart. The cheese mousse is created by blending three different types of cream cheese together - two from Hokkaido and one from France. The pastry goes through a two-step process which leaves it with a distinct crunchy yet fluffy texture. Absolutely gorgeous i tell you.  
To ensure the highest quality, the cheese tarts are actually produced in Hokkaido and flown over to Singapore! Baking is done here so that we can piping hot, creamy and flowy cheese tarts. Such dedication to excellence i say. We can certainly expect the same flavor and quality from BAKE and it's even fresher than if you beg a friend to bring it back for you.
For $3.50 a pop, you can dig into one of these rich creamy babies. I can't imagine why anyone would stop at 1 though! Get a box of 6 for $19.50 and share the love (WITH ME PLEASE)!
BAKE Cheese Tarts
ION Orchard #B4-33
2 Orchard Turn 238801 
Daily: 10am - 10pm
Drinking options are aplenty in the Telok Ayer-Ann Siang area, but how about brunch fare? Getting on the brunch wagon is Mr & Mrs Maxwell's with their new all day breakfast menu available from 7am to 7pm daily. But.. does it work? Or are they better remaining as a drinking type of restaurant bar at the hippy The Club Hotel
Tuck into comfort food such as Corned Beef Hash or an English Fry up here. But ascomfort food goes, you're eating it for sentimental reasons. Would I pay $16 for something I can make at home? I guess not. The Lobster Omelette ($16) on toasted sourdough only had a few pieces of crustacean and they did not add to any flavor to the omelette. It was.. just another average omelette on toast. 
I had my hopes up when i spotted Ricotta Hotcakes ($14) on the menu, only to have them dashed when i took the first bite.
The pancakes lacked the fluffiness and felt more like a dense eggless sponge. So nope. Just nope. Not even after i slathered on the truffle honey and ricotta cream cheese. They deserve a better vehicle into my mouth. 
The Angus beef Club Burger ($24) with Cheddar, Emmental, caramelized onions, and candied bacon, salvaged brunch a little. I can't resist a fat juicy patty! Do it the meatless way, for the buns aren't worth the calories, even when buttered and toasted.
While the Crêpe Suzette ($16) wasn't the best that I've tasted, the intense sweetness and tartness excited my palate at the very least. If you're a sucker for theatrics and unwilling to pay more for the same live experience of crepe making at Henri Charpentier, then this will do. The crepes could be thinner and the flavor more nuanced, but the generous amount of orange liquor helped make everything better. 
About the Baked Alaska ($16), well, I don't get this dessert still and MMM's flambéd version with cotton candy didn't change my mind on this dessert. Isn't it just ice cream with the melty marshmallow sorta meringue? #notimpressed 
The drinks were a tad more interesting than the food. Fresh juices and smoothies such as Citrus Beauty ($9), Greek Goddess ($9, pick this!) or Banana Cheesecake ($12). The Truffle Martini ($18) didn't do it for me (tasted of burnt coffee) but my dining companions seemed to enjoy it. Must be the alcohol talking. 
Verdict? The Club is a chic hotel and it has other F&B offerings worth checking out, like The Disgruntled Chef or the exotic Peruvian bar Tiger's Milk. As for brunch, you're better off taking your calories elsewhere e.g. Gaest, Sarnies, or My Awesome Cafe.

Mr & Mrs Maxwell's
28 Ann Siang Rd Singapore 069708
Tel: +65 6808 2181
Sun - Thu: 7am - 11pm
Fri - Sat: 7am - 12am
999.99 or Five Nines is a new addition to the changing Keong Saik food scene. Discounting the reason for its name (i will not even go into it), this Modern European restaurant really does a good job in serving affordable and delicious fare in a chic and hip environment. 
Business has been brisk at this new restaurant since its opening in Dec 2015. Where else can you get a 5-course meal for $59 in Singapore? Plus their a la carte pricing is very attractive as well. We started our meal with a creamy Burrata and Tomato Salad ($14) and the umami Tuna and Peach salad ($14), both refreshing appetizers. 
Next, add a tad of crunch and cream with this King Crab Croquettes ($13) filled with cheesy bechamel and chunks of crab meat. Do not have this on your own or you'd be too full to try anything else (a quarter was sufficient for me though i could certainly have more)!
The Lobster Gratin ($19/29) is also a delectable creamy option. A whole lobster is mixed with the creamy bechamel with a lightly crisp melted cheese topping. The early birds catch the worms and the first 20 orders of the day will get this for only $19! Subsequently, you'd still get to enjoy this at $29. What's awesome is that the lobster is also featured on the restaurant's 2 and 4 course lunch menu priced at $19 and $29 respectively. Such a steal!
I cannot imagine anyone heading over to Gillman Barracks for no good reason at all, other than to visit a pop up gallery; you lost your way around; or possibly if you're dating and the boy is trying to impress you with his hipster cafe repertoire (lol). Well, in the last scenario, the said cafe that we visited was the artsy Red Baron, a bakery cafe opened by the same people behind Artistry
The small-ish woodshed set up serves an all day breakfast, snacks, coffee, craft beer, sodas, tarts and cakes. Dress for the weather as the indoor seating is very limited, that or come back at night for a super chill drink.
I was all set to have the highly raved about Gula Melaka French toast ($7) but i was informed that they have stopped selling it due to the crowd that the toast attracted? I wondered what that meant. Perhaps too many accidents have happened with fools placing their food on the road for that perfect IG shot. So instead of that gorgeous carb and sugar breakfast, i settled for the DC Breakfast ($16) because eggs are always the best/next best thing. This Mediterranean plate is a step up from the usual eggs ben- smoky roasted vegetables and mushrooms, with hummus and avocado, Such a wholesome meal with eggs and that fluffy multigrain. 
The Beefy Ploughman ($14) sounded tastier than IRL. The striploin was too thin and dry, and we felt that it was lacking in cheese to bind the ingredients together. In this case, more of everything would definitely have been better (juicy meat please). Skip this, and go for the inventive Quinoa Goreng perhaps. Or simply start and end with desserts pronto. 
The cakes at Red Baron looked amazing- think dense, moist, and rich cakes sitting around looking pretty in the glass display. As stuffed as we were, we had to get a slice of that Purple Carrot Cake ($8). Love those tender chunks of carrot in the cake. It's not as rich as Cedele (LURVE their carrot cake) but this has a light sweetness to it. 
The coffee wasn't as acidic as the Artistry ones so it was still palatable. So fret not if you're stuck at Gillman. You should be well fed by The Naked Finn, and the Red Baron Cafe.
Gillman Barracks, 45 Malan Road, Singapore 109455 
Tues - Sun: 11am - 6pm 
(Closed on PH)
Step into Sakurazaka at the affluent Greenwood Estate and you would be forgiven for thinking that you are in a restaurant in Japan. Sakurazaka is the new restaurant of Consultant Chef Masashi Horiuchi (also of Shelter in the Woods and Verre Wine Bistro), and it marries Masashi’s Japanese heritage and European culinary roots in this Shabu Shabu and Sukiyaki restaurant
Tuck into one of the 3 Shabu Shabu sets available at Sakurazaka- Pork ($48), Seafood ($54), or Beef ($64). Each set comes with the stone grilled Ishiyaki (Iberico, Seafood, or Wagyu), meats, vegetables, and a dessert (traditional Kakigori) to end off! 
It's always fun to be able to participate in your meal. Dip the sizzling grilled meats into the onsen tamago with mild Sukiyaki sauce. 
Have your choice of Shabu Shabu in 6 different broths specially created by Chef Masahi. Expect an infusion of European flair in the special soup stock with the rich and tangy Bouillabaisse stock and light Beef Consommé; or have a taste of Kyushu with the Ago Dashi (dried flying fish stock). Of course, the regular Chicken, Tonkotsu, and even Soya Milk are available. My favorites are the versatile Ago Dashi, and the slightly milky Tonkotsu.

To accompany the prime meats and seafood, 3 special dipping sauces are provided. My favorite is the refreshing and light peppery and very versatile Tamari Ponzu made with miso essence and yuzu. The Shiyo Ponzu is a slightly tart sudachi with seaweed salt. Of course, there's also the rich Goma sauce, with a touch of espelette pepper in this one.  
Have the Seafood set with the Bouillabaisse stock for that superb umami flavor at the end. Tiger prawns, white clams, succulent scallop, red snapper, squid, and mussels are in this one. The fresh prawn paste was definitely my favorite of the lot. The minced prawn is mixed with lotus roots, shiitake mushrooms, and shiso.
Fridays are for digging into bone tender juicy char grilled ribs slathered in glistening savory sweet sauce. Whereabouts? Right by the roadside in Ubud Bali Indonesia at Naughty Nuri's, the de facto prime ribs spot in Bali. Well of course, if you can't get on the plane for that authentic charcoal fire experience, there are over 10 locations in Asia serving some variation of the original, and we have one right here in Singapore at Capitol Piazza.
My initiation was at the Batubelig branch in Bali and it was a little more polished than the Ubud outlet and in fact the ribs were more tender. A full rack of Nuri's Pork Ribs will only set you back by IDR119k (S$12). In comparison, you wouldn't even be able to get a half rack in Singers (S$18.80/35.80). 
The ribs are first boiled in a BBQ sauce and then thrown over fire and grilled to smoky perfection. Standard varies from rack to rack, depending on your luck.  I've had a dry tough one at the Ubud outlet once. The smaller boned racks are more tasty IMO so ask for that! Top it up with a secret sauce and a squeeze of lime and watch your world explode.
I didn't use to care for my skin at all. Well when you are young, you think you're invincible and that your skin will always be perfect. So years of sun tanning had obviously caused some damage, which was improved with the Derma-RX products. Recently, I've been trying out different products in order to find a good mix to my skincare regime and was introduced to the Italian Vagheggi products at Bejeweled Singapore. Bejeweled is a one stop shop for your beauty fixes from nails, face, to your eyes and they have expanded from their 1st location at International Plaza to open a second outlet at Breadtalk IHQ in the east.
Shirlene, my beautician did a quick check on my face condition and i was recommended the White Moon facial treatment ($228/90mins) as I do have some spots that are starting to surface (SOBS) because of all the terrible sun damage in my younger days (girls, please use sunscreen and stop suntanning). This facial is touted to help even the skin tone and control melanin production, smooth the surface of the skin and acts as a barrier against pollution and free radicals. The effect, a radiant skin with more even skin tone.

We started with a cleansing foam to purify the skin, followed by the Fizzy Mask 1 and Activating solution 2 which work as a gentle peel for the brightening effect.
A smoothing concentrate solution helps to  renew and even the skin, followed by a brightening mineral mask. The effect is further enhanced with the Protective brightening emulsion which is rich in Vitamin C to provide protection against UV rays and smog. Cooling balls were used to massage the solutions into the skin.
After- I still look the same without makeup!
I couldn't believe that my skin looked pretty unblemished despite the extraction. Serene was very gentle with that though. But honestly that glow! I had dinner with J after my facial and the first thing he said was how radiant my face was. Yay to all that natural goodness in the facial. 
Bejeweled also offers aesthetic eye treatments such as eyelash extension and perming, as well as nail services. I foresee I'd be coming here pretty often for my beauty fixes. 
30 Tai Seng Street #02-01 
BreadTalk IHQ Singapore 534013 
Tel: +65 6443 9789 
Daily: 11.30am - 8pm

10 Anson Road #02-48 
International Plaza Singapore 079903 
Tel: +65 6222 2526 
Weekdays: 11am - 8pm 
Sat: 11am - 4.30pm 
Closed on Sunday & PH 
Always say yes to the hush-hush behind the dark curtained BÉNI at Mandarin Gallery. You wouldn't be blamed for not knowing much about exclusive Japanese-French fine dining establishment by Chef Kenjiro ‘Hatch’ Hashida (also better known for his Hashida establishment). Well unless you're one of the privileged 15 pax who has snagged a seat around the open industrial bar. Then, you would be able to dine on the exquisite seasonal French omakase that also changes daily, depending on what is fresh. 
Expect the usual (or perhaps fanatical) dedication to excellence by the team of Japanese chefs led by Chef de Cuisine, Kenji Yamanaka. You'd see precisely plated dishes of specific temperature, served in particular ways. The result was impressive and truly enjoyable, which is expected considering the price tag you're paying. It's $127/228 for a 5 course lunch, or $298 for a 7 course dinner (with more premium ingredients). But of course, indulge further with a tea, wine, or sake pairing. 
We started with the King of Green HIRO premium, a Gyokuro Japanese tea. I've never thought of green tea having that umami flavor until this one. After the first brew, olive oil and salt was added to the mix and we were told to eat it up. That was when the umami was enhanced and it tasted like seaweed. 
Next, the Miellefeuille de Crabe Royal au Nayet SHOGOIN. A Hokkaido red king crab layered with pickled Shogoin turnip (using rice vinegar), and a Shungiku sauce (made from Japanese spinach). The light refreshing flavor of the turnip was punctuated with a slightly strong vegetable sauce. That said, it was still balanced with the sweetness of the crab and briny caviar.
The Gateau au Foie Gras was a generous and creamy 3 layered foie gras cake. The bottom layer of marinated foie gras was super smooth, the middle a Jonathan apple celeriac puree, and the top was the Johnathan Apple skin jelly. I liked how the foie gras was balanced with the refreshing and slightly tart Apple and it's a nice depart from the usual berry pairing.