Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

2020 has taken a toll on me this year, mentally and physically. The combination of stress, and a lot more outdoor workout on my roof terrace has resulted in dull and slight uneven skin tone, and also the slightly more clogged pores. I decided to put an end to this in 2021 by restarting a more diligent skincare regime and i started with a visit to IDS Clinic.
IDS is quite established in the aesthetic and clinical dermatologist market and they have their own line of IDS Skincare product, which is the result of constant innovation. IDS's proprietary formulation of Neulastin- consisting of key ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Collagen, Elastin, Adenosine, Zinc & Magnesium, and includes a technology called Enhance® Delivery System, facilitates the absorption of active ingredients into the skin and improves and eliminates wrinkles other than repairing and restoring damaged skin. 
I met with Dr Michelle Yong for a consultation type and she was quick with her assessment of my condition and suggested some products to combat my combination skin. There's also some sensitivity/dryness around my mouth area so she suggested some products for that too. 
For cleansing, I went with the sensitive series of the cleanser and toner (C2 and T2), which contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant botanical extracts to help combat redness, environmental stress and soften the skin. I liked how there isn't a tight and dry feeling after washing my face, as compared to the DrX cleanser that i'm currently using. In addition, i also got the Facial Scrub (FS), a super gentle scrub with ultra-fine crystals with Jojoba oil that can be used daily. 
For the clogged pores, the Pore Formula (PF) helps to refine pores and reduce blackheads and whiteheads. The creamy texture is quickly absorbed into the skin. There's a calming tea tree oil scent to it but can be a little stingy, but that could be due to my currently sensitive skin. I use this on my T-zone and problem areas. 

Then my favorite C Plus (C+), age-defense serum formulated with a potent form of Vitamin C to combat dull skin and stimulates collagen! Having tried a similar product before, i knew this is going to be my favorite. 

Lastly for moisture, i was recommended the Recovery Serum (RS) and Moisture Boost (MB). RS helps to reduce redness and irritation, which i use on the dry spots. It could be blended together with the MB for extra moisture to the face. I really liked the combination of these 2 products for a hydration boost. My dry patches have improved after 3 days of usage. 
I love how the products are quick to absorb and are not sticky. For daytime, i'm also using the S3 New Tinted sunscreen, which has a matte texture. I prefer the tinted version because i'm not very fair. If you're very fair, you could consider the regular sunscreen. 

For a weekly treat, I'm also trying the Dermashield Mask (DM). It's supposed to help protect against the blue light emitted from digital devices and environmental pollutants which lead to early signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. 

Excited to see the results of a more consistent and diligent skincare regime. Will update more. To be better and prettier 2021.


INTERNATIONAL BUILDING
360 Orchard Road
#02-02 International Building
Singapore 238869
T: +65 6450 3555

NOVENA SPECIALIST CENTER
8 Sinaran Drive
#05-09 to 10
Singapore 307470
T: +65 6568 3555
Reimagine Sichuan flavors at Birds of a Feather with their first-ever tasting menu. I've been a fan of Chef Eugene See's contemporary and European take on Sichuan cuisine since Birds opened and now he has taken it to the next level with some really stunning and elegant dishes that knocked us off our feet. 
Leave your tongue numbing mala expectations at the door. The Reimagine Sichuan menu ($89) showcases the myriad of flavors- salty, aromatic, bitter on the individual plates that are even more refined than the usual communal menu at Birds. There is even a curated wine pairing menu which was an absolute delight, featuring a small batch Telmont Grand Reserve Champagne, Pouilly Fuissé Domaine Cordier Chardonnay, Château Mangot Saint-Emilion Grand Cru (our absolute fav), and a surprise cocktail to be paired with desserts, all for just $60. 
The seven-course gastronomic journey begins with the Homemade Pickled Vegetable Focaccia, served alongside a bright, salty Sichuan 碎米芽菜 pickled mustard green butter. The humble preserved vegetable is full of umami- very similar to kombu or preserved olive vegetables. We tried our hardest to persuade Chef Eugene to bottle this! The focaccia was also an amazing slice with an all rounded crisp and a fluffy center. 
Next, Chef Eugene presents a rotating Bird’s Snack which spotlights the Sichuan burnt chili. A thin chewy ravioli made from gyoza skin is filled with a mix of burnt chili eggplant and foie gras. The spice was very mild and slightly tingly, and further balanced with an earthy celeriac purée. 
Michelin star dining is quite pricey in Singapore unlike in US and Europe so i'm always happy to find a well-priced one- Lerouy is one of the few and they do not stinge on the experience. There's no stuffiness or snootiness at this modern French restaurant by Chef Christophe Lerouy. At Lerouy 2.0, their industrial-chic space was anything but cold as 2 loops of organically shaped counters wind round the open kitchen and diners get a full view of the precise preparation of each dish.
We were in for a surprise for our 7-course grand lunch ($78) with no inkling of what's to come, given the purposeful omission of a menu. The omakase style allows Lerouy to present a mysterious seasonal menu, which adds to the excitement of dining here. 
Four tapas appetisers and petits fours supplement the courses. A crunchy mille feuille style of Bibeleskaes potato with fresh cream and Alsace bacon was the opening act. Followed by a series of refreshing acidity in the lentils with smoked herring and horseradish on a cracker; a lightly spiced Carabinero ceviche with pickled mioga ginger and calamansi espuma, and ending with a Japanese style Asian Beef Tea made using a Japanese dashi base and a touch of keffir lime. 
Next, a generous baby sourdough loaf which was so darn good. Lovely crust with a fluffy interior, the bread came served with 4 butters- regular, beetroot, seaweed and charcoal. The beetroot was surprisingly our favorite with a touch of sweetness and light earthiness. 

The rootedness in French classical cooking continues to present itself in the meal, but the flavors are anything but traditional. The typical buttery richness is balanced with acid and herbs in most dishes. Actually i wouldn't be surprised if acid is the base of the meal. 
Japanese scallops with dashi jelly, Kaviari caviar, green shiso ice cream and a touch of yuzu kosho to brighten up the dish. I consider this quite a bold dish, given that the accompaniments could easily overpower the delicate flesh but somehow the components worked well together and a daring dish was born. 
South East Asian cuisine is often thought of as cheap street eats but at Botanico and Bee's Knees, the talented young Head Chef Sujatha Asokan elevates comforting familiar flavors into finessed plates that explores history and heritage. The 2018 World Gourmet Summit Female Rising Chef of the Year isn’t afraid to feed diners the pungent fermented prawn paste (hae gor) or sneak in some beef tongue in the tacos but trust me, you’ll eat anything she puts on your plate. 
We started at the casual Bee's Knees at level one with some cocktails and bites. You'd regret not getting the Spicy Duck Loaded Fries ($17) with golden thick-cut fries generously loaded with handfuls of smoked duck chunks and liberally drizzled with mayonnaise, mozzarella and a zingy Sriracha cream. The messy rich, umami heat is best paired with an ice cold beer.
Chef Sue also put a SEA spin on her New York-style fiery Shrimp Pizza ($30). The pie is made in-house and stretched a la minute, and has a slightly chewy texture and crispy bottom. This wicked one is made with a squid ink garlic aioli base, topped with tiger prawns, mozzarella and Parmesan, then finished with a special spicy chili dressing made with palm sugar, chilli, garlic and lime juice, and coriander. Man it was addictive though I warn that the flavors are gonna stick around the whole night. 
Check out the Beef Tongue Tacos ($18), a Vietnamese version served on baby bok choy boats with jicama slaw and cashew cream. 
Now now, this Australian beef tongue is brined for 48h and sous vide for another 18 to give it that super soft texture. It's grilled in the Inka charcoal oven before served. I loved the tanginess of the jicama slaw which composed of pickled bokchoy, ginger flower and lemongrass, and toasted rice powder. Super fresh flavors in this one. 
"Oh we're just here for a regular dinner", i told the server at CUT, without fully realizing the burn of our plastic at the end of this regular dinner. 
Well tbh i knew a meal at CUT by Wolfgang Puck is going to be a tad pricey, which is why i thought i scored a deal with their early 3 course dinner at only $95 per person. But well, we do love a cocktail to start and wine pairing also seemed like the best way to enjoy their beef selection and possibly upgrading the cut of meat to something like a filet mignon or ribeye... and yea.
Could i get a better steak elsewhere for cheaper? Or a better dining experience? Likely yes. Jr enjoyed the dinner at Spago (another of Wolfgang's creations, read review here) more than he did CUT. Honestly i was more impressed with my first course of Maryland blue crab cake than i was with the steak. I guess it could be due to our expectations. 

Anyhow, definitely go for the crab cake which is chock full of chunky sweet flesh. The basil aioli provided the perfect herby citrusy complement to the crustacean. Jr had the Austrian Oxtail Bouillon with Chervil, Bone Marrow Dumpling which paled in comparison to the robust flavors in the crab cake. 
For mains, well, i can't imagine leaving CUT without trying their steak. A half portion USDA Prime Sirloin Steak is included in the menu and comes with perfectly crisped hand cut fries. Other cuts of meat are offered at a supplementary cost. We felt that the sirloin was more flavorful than the filet mignon. The meats are quite well-seasoned (a little heavy on the salt in fact) and thus there wasn't really a need for further seasoning or sauces. For non-steak eaters (why do you even bother going to CUT if you're not having steak), there are also a mushroom pasta, and a parsley halal young chicken (yes that is how it was labelled) on the menu. You could also make your meal a Surf n Turf with an addition of half Maine lobster if you wish. A choice of side pairs the mains and i would always pick a creamed spinach (it was creamy the way i like it). 

Desserts were spectacular. We loved the warm spiced and crunchy butterscotch apple crumble with soft slices of apples, oats and Tahitian vanilla ice cream. I don't know about you but apple crumble always feels very festive to me, perfect for Christmas!

The praline mascarpone bar, with chocolate chiffon, passionfruit guava sorbet had a mix of textures though i though the chiffon didn't go as well as planned in the bar and its airiness was lost in the overall bite. 


While the wine flight pairing (a white and a red, 90ml each) for $28 seemed like a good deal, the wines aren't that great imo. If you must, the Chablis was better than the Rose and the CS better than the Shiraz. Their cocktails are certainly better. 


So back to this regular dinner at CUT. The food was quite regular but the price was not. Probably would not be back for anything other than their crab cake and fries, plus desserts perhaps.

B1-71, The Shoppes
2 Bayfront Avenue Marina Bay Sands 018972
Available daily 5-6/6.30pm (except Monday, eve of and PH) 
Michelin quality food in a playful and casual setting? Sign me up any time. Cheek Bistro by Chef Rishi Naleendra and his wife Manuela Toniolo goes with fun but doesn't compromise on quality or techniques. Their cozy nook is made for relaxed meals and their brunch menu makes this Modern Australian restaurant even more welcoming for diners. 
The brunch menu is not your pedestrian cafe brunch food. Don't be too surprised to see Sri Lankan influence, such as the spiced and sugary Sri Lankan Iced Coffee ($10), which could also be spiked with a shot of Arrack (a coconut spirit). It's very sweet, like Vietnamese coffee, so don't say i didn't warn you. 
I went straight for the Mushroom on Toast ($18) which showcased the Bluefoot mushrooms, a French delicacy known as pied bleu. The mushroom was woody, earthy and had a meaty texture, and was complemented with a medley of mushrooms. Give it a smear of the vegemite custard for more umami or have enjoy it on its own. One wouldn't quite know what to do with the soft-boiled eggs in a a rich consommé- do i eat them separately or pour them onto the toast. Well.. the choice is yours. I drank the broth separately because i did not want to waste a single drop.      

Egg staples are served too, such as the Shakshuka ($18) and an interesting Son In Law Eggs ($18) featuring fried eggs with an runny center, served in a pita bread with hummus and homemade dukkah spice.  
It's been a while since this travelerintransit was actually in transit. I've been grounded since Mar 2020 but was one of the lucky ones who managed to squeeze in two good trips before the world went to sh***. The thing about holidays is that they really restore your sanity because you could really take time to unwind and we haven't been able to with COVID. While i wouldn't have splurge on a staycation in the past, given the current situation, please feel free to take my travel money. 
Our first staycation of the year was to celebrate our second anniversary and we decided to go Shangri-La Singapore's Valley Wing Indulgence package. While the $650++ price tag may seem hefty, it comes with daily breakfast, afternoon tea, evening cocktails and all-day champagne at the elegant Champagne Bar. Other than the free flow Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label NV Champagne, the highlight for me was actually the 90-minute massage treatment for two at Chi, The Spa. The spa treatment alone would have costs $235++/pax so you're actually not paying that much for the stay. 
The nice folks at Shang upgraded us to one of their 26 Valley Wing suites for the special occasion. The 110sqm Deluxe Suite is split into a living and a sleeping area and there's even a dining spot, where some sweet treats in a lacquered box greeted us. I expected a bottle of complimentary champagne given the reviews i read but that never came. 
Our pool facing room came equipped with a Nespresso coffee machine and a nice selection of tea bags to be enjoy in one of those pretty Wedgwood teacups. They are very dainty in fact and fit nicely with the typical old school luxurious hotel decor (which i found a little dated).  
The marble clad bathroom with double-vanity sinks was very spacious, and there's a huge bathtub that fits two comfortably (tried and tested). Unfortunately, there was no view in the slightly dimly lit bathroom. Ok i correct myself, there was a good view of Jr in the tub and that's good enough for me. :P You could request for the bubble bath to be drawn anytime you want, since the butler service is 24h, just give them 30mins to prep it for you. 
The bath amenities in the suite are from Acqua De Parma, while other guest rooms in the Valley Wing are stocked with amenities from L'Occitane en Provence. There are two sets of these toiletries in the bathroom (at the shower and bath), and another set in the toilet in the living area. 
Afternoon tea is served from 2 to 5pm at the Valley Wing Lobby Lounge. The selection was quite simple, with a couple of sandwiches, fried spring rolls (which we had seconds of), sweets, and very delicious scones. I was very pleased with the quality of the scones (it is served with clotted cream and jam) and we had more of those as well. Simply tell the service staff which item you would like more of and they are more than happy to oblige. 

I'm not sure if there is a separate Champagne bar or if it is closed during Phase Two but we were happy to have our drinks at the lounge anyway. While there are quite a number of families on vacation, the children were all very well behaved (thank god). Other than champagne, there are other alcoholic beverages include some signature cocktails from Origin Bar, wines and spirits. So go ahead and knock yourself out. The staff was more than happy to top up our glasses without us asking.
We took a nap on the heavenly king bed and had to peel ourselves from the bed in order to catch the evening cocktails and canapes session (it was from 5 to 7pm and we got there 30 mins before it ended). We were still pretty full from the afternoon tea in fact so we didn't mind that we only had a serving of the canapes, which was quite unmemorable. A different spring roll was served and that was quite decent. We chose to sit outdoors on the patio which gave us a nice view of the garden, and we also spotted a proposal event! How sweet. 

Drinks are served until 10.30pm each day (yes champagne too) but we were too lazy to head downstairs for a nightcap after our bubble bath. Plans to have some food at Origin flew out the window too as we  too comfortably cocooned in the fluffy bathrobes. Well it's a holiday after all, why rush ourselves? 
Room service it was and we had the foresight to place our order before we adjourned to our bath. The timing was impeccable and the food delicious. The laksa with lobster claw was an absolute delight and so were the satays that accompanied the nasi goreng. I found the fried rice to be a tad oily and blank though it had a good wok flavor. 
Breakfast for Valley Wing guests are now served at the Summit Room. I believe you could still go to The Line if you wish but why squeeze with the crowd? 
Plus the menu at the Summit Room is definitely more exquisite, think a crispy egg confit with Kaluga Queen caviar and parmesan sabayon (this is a must-eat)! And why not steak and egg for breakfast too! Jr was very pleased with the 200 days grain-fed Australian tenderloin. Top it with the lovely rosti too!
The Bikini sandwich with Parma ham, mozzarella cheese and truffle butter was milky on the inside and a little crisp on the outside. Perfection. Can't say the same for the pancakes which were very very meh and dry. 
We were looking forward to the spa the most but what i didn't realize was that we had to book it ahead of time. I called a weekend before and was placed on the waiting list. I thought perhaps a slot would have been reserved for us with the package but i thought wrong. Since we were unable to get a slot during our weekend stay, we got a voucher for a return visit instead. My deep tissue massage was pretty strong and good!
Our stay at Shangri-La Singapore was fabulous and doing nothing at all was definitely a great break for us. Highly recommended! 

22 Orange Grove Rd, Singapore 258350
Min Jiang at Goodwood Park Hotel marks another milestone in its decades-long history with a fresh contemporary look, together with refreshed menus and experiences for its patrons. Chef Chan Hwan Kee, who has been helming the kitchen for more than 10 years, continues to excite diners with his brand of signature Cantonese and Sichuan dishes. 
Min Jiang is one of the last few restaurants that are still serving their dim sum on push carts. I'm always terribly excited when the trolleys come around and it certainly encourages over-ordering, only because i can't help myself. 
A new range of hand-made dim sum has been introduced and you could order them off the menu. The creatively presented Min Jiang Land and Sea Quartet ($16.80/order) features a rabbit-shaped Steamed Prawn and Carrot Dumpling, accompanied by Deep-fried Pork ‘Char Siew’ and Pine Nuts in Glutinous Pastry fashioned like a carrot. Alongside are a Steamed Squid and Sea Cucumber Dumpling and Steamed Prawn and Chinese Stem Lettuce with Tobiko Dumpling formed like a sea cucumber and starfish respectively. This is perfect for the single diner who wants a variety of dimsum. 
Missing some Tokyo Tendon? Well Tempura Tendon Tenya, Japan's No. 1 Tendon chain restaurant, has landed on our shores with their Orchard Central outlet, the first of many to come. Established in 1989 in Asakusa in Tokyo, the tempura specialist is known for its value-for-money meals.
Dig into a bowl of glistening Masshigura Aomori rice adorned with perfectly battered and fried pieces of seafood, meat or vegetables tempura, drizzled with an umami tare glazing sauce with the perfect viscosity, priced from $7.90. 

The price is surprising because most of the ingredients are sourced from Japanese producers to ensure the highest quality bite, starting from their special blend of wheat flour for their tempura, to the customized blend of tare sauce with soy, dashi and grilled eel essence (from traditional soy sauce maker Kinoene Shoyu) and down to their togarashi chilli. 
Precision is key to the perfectly fried tempura. With a patented Automatic Fryer, Tenya is able to produce consistent tempura without an experienced chef, at the speed of 1000 pieces of tempura per hour! That's how you can get cooked-to-order tempura at Tenya Singapore. 
Easily one of my favorite Chinese restaurants, Man Fu Yuan at InterContinental Singapore has always provided finessed plates of comforting traditional dishes which bring together the family. Their latest menu by Executive Chinese Chef Aaron Tan has spiced things up with innovative techniques along with smoke and fire, providing diners with a multi-sensory experience. 
We started with a luxurious honey-glazed bbq Duroc pork belly char siew ($28 per serving) which was topped with caviar and gold flakes. The meat was served cold but the flavors were robust. I would have preferred a warm piece so that the fats would be creamier. 
The chilled Fanny Bay oysters in hua diao wine, ikura, bonito shoyu ($24/3pcs) was a stunning appetizer and is definitely my preferred way of enjoying the plump shellfish. Served in a cloud of tea-infused smoke, the presentation is certainly to impressed a corporate client but the dish is more than that. The refreshing yuzu dressing provided a touch of sweetness which enhanced the briny freshness of the creamy flesh. 
The braised beef short ribs, wild mushrooms, spicy sauce in lotus leaf ($68) is best eaten with a bucket of rice, which we regretfully did not have. That braising sauce had amassed all the goodness from the chicken mushrooms, morels and the gelatinous meat. The dish is served in a salt crust and flambéed with peppercorn for a very slight fragrance (hardly noticeable) but it was more theatrics than for flavor enhancement.