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.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Five Leaves, Brooklyn NYC

The New Yorker weekend begins in hipster enclave Williamsburg NYC with a quintessential hipster brunch. Or if you are the free spirited artist, that's how you begin every morning. Five Leaves is where i'd be headed to for a great start to the day. This small neighborhood spot draws the crowd from Manhattan and the wait could go up to 1.5h easily. Some interesting history with this one- it was opened with the backing of the late Heath Ledger in 2009 (he died before the cafe bar was opened).
We waited for a bit despite it being a weekday but was rewarded with the smell of strong brews and delicious breakfast food when we stepped into the cosy cafe bar. Expect refined Australian comfort food (very similar to NYC comfort food) made from fresh, organic, sustainable, locally sourced products. Of course it has to be, it's hipster.

The brews are made with Wandering Goat Coffee Co. beans from Eugene, Oregon, a small specialty coffee roaster. The huge and strong cuppa, which was served promptly, made my eyes light up at once.

Wanting the best of all worlds, I ordered the Big Breakkie ($13) which came with 2 eggs of my choice (organic, free range), hash browns, whole wheat toast and choice of 2 sides. I choice my favorite avocado and gave the thick cut bacon a go. This was perfection on a plate. Beautifully folded scrambled egg that looked like a yellow rose in full bloom, addictive home made hash browns that were the best i've tasted and bacon steak (not crisps)! As much as i wanted to finish it all, i could hardly get through half the American sized portion! 

S had the Ricotta Pancakes ($13) with honeycomb butter, banana, blueberries, strawberries served with 100% maple syrup. This dish is so absolutely decadent! Plump fluffy disks of batter complemented by that ZOMFG honeycomb butter. Nothing in Singers is comparable to this stack of heaven. We only managed 1.5 pancakes between the 2 of us!

There's quite a fair selection of healthier eats like fruit salad, house made granola toasted perfectly, muesli and oats. Breakfast is served till past noon. Those looking for something more substantial, word is that the Five Leaves Burger ($15) is so insanely wicked. Packed with grass-fed beef, house pickled beets, harissa mayo and sunny up egg, it is impossibly hard to tackle even with bear paws but that hasn't stop anyone from trying. 

Come nightfall, hit the bar with oysters served w/ rice wine mignonette ($15 for half doz) and all sorts of alcoholic concoction. Five Leaves open till 1am daily so your cravings will be satisfied anytime.
Would certainly be headed back to Five Leaves for more hipster breakfasts!

Five Leaves
18 Bedford Avenue (Lorimer Street), Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NYC
Tel: 718 383 5345
Daily: 8am - 1am

D'Good Cafe

D'Good Cafe is a whimsical spot to swing your worries away, right smack in the heart of Holland Village. It sits in a funky shop house unit that has 2 entrances and the layout reminded me of that children story about a house in a boot with many children (uh huh i really don't have much of a childhood).

D'Good Cafe specializes in single-origin coffee beans, which are roasted in-house. The owner is some crazy coffee fanatic and you can get your Ethiopian, Guatemalan, Jamaican beans done the siphon, drip, pour-over or espresso way. You wouldn't be able to miss the Elektra espresso machine at the counter! If you're up for something more exotic, there's the famous Kopi Luwak (civet coffee) from the Wahana Estate in Sumatra for $38 a pop. You can also make your own blend here at D'Good Cafe too.
Here's what we had. The Prawn Aglio Olio ($16) was a little on the dry side, especially after it cooled a little (it became clumpy). I thought it could use a little more salt but it's certainly quite well flavored. The prawns were nicely done and crunchy.

I liked the Bacon Carbonara ($15) more than the previous pasta. It's creamy (more on the milky side) and certainly more satisfying (only if you like cream). Generous portions of bacon too. It would be perfect with some fried bacon bit and an egg.
The Eggs Benedict ($13.50) was a sad sad portion. I was terribly disappointed by it in fact. The brioche was nice but was too thinly sliced. As a result, it was soaked through by the eggs. Too much vinegar was used in poaching the eggs and that contributed to the papery texture of the whites and that acidic taste. Holladaise sauce was weak too. Certainly not something i'd recommend ordering. Add on $3 to the breakfast sets for a Latte that is well balanced with a nice crema. 
I must say we were all happy with our choice of caffeine. The Earl Grey Lavender Latte ($7) was aromatic without being overpowering. I'm fearful of lavender because it just smells and tastes a little like air freshener but this was just right. The Caramel Hot Chocolate ($7.50) will satisfy your sweet tooth because it's on the sweet side but i found the chocolate a tad artificial. The foam had somewhat of a brulee texture which was interesting. And if you like latte art, they do a lot of cute animal prints.

We concluded that the best part of the meal was the maple sea salt cheesecake ($9). You cannot miss this smokey sweet and creamy cheesecake. The cheese was rich but not too heavy and it went perfectly with the crunchy and compact graham crust. I suspect a lot of butter went into it but it's awesome. Repeat after me: Butter is awesome (especially salted ones).
The highly instagrammable swing area. Which K made us go on. 
D'Good Cafe also has a rooftop area for alfresco dining. This would be perfect at night or on an extremely cool day. Pretty isn't it?
I'd certainly be back for more cheesecake. Tried the Strawberry Cheesecake and it just didn't cut it after the mindblowingly good maple sea salt one. Enjoy this one!

D'Good Cafe
273 Holland Avenue #02-01/02, Singapore 278992
Tel: +65 6219 9807
Mon - Thu, Sun: 10am - 10pm
Fri - Sat: 10am- 11pm


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Lawn- Meat Your Greens

There is no trick to staying skinny, it's a lot of exercise and watching your diet. Well with my hectic food blogging schedule and essentially my love for food, i make it a point to eat healthy on weekdays and i turn to salads for lunch! I love them because they are healthy and fresh and I also love preparing them myself. But if you don't have time to make your own, then check out The Lawn, the only Specialty Grill & Salad Café in Singapore
The grills are what make The Lawn different from the other salad spots. If you are a salad virgin, The Lawn helps with that veggie anxiety with their selection of savory and delicious grilled meats and seafood. Eating green doesn't mean that you gotta sacrifice on taste! So go Meat your Greens!

1. Choose Your Base
Salad ($9.90 with 5 toppings and dressings) or Olive Rice ($8.90 with Side Salad and dressings).

2. Choose your Grills (additional costs $3 to $5).
There's Chicken (teriyaki is good, the rest were on the dry side), Pacific Dory (butter seared with parsley rocks), Char-grilled Garlic Prawns (MUST ORDER), Beef (quite tasty too but has some tendons), Duck (please remove the skin) and Balsamico Fresh Asparagus & Eggplant and Mushrooms (salty but shiok) for the vegetarian.

3. Choose Your Dressings
Now this is a tough one. There are 12 sauces to pick from. And since i tried all, here's what i liked:
Red Island- A lovely sundried tomato puree, garlic and basil paste. It would be great on tartines!
Maple Peanut- I would liken this to a light satay sauce with the a red wine vinaigrette base. Really lovely.
Manly Mango- A tangy sweet sauce that complements duck and prawns.
Wasahonie- It has more honey than wasabi so it wouldn't kill you. Great with prawns too.
Perky Sesame Ginger- Think Chinese Ginger sauce that is perfect with chicken.
Honeyball- Honey and dijon mustard, you can't go wrong with this.
Me So Spicy- For that fiery kick, this spicy chilli and sambal belachan combination will shock you into being. This is good on a bit of your grills, not all of it though.

4. Choose Your Toppings (for salads only)
There're currently 28 to choose from which can be a headache if you like everything (like me). Now check out my creations! 
Grilled Garlic Prawn Salad. With Tofu, Granola, Cheddar, Chestnut and Cous Cous. I loved the spicy garlic prawns a la aglio olio style. If you pick granola, make sure you choose a saucy sauce so that the granola wouldn't be too dry. The chestnuts are absolutely yummeh.
Grilled Black Pepper Duck Breast Salad. With Pasta (Fusilli), Corn, Alfafa Sprouts, Parmesan and Cashew Nuts.

Love the umami of the parmesan. The pairing the duck with mango sauce is simply heavenly but the duck could be more pink. Make sure you remove the skin!
Ben's Beef Rub with Olive Rice. I love the preserved olive vegetables with rice! It may not be the healthiest considering that it's preserved in oil and there's plenty of carbs but this would be great for friends who are just not that into vegetables. Would love a brown rice option though! The beef cubes were a little tough too. 

The Lawn previously operated out of the Biopolis outlet but they have added another store at AXA Tower in Shenton Way. If you are in a rush for time and are too lazy to create your own salad, there are a couple of planned salads for $12.90-$13.90. My advice? Grab a few of their order forms and keep them in office and you can plan your salad before lunch. :)
The Lawn
@ 31 Biopolis Way #01-07, Nanos, Singapore 138669
Tel: +65 6478 9739
Weekdays: 11.15am - 9pm
Sun: 10am - 4pm

@ 8 Shenton Way #B1-11, AXA Tower, Singapore 068811
Tel: +65 6534 8749
Weekdays: 10.30am - 9pm

Friday, April 11, 2014

Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

Hello from the Travelerintransit. I promised a report on my weekend staycation at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport so here it is! Honestly the weekend flew by so quickly because S and i were both feeling so relaxed in the tropical resort environment of the hotel and before i knew it we had to check out. BAH. Anyway take a look at what Crowne Plaza has to offer! And really, it's the best transit hotel ever.
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport takes on a Contemporary Asia theme which focuses a lot on the tropics. There are plenty of open and green spaces which remove all that strain from traveling (and work in our case). I couldn't believe we were in an airport hotel when i stepped into our 75sqm King Suite. Boy the space was huge. Love the huge windows that allow natural light to flood the room in the day.
I love the soothing colors of the room and it's really similar to the new leather upholstery of my favorite carrier Singapore Airlines. The typical deluxe rooms are 36sqm and all rooms come with a 1.8m work desk and an iPod docking station. The rooms function equally as a space to rest and recuperate or as a working space for the travelling executive. The difference with the Suite is that there's an additional living area, everything else is the same. 

Our comfortable King Bed that sleeps like a cloud. What you're not seeing is the walk-in wardrobe that's in the same section of the room! :)

I cannot believe that all the rooms come equipped with a bathtub. That's sheer luxury for city hotels and it's big enough for 2! Wink wink.
There's also a separate standing rain shower. 
Love the refreshing citrusy scent of the bath products from The White Company. All your toiletries needs would be accommodated.
Here is my favorite part of our suite. Pool access from our bedroom! 
It walks straight out to the 30m landscaped outdoor swimming pool. 

From everywhere in the public areas, there is contact with lush gardens – including surprising views upwards to rainforest trees through a water covered skylight.

I left S to take a short nap while i explored the hotel. Here's the Crowne Plaza Club which is created exclusively for frequent business travelers with their personalized service and host of special privileges and amenities available daily from 6.30am to 11pm. 
Business travelers could work from the Crowne Plaza Club Lounge comfortably. There are Internet workstation and meeting rooms for booking, as well as photocopying and faxing facilities. Complimentary WIFI access is also available.
All day coffee, tea, juices, mineral water, soft drinks and a selection of cookies are available. Of course i helped myself to some cookies while waiting for S to hit the gym with me. 
Enjoying some me time with some fresh juice. Staying indoors to protect my skin from the harsh sun. :P
Vitamin C ftw! Into the tummy, and onto my skin. The DRx Clinic folks would approve. Heh. 
The secret to staying slim is hard work at the gym. Squeezed in a heart pumping run and some yoga stretches at the small but adequate fitness center. Love how the machines are all so new and fancy. Always work on even when traveling i say! 
Another Club perk is the daily evening drinks and canapes from 5.30 to 7.30pm. They have my favorite Wensleydale Cranberry Cheese!
Well for small tummies like mine, these are actually sufficient as a proper dinner. Mini sandwiches, puffs and dim sum, along with artisan toast and cheese and a good selection of desserts, you hardly need to eat after.  
If you require a proper meal, there are several places you could eat at in Crowne Plaza Changi Airport. I would recommend Imperial Treasures for their consistently good chinese cuisine. For international fare, you may want to consider Azur, which provides buffet as well a la carte meals. Read my previous review of Azur here.

We had the Black Angus Buffet which was their promotion then. Hits and misses. We preferred the fresh seafood section though.
Lovely king and snow crabs. S made me shell all the prawns and crabs for him! I'm certainly very marriageable by Singaporean men standards. Hur hur. The plump oysters were really good too, probably Canadian or Australian. 
Post dinner exploration of my favorite airport in the world and then back to the pool to chill out. Beware of mozzies though. They bite the sweet ones. ;)
Morning rise and shine! Had a great night's rest and woke to breakfast served at the Club Lounge. They serve breakfast daily from 6.30am to 10.30am. The spread in the lounge is probably not as great as that at Azur (where we could have eaten breakfast at) but it's quieter at the Lounge and certainly more relaxing with the pool view.
A perfectly portion controlled breakfast for Ms Skinnyfat. Adequate eggs, lovely mushroom ragout with zucchini, juicy sausages and my favorite cheese. 
Back to chilling out after breakfast. Planning the next travel while on vacation is my thing to do. Then it's the gym again and back to the bathtub. The Travelerintransit is always on the go really. I'm too Type A to stay still. Heh. 
We really enjoyed our stay at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport and i was so reluctant to leave (i wouldn't mind leaving on a plane though). CP is currently having a Great Value Package till end Apr 2014 and it includes breakfast for 2, complimentary internet and $40 nett non-cumulative F&B credit for use in Azur, Lobby Lounge and bar '75 (not valid for in-room dining). You need to book your package 14 days in advance though and you can book it here at http://goo.gl/Mzh4ZR. Prices start from $290 and Club Access is an additional $100 per night.

Thank you Crowne Plaza Changi Airport for this wonderful staycation! Till the next one.

xoxo
Travelerintransit

Crowne Plaza Changi Airport
75 Airport Boulevard
Singapore 819664
Tel: +65 6823 5300

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Axis Bar & Lounge Easter Tea


Happy Easter Month of April 2014! Back at my favorite tea spot for Easter Tea and it's no other than Axis Bar & Lounge at Mandarin Oriental Singapore. I've always been impressed with Axis Bar's all rounded 3 tiered classic afternoon tea (read it here) and was delighted to know they introduced something new for Easter. More excuses to head back. :)

This time we were seated in a small private section that gave us a partial view of the Marina.
This seats 4 comfortably but could accommodate more if necessary. 

Here's a look at the menu. There's a selection of Mariage Frères and TWG teas. I had the White Night Jasmine which had a soothing jasmine perfume. Very light and fragrant tea. Coffee is also available but what's Tea without tea yea?

We started with the Cherry Blossoms Champagne Jelly which was rather bland and missing everything champagne. But once the food started coming, we forgot about that misstep.
From left to right. The Egg salad sandwich with watercress had a nice creamy texture. I loved the Lump crab meat and avocado sandwich which was 1/3 part sweet crab meat. Bresaola and gem lettuce mini wrap with cheddar and the cucumber and cream cheese sandwich were fillers but they didn't do that bad on their own either.
More savory stuff! From top to bottom: Poached lobster with coriander mango salsa. The Carbonara Eggs en Cocotte deserves a highlight. Loved the garlic carbonara sauce at the bottom of the egg. Mix everything together and slurp it down. Satisfaction guaranteed! The Duck rilette and foie gras mousse terrine was also delightful. 

The scones made my day and i devoured my share before Stupidgirl finished her first. Oh but that wonderful crunchy buttery goodness was just irresistible. There were 2 flavors, a Strawberry yogurt scone and a Citrus peel and Tahitian vanilla scone. I preferred the strawberry yogurt which was lightly sweetened and was good on its own. BUT i can't resist smearing it with the lovely clotted cream! And there's also the slightly tart lemon curd and the fresh raspberry jam.  

For puffs, we had the Easter ham and green pea pie and the Chicken and potato turnover. These are ok items though I preferred those on the regular menu.

ON TO THE SWEETS!
The fancy macaron with pear liquor fillings has a popping surprise in it. You gotta try it to find out. I went gaga over the presentation of the edible Easter egg basket with gianduja chocolates.

The big one had an amazing caramel filling! 
Kids will go nuts over the Vanilla financier with rhubarb marmalade and the Easter Carrot Cupcake. Too cute to eat really. This is more for presentation than eating though..

Blueberry and black currants cremeux mini gateau and Sable almond berries fruit tart. The mini gateau had a light berry tartness that blended well with the bitter dark chocolate. I also enjoyed the buttery sable.

Can't think of a better way to celebrate Easter! The Easter Tea will run for the month of April 2014 and it costs $42 per person ($80 for two). Hope you enjoy this! 
Thank you Mandarin Oriental for the invitation!

Axis Bar & Lounge
5 Raffles Avenue, Mandarin Oriental
Singapore 039797
Tel: +65 6885 3098
Daily Afternoon Tea: 3pm–5pm
Additional seating on weekends: 12.30 - 2.30pm