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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Eleven Madison Park NYC

I'm usually at a loss when people ask me what's my favorite/best meals. 1. I dine out way too much 2. I find myself increasingly hard to be impressed 3. I've a memory of a gold fish. I don't seek out life changing experiences when it comes to food and traveling, I think people try too hard to find them and set too high an expectation, which usually ends up in disappointment or self delusion that that's the best simply because you went out of the way/paid an arm or a leg just to experience it (and that was a terribly long sentence). I'm not judging btw, it's partly self reflection.

Back to the question on favorite/best meals. It's so much easier to pick favorite ones from my travels because they're more precious. Plus it's a combination of my 2 most favorite things. So the absolute best from New York City under the Michelin star category, I present Eleven Madison Park.
Eleven Madison Park is a 3 Michelin star restaurant, also S.Pellagrino top 50 restaurants in the world. Not that these accolades mean everything.The other 3 stars like Daniel and Per Se were simply underwhelming. EMP however, just kept blowing my mind course after course (there were 13!). To me, it was like going to the theatre and watching a play. What's lovely is that the multi-course tasting menu focuses on the agricultural bounty of New York and its culinary traditions.
The gorgeous backdrop of the park, the spacious dining room and the pampering and impeccable service by the attentive and warm staff, also contributed to the overall dining experience. EMP is possibly the first fine dining restaurant that I felt absolutely at home in.

Of course, the food played a large part! I'm sorry if there's not gonna be much description. Remember I have the memory of a goldfish?

Cheddar- Savory Black and White Cookie with Apple. EMP totally get that desserts are the best appetizers. Loved that crumble.

Oyster- Wood Sorrel, Buckwheat and Mignonette.

Asparagus- Custard with Caviar and Rhubarb.
Surf Clam- Fava Bean, Meyer Lemon, and Green Garlic. Ethereal mousse on top of the sweet clam.

Littleneck Clam. This is EMP's interpretation of a Long Island Clam Bake. I love that the dish had different components to it. Clambake with Whelk, Parker House Roll, and a light chowder served in a teapot.
Channeling my inner Japanese domestic goddess here.

Foie Gras- Seared with Pencil Asparagus and Potato Souttle. The best way to cook foie gras is to sear it. Really.

Carrot- Tartare with Rye Bread and Condiments. I was anticipating this dish throughout the meal because I saw how it was done at the other tables! The waiter would first affix a meat finder to the table and then insert some really fresh carrots (with leafy heads!) for grinding. We were presented with a selection of condiments for us to construct our own dish. Well I just mixed everything up. #notthatcreative
Lovely bread rolls with butter that I could devour on its own.

Lobster- Poached with Snap Peas, Morels, and Sweetbreads. Flavors from the garden and the sea.

Nettles- Creamed with Fingerling Potato and Goat Cheese. Tastes of spring.
Beef-ore and After.

Beef- Grilled with Mushrooms, Amaranth. See that little piece of marrow?

The rest of the Bone Marrow went into this dish. Bone Marrow Braised Oxtail with Foie Gras and Potato. Savory, creamy and delightful.

Celery Root- Creme Cake with Apple Sorbet, Walnut, and White Pepper. I was honestly way too stuffed but there's always space for desserts.

We took away the Chocolate Pretzel covered with Sea Salt and the Sweet Black and White Cookie with Apricot for our picnic in Central Park.
I loved the Muesli Granola that was given to us at the end of the meal. I rationed this for the longest time because they were the perfect savory and sweet snack ever.

S and i have different takes on our meal at EMP. Him being the practical guy thought it was a long drawn meal affair (it took us close to 3h) which also happened to be really expensive (it's US$225/pax before tax and gratuity). I on the other hand was reveling in the theatrics of the entire dining experience. A play plus a really good meal would amount to that price as well. Perhaps the ladies would enjoy this much better (my gf loved it too).

So if you feel like splurging on a really good meal, go to Eleven Madison Park. It may not be life changing but it may possibly be the best fine dining experience in NYC.

Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010, United States
Tel: +1 212-889-0905

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Beast, A Southern Brunch

I've been dying to find a Southern meal in Singapore e.g. Chicken & waffles or biscuits & gravy for breakfast but nothing seemed to have met my expectations. Well, i finally checked out the new Sunday Brunch at The Beast. Southern comfort food say what! It's time to get started thinking about bacon maple glazed doughnuts and lotsa bourbon. 
Located just a step away from my other favorite brunch spot Symmetry, The Beast is a Southern Kitchen & Bourbon Bar. I've noticed it for a while but didn't feel like i could stomach such a meaty meal. With their $20/ hour all-you-can-drink Mimosas and a Do-it-Yourself Bloody Mary bar, it was hard to resist brunching here. 
So we went with our empty stomachs in preparation for a huge meal ahead. 
For starters, make sure you order yourself some Cornbread ($6). I love this one! It's way better than Kenny Rogers corn muffin which sometimes has these really strange chewy corn kernels. Expect a nice brown crust with a fragrant corn perfume. Make sure you dip into the maple syrup. 

Chicken and Waffles ($20) cannot be missed as well. Ok mainly the Southern fried chicken cannot be missed. The waffles are an afterthought (it was bland and thin) but that massive juicy chicken steak was flavorful and addictive. I still can't get over how much fried chicken i ate. The bourbon maple butter sauce added that little alcoholic bitterness and light sweetness to the overall flavor.

The Pulled Pork Hash ($18) features a 10 hour pulled pork with bbq sauce that wasn't too overpowering. BBQ sauce has got to be my least favorite sauce of all time but this was quite enjoyable. The poached egg gave the dish a nice yolky moisture which made it even tastier. I could imagine this dish being made into a sandwich a la momofuku style.
Biscuits are a huge part of Soul food and so we had to have the Sausage Biscuit ($18). It came with buttermilk biscuit, sausage patty, truffled mushrooms, swiss cheese and a sunny side up. The sausage gravy was sinfully flavorful (you really don't wanna know how gravy is made), but the biscuit and sausage were on the bland side. On the whole, it was sufficiently tasty. 
Bacon Maple Glazed doughnut ($5) was of a lovely density and had a nice crispy shell. It may be a little oily, and it also had that hint of oily taste but it's such comfort food! I couldn't help taking a few more bites.
Our other dessert was the Mississippi Mudpie ($14). Well it's just boring ice cream really. It's not that it isn't tasty, but we were too stuffed to tackle my preferred Bourbon Pecan Pie with fig and honey ice cream ($12).
We had an awesome time at The Beast. Food is really the highlight here. But be warned, make sure you keep the entire day free because you wouldn't be able to get out of that food induced coma after the meal. The good news is that you only need one meal for the day. Heh.
The booze that we had were less than adequate however. Skip the sangria for it was way too diluted for me. The Mimosa was ok but it was more OJ than white sparkling wine. But I guess it works out ok if you do the 1h free flow version.
So yea, be sure to check out The Beast. This is surely where I'd be headed if I have a Chicken and Waffle craving.

The Beast
17 Jalan Klapa, Singapore 199329
Mon – Thu: 5pm - midnight
Fri – Sat: 5pm – 1am 
Sun: 10am - 5pm

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Royal Mail Bar and Restaurant

Little bites with drinks are all the rage. We're not stranger to Spanish tapas and Sangria, Italian Cicchetti with wine, so how about some British inspired tapas with specialty cocktails? The Royal Mail Bar, the extended beverage arm of The Royal Mail Restaurant, has recently launched its new cocktail menu, along with some yummy morsels to tantalize us social drinkers.
The Royal Mail Bar's new bar grub menu was improved to complement their new drinks. My take on the pairing? Hmm... Well let's discuss them separately for now. First, the drinks.
Agent 006 ($18)- a flaming mojito with a burning stream of Bacardi 151. Kinda strong for me. I couldn't take more than a few sips.
Plum Job ($18), a Vodka and Sprite concoction with sour plum powder. Another really strong drink but also really sweet. It tasted very much like a sour plum juice.
Wrong Side of the Bed ($18) is what i'd call a dirty espresso, shaken up with Vodka, Kahlua and Baileys. This was kinda bland for me.
With Timeless English ($18), two classics are cohesively melded — earl grey tea and the classic martini drink. The drink is very light, and all the lot, i found this the most palatable.
We sampled all the bar bites from the menu just so that you wouldn't end up eating the wrong things. I wouldn't quite consider Garlic bread ($8, half loaf) to be a bar bite but this is served at The Royal Mail and it's really yummeh. I loved how crispy and savory it was.
The straight cut fries ($12) are exceptional here and they are served with a rich and tasty truffle mayonnaise that had us double dipping the whole night. What's awesome is that the fries remained crispy for a good part of the night.
For the meats, i found the Sauteed Chorizo Sausages ($16) to be decent even though they're really fatty. The tomato concasse with saffron and chili was lovely as well though some may find the mix to be rather salty.

The Cubed Beef (Prime Roast 140g, $28) was decently done though i found the steak to be kinda oily. This was served with a Spicy Crab Tomato sauce which is interesting on its own but strange with the steak (no i don't take ketchup with my meat). Skip the empty Béarnaise sauce.

The BBQ Sweet and Spicy Meatballs ($14) was sweet, no thanks to the raspberry jam. Again, i prefer my meat savory, not sweet.

The other bar bites were either too plain (tortilla chips, shrimp paste drumlets) or really bleargh (sweet potato chips and calamari rings) and should certainly be condemned.
If you need something more substantial, i'd say go for that Beer Battered Fish and Chips ($18). Even though our first plate was not thoroughly cooked, we gave it a second chance (they quickly replaced it) because it's generously packed with real fish instead of stodgy batter.
This is certainly one of the better fish and chips around. Oh and it came with a stack of fries too! Make sure you upgrade it to the truffle mayonnaise! I'd certainly come back here if i have a fish and chips craving!

Anyhoo, we heard that the TRM Classic Beef Burger ($22) is also very popular.

Back to whether the bar grub complements the drinks? Well the food isn't refined enough for cocktails but it would certainly work well with an ice cold beer.

Happy Hour at The Royal Mail Bar is from 5pm to 8pm, where all specialty cocktails go for $10 each, and 1-for-1 House Pour (Gentlemen’s Pour 45ml) go for $15.

The Royal Mail Restaurant and Bar
2 Finlayson Green, Ascott Raffles Place, Singapore 049247
Tel: +65 65093589
Bar: 3 - 11pm daily

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Savour a Lipton Moment

When life gives you lemons, you whip out your cocktail shaker and make yourself a mean lemon tea cocktail (lemonade are for kiddos). I recently rekindled my love with Lipton, a brand that i grew up on but like any childhood friendship, we drifted apart. Well that is till i realized how much has changed with his outlook i.e. flavors.
I was introduced to the many possibili-teas by George Young, who worked with The Cufflink Club to create 18 recipes of the best Mocktail and Cocktail mixes using a variety of Lipton products. 
Of course we had to work for our drinks. It made me believe that i possess bartending potential. Hmm..
Here's the Lipton Fruitea Red Crush which is made from raspberries, strawberries, Lipton Forest Fruits Tea, Vodka, Honey syrup and lemon juice.
Looks pretty decent hur? This is a great cooler for summer days aka everyday in Singapore. Woohoo.
I liked the Lipton Maple Twist which is a grape based drink with Lipton Yellow Label Tea, Maple syrup, lemon juice and plum bitters. Well, i'd say add in your choice of poison!
George's favorite tea is the Lipton Mo-Tea-To, a refreshing twist on the mojito. This is made using the Lipton Refreshing Mint Tea.
Other than drinking tea, you can also eat your tea. Told you i take caffeine in all forms. These tea infused desserts were amazing.

Did someone say Lipton Russian Earl Grey creme brulee??
So as you can tell, there's plenty you can do with Lipton teas. Check out the recipes on http://www.liptontea.com/recipes for more inspiration! Or if you're too lazy, try a different way of drinking your tea today! Here's my tea in milk.
Steam your milk and then steep your tea in it. It's perfect if you need your calcium booster. Warning- Not for the lactose intolerant! 
Enjoy your Lipton Moment!