Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Birds of a Feather, one of my favorite restaurant, has added new items to their awesome menu and they have also started their weekend brunch! WHEEEEE! Seriously guys, if you haven't tried their contemporary Western-Sichuan offering, you really should go now. Check out my earlier food review of Birds of a Feather here
While the first launch menu stuck with the more known flavors of Ma (numbing) and La (spicy), the have now introduced more complex sichuan flavors into the dishes! 
Starting with the small plates, how about a chilled Pig Ear Mosaic ($18)? I don't eat pig ears but these braised pig ears served cold with Sichuan red and sour dressing, and arrowroot noodles were pretty tasty, that's if you get past the squeamishness of the ears. My favorite was the chewy cold noodles with the numbing spice (ma la) sauce. 
One of my favorite Sichuan flavors is the salty garlic sauce. The Baby Octopus with Classic Sichuan Garlic Sauce ($18). Instead of the usual sliced pork which may be dryish, a blanched baby octopus is used instead. It's a good cold dish to start with and i loved the crunch from the black fungus.
Trust me, we all need that well-deserved break from weekend retail therapy and there's no better place to rest your legs and pockets at Hilton Singapore! They have just launched their new Endless Saturday High Tea at D9 Cakery
High tea at a cakery? Sounds like sweet stuff. Well there are sufficient savory bites IMO. Though the selection is not wide, i must say they are quality stuff that will satisfy. 
I love the buns here. Definitely the Pulled Pork Sliders (love the good balance of sweetness and tartness of the meat, sandwiched between fluffy buns) and Pork Floss Curry Pork Bun (remember to add on more of chef's house-made curry and more floss).
Hilton does the best hotel satays in Singapore I SWEAR. They are even better than Pan Pacific Edge's. I say it's among the best i've tasted in Singapore too. 
Super chunky, juicy, tender and well flavored!
The Laksa is quite lemak too! The surprise was the Liu Sha Bao (the skin is so fluffy and the tasty salted egg lava flows). Something special from the savory section is the Swiss Raclette that goes on top of your potatoes or focaccia. Honestly i don't get the hype because the cheese coagulates quickly. I'd rather have a selection of cheeses. 
Fall into a sweet coma with the six-meter showcase brimming with a selection of desserts highlighting artisanal cake creations all made using premium imported ingredients. Here, you get the bite size portions of the typical slices sold at D9. I say it's definitely a great way to help you find your favorite bakes! The chocolate fudge was a hit, i enjoyed the banana walnut loaf, and the pralines are great too. Plus there are the famous Hilton cheesecakes in pop size! They also have pretty desserts in jars too. 

Whatever you do, make sure you pop a few more of their macarons. THESE ARE DAMN GOOD. Nice crust (breaks a tad too easily) with dense flavorful ganache fillimg. Absolutely love the salted caramel one, and coffee, and chocolate, and lemon... Sorry no photos because they are all in my tummy!
Afternoon tea is incomplete without freshly baked Vanilla and Raisin scones with clotted cream. I love these perfect bite sized scones that have a nice crust on the outside and sticky density on the inside. Plus that clotted cream is yums!! Definitely one of the better scones around town.
The afternoon tea experience is complete with over ten handpicked selections of TWG tea blends. This Saturdate experience can be enjoyed at $41/pax with free flow coffee and TWG tea. Top up an additional $35 for bottomless rounds of sparkling wine, selected beer, white and red wines.

Hilton Endless Saturday High Tea at D9 Cakery
Lobby Level, Hilton Singapore
581 Orchard Road Singapore 238883
Sat: 12 - 2.30pm, 3 - 5pm 
The word “superfood” has always struck me as a marketing gimmick designed to justify a premium for plain-tasting, strange-looking food. The latest case in point: the Quinoa, a bland, textureless mini-grain that resembles the head of a red ant; at least, (I was told) red ants have quite a complex flavour. Quinoa, on the other hand, does nothing to food except to make it look Instagram-worthy.
I was therefore suitably skeptical when I was recently invited to a tasting session featuring chia seeds. The Chia, like the Quinoa, has all the trappings of an overpriced superfood. It is very bland and looks very, very strange (tadpoles without tails? mini eyeballs?). It also has a supremely weird texture – think slimy multiplied by the number of chia seeds you happen to dump into your mouth. But the session was to be held at Yan and Yan is nice, so I decided to give chia a chance.

The tasting session was hosted by Mr Freddy Yap, boss of home-grown health food label Superior Brand. During the session, he spoke with passion about the importance of eating healthily – something he felt strongly about because of his brush with bad health a few years ago. He introduced us to Superior’s house blend of chia seeds, a formulation of 5 varieties of seeds sourced from Mexico and Peru for their rich nutrient contents and superior health qualities: I have always known that the seeds can reportedly lower cholesterol levels or high blood pressure, or have high fiber content; what I did not know is that they are also a great source of omega-3 fats.

For all their purported qualities, the Superior Brand Chia Seeds ($18/bag) does not stand out for its taste. During the tasting session, the chefs at Yan sprinkled chia seeds onto my main of roasted BBQ spare rib and all over my bowl of rice soup with crab meat. We were also asked to drop a tablespoon of chia seeds into our cups of hot tea. The chia seeds do not improve or affect the taste of the food. What they do, however, is to enhance the nutritional quality of your food. And it is precisely due to its blandness that the chia seeds are versatile enough to be served alongside pretty much whatever one is having.
What about the slimy texture? Mr Yap has that covered. Superior’s chia seeds are processed using a unique micro-slicing method which allows each seed to be cut extra-thin while frozen. The benefits are multifold – none of the nutrients are lost because very little heat is generated during micro-slicing, unlike the milling method typically used for chia seeds. Also, the minute size of the micro-sliced chia seeds enable quick and easy absorption by the body, and in turn, faster delivery of nutrients. Most importantly to me, though, was the fact that the chia seeds had lost the slimy texture I expected after micro-slicing. The finished product looked more like black sesame or pepper than mini-eyeballs, which was a great plus as well.

Mr Yap recommends 2 to 3 teaspoons of chia seeds daily, to be used as a meal replacement or supplement. To ensure quality and freshness, his Superior chia seeds are packed in small, handy packets that come with its own Ziploc. Each bag can last about a month if consumed daily. I am a convert – my new morning ritual is to sprinkle the chia seeds over my morning cereal!
Superior is better known for their Premium Bird’s Nests ($960/200g of dried bird’s nest or $158 for 2 bowls of double-boiled bird’s nest), which came from Superior’s own swiftlet house in Malaysia. I am no expert on bird’s nest, but even I can tell that this was different from the usual stuff that comes in a small glass bottle that one can get from a traditional Chinese herbal shop (or worse, in a tetra-pak). 
For one, the bird’s nest (served with rock sugar syrup) does not have any plastic-like texture that I would associate with unnatural or manufactured products. What I had instead was silky and smooth, with just a bit of bounciness. The bird’s nest also came as long strands, not small broken bits and chunks. What was even more remarkable, though, was the taste. Typically, bird’s nest takes on the flavor of whatever liquid it happens to be cooked with. In this case, the bird’s nest has a subtle and pleasant hint of egg-white, which goes along nicely with the rock-sugar broth. It was certainly a very enjoyable and luxurious bowl of bird’s nest!
To find out more about Superior’s products, do check out http://finestfood.com.sg or #superiorfoodsasia From now till 15 May 2017, get 10% off your online purchase when you key in the code 'super0517' upon checking out your items! Time to get mummy some goodness! 

-Patrick
Ever walked into a whisky bar and got the daylight scared out of you because there are hundreds of bottles to pick from; you don't know what to order; and you happen to the only female in a room full of old men who all seem to know their stuff? Well The Wall at Tanjong Pagar aims to re-orientate the world of whisky drinking in Singapore, by making it friendlier, more accessible, more instantly enjoyable. 
It's a whisky education here at The Wall. A whisky tasting chart, indicating the characteristics of whiskies, from delicate to smoky, from light to rich, helps guide drinkers in selecting the type of flavor profiles that will suit their palates. Top-quality whiskies by the glass are offered on the finely curated list, at very friendly prices starting from $14 per glass, with whisky flights starting at $37. There's no need to invest in a bottle unless you are sure that you like it. 

Even if you are not into the spirit, it's interesting to give it a shot with some Japanese Sumiyaki-Whisky pairing. The Wall serves a comprehensive Sumiyaki menu that can be paired with whisky, unlike other whisky bars that offer limited or no food. So take your baby steps into whisky tasting with some comfort food in tow.
Whisky and sumiyaki pairing sets start from $49, and Chef’s omakase with whisky is priced at $168. We sampled the East Meet West whisky flight ($37) with Sumiyaki pairing at $12. Of the lot, my favorite was Auchentoshan Three Wood ($25/glass) which has a sweet but complex and intense profile. The Les Moissons ($18/glass), a French whisky is a really light drink IMO with grassy and herbal notes. Cinnamon was the highlight in the Yamazaki Distiler's Reserve ($20/glass). If you like spice, the Kavalan Single Malt ($18/glass) will suit you, and it ends with notes of barley, vanila, and tropical fruits.
Traveling takes a toll on my hair- sun exposure, harsher water, hotel shampoo (because it's to troublesome to bring my own). After all the traveling in the first quarter of the year, i headed to Silkcut Salon to give my hair some TLC. This time, Wendy recommended their latest Japanese Milbon Deesse 4 Step Treatment to moisturize my dry and unruly hair post Niseko snowboarding. 

To the uninitiated, Kaiseki is often confused with Omakase. The former is Japan's top fine dining cuisine which consists a prescribed set of courses dependent on the freshest seasonal produce; the latter is a style of dining that can be found at several types of Japanese restaurants and dishes served are up to the chef. In order to learn about Kaiseki, the best way is to eat it of course, and we recommend you do it at Kaiseiki Yoshiyuki, one of the very few restaurants in Singapore that specialize in this cuisine. 
If you're looking for punchy and wow, Kaiseki cuisine is not. Well, it takes more than your palate to understand and appreciate the beauty and intricacy that goes into planning and cooking the meal. It is an art form. There are no high tech kitchen aids in Chef Yoshiyuki's kitchen, the food is prepped by knives (no peelers even), true to his kaiseki training at the respected Kyoryori Hosoi in Saitama prefecture. 

For 2017, Chef Yoshiyuki will be serving seasonal menus tied to the Cultural Festivals of Japan. We sampled the Hina Matsuri (Girls' Day) menu, which is the first of the series of seasonal menus this year. 
We started our meal with a Shirozake, the first variety of sake and the most important element of Hina Matsuri. It was followed by the Hassun「八寸」course, an appetizer that brings together the mountain and the sea. Broad bean with fried gluten puffs, Temari sushi (river shrimp), stuffed squid, and fried white bait, were exquisitely presented on this plate.
Garden dining is made better at Botanico at The Garage, Botanic Garden's latest F&B establishment. There's none of the heat or humidity at the open bar of the restaurant (thanks to their strong AC in the open air area). It is easy to forget that you are in Singapore given the elegant 1920s Art Deco setting, lush greenery, and temperate climate.
We headed out of the cozy indoor dining area to the outdoor terrace for botanical-inspired cocktails like Garage Gin’Onic ($16), Blackberry Lychee Mojito ($14), and Thyme Lemonade ($16). My refreshing elderflower flavored gin was gone in no time. We highly recommend dining in the open space instead (because it's much prettier and more romantic haha) unless it rains.

Spanish-born Chef Antonio Oviedo, previously trained by Santi and the Roca brothers, delivers a seasonality-focused meal at Botanico. Here's a look at this season's best. 
Start with the refreshing Botanico Salad ($18) which features Cañarejal cheese, a traditional raw unpasteurised sheep's milk cheese from Northern Spain; heirloom tomatoes from France; and a mix of pickled beetroot and seasonable fruits. The milky creaminess is paired with the robust sweetness from the greens (or reds if you insist).
We will never say no to cheese and chorizo and the Idiazabal Croquettes ($14) has our full attention. The smoked emulsion of this unpasteurised sheep's milk cheese from the Basque country is extremely creamy and the ooze was pretty spectacular. Mind you, each croquette is about 3.5inches long and each portion comes with two of these so it's highly advisable that you split this with your friends. #sharingiscaring
Dug this review out of archives in an attempt to keep the blog alive but anyhow.. Stamping Ground Coffee is now at Upper East Coast (previously at Club Street) to offer Easties a cozy garden vibe to enjoy your coffee or tea in. 
Is there a better way to enjoy a cuppa and croissant with the light floral notes permeating in the air?
So first, coffee. Stamping Ground Coffee supplies their Cold Brew Coffee ($6) to Gemmills and some other cafes. Taste wise, it didn't leave much of an impression, which is strange since we hear that their beans are from Papa Palheta. The Flat White (S$5) is also on the milkier spectrum.
The food selection is bistro type, with everything prepped at the counter. The Bacon Jam ($13.50) with baked eggs (more like soft boiled) and mozzarella on brioche toast was sufficiently satisfying.

That ooze was soaked up by the fluffy brioche. I would have liked it better if the bacon jam wasn't all that sweet. Still, a delicious option.  
Skip the Tuna Croissant with apples, which is easily created at home. Well, Jr's choice and if that's what he wants to eat then so be it. But you shouldn't. #okthatsall

In all, Stamping Ground Coffee House isn't quite an exciting place for coffee or food but at least it smells good (they've an on-site florist) and it's a pretty place. For better coffee in this area, head over to Dutch Colony please. #notsponsored

Stamping Ground Coffee
87 Upper East Coast Road
Singapore 455223
Mon - Thu: 9am to 6pm
Fri - Sat: 9am to 9pm
Sun: 9am to 6pm
Looking for the hottest dining enclave in Singapore? It has to be the new Seletar Aerospace Park (SAP). We checked out The Summerhouse, a multi-concept F&B and lifestyle destination comprising The Summerhouse Dining Room and Balcony Bar located on the upper storey; and Wildseed, a café, patisserie and bar on the ground level. 
And yes, The Summerhouse is in a godforsaken spot on the island but treat it as an excursion to the English countryside as you roll along the the tree-lined roads and conservation black and whites. Our recommendation is to start the day at Wildseed cafe with a lazy brunch, then move on to after drinks at Balcony Bar, followed by supper at The Summerhouse Dining Room. In between, wander around the edible garden curated by Edible Garden City, or check out the gorgeous blooms at partner florist, Poppy Flora Studio. Or simply enjoy the peaceful nature. 
The produce used at the Summerhouse is not only fresh (they connect with a farming collective of Singaporean and Malaysian growers and producers, as well as a Singapore kelong), they are also sustainably grown. Plus all the garnish used are harvested from the in-house edible garden. 
Pick from the colorful array of sandwiches, salads, eggs, cold cuts, cakes, and pastries. While indulging in the freshly made bakes, kick back with coffee from Nomad the Gallant, which roasts and blends their specialty coffee on site. 
The Flat White ($5) uses the Exodus Blend of Brazil, Fazenda Lagoa and India Bibi Plantation AB. Go for this if you like wood, spice, and chocolate. If you are not into caffeine, pick from a selection of fresh juices.
You know a restaurant/cafe has found its way to my heart when 1. I tell my friends to go there 2. I visit it again, within a reasonable time frame (too many restaurants to go to) 3. It stays on my goldfish mind for a bit. So yes Shukuu Izakaya checks all 3 boxes. Plus, it's within walking distance from my yoga studio so it's perfect for that protein fix after working out heh. 
This casual bar and bites eatery on Stanley Street serves Japanese small plates to go with a plethora of alcohol. Our choice of poison? Sake of course. Plus the boys at Shukuu Izakaya are certified sommeliers and can provide sake pairing options with the bites you pick. The sakes, and the produce served, are carefully sourced from Japan, delivering the most authentic Japanese dining experience right in the heart of CBD.  
Smaller snacks to prep our tummies for all the drinks to come. The Kawa Ebi-Age ($7), are crunchy and salty morsels that make a good snack. If you are into offal, the marinated chicken liver in soy sauce Reba Shoyuzuke ($6), wouldn't be a bad option. My gf who orders this quite often said it's pretty good. I enjoyed the tartness of the Gyu Ponzu ($7) but not the dry meat. 
For something meaty, i'd say go for the Pork Jowl Charshu ($18), a buttery slow-cooked Iberico Pork which is perfectly comforting. I'd say skip the dry and tough Yaki Gyu Tan ($14).