Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

It's been some time since the first MasterChef Asia was crowned and we have waited with anticipation on what winner Woo Wai Leong would come up. Well, Restaurant Ibid was worth the wait as Wai Leong went back to his source, and roots to search for his identity. From these dual inspirations comes Nanyang-style, Contemporary Chinese cuisine which marries his heritage and western kitchen training. 
Dinner is a multi-course affair- 4 course $78, 6 course $88, 8 course $118.
Dinner started with 2 snacks and i must say i enjoyed the Spring onion shao bing a lot more than i did the Skewered escargot skewers. The shao bing took on a stuffed English muffin appearance with a filling of spring onions, mozzarella, black pepper and sesame oil. I couldn't stop eating it with the yeasted butter and laksa leaf oil. The dou bang jiang mayonnaise flavored escargot is not for everyone, unless you're ok with bitter betel leaf. 
If you're expecting a Tea egg, like the dark braised sort, well, there's nothing like that here even though the inspiration came from that. Here we have an organic egg yolk is sous vide at 65 degrees for 1 hour, flavored by a Mandarin pu-erh broth, a creamy sour cream onion puree, and a brown butter fried shiitake mushrooms and gingko nuts. 
Woke up late for brunch in Bangkok and haven't done your research on where to go? Well well, my suggestion is to head to theCOMMONS at Thonglor, which is still the hippest district in BKK (i believe). The eco-friendly mall houses artisan cafes and eateries and also cool shops. Plus the architecture is interesting enough for you to just wander about and appreciate it. Oh and it houses Roast, which is BKK's favorite cafe.
The Commons is divided into 4 sections – Market, Village, Play Yard, Top Yard. Most of the food offerings are at the Market, while Roast is at the top level. 
Since this post is about brunch, i'm gonna focus more on the brunchy, wake-me-up kinda food. Do note that there are other heartier, meatier, savory options available at The Commons. 
Mon-Thu: 10am-11pm / Fri-Sat: 9am-11pm / Sun: 9am-10 pm
Possibly the kick-starter of Bangkok's love affair with brunch, Roast nailed it with their all-day breakfast. The chunky crab cake eggs benedict left us wanting for more. How is one crab cake even enough! Oh and the strawberry waffle is another must order. You could also have burgers, steak frites, roast chicken etc. should you dine later. Coffee here is such as lunch (burgers) and dinner (steak frites B890, roast chicken B480). Thanks to carefully-sourced beans roasted in house, the coffee here is excellent. 02-185-2865

Daily: 9.30 am - 10 pm
Egg, egg, egg, and more eggs! I don't know about you but i think egg is a superfood, plus it's so versatile! Egg My God uses eggs on their own, as an ingredient, a side, a main, and in their desserts. Oh and they also have it in its preserved form- think salted egg yolk angel hair pasta with truffle and chive oil, shiitake.
Yàn was one of my considered venue for our Singapore wedding reception since we decided to do something more traditional to cater to our families and i knew the food was gonna be good. Sadly we had to drop it as our guest list turned out to be larger than what the restaurant could accommodate. Well, my disappointment was greater after tasting their enhanced menu by new Executive Chinese Chef Lai Chi Sum. Yàn has been delivering fine Cantonese cuisine and Chef has now included some fine 'home-style' meals or ‘私房菜’ which features traditional recipes cooked slow and long to distil rich, soulful flavors. The hearty dishes would really work well for the communal banquet but oh wells... 
Well let's start with the oldies but goodies. All-time favorites such as the Signature Crispy Roast Suckling Pig served in 3 ways (read about the lovely lemongrass pork fillet here), Peking Roast Duck, Steamed Thousand Layer Beancurd and seafood delicacies such as abalones, lobsters, clams, crabs, and sea cucumbers remain. 
Yàn Peking Roast Duck Served in 2 Ways ($55 for half, $105 for whole). The peking duck wrappers were super yummy and the servers did a marvellous job of wrapping them up quickly for the starving bunch of us. The rest of the meat is typically diced, and stir-fried with diced vegetables and served in lettuce cups. 
We opted to have it served sliced though and the meat was flavorful and juicy on its own!
Dining at FOC by Pim Pam (FOC) could be a day long affair, like how the Spaniards would advise. Start with some Tapas for some cocktails and light bites, then move on to the main affair in their Main Dining Room, and end with some desserts and night-caps on the open Bar and Terrace, located in the heart of the Orchard Road. 
Starting off with some classic tapas, the Patatas Bravas ($6 Tapas Bar/$10 Main Dining) wowed me. Unlike the regular cubed and fried potatoes, FOC has sliced and steamed the Agria potatoes before layering them millefeuille and deep-frying them for that extra crunchy texture. The house-made aioli and brava sauce was spicy and pungent and absolutely addictive. You must definitely order this!
PIM PAM Croquetas ($5 - 6 for 2 pcs Tapas Menu/ $10 - 12 for 4pcs Main Dining) are glorious fried creamy bombs of flavor! Pick from the lot of ham, mushroom, crab, and spinach & pine nuts. I really enjoyed the earthy mix of mushrooms with béchamel sauce, encased in a crispy crunchy crust.
Another Spanish classic done well was the Prawns 'Al Ajillo' ($13/22) featuring sweet and soft Argentinean prawns pan fried with sliced garlic, chilli, olive oil, salt and sweet paprika, topped on a ratte potato espuma.
It's been a while since i'm back on my favorite Singapore Airlines Business Class! I know i know.. I'm saving it up for that big one to NYC you see. Anyhow, this was a rather special trip for us- It's Jr's first time on SQ biz (i was really excited when i booked it); and i came back from Japan engaged, and with a broken tendon! Yeah.. 2018 hasn't had a dull moment yet!
A quick stop at the SilverKris lounge was all we could manage pre-flight. The lounge was so packed! Our supper was the signature prawn noodles (love the broth) and carrot cake (i ate a fair amount of this even though i claimed i wasn't hungry), plus a mean G&T made by yours truly. 
Given that we were on the B777-300ER, i assumed that it was going to be the SQ's “new” business class product but it's the old one! BOOOO... That said, it's still better than their old regional product (read my review on the old regional A330 here).
#FWP i shadn't complain. I do love the old business class anyway. Their seat width is one of the widest in its class, up to 34-inch wide and with a pitch of 55. Yes this is larger and wider than the new 777-300ER seats. The 1-2-1 forward-facing cabin layout gives you that aisle access no matter where you sit ). 
Oh, and we were one of the first to try their free Wifi onboard (like finally SQ). 
Here's the sleeper service menu. SQ now allows you to preview the menu pre-flight now, so i was able to decide if i wanna use the Book-The-Cook service or not. Well for flights to Japan, i'd always order the onboard Japanese meal. Also, you could choose to have your meal immediately (for supper), or to have it pre-landing (an early breakfast). We chose the latter and after informing the attendants, we promptly went to bed in our fully-flat bed that comes complete with linen, duvet, and pillows.
I've become quite the pro at making my own bed in Business class i must say. I thought i would be occupied with the movies but i fell into a deep sleep and Jr had to wake me up for breakfast because the attendants couldn't! Partly because i was plugged into their on-board noise cancelling headphones too. :P
Jr had the BTC Classic Lobster Thermidor, which was as good as i remembered it to be. Creamy chunky lobster that wasn't too dry.  
My Hanakoireki wasn't too bad as well, if not a bit plain. This works as a traditional Japanese breakfast though. Other than the rice and pickles, there were also omelette, herring roe, turnip salad, grilled yellowtail teriyaki, stuffed tofu with chicken, mixed vegetables, and an assortment of vegetables. 
A quick review of the ANA's services at Haneda and New Chitose Airport, since we were enroute to Furano for snowboarding. If you're flying premium class or if you're an elite frequent flyer on Star Alliance, there is a dedicated check-in. This definitely makes traveling a breeze! The ANA lounges for domestic travel aren't great though. Drinks (draft beer, whiskys, sakes, juices and soft drinks) and a snack is provided (assorted Japanese rice crackers) at the lounge.

The international lounge at Narita fared better in terms of food options. There were some sushi rolls, hot finger food, sandwiches, and salad. Go around the corner to the noodle bar, where you can order your choice of udon, soba, and curry. The kakiage wasn't that great, and it's not nice soaked in the soup as well. Will probably do the curry next time.
A quick slurp of soba and 1 Creamia soft serve later, we were on board our flight back to Singapore and welcomed by the signature Beef and Chicken Satay!
Book-The-Cook is not available on the Narita-Singapore leg. I contemplated having the Western option but caved in to more Japanese food! 
Sake seemed to be the natural pairing. :) Can't remember much about the first course other than the rather springy udon. 
The meats were a lot better and i tried really hard not to eat so much rice but Japanese flavored rice is too hard to resist! 
Refreshing Japanese fruits with jelly to end the meal... Or so i thought!
More fruits and cheese went around! And more desserts too! Jr had the rich chocolate mousse while i nibbled on cheese and nuts.
Singapore Airlines, always a great way to fly! Till the next one!

XOXO
Travelerintransit
I cannot emphasize how much of a good deal the Morton's of Chicago Sunday Lunch Special is! From $98/pax, you get to enjoy a sumptuous 3 course set lunch featuring some of their signature steaks. And, there are even more choices now as Morton's has gotten some new additions just for lunch. 
The 3 course includes an appetizer, entree and a dessert and the options are simply mouth-watering. 
Appetizers feature some salads, and i had a proper taste of the Chopped House Salad this time and found it to be very appetizing with refreshing chunks of avocado, onion, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. Plus one can not resist bacon. 
If you don't mind spending a bit more, how about a heady and rich Lobster Bisque (+$10) with a juicy piece of flesh swimming in the creamy broth. Morton's signature Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and Maine Lobster Cocktail are also available at an added cost if you are looking to indulge in fresh seafood. 
What's a Morton's meal without some delectable steaks! An 8.5oz Filet Mignon with asparagus and mashed potatoes is available at no added cost. But if you're a steak connoisseur, their center-cut Prime Ribeye, New York Strip, and Porterhouse are available as add-ons. 
Non-steak eaters also have a wider variety of options. Chicken Christopher, Chicken Bianco, Honey-balsamic Glazed Salmon, Shrimp Scampi Capellini, and Short Rib Bolognese are available as entrees. 
Aren't you tired of the usual communal or cafe brunch offerings yet? Well JW Marriott Singapore South Beach comes to the rescue with their classy brunch "A Japanese Affair" at Akira Back. Buffet it is not. Instead, you get to feast on an 8-course brunch designed by Executive Chef Tomoyuki Kiga.
Customize your own brunch with the varied choices provided. For your sake, i've expanded my waistline just to taste everything, so that you wouldn't waste your calories! Start with some AB Sake Junmai Ginjo (30ml) instead of the regular soda or Gemmaicha that is included in the course.
I was half worried that a huge pizza would show up on the table for this carb course. Well turns out that the pizza is more of a thin crunchy cracker. Both the tuna and mushroom are lovely! If you want a rich and robust flavor, go for the truffle mushroom. The tuna with onion is rather refreshing too. 
For the Zensai course, i'm not too sure what we had but it's probably the salad of the day. Loved the presentation of this crunchy salad, adequately spiked by a spicy goma sauce. The way to eat this is to smash it all and mix it together. 
The Sakana course is either the Sashimi or Sushi. Pick 3 from the list of fresh fish that is flown in twice weekly from Tsukiji (where else right?). The regular selection of maguro, hamachi, shake, unagi, tako, and tamago is available.
For a Japanese restaurant, i didn't think the sushi rice was up to standard, it definitely needs more seasoning in it. The fish were alright, but the unagi was a tad rubbery. 

The Agemono course of tempura presents 3 deep fried items of your choice. White fish, ebi, soft shell crab, eggplant, sweet potato and shiitake are available. While i enjoyed the seafood, i thought the batter could less heavy as it held a fair bit of excess oil. 
Cleanse your palate with either the vodka lychee granita or raspberry sorbet before moving on to the mains! I recommend the tender Beef cheek with soy bordelaise, honey roasted carrot, oba kimchee; or the Spring chicken, done in a spicy Korean spicy marinade.
The grilled Hamachi Kama was rather plain, and the chirashi-don failed me with their rice. 
Not full still? Well after the Garlic fried rice or Hosomaki roll, you'll arrive at slumberland in no time.
I'd go with the crunchy and fragrant garlic fried rice for sure, even though you may need more than a couple of mints after. 
For desserts, the Shiratama was gorgeous. I loved the milk pudding that held up all the little Japanese sweets.
The Matcha cake was rich but the sweetness was balanced by the tart strawberry compote. I enjoyed both, but the pudding was just right to end the heavy meal.

Akira Back, JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach
30 Beach Road, Level B1M, Singapore 189763
Tel: +65 6818 1914
Weekend Brunch: 12 - 3pm 

Duoro Valley is a mandatory wine lover stop when one is in Porto Portugal. While Duoro Valley is known for their Port wine, they also produce other wines. Of course, the best way to learn about the various varietals is to drink them! You could do a self drive if you wish as the valley is only about 1.5h away from Porto. However, be warned that the roads can be treacherous, especially when one has a bit to drink. I decided on a wine tour so that the burden could be taken off us and we could just enjoy the drinking along the way! 
I picked Duoro Exclusive after doing my research. The small team consists of locals from the Wine Valley and they'd drive from the Valley to pick you up from Porto and back. Each Gold Experience tour takes a maximum of 7 person and you can also opt for a private tour. What drew me to this tour is not only the learning experience but also the great food that's offered in the package. While most of the tours would bring you to traditional taverns for lunch, our wine-lunch was at the one Michelin star DOC Restaurant by celebrity Chef Rui Paula, right next to the Duoro River. And all of that was only for 190€ per person.
Our guide Sandra picked us up bright and early at 9am and gave us an explanation of the history and geography of the valley along the way. We learned that Duoro has the oldest DOC for Port (1726) and the same grapes/blends are used for both port and table wines. Blends are huge in Portugal wine producers and they can have anything from 3 to 40 varietals in a bottle (it's mad). Even their fields are blended- you don't get a single plot of anything, they are all mixed!
As Duoro Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site, everything is done by hand- From building the vertical dry walls of shale and slate, to the harvesting of the grapes. It's hard work and dedication!
Afternoon Tea is a guilty pleasure of mine. They have me at scones and clotted cream. Plus all the dainty sweets accompanied by specially brewed tea and there goes the weekend and the diet plan. I'm sure you've had that guilt creep up on you after one of those indulgent sessions, plus that lethargy after the sugar rush! Well, now you can have your cake and eat it sinlessly. Capella Singapore's designer kitchen, Chef's Table has added a healthier option to its Capella Tea ExperienceWellness Tea Time, which is available every Friday afternoon from 3 to 5pm.
The menu is conceptualised by Chef Sandra Lim of Live Fruitfully, a certified raw food chef, and Chef David Senia, the Culinary Director of Capella Singapore, and together they have produced a unique five-course menu of gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free sweets. 
Savories before sweets. The Tempeh portobello slider with green goddess cream is full of 'meaty' flavors and textures. This tempeh was certainly more enjoyable than the Nasi Padang stereotype and we love the herby coconut yogurt cream and onion chutney that were layered in the mini burger.