Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

A newer and better Min Jiang has opened at Dempsey! The move from their Rochester Park home of 12 years is a step forward for the group and it is certainly a refreshing departure. The timber interior of the main dining hall, and the choice of materials in the furniture are at perfect harmony with the lush and teeming greenery surroundings. Stepping into the space, i immediately felt peace and lightness, much of it attributed to the airy, light-filled place, enhanced with soothing color palette of gold and green.
Min Jiang at Dempsey not only sees a new design concept, but diners can expect a whole new menu by Master Chef Goh Chee Kong, who has devoted more than half of his 32-year career to Min Jiang. The menu presents familiar flavors of Cantonese and Sichuan cuisines in a contemporary presentation.
Intricate handmade dimsum creations are available for lunch daily. The Steamed ‘Goldfish’ Prawn Dumpling ($4.80/pc) ‘swimming’ in a delicate egg white sauce was too pretty to be eaten. The house-made crystal dumpling skin fell apart with a light tug, revealing a succulent prawn filling. The experience was enhanced with the contrasting pops of the tobiko and the smooth chinese ham and chicken stock broth further.  
If you're dining alone or with a partner, the Deluxe Dim Sum Platter ($38) is perfect as it features 4 pairs of bites, each with different flavors and textures. The Steamed Blue Pea Truffle Vegetable Dumpling is visually stunning and conceals a variety of textures- from the crunch of root vegetables, to the slippery strands of mung bean noodles. A baby stingray holds crabmeat, prawn and vegetable dumpling in its belly, while the scallop dumpling protected its delicate insides with its crystal dumpling skin. I would not have considered glutinous rice suitable for deep frying but Chef has wrapped the flavorful steamed sticky rice in a glutinous rice flour dough before frying them to golden buttery perfection.  This was absolutely delightful.
The Clifford Pier at Fullerton Bay Hotel specialises in local Singaporean cuisine and sees a number of visiting guest chefs present their specialties at the all-day dining restaurant.  From now till 28 June 2019, Guest Chef Philip Chia will helm the kitchen, dishing up a hit parade of Peranakan signatures.  This will be his third guest stint stint at The Clifford Pier, The Fullerton Bay Hotel. Chef Chi is a fourth-generation Chinese Peranakan and has been cooking Peranakan dishes since he was six years old!
Dinner started with a trilogy of Peranakan appetizers, which are also available on the ala carte menu.
A melange of textures and flavors were presented in the bite sized pieces of these appetizers. The Grilled Spicy Laksa Prawns and Wing Bean Salad had a lovely ginger fragrance that complemented the spicy and tart tang from the pineapple, calamansi and fried shrimp spices.
Instead of the regular soup, Chef Philip turned the classic Pong Tauhu into a fried snack. The silky soybean curd was blended with meat and prawns to give it that lovely bounciness and chew when you bite into it. Delicious.
JAM at SIRI HOUSE is my home-entertaining goal. You can't beat the Dempsey location for its idyllic and lush surroundings. JAM at SIRI HOUSE's partnership with luxury property developer Sansiri also contributed to their eclectic Art Deco-Asian decor and luxurious fittings. 
Of course, what's any good house party without great food and drinks. JAM at SIRI HOUSE has reunited former Lolla Head Chef and current co-owner of Park Bench Deli, Ming Tan with Jeremy Cheok, previously from New Ubin Seafood, for some delicious bites. Sunday Punch’s Mark Tay and Yap Hwee Jen complete the team as creative forces behind the restaurant’s stellar bar programme.
Jr and I toyed with the idea of a cocktail trolley at home (part decor but mostly for drinking) but it ended up being my snack trolley instead (oops). The thought resurfaced when i visited JAM and was served with their selection of mini bottled cocktails ($13 for 60ml) from their trolley. These bottled cocktails are handcrafted in small batches every few days, and highlights 3 different flavor profiles each time. I started with a citrusy Siri House Negroni which incorporated Thai red tea that has been infused in gin for a creamier mouthfeel and blended with a bitter sweet vermouth. A classic with a twist. 
While sipping on my starter cocktail and browsing the menu, i couldn't tell what the cuisine-of-focus is at JAM, BUT that's exactly how they intend for it to be. Inspired by the modern Asian family table, dishes traverse geographical boundaries and are a mix of flavours and influences. Think about it, if you're Singaporean, does your mum only cook Singaporean/Asian dishes? Probably not. Expect some familiar flavors (like your favorite childhood snacks) but presented in a simple and playful but imaginative style. As per family table style, sharing plates are served to encourage all to have a taste of everything.
Childhood favorite snack Chicken in a Biscuit ($12) makes an appearance on JAM's menu. It's Chef Min's guilty pleasure and he loves it cold out from the fridge. It's amazing how the team managed to infuse the savory chicken essence into this biscuit (it came from the rendered chicken fat). The heart-attack cookie is topped with a spiced cream cheese flavored with ginger and garlic and some chicken skin crumble. The vivid memory of the melt-in-the-mouth chicken fat cookie caused my mouth to water every time i think about it. This is a must-order here. 
We had the wild hand-dived Hokkaido Scallop ($30) which is sourced from an independent supplier. The grade is a cut above the other commercial quality ones available. The scallop was sweet and briny on its own but subtle savory notes were brought out further by the other ingredients on the plate, such as yuzu, EVOO, black truffle, wild trout roe and a special limited qty only Arame Kombu garnish (because it's carried back personally by Chef).
I've always been a fan of Man Fu Yuan's fine dining Cantonese dishes and there's more reason to love it now. Executive Sous Chef Aaron Tan is the new chef helming the kitchen and he has introduced a collection of 13 signature dishes. The essence of the MFY brand is still upheld even with the contemporary looking dishes. 
We started with a "floating" Roma Tomatoes ($18/serving) stuffed with chunks of crab meat and ikura roe. This cold appetizer refreshed our palates with bursts of sweetness from the fruit and seafood, and accents of sourness from the yuzu and plum dressing. The tea-infused smoke wasn't just for show, the light scent also helped to reinvigorate us after a long day at work.
We became fully present at the meal when the Slow-braised Pork Ribs with Steamed Mantou ($36/serving) was served. The medley of sizzling red sauce certainly woke us up. Short pork ribs were braised in an array of Chinese spices, herbs and red glutinuous rice, which works as a natural colour enhancer for the The meat was served on the bone but came off with a light pull of the fork (or a stir of the spoon). I enjoyed the light savory herbiness of the dish, which was balanced by the sweet fluffy buns. 
Perennial Cantonese classics are still served, including the new Braised Three-Head Abalone, fish maw, black truffle, broccoli ($128). Expect the usual fine standards of MFY. The meat was very tender and well flavored, having gone through 6 to 8 hours of braising.
Hai Tien Lo (海天楼) has been given a glorious makeover by new Executive Chef Ben Zeng, who brings to the table contemporary presentation of authentic Cantonese flavours. Seafood specialties steal the limelight at the award-winning restaurant now but be rest assured that your favorite roasts and dim sum are still available, with a twist of course. 
The twist comes in the form of Western cooking techniques employed. Some of the dishes would not look out of place in a fine-dining non-Chinese establishment but they still captured the essence of traditional Cantonese cuisine. 
We started with a Combination of pan-fried scallops and sliced crispy barbecued suckling pig stuffed with prawn paste in Thai sauce. The stuffed suckling pig skin is a classic that is done well at Hai Tien Lou. The sweet prawn paste with crunchy water chestnut was a juicy contrast to the thin crispy skin. 
In Hai Tien Lo’s new menu, Executive Chef Ben gives the traditional double-boiled Cantonese chicken soup a unique twist with the new Double-boiled Chicken Soup with Abalone, Dried Scallops, Fresh Prawns and Chinese Mushrooms served in Young Coconut. I absolutely loved the aroma of the young coconut and the light sweetness that it imparted to the broth that was already flavored by the seafood, chicken, Chinese ham and pork. 
I'm not a sea cucumber fan, but i polished a plate of the Deep-fried crispy sea cucumber stuffed with minced pork and shrimps accompanied with preserved vegetables. Chef took a traditional salty-sweet preserved vegetables and sea cucumber dish and turned it into something more palatable and attractive to younger folks. There's certainly a better balance of texture and flavors as compared to the traditional gelatinous dish that was often too salty.  
I was so in love with the Baked Sea Perch Fillet with Kumquat Chilli Sauce that i asked for the recipe! Orange peel was added for that pleasant citrus taste which balanced the fatty oily fish. The bitter-sweet spicy note at the end was divine. 
You can't possibly be on a carb-free diet when faced with Hai Tien Lo's Wok-fried rice with lobster and ginger spring onion. The wok hei in the rice was perfect and actually all i needed was the lobster bisque and superior stock broth that came with it. Honestly the flash-fried live lobster was just icing on the cake. 
To end the night, the newly added Chilled Lemongrass Jelly and Lime Sorbet will refresh your palate with invigorating flavours of lemongrass, fresh lemon and lime. 

I really enjoyed the new menu at Hai Tien Lo! The refreshed menu is extended to Hai Tien Lo’s four set lunch menus and six set dinner menus, prices starting from $58++ and $88++ per diner respectively. Regulars, fear not! Your favorites are probably still on the menu but now there's an opportunity to discover new favorites! 

Hai Tien Lo
7 Raffles Boulevard Singapore 039595
Pan Pacific Hotel Level 3
Tel: +65 6826 8240 
Daily: 11.30am - 2.30pm. 6.30 - 10.30pm
All-day dining venues are perfect for the Singapore CBD crowd and 51Soho at Telok Ayer is all geared up to bring you from day to night with menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all the hours in between. 

Need a power up before that morning meeting? Well there's the healthy Breakfast Overnight Oats ($9.90) or grab one of 51Soho's freshly baked Croissant with Ham and Cheese and Scrambled Eggs ($10.90). 
For lunch, tuck into their wholesome one-bowl meals, which have been calculated to provide you with a good mix of muscle-building protein, nutrient-rich greens and wholegrains. Pick from one of their bowls, or customize them. 
Wind down after work with the 51 Soho Specials cocktails that use Chinese rice wine, plum wine and bamboo wine as their base! I'd go for the Bamboo Dream, a lightly floral cocktail made from fermented rice wine and osmanthus Oolong tea. A little yuzu in this goes a long way to freshen your palate, while the passionfruit helps to sweeten the drink.

Another fruity drink is the 51 Soho, a plum wine that is spiked with lychee juice and a spritz of rose liqueur, 51 Soho's take on a lychee martini.
Dancing in The Moonlight’s bamboo wine is underscored with cucumber syrup, snow fungus and goji berries. It tasted really light, but light is deceiving, as with all their cocktails. 
Along with the drinks, there are charcoal-grilled skewers inspired by those served in Sichuan drinking houses. Sticks of marinated meats and vegetables are dusted with an original spicy mala blend. I'd recommend the pork belly sticks (2 for $7.50) which have crispy fatty bits around it. The beef skewers ($11) were good too.  
You could also have a proper dinner at 51Soho. I'm a huge fan of green mains and the Green & Nutty ($18) features different types of broccoli tossed in a lemony and herbaceous spring onion pesto.
For dinner, dig into heartier dishes with a tinge of Asian flavors in them. I would order the Salmon & Pearl ($28) in a heartbeat. I loved the crispy skin on the fatty fish, which was balanced with couscous that has been cooked in fish stock and sour vegetables and chili for a light tangy spiciness. 
The Spice de Canard ($30) is an Asian braised duck pretending to be European. I enjoyed the nuances of the chinese spices that the duck has been marinated in and then glazed over. The duck is then slathered with lentils marinated in Italian balsamic for a sweet tartness. 
When people said looks can be deceiving, they were referring to the Wicked Pasta ($22) at 51Soho. The zucchini-green linguine looked grassy but it tasted like a hearty tomato cream pasta. The pickling of the zucchini with yuzu must have caused some magic to happen because there was simply no tomato in this dish.  
For a more indulgent pasta, the Spicy Pasta ($24) will hook you with its addictive fiery and sour Mala sauce and chunky luscious seafood. Boy will you feel the burn but well we can deal with the consequences the morning after.
Also check out the Soho Burger ($28) with a house-made braised pulled beef, kimchi and fries. The bun is EVERYTHING. It's super pillowy, buttery, cloud-y delicious. It is best paired with an extra side of Shaky fries ($7.90) that is tossed with none other than 51Soho's house blend of Sichuan spices.

Desserts are not served for but you can always request to have some leftover bites from their tea menu. 51Soho is more than happy to accommodate.

I loved the idea of a one-stop-shop for meals and 51Soho does it well with their variety of offerings. Be sure to check them out!

51 SOHO
51 Telok Ayer St #01-01
Tel: +65 9755 1058 
Weekdays: 8am - 10pm 
Weekends & PH: 10am - 10pm
The Kilo compound has shifted from their Kampong Bugis home of eight years, to their new enclave at Duxton Road, with the new Kilo Kitchen located just steps away from their sister property, Kilo Lounge. The menu takes on a wood-fired focus with most of their Latin American-Asian flavored dishes being cooked in their wood-fire grill for that extra char.  
We started off with Kilo’s Seafood Ceviche ($23), a wonderful reminder of the chopped seafood salads that we had in Peru. We enjoyed the good mix of crunch from peppers, corn, and octopus too. 
We each had a small Beef Tongue Taco ($18 for 2pcs/$35 for 4pcs) with a mix of green apples, miso, and jalapeño-garlic tallow. The tacos are made with buttermilk and flour, which gave them a nice chewy texture and a slight butter note. However, the tacos were on the thick side and that took away the attention from the filling, which would otherwise have shone brighter with the balance of acid and fat. 
The folks at Kilo also tried to make lentil more up-class with their Atas Lentils ($26), by adding shaved Manchego, bacon, truffle, ibérico, egg yolk to the mushy nosh. Not one to eat lentils on its own, I thought that some chips would have gone perfectly with this saucy mix, which strangely had a hint of tomato when none was used.
The Squid Ink Rice ($29) took the classic paella and put it in the claypot but that was all to it. The dish was tasty with crusty bits, probably from cooking it the paella way but definitely not attributed to the claypot. Non-so-usual pairings of lightly battered octopus and ikura provided the slight variation from the typical black rice. 

I took one bite of the Ricotta Gnocchi ($26) and left it alone, due to the raw flour taste in the dumplings. The mushrooms were also too salty. 
Large plates include the Grilled Whole Rainbow Trout ($46) served with confit tomatoes, basil & olive oil. Well it was decent, but nothing wow. 
Desserts took forever to be served, and we contemplated leaving without having any, especially considering that we had to sit through two blackouts during dinner. Turns out that the Coconut Tembleque ($14) with pineapple sorbet was not worth waiting for.
The Chocolate Terrine ($14) only appeased us a little, with the soft chocolate mousse and smoked salted caramel with a butter tuile.  
Maybe go to Kilo Kitchen for some snacks, or perhaps drinks. Their bar programme features an intercontinental selection inspired by drinking cultures around the world.

I was quite disappointed at the experience at the new Kilo Kitchen. Doubt i'll be back anytime soon.

97 Duxton Road Singapore 089541
Tel: +65 64673987/ 9625 0279
Tues- Fri: 5.30pm - 12am
Sat: 6pm - 12am
Behold the luscious King of all fruits, with the fragrance (or odour) of none- the Durian. Regardless of whether you're a durian-loving Singaporean, or a visitor who would like to give this thorny fruit a try, you should definitely head over to Goodwood Park Hotel for their durian fiesta, which is happening now until 14 July 2019.
If you don't already know, Goodwood Park Hotel has satisfying the cravings of all durian lovers since 1983, with their creative durian desserts. This year, they have six new exquisite D24 durian desserts, together with four perennial favourites and signature ‘Mao Shan Wang’ durian pastries. 
Their new collection includes the D24 Pandan Lapis Coconut Cake (THE BEST), D24 Royale Cheesecake, D24 Strawberry Bliss, Mini D24 Ice Cream Bars and D24 Matcha Mont Blanc Tart. This is on top of their mainstays such as D24 Mousse Cake, D24 Puff, D24 Crêpe, and D24 Ice Cream.

My favorite was the D24 Pandan Lapis Coconut Cake (see top right) [$16 nett per slice / $88 nett per cake (1.2 kg)] which perfectly balances the richness of the durian between the layers of pandan sponge and cream frosting and coconut flakes.


If you want a super intense bite of durian in each mouthful. then go for the ‘Mao Shan Wang’ Power Puff ($22.80 nett per piece). This decadent choux pastry sees bountiful swirls of durian mousse sandwich in between a fluffy choux puff. 
Or for bite-sized happiness, there's the Mini D24 Ice Cream Bars going for $22 nett for a box of 4. Each stick of D24 durian ice cream is encased with flavours of dark chocolate, almond, cappuccino, and Oreo. 


To mark the 200th anniversary of Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival in Singapore, Goodwood Park Hotel has launched their D24 Singapore Commemoration Cake ($88 nett, 1 kg) on 15 March 2019 in conjunction with the Hotel’s annual Durian Fiesta. The 1-kilogram cake features four flavours – gula melaka, coffee, pandan, and durian mousse, is adorned with a mosaic of white chocolate squares imprinted with eight historical scenes of Singapore and Goodwood Park Hotel’s illustrious past. Limited to only 200 cakes, an advance order of five days is required, subject to availability.

From 4 May to 14 July 2019, Coffee Lounge will be serving its popular Dessert Buffet with D24 Durian Pastries at lunch and dinner. So yes! You'll be able to enjoy their 3-Course / 4-Course Design Your Own Local Degustation Menu (read it here), inclusive of Dessert Buffet with D24 Durian Pastries for only $49.80/53.80. 
Also, if you're a fan of Coffee Lounge's Taiwan Porridge A La Carte Buffet, they also have a special D24 spread on their dessert buffet on 4-5 and 11-12 May! For more info, check out Goodwood Park Hotel's website for the full list of durian sweets and offers.

Goodwood Park Hotel
22 Scotts Road, Singapore 228221
Tel: +65 6737 7411

Date nights are for checking out restaurants we haven't been to. Fact is i have an extremely long list of restaurants to try. I decided on Italian and Braci was saved somewhere with a comment that it is pretty swell. I didn't realize it is a one Michelin-star restaurant until after i made the reservation. 
The location is in one of the shophouses along touristy Boat Quay. If you don't look up, you'd probably miss the little door to leads you to the restaurant. An elevator transports you 5 floors up, to a cozy dining space dominated by an peaceful open kitchen space. It's a vast difference from the chaos downstairs. You don't hear much from the chefs but you do smell a lot of mouth-watering perfumes from the Josper oven and shichirin grill. 
Various tasting menus are available, alongside the a la carte dishes. Even though they were some dishes that i wanted to try, like the Foie Gras Semifreddo ($28), we couldn't decide on the other choices, and so we decided to be surprised with their Surprise four-course menu ($100/pax).
For those who travel the world in search of great hotpot experiences, the name Little Sheep (小肥羊, or literally Little Fat Sheep) needs no further introduction with their outlets in Canada, China, Japan and the US. For the rest of us who prefer local food adventures, we’ll be glad to know that they’ve finally come to Singapore, with their first outlet located at One Fullerton. 

Given the glut of hotpot places opening in Singapore lately, our first impression was that Little Sheep needed to really bring their A game if they wanted to stand out from the crowd. After our first visit to their latest outlet, we were certain that Little Sheep is more than ready to take on the competition. 
Established in 1999 and originating from Inner Mongolia, Little Sheep’s offering focuses squarely on the quality of their broths and the freshness of their ingredients. Their signature broths include House Original White Soup ($9 for small / $20 for large) as well as a fierier House Spicy Mala Soup ($9 for small / $20 for large). I was particularly impressed by Little Sheep’s Mala Soup, since it came with plenty of flavour without being too intense. 

Little Sheep has a range of sauces similar to most other hotpot joints, along with some unique touches for those of us with more adventurous tastebuds (think lime juice, or fermented beancurd) to explore. However, the fact that all labels are in Chinese also means that patrons who don’t read the language will face more challenges here – a key area of improvement for sure. Having said that, our servers were also more than happy to mix their house blends for us, even going as far as serving a special one meant for pairing with their fresh seafood. 
Most hotpot places serve reasonably fresh seafood, but the White Pomfret ($22) served on ice gets top marks for presentation as well as quality. When we were done, our servers added the bones to the soup – although it's fairly common for fish head steamboat, it's less common to do that for hotpot (and for good reason – it takes up real estate in the pot and doesn’t add much to the dining experience). Our recommendation? Skip adding the bones entirely – the soup doesn’t need the boost!

 
Little Sheep’s main claim to fame (as the name suggests) is lamb, best represented by their 3-Tier Signature Lamb Platter ($36). The lamb is fresh and sliced thinly enough to cook within seconds in the pot, and was an absolute delight, even for those who don’t usually enjoy lamb. We also didn’t detect any of the gaminess or strong flavor typically associated with lamb, which made the meat even more enjoyable. 
However, the real showstopper was clearly the Signature Lamb Kebab ($8). Heartily seasoned and served fresh from the grill, sliding the chunks of juicy lamb off large metal skewers made for a really fun dining experience, not to mention tasty. For a more adventurous experience closer to Little Sheep’s Mongolian origins, put manners aside and consider eating your lamb right off the skewers! 
No hotpot experience is complete without the usual meatballs and assorted dumplings, but Little Sheep once again takes it to the next level with their Handmade Prawn Paste ($9/$18) with bits of fresh prawn providing texture, as well as Juicy Beef Balls ($8) that squirt boiling soup if you’re not careful while biting into them (yes, we’re speaking from experience). Skip the dumplings unless you're a fan of starchy soup (it disintegrates) and save your stomach space for something a bit more exotic like the Handmade Snakehead Fish Paste ($9/$18), or even the Pork Aorta ($13) and Beef Tripe ($16). 
Finish off your meal with some of Little Sheep’s complimentary soft serve (which we liked for not being too sweet), and walk off some of the calories along the Fullerton promenade – a really satisfying way to end off a satisfying hotpot experience. 

-Ben

Little Sheep Hot Pot
One Fullerton #01-05
1 Fullerton Road, Singapore 049213 
Daily: 11am - 11pm