Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

I gave up on any form of private dining since the scene started gaining popularity. Why? It is not because i turn my nose at fads and trends, it's just impossible to get a table at any decent ones, so i wait, until they become big enough to go commercial LOL. Mustard Seed is one of the private dining turned restaurant type and it is still hard to get a table- reservations are snapped up within a minute of their release on the first day of the month at 10am. I only managed to dine here 2 years after Mustard Seed set up shop in the sleepy Brighton estate in Serangoon Gardens, all thanks to my lucky friend and his extremely fast fingers. 
Mustard Seed is helmed by Chef Gan Ming Kiat, who serves his personal interpretation of Singapore's food, inspired by Japanese cuisine and technique. The fine dining, omakase style menu marries his prior experiences at Candlenut and Goto- Mod-Sin with Japanese. The menu changes every 2 months and starts at $140+ per pax for lunch and $168+ for dinner.
Jiu Hu Eng Chye is usually made with cuttlefish but at Mustard Seed, fresh squid is used, scored and seared quickly into tender scallop shapes. Instead of the usual kang kong, cucumber and kale were used instead, topped with a housemade sweet sauce which is a mix of sambal with red miso and hoisin. I don't typically enjoy the cuttlefish kangkong dish and i definitely prefer this version which is more elegant. 
Prawn Tortellini with Ipoh style broth eased us into the hot dishes and boy does it comfort the soul. The inspiration of the dish comes from Ipoh chicken hor fun and the broth is made with kampung chicken, and infused with prawn heads and prawn shell for more umami. The tortellini wanton provided a little more chew due to the pasta skin and it was quite a textural delight.
Kaya and Gula Aren Cream Choux bun. That's how i first got to know about Allium, which is surprisingly not a cafe/pastry shop. This sleepy little restaurant hidden in Kensington Square is helmed by Dillon Ng, formerly of The Humble Loaf and GastroSmiths, and his wife Lulu who is the pastry master here. Stepping into their 16-seater restaurant felt like someone's home and i kept mixing them up with some other private dining turn commercial place.
The food is all about sustainable produce though i could not figured out their cuisine focus, except that modern (presentation?) came up several times during my meal there. There's no need to put people/things into boxes of course but it does help a little with dining expectation. Nevertheless, if you like surprises, Allium's monthly menus with revolving cuisines would be your cup of tea (i guess that's why i kept thinking they did private dining before).
We had the prix fixe lunch menu ($58/pax nett) for July, which was inspired by the couple's memories of Japan, featuring Japanese home-style dishes. The meal was served the Teishoku way, as a set and all at once, which is perfect for a quick (or leisurely) lunch. The cold sides were a delight- a kombu-like Sustenir Kale tossed in a sweet-ish goma sauce, an umami julienned lotus root, and chunky slices of pickled daikon.
Has it been half a year since i last visited Wildseed Cafe at The Summerhouse?! Well so much has changed and we hear that Wildseed Cafe no longer does those yummy sandwiches. :( There's no fretting though! The Summerhouse has just launched their new weekday lunch and weekend brunch menu and you will be spoilt for choice! The weekend brunch menu is the more extensive one, and you'll get some of the more filling dishes on the weekday lunch menu. 
For starters, i absolutely adored the Burrata Rocket Salad ($20) which has a meaty flavor to it despite it being vegetarian. I love every component on this salad- the creamy burrata, meaty rocket pesto, citrusy dog fennel, umami marinated tomatoes and crunchy toasted sourdough. If you're gunning for a healthier brunch/lunch, this could be your main course. 
What's better than sweet potato fries? Presenting the Yellow ($14), which is a dish of crunchy Mimolette-cheese-covered sweet potato cubes topped with an earl grey and passion fruit vinaigrette, mustard puree, and pickled pumpkin and carrots. This dish is definitely more savoury than sweet and we found the pickled sides rather refreshing. 
WARNING. Do not mistaken The Summerhouse's Eggs Benedict Modernist ($22) to be a traditional full-size breakfast plate because it is clearly under the starters portion. Instead, Chef presents an innovative egg dish with various textures of egg with Black Forest Ham, and a unique chive hollandaise. On this plate, there's an interesting bacon infused egg white custard with an amazing panna cotta texture; breaded and fried egg yolks, and a runny sous vide egg. I would love for something sharper to cut through all that egg though.
Now i'm gonna skip to 'Desserts' because that's where they placed the ah-mazing French Toast ($14). I obviously have no issues having something sweet for breakfast, especially if it is this pretty. The fluffy brioche is soaked in egg with cinnamon and brown sugar before being pan-fried for that nice caramel crust. Chef serves this with seasonal fruits, zingy raspberry-yuzu sorbet and raspberry tuille. I thought that the use of vanilla bean custard was ingenious- it's not as heavy as ice cream, but it was smooth enough to provide the same mouthfeel while harmonizing the tartness of the sorbet.

Another dessert i may take for breakfast would be the Natural Yoghurt with Grilled Pumpkin Ice Cream, served with granola and local cinnamon, and local honey. I mean, it's essentially a granola bowl no? 
My other favorite brunch dish is the Pulled Pork Scrambled Eggs Burger ($19). YOU CANNOT MISS THIS FOR YOUR LIFE. I will leave nothing on the plate, not even the burger bun because it's filled with bacon and cream cheese with sambal mayo!
The bun is fried and then sliced to sandwich a juicy and tangy pulled pork made from pork collar, creamy scrambled eggs, avocado, Mimolette cheese, and more greens. This may possibly be the best burger of 2017. Really.
For heartier lunch/brunch options, there's the Miso Shiitake Linguine ($22) with 3 grilled prawns (+$8). If you would like a less heavy carbonara, this would be it. The fried ebi sakura was very much bacon-like, which i thought was missing the umami seafood flavor. It's possible to have this as a vegetarian option if you tell the kitchen to hold the ebi. 

If you, like i do, miss the falafel sandwich previously served at Wildseed Cafe, there's the Falafel Platter ($14/24) which uses pretty much the same ingredients in the sandwich! Think generous serving of the crusty herbal falafel, feta cheese, eggplant ragout, sautéed pak choy, butterhead lettuce, rocket pesto and yoghurt sauce. 

Other items available for lunch includes a Wagyu beef burger made with wagyu beef MS8 patty, and a grilled chicken thigh with smoked rice (Summerhouse's take on the local chicken rice). 
Sweet endings begin proper with the Balinese chocolate ice cream ($12) which cannot be missed as well. A freshly baked crunchy but gooey hazelnut cookie is topped with the smooth vanilla bean custard, chocolate ice cream made from Bali-grown Valrhona cocoa and a dehydrated hazelnut praline powder. If i may add, this dessert provides the same comfort you'd derive from a glass of rich chocolate milk. 
Loving the new brunch and lunch menu at The Summerhouse Dining Room. We enjoyed our meal with a bottle of Bliss Family Vineyards Chardonnay from their cute little wine cellar. The stock of wine comes from the 1 Group's suppliers and you could purchase a bottle to enjoy it at the restaurant or at home.

3 Park Lane Singapore 798387
Tel: +65 8608 3340
Mon – Thu: 12 – 3pm
Fri, Weekends & PH: 12 – 3pm, 6 - 10pm 
I've visited Hatter Street months ago but wasn't compelled to write them a review since they are already so packed and the crowd also played a part in my lacklustre dining experience with them. 

Despite the whimsical theme, the space was uncomfortable. I think their main purpose is to pack as many people in as possible so it was rather cramped. Also, you have to wait for a table before you can place your order, even though everyone knows that there is going to be a long wait time for the waffles. Do i make sense? Ok maybe i was just (H)angry (hunger induced anger) and i wanted my food fast but that did not happen.

So what's to eat here? Desserts, just desserts. Yvette Chua, who owns the place, trained at Singapore’s Culinary Institute of America and apprenticed at Hong Kong’s 3 Michelin-starred Bo Innovations for four months and she decided that desserts are gonna be it. Well, there's the famed Smoked sawdust pudding ($5) which is essentially a milk pudding with graham and some smoke. Well, i don't fancy the schmancy for desserts. I just want hearty calorie full options. Next. 

Other items such as some passion fruit and chocolate tarts, popcorn cake etc. But honestly, let's face it, you're just there for the waffles.

Waffles ($8.90). We went for the Pandan ice cream with gula melaka sauce which is a hot favorite. The waffle was crispy, and by crispy i meant it was like a giant potato chip. As with potato chips, once you start you can't stop so don't bother sharing because you can easily finish one on your own. Nice lingering aroma from the pandan ice cream but we could do with more gula melaka sauce. I reckon that the sea salt caramel waffle with vanilla ice cream wouldn't be too shady. 
Oh my 天 ($7.50) is a cookies and cream brownie with oreo ice cream and it came recommended. I should have trusted my own judgment because i thought the brownie was too tall and dry based on its appearance. I was right. The texture was a bit more cakey but with greater density but it was lacking in flavors (it had a one dimensional sweetness). I would not recommend this. The oreo ice cream was good though.
The Matcha latte ($5.50) was rather sweet and very milky. Thankfully it had sufficient matcha taste. 
I would love to be able to make this my regular dessert joint in the hood because the waffles are quite wow but i would never visit on weekends. The staff's mild hao lian beng attitude was also a put off. Moral of the story, do not stand between an hangry girl and her food.

Hatter Street Singapore
212 Hougang Street 21, #01-333 Singapore 530212
Tel: +65 6988 4591
Tue - Sun: 1-10pm
The Serangoon folks are probably gonna kill me with this post on their not too hidden brunch spot but there was something that i tried which was too yums not to share. Here's Rokeby, just a couple shops down from 2 other popular spots Cajun Kings and Wimbly Lu. Sharing is caring you know?
The last time i've been in this hood was almost 2 years back when i ate at Cajun Kings! My my.. time flies! I thought that it wasn't necessary to make a reservation on a Saturday afternoon (honestly what was i thinking) and it turned out to be really crowded! Thankfully we got a table (indoors no less) in a short bit. Thank you my lucky stars!

There aren't many options for brunch actually and they could be generally classified into 3 categories, Eggs Ben, Waffles and 'Everything Else' (eggs, sausages, toast etc.). An example that falls under the 'Everything Else' category would be the Full Monty Brekkie ($17.90) and it comes with 2 eggs served with 2 bratwurst sausages, bacon, hash brown, grilled tomato, baked beans, salad and toast. And then you have every permutation of those ingredients.
A must eat here is the Aussie 2-way Waffles. This is a savory and sweet waffle (actually more savory than sweet). I was under the impression that the ingredients listed were going to accompany the waffle. However, the cheese, caramelized onion and bacon are all mixed into the waffle batter and cooked together! On the side, there were the sauteed granny smith apples which was crunchy and tangy, and also a rather juicy herb sausage.

Now this is what i call a waffle stack. I was initially intimidated by the tower but it was delightfully light with crisp edges. The server suggested that i add an egg into the waffles a la plaster prata style, so some parts turned out more egg crisp than waffle. Think of it like a plaster prata. The batter is on the thin side though so the waffle purists may not take this too well (i thought the flavors were amazing though). Rokeby do serve the regular ones too but i'm not sure how thick they would be. The maple syrup could be thicker but i'll brush it off as the added apple puree made up for the lack in texture.

Nettie had the Eggs Blackstone, which is essentially an Egg Benedict with bacon in it. She wasn't too impressed with the dish. If it weren't for the extra bacon, she would certainly have given this dish a miss. The vinaigrette that dressed the salad took her attention from the hollandaise sauce, which lacked in flavor.
Rokeby uses the Australian Five Senses coffee, which isn't my favorite type as the beans tend to be more acidic. I used the yummy Biscotti to neutralize the acidity. Ps. I think you can help yourself to the biscotti which is placed next to the self-serve water station. 
Overall, nice spot to have brunch on the weekends without having to dress up much. Downside however is the bad ventilation in the cafe, which would leave you smelling like the kitchen. Remember to make a reservation because it gets packed.

15-9 Jalan Riang
Singapore 358987
Tue - Sun: 9am - 10pm
I've been recently informed of a hidden gem in my hood which I've been too blind/distracted to notice. Yummy salted egg yolk steamed buns right under my nose? No way! And located next to my dinner/supper haunt along Upper Serangoon Road, Heng Long Teochew porridge, you gotta be kidding me!! To correct all my wrongs, I trooped to Yi Dian Xin Hong Kong Dim Sum with my mama for a dimsum brunch. 
I've honestly never noticed Yi Dian Xin in the very same coffeeshop as Heng Long because it's overshadowed by the corner store. Well I only visit at night when they're closed so I guess that's how I've been missing this. Prices are very affordable with the most expensive item only costing $3.50. Rice Roll with Prawn ($3.50) uses pre-made rice rolls but the texture is QQ enough and the prawns flavorful. For the more traditional and freshly prepared Chee Cheong Fun, head to the Punggol Nasi Lemak coffeeshop down the road, there's another hidden gem that does this. 
I had to have their Signature Salted Egg Custard Pau ($3.30) as it was raved about. The bun was kinda dense but fluffy enough and the filling was well balanced with milky sweet and savory notes. I loved that it's really flowy! Eat it fast! While the custard doesn't really coagulate when cooled, the bun doesn't retain the same texture as when it was warm.

Another pau to order is the Steamed BBQ Pork Pau ($2 for 2) which looks like any other decent Cantonese dimsum restaurant types. Dark sauce, chunky meat, flowered buns. What's not to love?
The Steamed Carrot Cake ($2.20) was another of my favorite. It's amazingly melt in your mouth with small chunks of radish and chinese preserved sausage. I'm usually more the pan-fried carrot cake girl but this won me over with the texture and that special soy sauce. I could easily finish the whole thing on my own.
The Prawn Dumpling ($3.30) had a rather thick skin but the filling was adequate. Siew Mai with Mushrooms ($2.80) was packed with juicy pork meat that wasn't too fatty. I actually like this one. Steamed pork ribs with bean sauce ($2.50) comes in the regular small metal dish and was rather tender. I do like this dish but always found it overpriced at dimsum places. 

From the deep fried section, I'd go for the shrimp dumpling (sold out). My Mama liked the Deep Fried Red Bean Paste with Banana ($2.50) which featured a light filo skin with a slightly coarse paste. I thought it was on the sweet and oily side though. Well obviously not my generation's kind of dessert.
Here's the menu for your reference.
The ladies in my family headed down on a Public Holiday again but this time we were too late! At 1230pm, they were only left with 1/4 of their items! It was a bad day for us because many stores were closed and hence everyone decided to eat dimsum. Heard from the owner that their dimsum typically sells out on weekend afternoons so do go early! 
So glad I found this place! No need to travel down to chinatown for my favorite Tak Po when dimsum craving kicks in! 

Yi Dian Xin
1012 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534752 
Tel: +65 9168 5587
Daily: 7am - 6pm
(Closed Alt. Tues)

Absolutely loving the cafes popping up in my hood and the latest addition is Sunday Market at Lim Tua Tow Road. This cool spot serves up an Asian-inspired fare of Sirloin Rendang Toast ($15.90), Roasted Duck Pancakes with garlic hoisin sauce ($12.90) which gives diners something other than the usual Eggs Benedict for brunch. 
We had to get ourselves the famous Bangkok Toast ($10.90) which was a cinnamon thick sweet brioche toast with Matcha Green Tea custard, served with Thai milk tea ice-cream. This is the first time i've had Bangkok Toast and i had absolutely no idea what to expect. 
Well, it looked pretty much like a regular french toast. That is until you cut it through and bite into it! 
The fluffy brioche was soaked in a sweet milky liquid (probably condensed milk) which would satisfy any sweet tooth. I love every component of this dish, be it the intense matcha custard or the candied exterior of the toast. It also comes served with a Thai Milk Tea ice cream. Sadly, that was a little more icy than milky. Anyway, LOVE LOVE LOVE this one. 
Another stellar dish was the Pulled Duck Sandwich ($13.90) which is a shredded duck confit paired with creamy slaw, orange brown sauce and crispy duck skin. The serving was damn big and we were stuffed by the end of it. 
Even though the toast looked really heavy and huge, it was actually very airy and i found the meat to bread ratio to be perfect. This brioche is more buttery and savory compared to the Bangkok Toast and the meat was juicy and very savory. Another must try at Sunday Market. 

Other savory dishes that i may consider trying would be the Waffles. They have it with Fried Chicken ($11.90) and also Smoked Salmon and Avocado ($14.90). The latter is served with a cheese ice cream! Interesting hur! 

Sunday Market also does other homemade ice-cream with Asian inspired flavours such as Honey & Fig, Yubari Melon Gelato, Yuzu Sorbet, Kyoho grape, all at $3.50 per scoop. You could do it with waffles too ($6).
Adequate coffee, nothing fantastic. Give their milk tea a shot instead. But whatever you do, make sure you at least get yourself a Bangkok Toast!
Sunday Market
22 Lim Tua Tow Road Singapore 547772
Tel: +65 6287 8880
Weekdays: 1pm - 11pm
Weekends: 11am- 11pm