Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

The boy loves Prawn noodles but i'm not a big fan of it (just like how i'm not a big fan of most local 'delicacies'). It's just not particularly healthy because prawns are high in cholesterol level but i guess once in a while is fine.

Anyway, S conned me into having prawn noodles for lunch yesterday. We were first driving around in the Siglap/Katong area and he asked if i wanted PN for lunch (we were just outside the Beach Road Prawn noodle store) and i said no. Someway or another, we ended up at Old Airport Road and guess what we had? PRAWN NOODLES. It's just one of those days when he absolutely has to satisfy a nagging craving and that's when the gf's tummy doesn't matter at all. Had to settle for this because i had no idea what to eat and the tasty wanton mee queues were just too long.

Albert Street Prawn Mee is apparently quite famous and despite the lack of a physical queue, we were placed on a waiting list and the food took a while to be served. Before ordering, we noticed that many patrons were having the noodles and the broth has a crimson appearance to it and everyone finished their food so that has to mean something right?
The Big Prawn Noodles costs $5 per bowl and there are 3 prawns that are sliced into halves. They are served with a spoonful of curry powder for additional flavoring. It didn't make much of a difference to the already rich broth. Perhaps a taste of Indian spices? The soup is very sweet- it's more of a sugary sweetness than the seafood sweetness. I would prefer a savory seafood stock even though this is quite tasty.

I love the prawns! They are succulent and fresh, with a nice crunchy texture to each bite. The meat separates from the shell with relative ease and there's the orangey prawn roe that is oh-so-buttery and sinful. The roe is always the best part to any crustacean.
The dry version is quite nice if you like fried shallots. It is seasoned with shallot oil and some soy sauce. I would definitely request for more chili to give the noodles an additional kick.  
They have other sides to go with the prawn noodles, such as pig's tail, pork ribs, intestines, clams etc. This is definitely better than the Adam Road food centre's prawn noodles (which is such a huge disappointment because their standard keeps dropping). You can have Lao Ban for desserts after (read about it here)!

Albert Street Prawn Noodle (Old Airport Road Food Centre)
51 Old Airport Road
#01-10 Old Airport Road Food Centre
Tel: 9852 0881
Daily: 8.30am – 11.30pm
Lao Ban Beancurd is currently the craze in the tau hway circle right now. People have been raving about the milky and smooth fluid texture of the soy bean curd. I wouldn't say i'm a beancurd fan but i do have my favorites. I've remained rather faithful to Rochor Beancurd at Selegie Road, it's really silky and delicate (perfect dessert for a lady). Anyhoo, the boy and i headed to Old Airport Road for lunch and he insisted that i gotta give it a try.

And the queue was INSANE. We waited for 30 minutes for our turn! Halfway down the line we realized that we were in the queue for the Lor Mee! Sheesh. There are just too many queues at the Old Airport Road Hawker Centre. Thankfully the people behind us were very blur as well so nobody cut our line. :) 
Everyone in the queue bought at least 4 bowls of beancurd at a go, not surprising since it doesn't make sense to queue for half an hour just to get a bowl of desserts. Sharing is caring anyway. Likewise, we bought a grand total of 11bowls of beancurd. :P The original flavor costs $1.50 while the almond one costs $2 and we went away with a grand total of $17 worth of tau hway. 

Perhaps the bar was raised too high with all the roaring reviews but i don't think i would be queueing for this anytime soon. I have to admit that the texture is really intriguing- the curd simply melts into a milky liquid upon consumption. When i first lifted the cover, i thought that it has yet to solidify because the pudding is so wobbly. I could see why people would queue for hours for this.

This is definitely more milky than the usual tau hway. It's made from fresh soy bean milk, tamed with creamer and malt before it's curdled with gelatin. Perhaps i'm still thinking about my favorite Yee Shun steamed milk pudding (read about it here), which some reviewers have likened this to, but honestly this is not the same. And there's no level ground for comparison because they are essentially different (other than the fact that they are both Chinese milky desserts).

The almond one has a bit more character to it. I was afraid that the almond powder/essence would be too overpowering but it lends a nice subtleness to the otherwise bland curd. S only offered me a mouthful before he proceeded to gulp the entire bowl. :(

I wouldn't mind having this IF someone decides to be nice and buys it for me but certainly no more queueing for this. So there you go, a sweet end to the weekend. Enjoy!

Lao Ban Soya Beancurd
51 Old Airport Road, #01-127
Old Airport Road Food Centre
Tel: +65 8181 2201
Tue–Sat: 11.30am – 8pm
Sun: 1pm – 8pm
(Closed on Mon)

#01-91 Maxwell Food Market
Tue–Sun: 11.30am – 2pm

We always look back to our younger years with fond memories and by association, Bukit Timah will always hold a special place in my heart. The old school Coronation Plaza was one of our hangouts after school (No points for getting my school right). Back then there weren't that many options for us. It was Ke3 Ai4 Ji1 for the chicken cutlet rice, cosy corner for Japanese food or Prince for the $6 Western food set with free flow drinks. I remember mugging for our O level Chinese paper at Venezia at 6th Avenue. There's that ice cream prata place that closed down too. Serene Centre used to have a 2 storey MacDonalds which has since been downsized. Just like how memories fade and we create new ones, new food establishments have taken over/sprung up in the area and i've come to count on some of them as my comfort food source. 

The latest addition to the Greenwood eateries is Baker & Cook, an artisan bakery and food store opened by Global Baker Dean Brettschneider. The month old bakery produces its own brand range of jams, cookies, cakes, homemade granola and more. Just the selection of breads alone will leave you stupefied. It took me a long while to finally decide on what i want. 

The set up kinda reminds me of Simply Bread which is located at Guthrie House at 6th Ave but B&C has more of a pastry and dessert selection. The 20-odd seater fills up pretty quickly and space in the air conditioned section is hard to come by. Expect to jostle for attention if you want to satisfy your hungry tummy! To make things easier, check out their menu on their website and place your order immediately upon arrival. :)

I had a blind taste test of their bagel prior to coming to the bakery and it is the best i've tasted in Singapore. It is chewy without being overly tough on the jaw and i love how there is this tinge of saltiness to the dough. Very New-Yorkish. The blueberry bagel ($2.35ea) is a dessert in itself. The berries would simply burst when you sink your teeth into the bagel and act as a fresh jam to sweeten each bite.

Sandwiches are available at $8.50 and what's available is dependent on the Chef's mood. There were only 2 options and that makes life a lot easier for indecisive eaters. Ham And Cheese Turkish Pide Sandwich ($8.50) was my choice for my Tinner (Tea+Dinner). The bread is tough on the outside, the toasted part is almost like a pizza crust and it crackles with each bite. However, it's pillowy soft on the inside. Love the black sesame seeds on top. They added on a smoky dimension that is oh-so-fragrant. Eat it fast though. It really gets the jaw going when it's colder.
Z was raving about the quiche even before we got to the bakery. For $7.95, you get a slice of the pie with a salad of your choice. I'm not a big fan of vegetables but this is very fresh. The burst of colors of the fresh greens and reds really helped whet our appetites. The eggy centre was extremely moist and creamy. I've hit the Quiche jackpot! The pastry is not very crispy because it has absorbed all the essence of the fillings. 
Before leaving, i simply had to express my disappointment at missing out on the meat quiche (Only the Veg was available). A Quiche Lorraine would be oh-so-perfect. The Chef immediately went to check if there's another pie for the next day and WALA! Wish granted! It always helps to look extremely sad and pouty. Heh. :P (Great idea for a T-shirt design). Anyway, it was equally moist, so it's not purely the contribution of the vegetables.

The wide array of colorful desserts were hard to resist. We started off with the lemon tart. I like the crumbly and buttery texture of the crust. The curd is a little more fluid and sticky and also leaning towards the sweet side. I would prefer it to be a tad more sour (it's a lemon tart afterall!). In the end i emptied the golden cup of its content and focused on the tart while Z happily ate the curd. 

Had the mochaccino and it was a liquid chocolate-expresso fantasy. For $5.50, a huge mug of fragrant chocolatey dream is served. The texture is smooth and the foam was really thick and it held up the sugar for a really long time (i'm gonna start timing next time). Anyway, it's almost like drinking hot chocolate but the sneaky caffeine gave me an energizer-bunny buzz for the rest of the night. This is like downing cocktails without realizing how strong the drinks are and then getting pretty drunk. Caffeine is my alcohol.
The cakes look very yummy, especially the cheesecakes. They look especially moist and dense. Whole cakes go for about $23-25. 
Z doesn't like cheesecake so we settled for the chocolate cake which was quite a disappointment. There is no denying that the texture was quite perfect- dense and thick. However, it seems to lack in the chocolate department, it just wasn't rich enough. On the whole, it was pretty dry.
Packed the shortbread home. Every mouthful was a cranberry explosion. Z thought it was too much as it's hard to enjoy the true taste of the shortbread. I thought the shortbread was a little bland and the taste fell flat. Thankfully the cranberries revived it a little. 

So yay! More brunch options in the Bukit Timah area. Don't say i never share! Now off to yoga!

Baker & Cook
77 Hillcrest Road, Greenwood
Tel: +65 6469 8834
Sun - Thu: 7am - 8pm
Fri - Sat: 7am - 10pm
Shall end the International Tea week with this post even though there are so many other awesome tea places on my travels that i really wanna share. I have readers complaining about how it's a torture reading about these places when they are stuck in Sg without better options. So 2 posts tonight! 1 on tea and another for brunch (in SG) tomorrow. :)

I love matcha. It's light, soothing and refreshing. Like coffee, it goes well with many different types of desserts. When the boy and i spotted O'sulloc tea house along Insadong (where we first stayed at in Seoul), we knew for sure we would be spending many afternoons enjoying tea there.

O'Sulloc Tea House is a theme cafe that offers a variety of Korea’s traditional tea. Here, you'll find their home grown Matcha from Jeju being used as a main ingredient in all their dishes- from juices to smoothies, ice cream to cakes, teas to coffee.

S was very fascinated with the tea set which gave us an option of ordering various combinations of green tea delights. We went with some platter thingy (as shown in picture above), with a green tea tiramisu and a green tea smoothie/milkshake/ice blended with more green tea ice cream. That set cost us about 30000++Won, which is about 30ish- 40sgd. It's not cheap but it's worth every buck.

The Matcha taste was very intense and you could taste the bittersweet caffeine in every bite. I was on a perpetual high. You can never go wrong with the azuki beans-Matcha combination. The shaved ice tasted like they were frozen green tea milkshake! YUMS.
I have to rave about the tiramisu. It was a-mazing! It was light and airy and packs a punch of green tea in it. If i didn't stop S, he would have gobbled the entire thing without me having a taste of it. The smoothie sent us to pure Matcha heaven with each gulp.

On top of that, i ordered the green tea caramel latte and it left a lingering sweetness that calmed and soothed my nerves (not that i had any. we were on a holiday after all. :)) We were simply grinning from ear to ear from the moment we stepped into the cafe till everything was polished off the table.

The ambience was very relaxing as well. Open spaces, nature friendly interior, large glass wall and an air well to create the illusion of space. There are curated pieces of ceramic tea sets (very expensive) making the cafe seem almost like a museum. You could also purchase the various tea leaves from the shop as well. Best souvenir you can buy home from Seoul. I regret not buying more and now i gotta ration. :(

The O’sulloc Tea House has stores in Myeongdong, Jongno (Insadong), Daehangno, Gangnam, and at the Gangnam Finance Center. There are many other tea places/museums in Insadong so do take a look around. I've stumbled upon some really cool cafes while exploring that area.

O'sulloc Tea House
Myeongdong, Jongno (Insadong), Daehangno, Gangnam, Gangnam Finance Center
Daily: 9am - 10.30pm

I love milk- the full cream, buttery smooth and extremely fatty sort. I love dairy products- all things made from milk, the cheese, the butter, the desserts. When i had my first bowl of dun4 nai3 (steamed milk pudding) in Hong Kong, i fell head over heels in love. It was an addiction. I dreamt about it when i didn't have it, i drool when eating it, i regret not eating more after, and i crave and long for it after i leave the city. Singapore! Why you no have (pardon the Singlish)! 

When it comes to this delicious milky custard, Yee Shun does it the best. Ok maybe i'm just too brand loyal but Australian Milk Company doesn't even come close.  
Anyway, i would aim to have at least 2 bowls of this super silky and soft custard per day when i'm in HK. They are by no means cheap Chinese desserts, each costing about 20-25HKD (i was a poor student then). With the low exchange rates, it just means that i can have more of this delicious sweet.

It's a fuss free service- you place your orders, submit the form, and within minutes you'd be served with the desserts. There are both hot and cold puddings, flavored and original as well. My favorites are the chocolate, coffee (both cold) and the hot ginger milk pudding. The flavors are really intense for the flavored  ones. It's practically like eating solid milk coffee but with a smooth creamy texture. If only they have the Yuan Yang flavored ones. :))

Sadly, i have never found a shuang1 pi2 nai3 or dun4 nai3 that is as nice as Yee Shun. Lao ban is just beancurd, it's not milk. Don't even try to convince me. Also, steamed egg is obviously worlds apart from steamed milk. The texture is just different. You wouldn't understand unless you have tried this. It's out of this world. Apparently it's too much work to make this because you need the freshest ingredients and other technical stuff. Le sigh. Can only look forward to the next HK trip.
Other than the milk pudding, there are other hidden gems at Yee Shun, which i only discovered during my last trip. I've seen people eating snacks e.g. instant noodles, ham and egg sandwiches at YS (they are like a Cha Chan Teng that specializes in desserts) but i remained focused on my desserts. Till one afternoon, we decided to give the Pork Chop bun a shot and it blew my mind.

Absolutely unpretentious appearance- a slab of nicely grilled (ok maybe fried) pork chop sandwiched in a crusty toasted bun, no condiments, no dressings, nothing else. I was quite doubtful of the taste when it was served (i'm an aesthetic person) but the bun is surprisingly soft and fluffy on the inside (you can tell by the height and airy pockets in the whites) and extremely crunchy and crisp on the outside. The meat is tender, juicy and well marinated. I could have a few of these if it were not for the many other meals that i was trying to squeeze into the trip.

Yee Shun Milk Company
513 Nathan Road,
Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2374-5460
506 Lockhart Road
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2591-1837

63 Pilkem Street
Jordan, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2730-2799

246-248 Sai Yeung Choi Street South
Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2393-3301

Daily: 11.30am - 12.00am

Some weekends ago, Z and i celebrated her birthday in Kuala Lumpur (WOOWHEE). Our 2D1N adventure started out with hanging out in the Bangsar area after breakfast at Antipodean (will write about that soon). Debs recommended Antipodean over Ben's General Food Store and Plan B for breakfast but it was still a far cry from what we are used to in Sg. Anyway, since BGF was in the area, we popped by to take a look.

Ben's General Food Store in the Kuala Lumpur Bangsar Village area is akin to Jones the Grocer in Singapore. They have a good selection of condiments, pasta (dried and prepared), spices, chocolates etc. at the Shop section. Some cheeses and cured/marinated meats for easy cooking are available too. I wanted to cook Z a birthday lunch back at our place (Fraser's Place provided us with all the cooking tools) but obviously she didn't trust me/my cooking skills enough so that didn't materialize.

The restaurant is quite popular with the yuppies and expats, just like what you see here in Sg (at WH, Epicurious, Jones...) Breakfast food, Lunch food, milkshakes, coffees, desserts and all are available. We didn't know how good the food is till much later... 

Love window grocery shopping. I can spend hours in the supermarket just looking and buying stuff. :)) Anyway because we were so stuffed, we decided to forgo lunch and pack something for tea instead. The pastry selections looked pretty yums. They have 3 tiered carrot cakes as well as chocolate cakes! Imagine layers of frosting in between the 3 layered sponge. They only serve the slices if you dine in and they didn't have the smaller ones for sale so we had to forgo eating them.

Anyway, we settled for the spiced chorizo muffin as well as sausage bun (not the one in the picture). We got another cheese sausage roll from Starbucks (surprise surprise) because it looked really good. The Sg Starbucks is an absolute failure when it comes to food.

The savory muffin was real deli. See the chunks of chorizo? They added a nice saltiness to the muffin. The texture of the muffin is a dense but surprisingly fluffy sponge. Reminded me of the corn muffin from Kenny Rogers (one of my fav!). There is a nice cheesy flavor to the muffin as well. I also love how the chopped up spring onions and spices added a breath of freshness to the butter, flour, egg batter. There are also sundried tomatoes in them. YUMS!  This is a HUGE muffin btw, Z had to finish most of it because i'm a mouse when it comes to eating (only when i choose to be). After trying the green egg muffin at the Muffinry, i have to conclude that M does it better because it's more moist. Perhaps it's to do with the avocado in it and the smaller size of the muffin as well?

 Anyway, i would certainly head back to try the other food at Ben's next time i'm headed to KL. On our way back we spotted the same cakes at Plan B. Apparently they are all under the BIG Group of restaurants. So i suppose you could dine at either.

Best way to enjoy a cuppa? With BFFs of course. Cheers to one of our favorite meals and to friendship!

Ben's General Food Store
Bangsar Village IG17 & G18, Ground Floor
No 1, Jalan Telawi Satu
Bangsar Baru 59100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603 2284 8790
Daily: 10.30am – 10.30pm

It's a new week again! This week shall be International Tea week as i introduce the various teas that i've had from around the world! This time, i'll be combining my 2 favorites- food and travel, in a series of posts. Since we are all kinda stuck at work (except for the lucky ones on break), this is something to help you get by till the next holiday! (I really need to start planning mine!) We'll start off with Singapore, then KL, HK and Korea.

Z and i headed to The Knolls at Capella for tea some time back (i didn't have bangs then). This is one great place to head to if one wishes that they are not in Singapore. I insisted on a pool view table and from there we could see the South China sea. The surroundings were luscious forests and I truly felt like i was on some secluded island for a glorious vacation under the sun.

The Knolls' afternoon tea menu comprises of 3 variants- Queens Tea, Japanese Tea and Peranakan Tea and is served daily from 3.30 - 5.30pm. Each set comes with a pot of tea of your choice and you can pick from an extensive selection by The Gryphon Tea Company. Each set costs about $38++. We didn't know that a set could serve 2 person and we each ordered a set! Imagine the horror when we were served our food (every item came in twos).

We went with the “Neo-Classic- The Modern Colonial,” and "Queens -The Rose Garden,” set (as shown in the pictures)
Modern Colonial Tea Set

I hate to say this but the food was definitely a disappointment and fell short of our expectations. Pity pity. Again, i could make sandwiches better than these. The bread is nothing special- plain white (so Gardenia) and the brown bread tasted the same as the white bread but colored differently. For the price i'm paying, i'm certainly expecting artisan bread or at least something that's not off the shelf. Cucumber and lime based cream, egg mayo and smoked salmon are run of the mill flavors. Can tell that there's no thought put into this creation (if you can call that a creation).  

The scones were slightly better than the sandwiches because they had good clotted cream and fresh jam to go along with them. I can never resist having clotted cream. Once again, i requested for some salted butter, which they failed to deliver, so i had to make my own (as usual). The Madeleine were so-so. I'm not a fan so i'm in no position to critique. 
I kinda like the fruit tart because of the light and refreshing custard which wasn't too eggy. The tart is crisp enough and not overly buttery. It helps to clear the palate after all the heavy cream and carbs with the tangy berries. Next to it is what i would call a marmalade sponge cake which was pretty dense. Z likes me. As for me, i was too stuffed to even wanna finish them. I recall it's pretty sweet, a little too much for my liking.

The Queens set on the other hand was HORRIBLE, except for the tomato with feta/goat's cheese. Everything else was plain weird. The top tier is a lavender/rose/floral infused fried quail egg which was absolutely bland and tasteless. There wasn't even a sauce or dip to go with it. I thought it was some croquettes and i was sorely disappointed when i bit into it. 

I have no idea what sorta sandwich that is but i remember it to be fairly sourish with cucumber and mayo (again). Cheap ingredients that didn't even taste good. Desserts were far too sweet again. Coconut mousse with mango and chocolate scones (which wasn't made from rich chocolate and i couldn't really taste any of the cocoa).
Queens Tea Set 
If only the food taste as good as they look and complement the view as well, we would surely be back. However, the Knolls has failed us in that department and i don't think i'll go to all that trouble just to get to Capella just for tea. For the view, i think i may head to the alfresco at Bob's Bar just a level above.

The Knolls
1 The Knolls, Capella Singapore 
Tel: +65 6591 5046 
Daily: 6.30am - 11pm

Marmalade Pantry has been around for a while but i've never been much of a fan. It usually is the second choice after PS cafe or any other newer brunch/tea places. I don't have much of an impression of their food after my first experience (and we all know what that means) so i usually wouldn't recommend or head to MP for my meals. However, i've heard much about their afternoon tea and i finally made time for it some time back. 

Afternoon High Tea is served from 3 to pm daily. At $20 each, with a minimum of 2 sets per order, you will be served a pot of Gryphon tea, a selection of egg and cress, beef & horseradish and green land shrimp finger sandwiches, buttermilk scones, and a cupcake. It was supposed to be a tai tai moment for me and my colleagues and we fully intended to saunter in and plonk our pretty little asses down to tea without having to queue. To our horror, they don't take reservations for tea! Thankfully D found a way to get around that problem and all was well. Then came problem no. 2, at 3pm, they told us that they are only left with a set of tea for 2. SERIOUSLY? I don't know how they ran out so quickly but thank our lucky stars we got the last tier! 
The highlight of tea is always the scones and Marmalade does these little buttermilk ones. At first glance, i knew it to be dry. The texture is closer to that of a cookie in terms of moisture and firmness (in a bad way). It was bland and untasty. I wouldn't even call this a scone. Needless to say i wasn't very satisfied with them.

That said, the clotted cream was not too shady. At least they didn't use whipped cream as a substitute and could tell the difference between whipped and clotted (read about which cafe tried to hoodwink me here). The scones only became slightly more bearable after being coated with a slab of cream. Still didn't mask my disappointment though. Love the strawberries stewed in sugar syrup (most likely) and the biscotti was a delight- crumbly, nutty with pistachio and sweetened by some dried fruits. Yums.

Sandwiches were decent. Nicely toasted and slightly buttery bread. It's not particularly memorable so i guess it's just mediocre.
I've never had cupcakes at Marmalade prior to this visit and boy i have missed out on so much. This is probably one of the nicest cupcakes in SG though i've had better ones in Saigon (read about it here). The red velvet was very intense and moist. You could tell them by the colour at the centre of the cupcake. It should be a deep and even crimson red. Nice cream cheese frosting that complements the velvet well. The chocolate one wasn't that nice though. The frosting was dry and so was the batter. Doesn't have a rich chocolate taste as well.

Would i go back for tea at Marmalade? Maybe. But only for the cupcake.

Marmalade Pantry
2 Orchard Turn #03-22
ION Orchard
Tel: +65 6734 2700
Mon–Fri: 11.30am – 9.30pm
Sat: 10am – 9.30pm
Sun: 10am – 4pm

Marmalade Pantry at the Stables
55 Fairways Drive
Tel: +65 6467 9328
Tue to Fri: 3pm – 11pm
Sat to Sun: 10am – 11pm