Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Where am i gonna be spending this weekend? At Savour 2013 of course. I can think of no better way to relax and unwind other than sampling over 60 international culinary masterpieces in 1 location. Expect signature dishes from the world's top 100 ranked restaurants, many of which i love and truly enjoyed.
Looking forward to the cooking demonstrations at the Gourmet Village where one can interact with the Michelin star chefs, enjoy great food, pick up culinary tips and get tipsy with wine/cognac/whisky at appreciation workshops! -HIC-

On top of that, FIJI Water is organizing The Great FIJI Water Race, as part of Savour 2013. The race is a fun initiative by FIJI Water to engage participants in an exciting Amazing-Race style discovery of Savour 2013.

The winner of The Great FIJI Water Race will walk away with the grand prize of $1,000 cash and one year’s supply of FIJI Water. To vie for the grand prize, contest hopefuls need to complete five tasks and three optional bonus tasks to earn the most points in the shortest amount of time. Anyone can take part in this race so long as you are attending Savour. Simply visit any of the Key Task or Bonus Task stations to pick up a score card- Tuck Lee, Cake Over Heels, Balzac Brasserie and Barilla.

The race will be held this Saturday, 13 April 2013 from 12 to 4pm. For more information on The Great FIJI Water Race, visit the FIJI Singapore Facebook page.

Tickets are running fast for Savour so grab your tickets now if you still haven't. See you there and may the odds be ever in your favor!
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Was sent some customised chocolates by the nice folks at Cocoa B. These guys do a unique chocolate concept where you can create your own chocolate bars online. 
I heard that they do exotic flavors and hence i made use of this chance to try out some interesting combinations. 
First, pick the chocolate bar flavor. There are 2 sizes, 50g ($3.90) and 100g ($7.50). Choose from White, Milk and Dark. I love the milk and dark chocolate and i think the texture of their chocolates are really dandy. They taste rich without being too heavy and it's easy to finish a bar in no time (S would do that). 
Next,  select your toppings from 5 categories. A maximum of 5 could be selected, any more and there wouldn't be space for the toppings. I was really excited about having bacon in my chocolate. Imagine that smoky and savory flavor in bitter dark chocolate. I threw in chili flakes from the herbs category as well.  To give it some crunch and sweetness, i balanced my bar with some raisins, almonds and pumpkin seeds. 
Doesn't it look pretty? I shared this bar with my colleagues and everyone loved it (with the exception of T mama). The flavors were exactly what i expected it to be- a light touch of spiciness, a hint of savory crunch and then mellowed sweetness of the raisins. YUMS. Other interesting toppings include ikan bilis, chicken floss, garlic, cajun spice and more. Let your creativity fly.
My White chocolate bar was a little more oriental and sweet. Cranberries, dried longan, pumpkin seeds, wolfberries and apricots peppered this one. Decorate them with gummy bears, heart and/or rainbow sprinkles or even a 'Happy Birthday' or 'I Love You' chocolate plaque. They are quite the perfect gifts for friends/lovers with a sweet tooth. :)
Don't quite know how to design your own bars? Check out Cocoa B's creations. There are 11 to choose from. 

Special Discount
For my dear readers only, use the code 'MSSKINNYFAT' to get a 15% off the 100g bar creation! The code will last till 24 Apr 2014. Now go forth and create your own bars. ;)

Cocoa B.
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I've been desperate to travel following my Melbourne getaway in February and i guess my desperation was picked up by the lovely folks at Orchard Hotel, who treated me to a staycation in their refurbished Premier Rooms.

The hotel underwent a full refurbishment in their Claymore Wing back in end 2011. As you can see, the room is elegantly decorated with grey, white and brown pieces. Lovely king size bed that was great to roll around on and possibly have a pillow fight with the 10 different types of pillows on their pillow menu. I do feel quite like the princess in my pillowy fortress (yes i built myself one).
Each room boasts sleek audio and visual equipment which include: iPhone and iPod connectivity adaptive radio (doesn't work for iPhone5). You could easily link your laptop to the 40" TV which would be helpful considering the lack of good cable channels in the room. :( Where's TLC and AXN when you need them right?

The bathroom features a drop-in shower stall and sunken long bath which came without bubble bath (i forgot to bring mine boo). Nice touch with the loofah mitts and mouthwash though. And the sweet scent of lilies in the room (happens to be my favorite too)!
Pool view from the room which made me long for the sun even more. The dreary weather kept me in bed till dinner. Didn't even feel like going shopping though Orchard Road is just right in front of the hotel. Boo. More rolling around in bed till dinner with my darling J at the Orchard Cafe. For $64++ (daily), feast on their dinner buffet which includes the following.
We were rather impressed with Orchard CafĂ©’s Dinner buffet which was recently updated by Executive Chef Taki. Even if you don't fancy the other dishes, feasting on the premium Live Alaskan Crabs, freshly shucked oysters, cold Tiger Prawns and sashimi is good enough. 
A little leg joint that is longer than my face. :) Love how sweet the crab legs are. Alaskan crabs are my absolute favorite because they are so easy to eat. My other favorite is the succulent tiger prawns that are so umami. The oysters weren't too shady as well though i thought it a little salty. The Australian ones were creamier and more substantial than the delicate French ones. 
We started off with seafood and decided that was going to be it. Very good and buttery salmon, hamachi and tako sashimi. The pork knuckles and prime rib carving failed to impress due to the dryness. The roast duck however satisfied my meat craving. 
The Laksa and Mee Rebus were unexpectedly good. Perhaps it's because we didn't expect an international buffet to do local delicacies well. 
My other favorite? The cheese section. Rather decent cheeses that were left untouched. Imagine my happiness. 
I stopped with the food after all that seafood and started on desserts. Quite a wide selection of desserts here. I enjoyed their mango cake, bread pudding and couldn't stop munching on chocolate coated marshmallows. J loves the Durian Pengat which was really good with ice cream and chopped almonds. 

Orchard Hotel may not be the best place for a staycation as there is really nothing much to do around the hotel other than shopping at Orchard Road. The general environment also made me feel like i'm in a Bangkok hotel but i must say that the new rooms are really comfortable and equivalent of some 4-5* chains. Nevertheless, it makes a good place dinner, be it the seafood buffet at Orchard Cafe or at the award winning Hua Ting.

For tourists who want to be right in the action of town, this mid range hotel will show you a side of Orchard Road that you never expect (interesting nightlife just right next tower). The Thai Club (Aura) at the basement seems quite exciting as well. J has plans for some hen party already (i hope it's not mine). The lobby and connecting shopping arcade did reminded me of some Bangkok hotels.

Thanks to Orchard Hotel for the lovely staycation and awesome dinner at Orchard Cafe. 

Orchard Hotel Singapore
442 Orchard Road, Singapore 238879
Telephone : +65 6734 7766
Reservations : +65 6734 8595

Mon-Sat Lunch Buffet- $46
Sun Brunch- $68
Daily Dinner Buffet- $64

I'm always wary of fusion food because many restaurants in Singapore don't do them well. Luckily for us, there's LP+Tetsu, starring Michelin-starred Laurent Peugeot (of Le Charlemagne) and Tetsuya Yoshida (of Tetsu), to provide us with their modern twist on French-Japanese food.

Fine dining it is supposed to be, as evident from their no shorts and slippers policy (they should be banned everywhere other than in coffee shops) but the modern environment felt pretty relaxed. The friendly staff were attentive and accommodating to my photography needs and the plates were subsequently placed under the light after they noticed me shifting things around to get a better shot. Brownie points +1.

We did the 6 course Simply LP+Tetsu menu ($98) and the 7 course Wander and Savour menu ($138). What i love about LP+Tetsu is that they really honor what fusion cuisine is about. Each dish was carefully crafted, bearing in mind the different flavors and how they could complement each other to bring out the best taste and sensations. This is present in every dish that we tried and i was thoroughly impressed with the level of detail. Here are some dishes from the night.

Amuse Bouche- Savory filled jelly balls on cracker. From left to right- Sesame with daikon, corn and green pea. S thought it weird to have savory flavors presented in a dessert looking form but i quite enjoyed them. The savory Panna Cotta in a porcelain egg was nothing french other than the texture and the flavors were all nihon. 
Love the french breads with a touch of nori in the olive oil, served with matcha salt on the side. 
We were told to compare the flavor of the Duck Foie Gras Hydromel (Honey Wine) Tube when eaten with the lollipop of grilled almond and then with the biscotti slice. I was surprised at the different pairing as they enhanced different dimensions of the foie gras.
Duck Foie Gras in Shabu Shabu Style- Cassis Pearl, Jelly Translucent and Emulsion Cassis. Salty briny broth with popping candies that reminded me of Jaan, even the bowl it was served in. 
My favorite dish of the night, the Saint Jacques- a confit scallop with assorted mushrooms. Maitake, shimeji, black trompette, eringi were used and accompanied with truffle Vinaigrette and snow. The snow was amazing with marshmallow-like texture that disintegrated like clouds in the mouth. 
Bamboo clams seem to be the favorite shell fish these days or maybe i've just been having too much of them. This slow cooked version with sake and white wine miso sat well with this palate. 
The 63 Degree Organic Egg served with the raw and crispy Amai Ebi failed to impress. I've been spoilt by Julien and how he handles his eggs (read review of Jaan here). Sunshiny orange egg yolk no doubt but flavors were lacking and the ebi was alien to the plate. 
We weren't too impressed with their meat dishes. From Simply, the Roasted Lamb Loin rolled in Juniper Berries powder was a mix of blandness in flavors and then the overpowering herby taste of the berries.

The Milk Veal Tenderloin was also quite meh. I thought the stuffed Momotaru Tomato with green tea emulsion served on top fared better than the meat.

For both dishes, the use of shallots and onion jam also took the attention away from the meat, try as i might not to eat them. Made the mistake of a little taste and i couldn't taste the meat properly after. 
The cheeses had all my attention. I loved the Epoisses de Bourgogne, a supposedly strong cheese (which was quite alright for me) from Burgundy that was mixed with raisins, wrapped in a pastry skin and deep fried. The presentation resembled the Japanese fried tofu but had a creamier and crispier texture. Another perfect sweet and savory dish. 
The "Croque Monsieur" uses Cheese Saint Marcelin with Mascarpone. There's light pungent and bitter taste at the start which gives way to a sweet ending but i guess the taste kinda grows on you after a while (only if you love cheese). The dehydrated pear was delish however. 
Had way too many desserts. There was the palate cleanser which was a ume sorbet, followed by a matcha crumble on mangosteen ice cream and then our 2 desserts. Snow at Mont Blanc in orange jelly, Jasmine petals, Meringue Snow Kinako. I think snow anything is awesome. Give me snow in my food from now on!
Dinner concluded with the sweet version of the jelly balls this time-Apple martini, sesame peanut and lychee peach. The liquid was less viscous this time and i almost killed myself when the first one exploded in my mouth. S liked these but i preferred the savory ones. 

So do i like LP+Tetsu? Absolutely. The food is fun and well designed and prepared. Some hits and misses but generally good. Satisfaction level was on the whole about the same as Jaan minus the view and atmosphere. If there's one fusion restaurant that you should go to in Singapore, LP+Tetsu is it. 
Bring your date here if she's fun and experimental and not all that into the fancy schmancy. Just try to stop her from gobbling down the fighting fishes on display. ;)
#03-18 Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road
Tel: +65 6836 3112
Daily: 11.30am – 2.20pm; 6 – 10.30pm
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Was invited to the Sabio by the Sea by the lovely Belinda who is always so generous with us friends, inviting us to great places, events and all. A sunny Saturday was bookmarked for a long lazy brunch by the marina at Sentosa Cove. Sangria was at the top of our minds following our previous cider tasting at Betel Box (read it here).
Sabio by the Sea, like its sister Sabio in the city, echoes the same painted traditional Catalan tiles and hand carving inspired by a 200 years old bar in Seville. Yet, the vibe is contemporary with bright red metal stools lining the length of the space and CMYK Dada inspired artwork. There is also the fluidity in space with the al fresco areas spilling onto the quayside.
I went to Sabio by the Sea expecting to be feasting on tapas but was delighted to know that they do a Weekend Brunch. For $35, diners get to enjoy the “El Sabio basket”, a choice of main dish and a hot
The El Sabio Basket was a delectable tray of wonderfully baked pastries. I absolutely adored the Mini Croissants (both plain and chocolate). The perfect marriage of moist buttery center and crispy browned flakes blew me over. The mini baguette was almost too perfect to be eaten as well. Excellent quality butter and strawberry jam in little jars accompanied the bread basket and i happily buttered away.
Included in the basket is also a glass of fresh orange juice and home made plain yogurt served with berries. This is the perfect start to a great 3h brunch. ;)
Choose from 8 main dishes, all of which would have gone through the TLC of the Josper Grill to give it the smoky flavor. One of our favorites was the Chachouka With Chorizo Sausage, Two Fried Eggs, Toasted Brioche And Green Salad. The Chachouka is a hearty stew of peppers, zucchinis and tomatoes and i loved how the porous bread readily soaks up the earthy stew flavored with the saltiness of cured sausage.
The Grilled Olive Bread stuffed with Manchego Cheese and Serrano Ham with a side of baby Spinach salad would be great if we had eaten it once it was served but lukewarm food is usually the case when you are dining with a huge group of bloggers. Nevertheless, you can't go wrong with Serrano ham and Manchego cheese though it tends to be on the dry side.
Want something meatier? The Grilled Ribeye (120g) with Chachouka, Fried Egg And Grilled Mushrooms is a great option as well.
As compared to the dishes that we had, the Fluffy Omelette was easier on the flavors. Loved the juicy asparagus in the omelette which was topped with roasted potatoes, Manchego cheese, Serano ham, basil and grilled cherry tomatoes.
Apart from the extensive hot and cold tapas dishes available on the menu, I highly recommend the  El Cerdo ($21) from the Josper grill. Herbs Marinated pig shoulder pieces that appeared like the Chinese braised pork belly turned out to be more substantial in bite and taste. The chunks of meat wore the caramelized crisp  like a badge of honor, having survived the ferocious oven. You may want to skip this if you are afraid of clogging your arteries though.
The El Pulpo ($19)- Grilled Octopus leg, “Viola” Mash Potato, Sauce Paprika, is a favorite of many. I can understand their liking of the crispy tentacles and chewy bite of the sea creature, but i'm not a fan of food that is kinda bland and rubbery and takes forever to swallow. Everyone at the table enjoyed it though.
Now, save some space for desserts because you can't miss the best Churros ($11) in Singapore. The crispy dough sticks, evenly and perfectly coated with the golden ratio of sugar and cinnamon, were divine with the viscous and rich dark chocolate. It's even better than the ones i had in Spain! The Spanish Nougat Mousse was interesting but too sweet for my liking.
And you gotta have the Signature Salty Butter Caramel Lava Cake that Chef Bruno Menard created which i raved about in my &made review (read it here). Bruno was so sweet to come down to join us for brunch and he promised to make the dessert for me personally next time i visit his restaurant. Such a charming man.
Chef Bruno Menard, the sweet Helene and Chef Damien Le Bihan executive chef of Sabio by the Sea.
The meal preparation was overseen by Chef Damien Le Bihan, Group Executive Chef, who earned his ranks in several Parisian Michelin restaurants. A man of few words but there's no doubt he's passionate about his food. 
Need a getaway but don't have the time to hop on a plane? Head on down for brunch at Sabio by the Sea. It sure felt like i was in a different place. Wanderlust. Brunch is served on Sat from 12 to 3.30pm and Sun from 10.30 to 3.30pm.

Thanks once again to Deliciae for hosting us. Looking forward to trying the other restaurants under the group.

Sabio by the Sea
31 Ocean Way, #01-02
Quayside Isle, Sentosa Cove (Next to W Hotel Singapore)
Monday to Thursday: 12 - 10pm
Fri: 12pm - 12am
Sat: 10am - 12am
Sun: 10am - 10pm