Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

When the going gets tough, the tough goes eating. A couple of us at office decided that we needed to reward ourselves for the hard work that we did in the week and we made a last minute reservation at East Ocean Teochew Restaurant for lunch. We were in fact spoiled by the dim sum offerings in Orchard e.g. Imperial Treasures Teochew Restaurant, Kam Boat etc. Now you know where to go for decent dim sum in town. :)

I was surprised that we could get a last minute table for 10pax because it is always hard at IT! My colleague is a regular there so they made special arrangements for us despite us adding on the numbers. The place was packed when we got to the restaurant at noon so do remember to make your reservations.

This is what happens when you leave the order form with me. The table was cleared and filled 4 times throughout our meal! Heh. Well, you know you'll never starve when i'm around.

You MUST order the mini egg tarts ($5.80 for 4). One is not enough for anyone i swear. The light and flaky puff pastry carefully held the wobbly golden custard which was like an egg cream. I'm drooling at the thought of it now..
I swear by anything that has shrimps in them. Every prawn dish that we tasted were fabulous owing to the fresh and succulent seafood. Just look at those Har Gows ($6 per basket).

I love the thin and springy steamed rice rolls and the shrimp ($5.80) and scallop ($6) ones were stellar. Definitely value for money given the size of the prawns! 3 rolls with 3 prawns in each of them.
Another variation of prawn dim sum. The Deep Fried Beancurd Skin Prawn Roll ($5.80). If you want the healthier option, there is also the steamed version of this for the same price and we ordered that as well! Heh. 
Ordered some Century Egg Porridge for sharing. Don't you love congee? Each bowl had chunks of century egg in them.

I went a little overboard with the Steamed Glutinous Rice Rolls ($3.90 for 3). I didn't know that there were 3 mini ones in each basket and so i ordered 2 baskets. At this point i think murderous glares were thrown at me... BUT they were nice because the glutinous rice was sufficiently steamed and hence soft and lightly sticky. We didn't fare too badly, having only to pack 2 rolls back to office.
The pork dishes weren't that great as compared to the prawn ones. It's not that they weren't good, they were just not that great in comparison. Here are the Siew Mais ($5 for 4).

I was really looking forward to the Baked BBQ Pork Bun ($6 for 3) but was sorely disappointed. Imperial Treasures Bakery sells better buns that you can take away for cheaper. The pork was weirdly savory with onions in them that weren't caramelized enough. The milky bo lo bao crust was alright but at some parts the bun to meat ratio was too much. I also found some parts of the bun a little hard and crusty in the stale way.
The highlight of the meal was supposed to be the steamed Custard Bun ($5 for 4). I expected to end lunch on a high and sweet note but....

I didn't like the salted egg yolk custard because it was WAAAAAAAAAY too sweet!
While there was a good bun to filling ratio in this one and i liked the dense texture of the steamed bun, the sweetness was an overkill. Will not order this again. :(

There were more dishes that we ordered but i think this is kinda sufficient to make up your mind on dining at East Ocean Restaurant. I sure wouldn't mind going back considering the good price point and high quality of the dishes. The final bill came up to $24 per pax inclusive of GST and service charge. Not bad hur! Something to keep in mind when you're in town!

Photos taken on my iPhone because it was an impromptu food session. :)

East Ocean Teochew Restaurant
391 Orchard Road #05-08/09 Ngee Ann City, Singapore 238872
Tel: +65 6235 9088
Weekdays: 11.30am - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm
Weekends and PH:10am - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm

Call me slow but i've only recently tried Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King. Yes i've heard raving reviews but i'm really not one who would wait in line for ramen (in SIN city that is). The boy loves ramen and so Keisuke popped into my head. Thankfully, we made it minutes before they opened and managed to get in immediately.

This outlet of Keisuke specializes in Tonkotsu Ramen, which is made from a rich milky pork broth. Keeping things simple, they have 3 flavors to pick from- Original, Black Spicy and Red Spicy.
Black Spicy is a pepper based spice while Red Spicy is a fresh chili paste.

The first thing i heard about Keisuke was their free flow boiled eggs and seasoned bean sprouts. That kinda contributed to the long queue i guess. Not that much of a cheapo to go for such stuff, especially since bean sprouts are the bane of my life.

I started playing with the sesame seeds even before i placed my order. Other than enhancing the taste of the broth, it is also a good distraction from the wait.

The ramen could be easily customized using the order form. Kinda idiot-proof. I went for the original with seaweed and flavored egg. And a little bit of spring onions. Don't quite get who would go for the 'no char siew' option.

Here's mine.

Despite the less oil option, there were a lot of pieces of fats in my noodles. I dutifully scooped out most of them.
S's spicy red ramen with normal oil level. I didn't quite like the red spicy flavor as it was more of a dull piquantness than a savory one. The original broth was very rich and flavorful but it was also rather salty.

Our verdict on the ramen. It's not bad. We concluded that the broth was on the same level as Santouka's or better. Santouka happens to be his favorite ramen in Singapore. I wasn't too pleased with the char siew though as it was drier and tougher than the high quality pork cheeks that we are used to at Santouka. But the egg? Simply awesome. I could inhale 5 of these realistically speaking. Nice gooey texture in the middle and the soy infusion right to the center of the egg. Lovely.
I wouldn't mind coming back for ramen IF the queue isn't insane. Certainly one of the better ramens around. What is your favorite ramen in SIN city?

Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King
1 Tras Link #01-19 Orchid Hotel
Tel: +65 6636 0855
Daily: 11.30am - 10.30pm (they do take a break in the afternoon i think)
For anyone who loves to have a variety of dishes for any meal, the small plates format is your best option. Needless to say i'm a huge fan of Spanish tapas. I recently checked out Fandango Tapas and Wine Bar and enjoyed dining privileges using the Palate card. Located in the heart of Chijmes, Fandango provides a chic yet comfortable place to relax and unwind in the al fresco seating area facing the lawn and the beautiful church. Thankfully, the weather was on our side for some outdoors dining.
Fandango offers a good selection of traditional Spanish tapas as well as some Asian inspired dishes such as Roast Pork Belly. An extensive wine list that accompanied all those authentic dishes kept us very happy that night. Other than Spanish wines and beers, there are Australian, New Zealand and South American wines as well. I like that they offer many wines by the glasses so that allowed us to try various drinks without committing to a bottle.

What's Spanish tapas without some Sangria right? 
I was a little disappointed as our Sangrias were a little diluted. The red wine based ones were stronger though.
Serrano and Manchego ($18) is a good snack to have with some wine. Another option is the Deep Fried Camembert ($17) served with raspberry and Cabernet coulis. I liked the texture of the oozy cheese but the coulis was lacking in texture and too watery for my liking.

The Albondigas ($14), a traditional beef meatballs in a spicy tomato and rosemary sauce was probably my favorite dish of the night. They were juicy, flavorful and simply divine.

The Tortilla a la Espanola ($11) is a classic Spanish potato and onion omelette. It's so hard to find a good one in Singapore and it's really not that easy to make one. Fandango's tortilla kept me going on and on the whole night with its soft potatoes and light onion fragrance. It's good alone but the tangy tomato picante was good with it too.

It's hard to go wrong with Scallops and Serrano ham skewers ($18). 

To the uninitiated, the traditional Spanish Chorizo ($18) may be thought of as too hard, dry and salty but that is what chorizo is. This spicy and salty meat is pan fried with onions and dusted with a touch of paprika. It would be great if it came with a serving of baguette though.

Don't miss out on the Garlic prawns ($15). Fresh prawns served with artichoke hearts, sauteed with garlic, onion and white wine. I wished there were more in the pan. You should also order the Calamari if you need something fried. :)
The Paella de Marisco ($35) wasn't the most traditional that i've tasted. For one, the short grained rice was a little too fluffy for a paella. I was told by Emma, the friendly boss, that it's a spanish grain, though not bomba. Texture aside, i liked the rich seafood broth taste in this one and the seafood were fresh.
Desserts were kinda disappointing for us. Our Chocolate lava cake was overdone the first time round. Despite the molten centre in the second, the chocolate taste was lacking. Ice cream was so so as well.
The signature tiramisu was sorely lacking in espresso and alcohol. It was all cream and frozen chocolate swirls all around. I say skip desserts and stick to the wine and tapas.
We enjoyed a 25% off our total bill (there were 4 of us) and that saved us quite a bit from all that feasting. Whee. So glad that i have the Palate Card (read more here) for that.

GIVEAWAY (closed)
So here is the final Palate Card giveaway! This is what you need to do to win a Basic membership card worth $428.

1. Visit my Facebook page (click here) and find the Fandango Post.
2. Share the post with your friends (Remember to set the privacy setting to Public)
3. Tell me which restaurant you would like to try under the Palate Card dining privileges.

Giveaway ends midnight 25 Aug! Remember to like my FB page if you haven't done so. :) Good luck!

Fandango Tapas and Wine Bar
30 Victoria Street, CHIJMES #01-17
Tel: +65 6333 3450
Weekdays: 12pm - 12am
Sat: 5pm - 2am
Sun: 5pm - 12am

Through Her Eyes

Life in motion. From the backseat of a beaten up car. Watching the sun set. Watching the blur. Wondering how we got to where we are. Wondering how anyone got to where they are. Wondering about life.. In motion.  

Adding another count to my Duxton food list. This time it's Department of Caffeine (D.O.C.), as recommended by my readers! You guys have perfect taste (Just like me haha!)
I didn't realize that it's possible to make a reservation! I suggest that you do so on the weekends because it gets really packed. And for a good reason.

The boys were busy behind the counter, grinding beans and steaming milk non stop. Despite the crazy crowd, they were meticulous with their latte art.

Swan in Mocha no. 1.

Heart in Mocha no. 2. They noticed that i was rather annoyed as my drink took forever to come even though we placed both orders at the same time. Machine had to be recalibrated so this grumpy girl had to wait for her cuppa. :P

My D.O.C. Breakfast Platter. Scrambled eggs and bacon wrapped meatloaf on toasted brioche served with tomato confit and cheese bocconcini ($18). The cheese boccincini was just divine. Melted creamy cheese that is soft with a nice pull, coated with a breaded golden crust that is crunchy and buttery. Orgasmic. I was just a little annoyed when S took 1 of them. DOC should just sell this as a side.

The meatloaf is actually Spam so i wasn't very much impressed. Meh. The eggs were pretty good though. Brioche not too impressive as it was rather compressed and a little hard.
C had the 8Hr Pulled Pork sandwich with house BBQ sauce and carrot and coriander coleslaw ($15). This was a refreshing sandwich and i liked that the BBQ sauce wasn't too overwhelming. The toasted bun was pretty yummy too.
I made space for some dessert. I mean after all, what's brunch without something sweet to end it off right? I went with the Olive Oil and Apple Cake as recommended by one of the boys at the counter. My criteria was that the cake has to be moist. And this was a great recommendation. Everything was just right. The apple was of the right size and right texture (not too soft or hard); an angel touch of cinnamon and a light cream that gels all the ingredients. Perfection.

For your brunch consideration! Enjoy.

Department of Caffeine
15 Duxton Road
Tel: +65 6223 3426
Weekdays: 10.30am - 7.30pm
Weekends: 9.30am - 7.30pm

Another restaurant checked off my Duxton list. This time it was The Vintage Room by the Deliciae Group and needless to say i'm a fan.They have their little enclave of restaurants in Duxton Hill so diners have variety to choose from. Apart from TVR, there's also L'Entrecote (just next door) and Sabio Tapas Bar
Back to TVR, it's a vintage bar designed with an eclectic and cosy atmosphere. The design concept revolves around an Old World vibe with refurbished furniture littered around the space, from door frames to lamp shades. 

Marble bar counters with customized tiles on the walls.
Beautiful nymphs toting Champagne bottles (and holding niffy cameras :P) are all over the place.
Interior designer, The Stripe Collective, has done a great job with the space. It's colonial, classy and yet funky at the same time. A lot of effort has been spent in acquiring an impressive collection of old-fashioned frames and antique.
TVR is more of a bar than a food place though they do have small bites as well. The selection of champagnes, wines and spirits is huge and hails from the old and new world. 
I started with the Caesar Ritz ($15), a Vodka/gin and elderflower liquor concoction. It's refreshing and lightly tangy with the lime juice base.
The Strawberry Mojito was not too bad as well.

A good selection of small bites and sharing plates are also available if you require some food to accompany your drinks. Executive Chef Damien Le Bihan (who also runs Sabio by the Sea, read review here) is the one who developed the menu.

Mix Of Smoked Fishes and Marinated Seafood- Smoked Salmon, Trout and Haddock, Herrings and Anchovies ($38).
I enjoyed the Mix of Cold Cuts ($38) served with the grilled buttered Poilane Bread. Meat lovers paradise with Bayonne Ham, Pate de Campagne (French Pork Country sStyle), Duck Rillettes (love this!), Andouille De Vire and Saucisson Sec.
The Ceneri’s Truffled Brie Cheese with Black Truffle from The Original Creator, Ceneri Cheese Master ($23) was my absolute favorite. This is also available on the dessert menu at L'Entrecote. It's milky, creamy and absolutely orgasmic. 
From the Tartines section, we had the Fresh Goat Cheese, Onion Caramelized and Bayonne Ham Served on Poilane Toast ($17). It's a nice blend of flavors and the goat cheese was pretty mild. 
Vegetarian Tartine Served on Poilane Toast ($13). Fresh, juicy and smoky aubergines, sundried tomatoes and zucchinis glazed with balsamic. 

The “Vintage” Croque Madame (we added an egg) was a tad too dry for my liking. The cream sauce was dry and the overall flavor was too bland for me. I was disappointed at the doneness of the egg as well.

Desserts weren't too promising actually. The Mousse au Chocolat ($12) was the best of the lot that i tasted. At least the chocolate was richer than that of the Half Baked Chocolate Cake ($14). Give the Profiteroles de “L’EntrecĂ´te” ($14) a miss. For desserts, I'd suggest you head over to Sabio for the awesome churros by Chef Damien. Now if only they do a delivery order..   

There are drinks specials from Tuesdays to Fridays. Check out their promotions on their Facebook page for more details. Ladies, there are free bellinis on Thursday from 6-9pm! You know where you can find me on Thursdays. ;)

The Vintage Room
37 Duxton Hill  Singapore 089614
Tel: +65 6690 7565
Tue-Thu: 5pm to 12am
Fri: 3pm to 1am
Sat: 5pm to 1 am