Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

If you're suffering from cafe fatigue in Singapore, with the dozens of cafes that are like clones of one another, perhaps check out Cups N Canvas, an Arts cafe just off Orchard Road. Cups N Canvas has been quietly making waves in the Selegie vicinity despite the lack of publicity and hype on social media. S and i drove past this place so many times without even realizing its existence. We were surprised to see the healthy crowd it drew when we popped by one weekend. I guess these sneaky folks have been keeping this gem to themselves. How can!  
I decided that i like Cups N Canvas the moment i stepped into the place. It's chill, fun and very New York. Or perhaps Brooklyn. You'll know what i mean if you've been to NYC.

Cups is split into 2 sections, an art studio and the cafe. The art studio half will be closed when there is painting class going on, otherwise the space is available for food.

Nothing makes me happier than All Day Breakfasts. Even though Cups only has 2 items on their ADB, it was enough for people to go crazy for them, especially the Eggs Ben-Addict, which is served on a bagel. In fact, they ran out of it when i was there and i really couldn't wait for an hour for breakfast to be served. :(
Of course there were other yummy options. Their pastas are very popular. The Blanc Bacon, a garlic cream bacon mushroom fettuccine is their hot seller. S tried it another time during lunch and said it was fab. The Vermillion Prawn, a white wine garlic based linguine is another favorite.

Ok back to brunch, i had the Breakfast Canvas ($16.90), which came with bratwurst, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, roasted potatoes, grilled tomatoes, greens, toast and juice. This came with a juice (from concentrate). Buttery and wet scrambled, cooked to (my idea of) perfection. A thick and juicy herb sausage that was absolutely delicious and that crispy bacon rash was simply godsend. I would have loved for a toast that is denser and more substantial as the one served was too light.
The drink to have is certainly the Sweet Potato Latte ($4.80). According to the lady boss, this is the only place in Singapore that sells it. This is made from freshly pureed sweet potato and steamed milk and i could inhale 2 of these easily. Another interesting drink to have would be the Sticky Date Shake ($6.80).

Cups N Canvas is a simple cafe, but it works. It kinda proves the point that you don't have to be indie, or third wave or fancy schmancy or complicated in order to succeed. Check them out sometime. The service is awesome. 

Cups N Canvas
139 Selegie Road
Tel: +65 6884 6855
Tue - Thu: 9.30am - 9.30pm
Fri - Sat: 9.30am - 11pm
Sun: 10am - 5pm

A Kyoto autumn adventure under the bright reds, oranges and yellows koyo, led me to the doorsteps of a hidden jewel, Giro Giro Hitoshina. This unorthodox Japanese restaurant serves a 'modern' Kyoto Kaiseiki meal in a casual and cool converted warehouse by the obscure Takase-gawa canal. The floor to ceiling picture window panes, that replaced the original brick wall, presented diners with a charming view of the lush foliage as they partake in an exquisitely prepared 8 course meal determined by the chef. 

The energy given out by the young punkish chefs was electrifying. Reserve a seat by the counter of the open kitchen and you'd be entertained by the dynamic performance as they prepare course after course with finesse.
There is no burden of choice at Giro Giro Hitoshina. You only get to make a decision on your choice of beverage (sake in our case). The menu changes seasonally (by month apparently) so you'll never taste the same thing twice (unless you dine there every other week).
We started with Turtle soup, which was a cold and light fish soup (i hope!). 

An Asian style Sushi roll filled with stewed mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. There's also a mini Viet Rice roll with mint and persimmon. Beancurd skin and cucumber tossed in a sesame peanut sauce. Tempura dried fish and a light lotus with smoked pork. It was a mish mash of dishes and ingredients but the individual flavors were great. 

A pretty dish that captured the essence of Autumn with all the colors and flavors. The highlight of the dish was the tofu ball made with chestnut, water chestnut and a surprise chunk of fish roe. Tofu is a signature dish of Kyoto so make sure you do a tofu meal there. Arashiyama is a good place for that. 

A fresh red snapper sashimi with freshly grated wasabi and ponzu sauce.

My other favorite dish of Smoked Yellowtail paired with a grainy creamy lemon sauce and a side of potato salad. An absolutely divine dish. 

The Gratinated Clams was presented with great fan fare, blow torch, bubbling cheese and all right before our eyes. You can't go wrong with the combination of creamy potatoes with briny succulent clams.

I would have Japanese breakfast for dinner any time and this was a comforting dish that i wouldn't mind eating for the rest of my life. Japanese rice with seaweed, grilled mackerel, tamago with fish roe, silver fish and pickled vegetables. A simple Asian meal that warms belly and the heart.

We concluded dinner with an exquisite dessert. Pear w jelly, marmalade on cake, pumpkin ice cream and an Azuki jelly. 

If you think that the meal cost a bomb, it did not. You would be able to enjoy this for ¥3,680 per person. It is not wonder why the 2 seatings a night is insufficient to satisfy the hungry crowd. Book way in advance or you'll be disappointed. The only equivalent in Singapore is Teppei (read review here) but this is more haute and exquisite. 
Giro Giro Hitoshina is the must try if you're in Kyoto. This is certainly on my Favorites list. :)

Giro Giro Hitoshina
420-7 Nanbacho matsubara sagaru Nishikiyamachi dori Shimogyo-ku Kyoto
Tel: +81 075 343 7070
Daily: 5.30 - 11pm
Closed last Mon of the month

If you are looking for a place for Indian fine dining, rejoice in the fact that Tandoor Restaurant is back in the game following its recent face-lift (read about my previous review here). Not only has the decor been given a modern and classy revamp, the menu at Tandoor Restaurant, Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre, has also been made more refined and delicate while retaining its traditional roots. I was even more impressed with their story telling concept as the waiters took us through the interesting history of each dish. 
S and I were invited to sample the Dinner Gourmet Set ($68). If you're not up for the full course, there is a smaller course at $48. Vegetarian options are also available.

We started with the Samosa Chaat, a light puff pastry shell stuffed with potatoes and chickpeas and topped with sweet yogurt and tamarind chutney. I love the creaminess and contrasting flavors of the dressing and was amazed at how light the puff was.

Next, we had the Pudina Murg Shorba, a chicken soup that was rich in flavors but again not overly creamy. We were told that much thought had gone into the use of the ingredients to cater to health conscious diners. A spicy scallop was served with our soup. Tip: try the soup first before devouring the scallop. The mint in the soup also helped to douse the fire from the scallop.
Next, a platter of kebabs. 
From left to right, Jalepeno Corn Kebab, Paneer Chupa Rustom and Malmali Seek Kebab. My favorite was the Paneer Chupa Rustom, a potato croquette stuffed with spinach and cottage cheese. It's like a kinder surprise! The minced lean mutton kebab was very flavorful and soft, perfect if you were a toothless Indian king (no kidding, that's how the dish came about). 

The Honey Dill Grilled prawns spiced with red chilies were great too, along with the Chicken Lemongrass Kebab which was surprisingly juicy and tender. 
On to the mains which were served with saffron rice or Naans. Here you see the Nalli Gosht- a lamb shank curry which was full of collagen bits. The Palak Paneer, a must order at any Indian restaurant. 

The Mango Curry was too addictive, a unique ripe mango curry from the Mangalore region of India. Chef's grandmother made this dish for him to get him to eat fruits. This sweet curry goes extremely well with the fluffy saffron rice. The other dish that i could not stop eating was the Murg Dum A Dum, chicken curry. Best mopped up with the garlic naan.
The Goan Fish Curry was our other favorite. The perfectly cooked succulent ocean perch was served sizzling in a tangy spiced coconut curry. I wished there were more of the gravy in this one. 
Last but not the least, we ended dinner with a trio of desserts. From the left, the sweetened carrot dessert Gajar Halwa which had the quality of a nutty rice pudding; a Bailey's Kulfi ice cream, and a Rose and Elaichi Panna Cotta.
Looks like a toadstool doesn't it? Cute presentation ftw. 

I have to say that Tandoor Restaurant really impressed us with its new direction. I enjoyed the food a lot better than i did the first time. Even S, who would frown on my Indian meal suggestions, enjoyed his meal and even indicated his willingness to have this again. 

Tandoor would be having its Diwali promotion from 15 October to 15 November 2013. Diners will hear intriguing 4-part story of Ramanyana from the wait staff as they feast on the dishes. Specially designed illustrated coasters will also be given to diners who purchase the Gourmet Trail Menus. 

Tandoor Restaurant
Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre
Basement 1
Daily: 12 - 2.30pm, 7 - 10.30pm
The crazy hot, humid and sunny weather is terrible for our delicate skin. If you have an active lifestyle, especially one that involves the great outdoors, then you'd probably be battling the 6 common imperfections- pimples, redness, pores, shininess, dull complexion and scarring. The nice folks at Vichy Laboratoires recently sent me their Normaderm care package which is formulated to treat these skin problems. Clearer skin within a week? Why not?

The sweet surprise in a beautiful tin box.

Here's the basic regime that you should start/maintain to get relatively problem free skin! I love the light, refreshing fragrance of the Vichy products. It's a cool floral scent which reminds me a little of Marc Jacobs Daisy?

Step 1: Cleanse
The Deep Cleansing and Purifying Gel (200ml, $29) leaves the skin clear and fresh. I liked that the gel doesn't leave my skin feeling too dry or tight. There's a nice cooling sensation on my skin after using the gel.

Step 2: Tone
Follow it with the Normaderm Astringent Cleansing lotion to tighten the pores and give your skin a matte finish. I would think that this is a toner but it left a slightly sticky feeling which I didn't quite like. So I use my DRx toner to cleanse my skin after.

Step 3: Treat
Tri-Activ Anti-Imperfection Moisturizer (50ml, $39). This is the no.1 selling oil control moisturiser in derma skincare. It's very lightweight and easily absorbed by the skin, leaving no greasy feeling at all. My face felt cool and refreshed after applying the moisturizer.

Step 4: Target

Vichy's latest product is the Hyaluspot Treatment (15ml, $29.90), a rapid action anti-bacterial bandage spot treatment gel to treat pimples. The Hyaluronic Acid content in the gel will form a protective layer on the pimple, while the Salicylic acid and LHA prevent further contamination and intensely purifying the skin from within, thus removing the pimple. The metal tip applicator is supposed to help cool your skin and also make application easier but I don't think it wise to contaminate the tip or content with the exposed skin /pimple.

Vichy also threw in some myth-busting cards to provide more tidbits on attaining clear and beautiful skin. How thoughtful of them!
Myth: Oily skin is horrible because it causes breakouts and shine. This is probably the most common misconception on oily skin! I used to think that as well but it is FALSE! :/

I'll leave the reading to you guys. But some oil on your face is actually good (as highlighted by many of my doctor friends). It's better than a dry wrinkly face for sure!

If you are not sure what products you should be using, you could do an online consultation on the Vichy website or head to the leading pharmacies for more details.

Say hello to clear and smooth skin!
Krispy Kreme is coming to Singapore! Ok old news. I'm sure you guys already know about this long ago. I've been waiting for this day since i bit into the warm fluffy sugar dough that S went to great lengths to procure for me years ago. Since then, we (I) would go crazy buying KK every time we hit Hong Kong and Japan.

I'm sure you've seen pictures of happy Singaporeans munching on Krispy Kreme all over social media. In the past couple of weeks, KK delivered 100 000 doughnuts to companies and schools that nominated themselves on I too, got my sugar high from the 2 dozens of these sugar glazed babies sent by the nice folks at KK.

Don't be jealous. You can get your fix soon as Krispy Kreme gears up for its Grand Opening of its flagship store at Tangs Orchard Basement 1 on October 12th. Be prepared for the long queues though..

I'm gonna do a quick comparison of the Singapore version vs. the US version. It could be the heat and the delivery but the glaze melted and got soaked up so it didn't have that nice texture that i remember.
I'm hoping to see the same version as i did at the US stores (pic above) when the Tangs outlet opens. I thought that the SG version was a little oily. I guess the Americans are good at making junk food appear/taste less junkish? Anyhoo, i'm not a huge fan of the original flavor, i mean, why would you go for plain when the filled shells are so much more interesting?

Take a look at how airy and light the Powdered Raspberry filled KK is. I cannot tell you how poofy each bite was. It was too easy to devour 2 KK in 1 seating and i had to restrain myself before i supersize myself I believe that they were pretty much gone after we pulled out of the KK drivethru. THE HORROR.

I've checked out the Krispy Kreme menu for the Singapore store and my favorite flavors are available! Sorry if yours isn't. :P You have to get the Cappuccino Franco, Chocolate Iced Custard Filled and New York Cheesecake! The Chocolate DreamCake sounds very interesting and by the looks of it, it's probably a chocolate custard filled shellwith cookie bits on top. There is also a Red Velvet Cake one that i wouldn't mind trying.

Good news to all doughnut fans who are planning to get their hands on the first Krispy Kreme doughnuts at the Tangs Orchard store. KK will be giving away up to a year's supply of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts to the firsts in line via a Golden, Silver and Bronze ticket, as well as heaps of prizes! 12 October 2013- Mark the date.

Krispy Kreme Singapore
Tangs Orchard
310 Orchard Road, Basement, Singapore 238864
Daily: 8am - 11pm
5 stores will open in the next 5 years!
A good buffet line isn't one that has a whole truckload of crappy food but one with a crafted selection of fine dishes. Olive Tree at InterContinental Singapore has just the right ingredients to make it a great buffet line, especially with their best of Thai cuisine offering right now. 

With two renowned guest chefs from the Thailand Culinary Academy – Chef Surasak Kongsawat and Chef Jareuk Sriaroon, together with a locally acclaimed Thai culinary expert Chef Hansongkhram Chutnapa, Olive Tree is determined to deliver a truly authentic Thai experience from now till 13 October 2013.

I started with a sampler of the starters, which award winning and mini celebrity Executive Chef Eric Neo enthusiastically plated for me as he brought me around the line. The seafood salads fared well with its mix of succulent prawns paired with pomelo and roasted chili paste. The Spicy Beef Salad was also well flavored with lime, chili padi and fish sauce. For some crunch, try the fluffy Catfish and Green Mango Salad.
My favorite appetizer was no doubt the Kao Tang Na Tung. 
It looked like hummus and it even had that grainy creamy texture but this sweet and savory paste was actually minced pork. Slather the crispy rice crackers with this and i swear you wouldn't be able to stop munching on them.
For more salads, head over to the Som-Tum bar where you can get your hands on the spicy Green Papaya Salad with fruit, corn, prawns and salted egg. When you're done, move on to the Claypot Curries.
There were 4-5 types of Claypot Curries stewing away. The Green Curry Pork was fragrant and minty. I thought it fared better than the Deep Fried Seabass with Red Curry. 
The best curry was hands down the Beef with Mild Red Curry Sauce Pu-Pad-Pong-Kari! Extremely tender beef in a semi sweet peanut red curry. I could have a huge bowl of rice with this one. Do not miss out on the Kor Moo Yang, a succulent char-grilled pork shoulder with a secret blend of spices.

Other classic dishes such as the Stir Fried Beef with Thai Basil, Stir Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts, Pineapple Fried Rice, Pad Thai and Tom Yum Kung were part of the line up. The tom yum and pad thai could be more fiery though. 

The colourful Lup Chup (fruit-shaped desserts made of mung-bean flour with natural colouring) looked too pretty to be eaten. I've tried them before along the streets of Bangkok but never took to it. I was surprised that these ones were actually tasty. The Red Ruby in coconut milk was a great option after the spicy meal. Skip the Mango Sticky Rice and the steamed puddings. You may want to do the international selection of chocolate fondue and cakes if you wish. 
On top of the special Thai cuisine, there are the regular international seafood, sashimi and dessert section for the added variety.
Thank you InterContinental Singapore for hosting me at the Journey to Thailand buffet. Highly recommended if you enjoy Thai food.

Journey to Thailand buffet
Available: 27 September 2013 to 13 October 2013
Weekdays: 6 - 10pm
Weekends & PH: 7 - 10.30pm 
Price: $55++ for 1 diner, $88++ for 2 diners
$128++ per family (2 adults and 2 children aged 12 and below)
Top up $15++ to enjoy free-flow Chang Beer
Reservation: Reserve online at to enjoy a complimentary round of
Chang Beer

Olive Tree
InterContinental Singapore

80 Middle Road, Singapore 188966
Tel: +65 6825 1061