Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Here is introducing another cool pop up store in Singapore that you should not miss. Have you heard of the urban farming movement? How does growing your own food at home sound to you? If you're even a wee bit interested, then you need to visit the NONG pop up store by Edible Gardens. These cool folks are gonna induct you into living sustainably and meaningfully in a cool fashion.
Located on the rooftop of People's Park Complex (how cool is that?), NONG features a permanent retail space run by Naiise (super naiise!), a gallery, workshops and they will even be having some F&B pop-ups on some weekends. 
Uber quaint space above the urban sprawl with great views of the city. 
Don't you think it's awesome to grow your own vegetables and eat them? Well i mean i don't have green fingers but i can always try right? 
Well other than making salads out of them, these plants can be used as place mats even! Or you can hang them up as decorations, whichever way that rock your socks. 

You will also be able to find a mix of sustainably sourced, upcycled and locally designed kitchenware, furniture, and stationery and gardening equipment at the NONGxNaiise retail space. You can also get some of these cool stuff on and here's a review on them (click here)!
The workshops and gallery have started already so do check out their Facebook Page (link at the end of post) for more details!
There will be a Farmer's Market on 23 Mar 2014, where local restaurants like The Cajun King and Morsels will set up store to cook food using the first harvests from the farm at NONG. Do show some support and drop by yea! In the meantime, follow NONG on FB for latest updates. See you guys there!

NONG by Edible Gardens
Level 6 People's Park Complex, Chinatown 
(take the residential lift, entrance next to KFC)

The burgeoning cocktail scene in Singapore has provided us ladies (and many boys) with the hippest and coolest watering holes where we see those who wished to be seen. L'Aiglon, the latest offering, and an extremely attractive one, is gonna be where the party is. Owner Pierre-Emmanuel Plassart drew his inspiration from the golden ages of luxury travel when he designed L'Aiglon and this gem at 69 Neil Road absolutely embodies all that glamor.

We started our night with some delicious bubbly. Introducing the J.M. Labruyère Cuvée Tradition ($24/$110). There are only 60,000 bottles in the world and L'Aiglon is the only bar in the world that carries it. Really smooth.
Our drinks were prepared by the dashing world-class bartender Louis Tan, who recently won the qualifying round for the Diageo Reserve World Class 2014. If you find him familiar, he was the ex Head Bartender at Horse's Mouth.
A must try and my top favorite poison is the Screaming Tomatoes ($22). This is the wickedly seductive sister of the Bloody Mary. Made from fresh French cherry tomatoes with a bouquet of herbs, the flavor profile is peppery and savory; a spiked gazpacho. Vodka is used in this one.

If you fancy an adult's chai tea, then At World's End ($20) would be your choice. I'm not too much a fan of cinnamon so this wasn't really my cup of tea.
The other favorite of mine is the Tiger Tail Sour ($18), a sweet fruity and fun cocktail. I can see myself drinking this all night. It's full of Vit C too, made from fresh passionfruit, pineapple and lemon and topped with Rum. Glurps.
The French 69 ($22) is essentially the Champagne Labryère with gin and fresh lemon juice. Something light and refreshing if you like.

Well apart from the drinks, i must say that the snacks here are pretty amazing. Perfect finger food, similar price tags to my other favorite bar 28 Hong Kong. The Signature Pep's Chicken Mini burger (3 for $14) came with nicely toasted crunchy buns which sandwiched the juicy and well marinated chicken patty. Other signatures to look out for are the Obsiblue Tartare with ginger flower and lime caviar ($18) and the Smoked Salmon Maki ($14)

We couldn't get enough of the Crab cakes ($14) with curry salsa and Granny Smith. The flavors kinda explode with each bite; it's a bit of that creaminess, with a hint of spice, some acidity from the apples and the savory crab meat. Drools. The Gent's chicken samosa (3 for $12) pales in comparison. 
So here you go, L'Aiglon, what is probably going to be the hottest thing on the cocktail scene in Singapore.

69 Neil Road
Mon - Sat: 5pm - 2am
The revival of Ann Siang Hill, with its smorgasbord of restaurants, have brought gleeful smiles to the hungry diners. One of the hottest restaurants is Lolla and i'm sure many of you have already heard/seen their signature Sea Urchin Pudding making its rounds on Instagram and Facebook.
A long overdue catch up session with B provided an opportunity to check out this small but uber hip tapas bar. Reservations were made but it was only for the communal table in the basement. Thankfully we were early (7pm on a Wed) and managed to score seats at the most coveted spot in the restaurant- the 13-seat zinc-topped bar counter (walk ins only, except for lunch).

My love for food goes beyond what is presented on the plates and i love watching how my food is prepared. Food voyeurism is not a bad thing in this case. The lighting is also perfect for the droolicious pictures that you are about to feast on.

The tapas dishes are a fusion of European and Japanese flavors. Portions are on the small side for some dishes but give yourself time (and tummy space) to decide and order along the way. B and i ordered the following to share.
Sea Urchin Pudding ($19/half portion) is a must order. This is a rich, creamy, sweet and savory ink pudding adorned with tongues of creamy raw sea urchin. This 3 inch ramekin, though minute, is packed with decadent breakfast flavors. It is made from squid ink, egg yolks, cream and tomato sauce. The taste can get quite overpowering and we spent the whole night nursing it in between the other dishes. We can't fathom how people can even finish a half portion on their own.
The Duck Rillettes ($15) came with nicely toasted baguette. This was probably the greatest (and only) disappointment of the meal dry. The meat was dry and lacking in the creamy and savory flavor of duck fats. The meat was also too minced up and it resembled canned tuna when served. We left it much untouched.  

Another must order is the Scrambled eggs with Bottarga di Muggine ($22). We could taste every bit of the TLC Chef put into it. He stood there over the low fire and did not stop stirring for a good 3-5 minutes. Well, the results speak for itself.

Just look at that velvety luscious texture. This is certainly the best scrambled eggs that i've had in my life. The sweetish briny flavors of the Bottarga di Muggine (salted, pressed and dried roe of gray mullet) brought the dish to the next level.

Instead of following the crowd and ordering the Grass fed Ribeye ($52), we opted for the Lamb cutlets ($28). This is by no means less inferior and turned out to be the highlight of our meal. The lamb is first seared and then finished in the oven, simply seasoned with salt and herbs and served in its own jus but oh that crust and oh that juicy tender meat. And i'm not even a lamb fan (i only have a weakness for lambskin). The dish is rather small, i wouldn't recommend sharing if you're not ordering many dishes.
Dinner concluded on a high (from the sweetness) with the Steamed Dark Chocolate Pudding ($15). There is so much of that rich chocolate sauce with dark chocolate chunks on top of the cake. I thought the cake was a little dry that night though. Ice cream comes with real vanilla beans (i expect nothing less) but the flavors didn't quite pop. Nonetheless, a nice dessert to end the night. 

Lolla is certainly going on my favorites list. B, who didn't have a good impression of Lolla, became a convert after this meal. All thanks to my stellar taste in food no doubt. Our bill was only $110 because we weren't up for more eating and drinks weren't included.

You definitely have to check Lolla out if you haven't!

22 Ann Siang Road, Singapore
Tel: +65 6423 1228
Mon-Sat: 12pm - 2pm, 6pm - 12am
Mouth Restaurant was first established in the 80s in Chinatown Point and is known for its well made Cantonese Dim Sum. The tea house, which originally served delicate pieces of steamed dumplings, has gone on to provide more cooked dishes at its current China Square Central and Plaza Singapura outlets in Singapore.
We went in search of some Salted Egg Yolk Custard buns, which Mouth Restaurant is famous for.
Managed to snag a table for dim sum on Saturday noon. We were lucky to get a table despite the last minute reservation.
Century Egg and Shredded Pork Porridge is one of my standard dimsum order. Nice gluey texture of the congee with generous amount of pork. 4 of us shared a portion in order to make space for more food.
Shanghai Xiao Long Bao, Har Gao (Steamed Prawn Dumplings), and Spare Ribs in garlic and chili. All great dishes. The Xiao Long Bao skin was sufficiently thin and encased the juicy pork meat in a robust broth. Har Gao was big, fresh and juicy (i can never resist prawns). The ribs were well marinated and flavorful as well. 

Mouth Restaurant also offers Colored Har Gao instead of the typical Colored Xiao Long Bao and they are Squid Ink, Spinach, Sweet Potato, Pumpkin, Carrot and Original.
More prawn filled dumplings but this is wrapped with wanton skin and deep fried. Love the contrasting textures.
The Pan Fried Carrot Cake (another of my favorite dim sum item) was nicely browned and lightly crisp on the outside. The springy texture is just what i look for in a good carrot cake. Oh and the delicious strips of turnip and preserved Chinese sausages (lup cheong) had me finish most of this myself.
The Steamed Rice Roll with Fresh Prawn aka Cheong Fun was alright. It's not that they weren't good, the skin was silky but perhaps thicker than what i prefer. Prawns were great as usual but the sauce was a little bland in my opinion. 
Now now, the reason why we went to Mouth Restaurant. Here's the baked Salted Egg Yolk Bun (3pcs per set) Mind you, they run out fast. Just look at that lovely Hong Kong Bo Lo crust made from sugar, butter and milk powder. It's hard to believe that this is baked because the crust is so crunchy.
Be careful how you bite into the bun. Be warned that the piping viscous, creamy, savory and sweet lava may just erupt in your mouth and potentially over your plate, and shirt, and your fellow diners' shirts. It may be a little on the greasy end but the flavor was spot on.
A pork belly craving had us ordering a portion of meat, which was terribly unsatisfying. The meat was sorely lacking in flavors. Just stick to the dim sum.

Head on to Mouth Restaurant for a classic dim sum fix this weekend! Forgot the prices but it was about S$75 for 4 pax. 

Mouth Restaurant
China Square Central #01-61, 18 Cross St.
(just under the bridge that links to Hong Lim Complex, facing DBS bank)
Tel: +65 6438 5798
Weekdays: 11.30am - 3pm, 6pm - 10pm
Weekend &PH: 10am - 4pm, 6pm - 10pm

68 Orchard Road, #02-01 Plaza Singapura
Tel: +65 63377446
Weekdays: 11.30am - 10pm
Weekend & PH: 10am - 10pm
The girls and i went on a little getaway some time back. Due to the limited time had, we could only manage a quick escapade to Batam, where we checked out the No. 1 resort, Tempat Senang Boutique Spa and Resort.

The resort is a quick 45 minutes away from Singapore in the Indah Puri Sekupang enclave. We were promptly picked up and ushered onto our private transfer and within minutes, we stepped into the lush gardens of Tempat Senang. Love the tranquility and peace of the surroundings. TS doesn't allow guests below 15 so it's rather perfect for an adult getaway. 

Even though I knew there were only 13 themed room and suites, I was kinda expecting a larger set up with bigger communal spaces. There were 3 mini pools around the resort, and by mini, i mean that 5 (maybe 6) would be a crowd in the pool. The above picture shows the largest pool of the lot, which is located next to the restaurant. 

Prior to booking the suites, we had a hard time deciding on which themed room we wanted. Our top choice was the Thai Room (2-4pax), which has a private Turkish Fish Spa in the room with a stone terrace. The Abu Dhabi Harem Suite also looked really exotic and has a private terrace that looks out to the golf course. Well sadly, these were unavailable and we settled for the Javanese Joglo Suite which came with 2 King Sized beds, one of which is in a little room of its own.
Really cosy isn't it?
Our 4 poster king sized bed was very comfortable too and the nets kept the mosquitoes from biting us.
The room is rather large, with a small sitting area as shown above and another bigger one where we hung out over Moscato, snacks and movies. There is also a front porch with table and chairs. The room is on the dim side though the toilet is very well lit. Be prepared for some visitors e.g. lizards, bugs and the likes as we've been told they are rather eco-friendly. We were visited by a little mouse who came in through the roof and played hide and seek with us on the beams. We just let it be and it left shortly (we hoped).
Other than catering for groups, Tempat Senang also provides a solo traveler package in their Standard themed China Room and it costs from S$235 nett/pax for 2D1N stay.

Included in the price for the overnight stay is a 3 hour spa session for each guest. You can customize your own spa session from the variety of treatments available. We did a variety of facial, hair spa, massage, scrubs and wraps. The massage was truly relaxing and before we knew it, it was time for dinner.
Dinner was served on the open-air terrace restaurant which offers a range of traditional Indonesian, Western, and Thai dishes. We had the Beer Can Chicken for 2 (S$49), a 1.6kg chicken placed over a can and baked on the BBQ. Sadly it was bland and a little on the dry side. This was served with a huge side of mash potatoes.
The Nasi Campur for 2 ($49) was delicious and more traditionally Indonesian. Well marinated and tender Beef rendang, Gado gado, Lumpia, Satay, kaffir lime chicken, fish fillet, acar, emping crackers and rice. This more than enough made up for the tasteless chicken.

Make sure you bring your own entertainment and snacks. While there is a collection of pirated DVDs available, it can get quite boring. Remember that you're kinda in the outback and there aren't shopping centers or restaurants around. The snacks selection from the 'convenience' store is also miserable and the kitchen closes at 7.30pm.
Breakfast is provided and a small spread of local food is available. The nasi lemak had us going for seconds. An egg station provides guests with freshly cooked eggs.

The raisin brioche was superb with the honey and marmalade too!

If you wish to get some shopping done before heading home, get the open ferry ticket which allows you to arrive at Sekupang and depart from Batam Center. The transfer from the Resort to Batam Center will cost you S$10. Make sure you arrange for the return tickets with the Resort upon arrival. 

I wouldn't say that Tempat Senang Batam Resort is the most fantastic weekend getaway, i think i would have enjoyed Montigo Resorts much more (i prefer modern touches). But if you want to be closer to nature and just getting away from the crowd, Tempat Senang isn't a bad choice, just that it's a little pricy (but hey, spa is included). I wouldn't recommend a stay longer than 2D1N unless you are the bummer sort since there isn't a beach here.

The rates are as follows: 
Weekday (Mon - Thu) and Weekend (Fri - Sun, PH)
2D1N S$235/$259 nett per pax
3D2N $259/359 nett per pax
Prices are for 2-3pax in standard themed suite, upgrade at additional costs.
For 4pax or more, prices start from $204 in the bigger suites/apartments.

Tempat Senang
Indah Puri Sekupang,
Batam Indonesia
Tel: +62 778 325 616

Tim Ho Wan, a household dim sum name in Hong Kong and now Singapore, has had me standing in line and then surrendering and eating at some other Chinese restaurants several times due to the impossible lines. Read my review on the Hong Kong Tim Ho Wan here.

I finally sampled the Singapore version when we managed to score seats at the newly opened Bedok Mall during dinner time.
We started with some Century Egg Congee with lean pork and salted egg ($4.20). I didn't try this in Hong Kong but hello salted egg! The flavor of the silky smooth and thick congee was certainly enhanced by the salted egg. Delicious!
I've heard enough negative reviews on the baked bbq pork buns but i gotta try it for myself. First glance at the Baked Bun with BBQ Pork ($4.50) didn't leave a good impression already. It was pasty looking, nothing like that golden exterior of its hong kong sister. The bottom was oily and the bo lo crust wasn't milky nor crumbly enough. Kudos to that pillowy texture sandwiched between the meat and the upper crust, however, it wasn't good enough to cushion that shock i received from the char siew.
Upon splitting the csblb into halves, my immediate reaction was WTF? How is that char siew?! Artificial coloring could be seen from a mile away and instead of juicy meat, i bit into chunky fats. I simply had to ask the waitress if this was really the csblb. Such a disappointment.

The other standard Heavenly Kings include the Ma Lay Gao (Malay cake) a steamed cake with sugar. Honestly if you want steamed cake, you should just get it from any confectionery store. $3.80 per piece of cake is totally not worth the price. I gave the pan fried Carrot Cake and the Cheong Fun a miss this time since i wasn't overly impressed by them in Hong Kong.
Decided to taste the Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork and Shrimp ($4). It was saucy and savory but kinda lacking in the filling department.
The Har Gao or Prawn Dumplings ($5.50) were on the powdery. Instead of whole prawns, i believed they were filled with chopped up ones and it seems like fish/prawn paste were added to the mix. MEH.

The other dish that hits the mark was the Tonic Medlar and Osmanthus Cake ($3.50). It had the same intense flavors as the Hong Kong one and left us refreshed with its lingering fragrance. 

Overall, edible dimsum, not super fantastic. I've had better dimsum in Singapore really. I wouldn't mind eating it is there isn't a queue but if i were to wait 1h for this, i would surely be darn pissed. 

p/s: Heard that the Toa Payoh outlet serves the best dimsum out of the lot. Let me know what you think!

Tim Ho Wan
Jurong East #01-03/04
Bedok Mall #B1-51/52
Plaza Singapura #01-29A/52
Toa Payoh #02-02