Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

It's been 3 months since i embarked on my Invisalign journey with i.Dental Surgeons at Capital Tower! Well, i actually don't have much to report because i can't tell what's going on with my teeth because they are rather straight to start with, but i'm pretty sure things are slowly moving into the right places. Hee.
What's with the flowers in this picture right? Well.. Because i was the first Invisalign customer who visited i.Dental Surgeons after they opened a bigger, brighter and shinier clinic on Level 9 of Capital Tower! So they presented me with a bouquet of flowers. What a nice surprise!

The clinic is a lot more spacious now but it is still very cosy. Great place to hang out with a cuppa at the coffee station while waiting for the Dr. Cheng Eng Wah. That man is sooooo popular and i actually had to wait for an additional 30 mins even though we already have an appointment.
So finally i was ushered onto the new chair which is quite comfy and the following is the 3d model of my teeth at the current stage.
See those pink attachments? They are actually on my teeth but in the same shade as my teeth and that's why i'm sure you guys haven't noticed! Even S, who sees me almost everyday, didn't notice it until like 2 months later? The purpose of the attachments is to help shift the teeth into the ideal position. They felt a little uncomfortable at the start and they cut the insides of my mouth a little but the discomfort was minimal. They also make taking off the aligners a little harder but i got used to them after a bit.

Dr Cheng filed off a little of my tooth for the purpose of shifting the center line of my front teeth and it was quick and painless. Will be back in 2 months for a quick tweak. Invisalign clear teeth straightening is indeed very convenient! 

To a beautiful smile!
Finally updating on my Silkcut Salon treatments! Decided to put 2 posts in 1 since they are both about hair treatments! I'm crazy about hair care these days since visiting Peggy at the DRx Medispa Trichology center (read about my treatment here). Today i'll be highlighting 2 hair treatments to give you some glorious locks!

The first is a Tea Tree Hair and Scalp Treatment. Wendy prescribed this to invigorate and soothe my hair after my previous color job (read about it here). Well if you compare the pictures, the ash color has faded to reveal the bright blonde but the color is still acceptable to me. Always give your hair some time to rest between chemical treatments.

This hydrating treatment treats oily scalp, dandruff and prevents loss of hair (very important!). It also strengthens and moisturizes with soy proteins, vitamin E and Shea butter to help recondition, repair and protect the hair.
First, some softening of the scalp using natural salicylic acid derived from willow bark. This improves the condition of the scalp.
I love the calming scents of tea tree oil, peppermint and lavender. What's even more awesome is that this hair spa treatment includes a head massage! LOVE!! The minty cooling sensation remained even till the next day and i could still smell the light fragrance of the tea tree oil. For this treatment, the price is from $70 onwards.

Now, for the second hair treatment, it is called a color treatment. I didn't quite understand Wendy when she said it's color treatment. I thought she was going to color my hair. Well, it didn't help that she showed me a color chart with all these crazy colors. Well guess what? It's actually a hair treatment that has colors. Consider me impressed!
Guess what i'm gonna do to my hair? Ok no surprise because you guys have already seen pictures on Instagram. :P
I wanted some purple and Wendy thought it was a good idea and so here's the vibrant purple panels! We decided to do a hidden panel so that it only shows when i do some hair flips. Heh. Wendy also changed my base color to a matte ash green which went really well with the purple. It isn't really green so it was still very acceptable. Just a reminder, the colors show better on light color/bleached hair.

Just look at how smooth my hair is after the color treatment. I couldn't stop touching my hair as usual.  
Now you see it and now you don't!
The Color treatment is from $108 for 1 color and panel highlights are from $58 onwards depending on the work required. The results also depend on the original base color.

Silkcut Salon offers a 10% off all chemical treatments if you mention "Ms Skinnyfat" when you make your appointment over the phone. Walk-ins not included and for first time clients only. Silkcut Salon is located in the fringe of Tiong Bahru and just a few shops away from the newly opened The Tastemaker Store.

Special thanks to Wendy who took charge of my hair this time round and also to Eve for the wonderful color-highlight-cut-treatment she did for my friend (who is absolutely a Silkcut convert now). 

22 Havelock Road #01-693, Singapore 160022
Weekdays: 11am - 8pm
Weekends and PH: 11am - 7pm
Apparently it seems like these days it's no longer hipster unless your cafe is in a remodeled old store (think My Awesome Cafe) operating from a mature HDB estate (think Tiong Bahru, Jalan Besar and the likes). Well, in that case, Tian Kee & Co. may be leading the pack on the hipster quotient. They are keeping it real in their 65-year-old provision-shop-turned-artisan-cafe which does not even have AC. But how do they really fare in the cafe test?

The vibe is petty much old provision shop with really sparse furniture and food offerings. Coffee is made using Dutch Colony beans. My Latte ($5) was a little acidic and not as full bodied as I like my coffee to be. Decent nonetheless.
You can bet that I'd order anything with coffee (and in this case tea included) in it and so it was the Yuan yang cheesecake ($6.50) that kept me company for a bit. The 2 layer cake consists of a lighter creamy top which had a citrusy taste (maybe there's earl grey) and the bottom half is the rich and dense coffee tea cheesecake. Flavor wise, I felt that it could be more intense. I tried to give them some credit because I thought my tastes buds were contaminated by the latte but S couldn't taste much of the YY as welll. It would have been better if there was more of that rich cheese though. The biscuit crust could also be improved.
The owners must really love cheesecake because that's all they offer for cakes now, but I LOVE! I had a tough time deciding because the toffee caramel salted cheesecake ($6.50) looked so amazingly rich and smooth. There's also the Mao Shan Wang durian cheesecake and milo dinosaur cheesecake! 

Muffins are available for $3.50 a pop but they looked very much homemade cupcakes instead of the rich NYC style I prefer so I skipped it. Savory black pepper chicken pies ($7.90) are also available. I heard rumors of a brunch menu coming up but I think it may be hard to compete with the Old Airport Road offerings that are way more old school.
I'm not sure how long Tian Kee would last in the cafe scene unless it really ups its game in the food department. I hope they really do it fast and soon. Hipsters can only provide you with that much initial publicity. Believe many would head to Maple & Market or Brawn & Brains for little bites with more variety and also a more comfortable dining environment. Well I would. 

Tian Kee & Co.
Blk 12 Dakota Crescent 01-48 Singapore 390012
Tue-Thu: 10am-7pm
Fri-Sun 10am-9pm 
Finally back from all that traveling and am now getting back in touch with the food scene in Singers! Caught a little break at work and checked out the new kid on the block, The Lokal in the Duxton area. This new cafe on Neil Road is the offspring of Sarnies, another crazy packed cafe that I've yet to try (ZOMG call myself a food blogger).
Well The Lokal checked off all the boxes on the hipster cafe checklist and they even went as far as to throw in a $40k Slayer machine. Oh that sexy beast took me on an intense ride with his latte ($5.50) and I must say it was all very smooth. And a little nutty too. The beans are from Sarnies and they have their barista consultant, affectionately known as the K Man, who is overseeing the coffee making for now. 
Many would go for the signature Veal Schnitzel Burger ($28) served with a tangy grilled pineapple and red slaw but we skipped that because chunky chips weren't available that day! Instead, i opted for the Roast Beef on Rye ($17). The sandwich was a combination of perfectly caramelized onion and thinly sliced sautéed beef. The flavors were a little sweet and could be sharpened with a stronger mustard than the current grain mustard crème fraiche. It was a good roast beef sandwich nonetheless.
The Roast Chicken Panini ($15) was good too. The filling included huge juicy slices of fresh tomato (not the cheapo Malaysian sort), copious amount of avocado mash, crispy pancetta and salty roast chicken meat. The bread was our favorite among the lot of sandwiches we had, partly because it's a little more pillowy and chewy. 

A healthier option is the Smashed Avocado with Ricotta Sourdough ($18). The ricotta is made in house, along with their yogurt as well. It was simply topped with some pomelo and almonds, drizzled with olive oil. I liked the separate components of the dish but it came together rather plainly. A touch of honey could make this a better dish in my opinion but that's just my preference. 
I was looking forward to the Banana bread with Hokey Pokey ice cream ($12) but was sorely disappointed when I bit into the soggy bread cloyingly soaked by the citrusy syrup. We wondered where the ice cream went to as well (i swear i didn't take forever to grab a shot). Instead we had a sour cream sorta mixture on our dish. I couldn't bear more than a full bite of this one but K had no issue finishing it for us.
Overall, The Lokal is a decent place for a hearty sandwich and it's probably going to be really packed on the weekends. A little bird told me that the Sarnies people are gonna be opening another cafe soon so do watch out for them!

The Lokal
136 Neil Road Singapore
Tel: +65 6423 9918
Weekdays: 8am - 6pm
Weekends: 10am - 4pm
I'm sure we are all used to the concept of an English Afternoon Tea. Well if you're not, you certainly have to be acquainted with this concept! But if you have parents/grandparents who're not that into the English thing with scones and cakes, here's an Asian tea for you/them. Pan Pacific Singapore is celebrating National Day with the introduction of the new Peranakan Afternoon Tea at Pacific Marketplace. From 16 June to 9 August, nibble on some Nyonya delights served in tiffin boxes.
Well I wanted to bring my dearest mama for this Peranakan tea because it's certainly be up her alley but she turned me down because she was gonna hang out with her gal pals. Sobs. Thankfully I've no lack of foodie friends and L came along with me. The key highlight is the aromatic Nonya Chicken Curry served with freshly-baked French Baguette. Asian spices including cumin and turmeric used to make the rempah paste lend their aromatic lift to the succulent chicken pieces, giving the dish an added dimension in flavour. We loved the rich coconut sauce that had the right spicy twang and the chicken pieces were tender and succulent. We weren't that impressed with the rest of the savory items though. The Kuay Pie Tee shell had an oily taste; epok epok crust wasn't thin enough, and the Open-Face Otak Sandwich with Quail Egg was more an afterthought.

The sweets fared better. The Kaya Pandan cake was delightfully fluffy and airy with an intense pandan flavor. L gave the onde onde a stamp of approval as the gula melaka oozed out of the soft shell. The skin could be thinner though, it was rather chewy IMO. I was sufficiently satisfied with the Kueh Lapis too.

We also made use of the opportunity to test the regular tea set at Pan Pacific Marketplace and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the scones! And they serve it with clotted cream, lemon curd and a jam! Loves! The sandwiches were so so but we liked the truffle egg on baguette. The chicken and truffle one was too bad as well with the generous filling though I thought its little bland. The puff pastry was amazing though. 
I was again won over by the sweets. The cupcakes were pretty amazing, especially the toffee date cupcake which was dense with dates and really moist. Even though L doesn't like dates, she couldn't stop eating the toffee cream frosting. The red velvet cupcake was ok too. I concluded that the desserts are good to take away as well after sampling the cakes. The chocolate fudge hit the right spots and the lemon tart had the right zing to it. The graham base needed some tweaking though as it was a tad soggy. 

I preferred the Classic Afternoon tea but would love for the Nyonya curry to be offered as a special a la carte item! Both teas are extremely affordable and it's only $58 for 2 pax inclusive of tea/coffee. Wine and champagne options are available too.

Overall, I find that the tea offering at Pan Pacific Hotel Singgapore was affordable and decent. If you're interested in the Nyonya Tea set, it's available till 9 August 2014 and served daily from 3pm to 5pm. Prices are the same at $58 for two adults with tea and coffee.

Pacific Marketplace 
7 Raffles Boulevard, Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore 039595
Tea: 3-5pm daily 
Juice Cleanse is all the rage these days with the many juice companies sprouting up and beauty/lifestyle bloggers promoting the juices. Well, here is a food blogger/serial snacker's perspective on juicing. Granted I may not be the best normal person around to give you sound advice (yes I'm already skinny and I eat lots of veg and I exercise an average of 10h/wk) but you can bet on the tastiness of the juices if I tell you so right?
So the story went like this. A close gf of mine W was gonna get married and I thought that it was opportunity for bonding time if we do a juice cleanse together. Of course I kinda forced her into participating in my Ms Skinnyfat boot camp, which I paired the juicing with some hard core hot yoga in preparation for the big day (of course I don't believe in crash dieting duh). 

We looked at a couple of juice companies like Beauty Cleanse, Sana, Joob and decided on Hic'Juice because their glass bottles looked so pretty. Yes we're superficial like that and that's perfectly ok. :P
We did the 3 day intermediate cleanse aka Restore. Hic delivered all 18 bottles at 1 shot (6 bottles/day). If storage is an issue for you, you may want to find a company that delivers your juices daily. Thank god I have a spare fridge at home. And gosh the glass bottles are damn heavy. Probably not the choice of juice company if you're on the go the whole time. Also, the bottles are slippery when wet and W broke a bottle before we even started on our cleanse.

S only found out about the juice cleanse when it was delivered and complained about the ridiculous amount W and I are paying for the juices (it's $318++ for 3 days). Well but for the benefit of you guys and my curiosity in the taste, I guess it's ok? 

My only concern was the amount of fluids I had to ingest. 3l of juices a day?? Hello toilet bowl. My pea size bladder is certainly not gonna be able to hold much. 

HIC juice sent us our juicing guidebook to help ease us into the cleanse. It was advised that we eat more greens (preferably a raw diet) and sleeping early the day before the cleanse. Well none of that happened for me as i went for a tasting prior and then slept at 1am because I was writing. So day 1 started with me feeling like a train wreck. 

Day 1 39.5kg (my weighing machine makes me lighter so I'm probably 40kg)
Got a reminder from S to start on my juices. BAH. Breakfast at 940am and I started on the Popeye Smoothie, a dense pulpy concoction of red dragonfruit, pineapple, banana, spinach and ionized water. I loved the color of this one and also the taste of the juice. Feeling good!
Juice 2 was Lemon n Spice. I read that many people can't take this juice because of the cayenne pepper but i like it! A hint of apple, mostly lemon and some spice. I did feel some burning sensation though but it wasn't entirely uncomfortable. But I did feel some burning sensation. My toilet breaks are started to become more frequent due to the fluids. 

Had to run errands at the shopping mall and all the snacks were tempting me! I was feeling pretty full from the juices actually but I'm just being greedy I guess.
The horrible S was happily tucking into his Yu Kee Duck rice. The zen master will not be tempted and so I worked on the blog instead. Productive distraction turned out to be useful.

Started on Juice 3. Green Lemonade is made from Apple, Cucumber, Kale, Celery, Romaine Lettuce, Parsley and Lemon. The taste was quite cool due to the high cucumber content. This tasted a bit like herbal tea but was quite drinkable. Thankfully celery is not a huge feature in this one. 
Juice 4
4carats is a carrot, celery, cucumber and apple mix. I used to hate raw carrots and cucumber but I've learned to enjoy more vegetables as I grow older. This drink had a cooling igh carrot content. This went down easy too.

Went for a short run under the sun. Feeling energetic! The Coconut water was a nice cool relief at the end but it's probably the most expensive coconut water I've paid for and yes it's just regular  coconut water.

Ended the day on Juice 6 which is Nut Milk. It's made from Raw Cashews, Raw Almonds, Vanilla, Medjool Dates, Himalayan Salt, Cinnamon and Ionized WaterEveryone said that this is tasty but I found the high oil content to be rather disturbing after a day of clean juices. It had a bit of the unappealing oily taste. Good thing there's only 1 bottle of this.

Yay to the end of day 1. It was pretty easy but i was already missing my snacks! 

Stay tuned for day 2 and 3 coming up!

For more on Hic'Juice, here's their website link with pricing and all (click here).
My concept of steamboat/hotpot has evolved over the years. It used to be the cheapo $10 eat-all-you-can buffet in the sweltering heat at Marina Bay (what to do, i was a poor student). I believe the potential of anyone getting salmonella from all that exposed food was pretty high.

These days, i prefer a cleaner and more refined steamboat dining. Imperial Treasures rank high up there for ambience; Jpot is still my all time favorite (read why here) and recently i checked out Peach Garden Restaurant's steamboat offering at their latest outlet at The Metropolis Buona Vista (just above the BV MRT circle line exit).

Peach Garden is well known for their high quality Cantonese cuisine and i had decent dimsum at the OCBC outlet (read about it here) but i believe the steamboat option is pretty new to them. We started with some cooling drinks. The Watercress Honey ($3.50) and Ribena with Jasmine ($5) are recommended. 

We couldn't resist ordering some of Peach's signatures and we were not disappointed. The Roasted Pork Belly (8 cubes, $10) had the right amount of fat to meat and that crackling was extremely addictive.

The Roasted Peking Duck ($30/$55) should not be missed. We had half a duck to share and it was done 2 ways. I liked the lightly seared egg crepe which was used instead of the usual steam rice roll/paper. It lent some additional flavors and texture to the otherwise bland roll. Love this one.
The rest of the duck was chopped up and stir-fried with crunchy and refreshing chunks of water chestnut and mushrooms. Have this on the keropok or wrap it with fresh lettuce and pop it in. I've never had this style before but it's certainly my favorite option now!
The Fried XO Carrot Cake ($9) was just so so though. 

Ok finally moving on to the steamboat! Sorry for the digression. There are set menus catering to groups of different sizes. Or you could also go with the a la carte menu. 
We decided to do the mixed pot so that we could try 2 soups. American Sliced Beef, Live Prawns and Pork Neck Meat
Beef Balls, 
The Tomato Pork Bone broth was really good. It's a delicious savory broth flavored with the sweetness of the tomato and hence it was also tangy. I liked that it had just that little bit of spice. The Superior broth was more bland and milky but still delicious. The flavors are more well balanced towards the end after cooking all the meats.
The prawn items were good too. We had the freshly made prawn paste which was squeezed into the boiling soup. The fresh prawn dumplings were fat and succulent too. Peach Garden's live prawns were also sweet and juicy. 

Meat wise, I enjoyed the American Sliced Beef the most. Marbling could be better but this was decent enough. The beef balls had a powdery texture inside and was missing the meaty texture. 

Along with the vegetables, we had the deep fried gluten puffs. I was actually looking for the fried beancurd skin (腐皮卷) but they didn't have that. These were a favorite with my group though. Eat it simply or give it a quick soak in the pot before biting into it.
For desserts, we had the Mango Sago Pomelo with some special jelly. I loved the rich mango cream which wasn't too sweet. The osmanthus jelly was rather plain in my opinion.
Of course, never conclude the meal without the famous 流沙包! Stellar salted egg custard as usual. 

The Peach Garden @ The Metropolis dining experience was enjoyable. In fact, my friends made a dinner reservation for their family the next night! I'd pick this over the Holland Village Crystal Jade steamboat anytime!

Peach Garden @ The Metropolis
9 North Buona Vista Drive
#02-02, The Metropolis Tower 1
Singapore 138588
Tel: +65 6334 7833
Daily: 11am - 10pm