Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

I fell in love with Italian ciccheti (little bites) after visiting many bacaros in Venice. How can anyone say no to little sandwiches and a huge variety of small food items along with wine yea? &SONS at China Square Central attempts to recreate the traditional bacaro vibe with their authentic Italian offerings. The decor is also similarly styled as the Venice bacaros though more spacious for sit down dining. Tried their offerings at Savour 2014 (read about the highlight dishes here) and i promised i'd check them out and so i did! 
Prices are very reasonable here with food starting at $8 per plate, cocktails from $10 and wine from $8 per glass. The bar features an entirely Italian list of wines, craft beers, cocktails, grappa and the finest malt whiskies made available throughout the day.
Apparently there's free flow of ciccheti with purchase of wines and cocktails. Certainly a great deal! 
We started the meal with a Bellini with peach which was a mere $10. Decently spiked and delicious. S had the Whiskey Sour ($15) which was really strong IMO.
&SONS is the only place in Singapore to make its own specialty-cured meats and salami on premises in a custom-made curing room. These are great with the tipples I must say. Italian cheese are also available. 

On the left, we have the Black Pork Capocollo ($9) which is similar to prosciutto and made from the pig’s neck muscle. The Salame Dolce & Piccante ($8) are made from the shoulder and belly of the pork and rather enjoyable.
Pasta, the Italian staple, is a big feature at &Sons especially for lunch when they serve affordable big plates between $8-$10. The servings are huge. They also have a Sirloin Steak for only $12! We sampled the Homemade Tagliatelle Bolognese ($9). The pasta noodles are done perfectly and the meaty bits were plentiful but i thought it could do with a little more seasoning.
The pasta options at night at served in tapas portions. This encourages sharing of small plates like the typical bacaro. The portions are still very substantial and can feed 1 sufficiently. My favorite paste is still the Tagliolini, Crab & Nduja ($9) which was similar to what I had at Savour 2014. The Tagliolini is a thinner strand noodle with more pull and gave the impression that it were cheese. Nduja is a spicy and smoked soft salami from Calabria and that gave the dish a savory and lightly spiced flavor.
If you're a cream and cheese fab, go for the Paccheri, Iberico Pork & Truffle. The paccheri (a large tube pasta) was stuffed with Iberico and cooked in tomato pesto served alongside a truffle besciamella. A little too heavy and bland for my liking.

Veal Ossobucco, Orzotto ($19) is a Milanese specialty of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth. There's also barley added to the mix. I didn't like this dish as it was too gamey.
Wagyu Beef Tagliata ($26) was paired with a refreshing Salsa Verde.

My favorite meat dish of the night was the Baccala Cakes with Sea Urchin Sabayon ($13). The salted cod is mixed with béchamel sauce and potatoes and then coated with black squid ink crumbs and fried. The fish had a light texture that is kinda like fluff and it was all too easy to eat with the Uni cream.
Fresh greens are my favorite and the Asparagus, Garlic & Anchovy Sauce ($9) was a nice mix to our little bites.

Well the good thing about the smaller plates (they're by no means really small) is that I can have more variety! And then I'd have space for desserts! The Homemade Tiramisu and Pistachio Gelato ($5/scoop) were good. The tiramisu ice cream was essentially frozen tiramisu and chef is very generous with the alcohol. ;)

If you're for tons of cream, the Salted Caramel Strawberry Jubilee ($12) wasn't too bad. Strawberries and cream isn't quite a typical dessert choice so it was rather refreshing.
Would certainly be back at &SONS for more tipples and bites. Don't miss out on their weekday lunch specials if you're working in the area. 

20 Cross Street #01-19 
China Square Central 
Singapore 048422 
Weekdays: 11.30am - 1am
Sat: 6pm - 2am
Reservations only for 8pax onwards
Senso Ristorante & Bar, Club Street’s favorite Italian restaurant turns 14 this year and i must say it's a feat in our dynamic food scene! To celebrate this milestone, a Best of Senso’s Signatures menu is put together for this occasion. From 1 to 31 July only, sample popular dishes from over the years and also taste exclusive dishes from Senso’s international outlets.
The 2 exclusive items are from the restaurant’s outlets in Geneva and Crans Montana.
The Manzo ($32), Beef Tartare, Roquette & Parmesan, Olive Oil, Chervil and Roasted Potatoes, was a sell-out dish in Crans Montana when it was introduced in 2010. Love the tender and well flavored meat.

The menu also features the Sogliola From Mediterranean, Dover Sole Meuniere with Orange Zest, Rucola and Ripened Tomatoes, a special dish from Senso’s outpost in Geneva. Only the Dover Sole is used, the preferred fish for an authentic Sole Meuniere and also the use of oranges from Sicily for that added authenticity.
We also had a mini olive oil tasting during the meal and that wonderfully aged (12 years) Balsamic vinegar that tasted like honey. It was amazing with the freshly baked breads.
The other dishes are from the Singapore menu. The Green Asparagus and Morels Soup (Singapore 2005) $24 was a light and refined soup, perhaps a little too delicate for my liking.

The Risotto (Singapore, 2006) $36, was probably the favorite dish of the night. The salty and creamy risotto paired simply with sweet and succulent grilled tiger prawns. While fresh zucchini flowers from Italy were used in the dish, i found it doing little to complement the already perfect combination. In fact, the fried flowers tasted oily and a little stale.
Premium NZ Lamb Rack (Singapore, 2011) $44. The lamb was cooked to perfection with a nice pink center and was good on its own. The olive crust came served as a disk by the side instead and was a little too dry and crumbly.
We ended our meal with a deconstructed Tiramisu Revisito (Singapore, 2011) $22. This was specially created by Executive Chef Yves Schmid in 2011. So there's coffee mousse, homemade mascarpone ice-cream with Savoiardi biscotto and coffee milkshake. Good flavors but give me a traditional tiramisu with all that richness anytime.

All dishes on the menu are available a la carte, but diners looking for a heartier meal can opt for the three, four or five course menus that start from $88. Wine pairing is also available.

The Senso experience was lovely as usual and i really love the atrium section where you get to dine under the stars but in comfort. Great place for a romantic date with your significant other. Do drop by The Best of Senso’s Signatures Menu which is only available from 1st – 31st July.

Senso Ristorante & Bar
21 Club Street, Singapore 069410
Tel: +65 6224 3534
Weekday: 12 - 2.30pm, 6 - 10.30pm
Sat: 6 - 10.30pm
Sun Prosecco Brunch: 11.30am – 3.00pm
So you've read about Day 1 of my Hic'Juice Level 2 Restore Juice Cleanse Day 1 (read it here if you haven't) and here is the day 2 menu!

Woke up feeling flustered and a little constipated. Obviously not getting that diarrhea thing that comes with detox. Maybe my body is already very clean. Weight was 39kg.
Busy busy day! Meeting at 8am and I was running a little behind schedule. Damn these bottles are heavy. It's fine with S drives me around but it's totally not ok when rushing to catch public transport. I only brought 4 bottles out and the weight was already killing me. Plus I was worried that the bottles would break from all that clanging because the cooler box isn't very sturdy. And the strap of the box is kinda thin so it cuts into the shoulder because of the weight. BAH. Certainly a minus point!
Had my first juice which is the Heart Beet. This fuchsia medley of Carrot, Apple, Beetroot, Lemon and Ginger promotes cardiovascular health, fights cancer and is a super tonic for the liver!

Had to gulp because I was rushing. Love the color of this one but I had to remove my aligners so that they wouldn't be stained red. The juice is tasty and quite similar to those $2.50 ABC juice at the fruit stall but it tasted smoother and richer (I'm hearing S' naggy voice in my head). Left half a bottle of that at home for mummy so that I don't have to carry it out. Yes I played cheat. Bite me. 
Time for Oh My greens. Day 1 was child's play but not day 2 and 3. This had celery, apple, pineapple and broccoli. Oh my most hated celery!! And the celery taste was quite distinct! Eeeeks. My colleagues thought the taste was ok though. 

Another green juice. Cool as a... Celery Cucumber Apple Lemon. Celery AGAIN. Meh.. Thankfully the celery flavor wasn't as strong as juice 2 so it was still doable. Tasted rather similar to Oh My Greens though. Since I didn't have to eat, I spent lunch time shopping to distract myself from the food. Must say that it was very productive! ;)
I was looking forward to Lemon n Spice and W thought I'm crazy to like this one. Well the spice keeps me up during my boring afternoon meeting but I Can feel the burn again. 
Kaleidoscope. Oh hell this is the worst of lot. I swear all the green juices taste the same, mostly because they have celery in them. But this was just blearghh.

Wednesday is running day with the group at Marina Bay. I'm damn amazed by these runners. The guys do like 3.5-4min/km. I'm at best 5.5. So we did 3 rounds of Benjamin Sheares Bridge and i even concluded it with a short sprint! Yay me! Obviously not one to follow the prescribed 'break a light sweat' option by Hic'juice. I felt surprisingly energetic!

Ended Day 2 with Coconut water which was yummy as usual. So winning this juice cleanse but the constipated feeling was still there. Well, I guess that's because everything was already out of the system on day 1 with my regular movements.

Dreading Day 3, mainly because of the yucky kaleidoscope. But I believe I can outsource the drinking to mummy. Heh. More on Day 3 soon!
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