Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

There's a blazing fire that is out to turn up the heat on Hongkong Street and that is FOC Restaurant, a new Spanish dining concept and cocktail bar. FOC is an inspired collaboration between Michelin-starred Chef Nandu Jubany, Chef Jordi Noguera formerly from FoodBar Dada, and award-winning mixologist Dario Knox previously from Catalunya Restaurant. Yes it's a star studded team!
Expect a contemporary small plates menu with Catalan and Mediterranean influences, complemented by a selection of inventive cocktails. They even created a selection of Asian inspired tapas which were honestly pretty darn good.
Gazpacho de sandía con helado de aceite de oliva ahumado. Watermelon “Gazpacho” with charcoal smoked olive oil ice cream ($12). Light and tangy cold soup to awaken the taste buds. Love how the dish is kept cool with the olive oil ice cream!
Croquetas de setas. Mushroom croquettes ($8 for 4). There's something about breaded and fried mashed potatoes that have me ordering it over and over again and these were creamy with chunks of earthy mushrooms.
Coca de anchoas y escalivada, con queso Idiazabal. “Coca” with anchovies, charcoal grilled peppers, eggplant, spherical Idiazabal cheese ($16). This is great for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. I love the smokiness of these Nightshade but that kind of overpowered the cheese when you pop it in whole. It's a little pricey though.

Vieiras con caviar de soja. Scallops soy caviar ($20). It's scallops, and it's nicely seared and it's in a salty soy. There's really nothing else to it.
Pulpo a la gallega. Octopus Galician style, prepared with paprika, olive oil and potatoes ($22). I'm not a fan of octopus because it is rather flavorless and is easily rubbery. The pulpo at FOC is first sous vide so it's firm but not overly chewy and lightly spiced. I liked the potatoes more than the octopus though.
“Cansalada” confitada con pure de coliflor. Confited pork belly with cauliflower puree ($14/4pcs). Bland. Fatty. Bleah. Give me that cauliflower puree on its own.
Paella de arroz negro con mariscos y “all I oli”. Black Mediterranean “Paella” with seafood and garlic mayonnaise ($22). The rice was just right, done al dente of course. The rice tasted more sweet than salty, which took me by surprise on the first bite. Some salt please. I liked that there were generous chunks of squid mixed very nicely with the rice.
Cochifrito. Crispy Pork Taco ($14/2pcs). This is one of my favorites if not the top favorite dish. This is FOC’s take on the Mexican taco, and that crispy shell was too addictive. It's like a really awesome fried wanton skin filled with tender pulled pork. I really liked the crispy pulled pork. I didn't even mind the dou miao and I don't even like bean sprouts. Now could we have this in jumbo size or what?
Bocata de foie-gras a la brasa y shitake marinado. Grilled foie-gras with marinated shitake and green apple ($22/2pcs). Loved that broiche bun with a glossy blistered exterior. It was very crunchy and extremely buttery. Even though the foie gras was on the oily side, it had a nice creamy texture and i liked that the green apples added that tinge of tartness.
Chuletón a la brasa con guarnición. Grilled “Chuletón” beef steak with garnish ($35/150gm). Order if you really need your meats. It's tender and juicy but nothing spectacular. 
Espuma de Crema Catalana . “Crema Catalana” FOC Style ($12). Now this is like a Spanish creme brûlée with a distinct dulce de leche ice cream in the middle which was kinda icy. Nice sour strawberries break the monotony of the light foamy cream but still not quite my idea of desserts.

FOC Hamburguesa de chocolate
FOC chocolate burger ($12). Now here is one carefully crafted dessert burger made from white chocolate, vanilla mousse, strawberries and mint leaves. You should eat it all together for a balanced review of this dessert. The combined flavors of the smoky caramel, sweet milk chocolate and the tart strawberries were delightful. The cream in the 'bun' had a marshmallow texture too!

If you find the food a little too pricy, i'd suggest that you line your tummy somewhere else and then come here for drinks and some snacks anyway! The impressive and affordable drinks menu curated by Dario certainly gives 28 HongKong a run for their money plus there are available ALL DAY. Dario also started FOC’s own solera system to age a range of spirits and makes an extensive list of syrups, infusions and bitters.
The Madame Butterfly ($13) was a delicate like a rose with many house made ingredients e.g. lavender honey infusion and Floral Gin Blend N. Great drink for the ladies.
If you're for something refreshing, the Indochine Enchantée ($16) will cool any Singapore heat. Distinct passion fruit, mint, lime and honey could be tasted. If they could up the ginger flavor, the drink would be perfect.

If you want something with a kick (spice), then the Blacked Out in Bangkok ($13.50) would be your thing with the home made Lemongrass-Ginger-Cachaçz, Kaffir Lime Leaves Infusion and Chili Padi-Lemongrass Tincture. SPICY!
For Serious Drinkers, El Vermouth de Dali ($15.50) is a strong one. It's citrusy with a light bitterness and spice. You will also taste a hint of the smokiness.
I would recommend the bar counter for an interactive dining experience (only if it's just the 2 of you).
For bigger groups, i love the space at the further end of FOC Restaurant with double-height ceilings, a large skylight and three communal tables that seat up to eight diners each. Very cosy indeed.

Adding to my list of favorites for tapas and drinks. Will certainly be back with friends!

FOC Restaurant
40 Hongkong Street
Singapore 059679
Mon - Sat: 12pm - 2.30pm; 6 - 11pm
Cocktails and bar bites available all day
Thanks to the Derek Low saga on Singapore Airlines Suites, I believe that the awesomeness of our National carrier product is now known to many. I've loved the Suites since I first tried it on my Melbourne trip (read it here)but didn't truly get to fully enjoy the experience (other than the bed) due to motion sickness. A travel mishap with Thai Airways (TG you suck for your last min change of aircrafts) called for a rebooking on SQ Suites instead (a happy problem I say). The other good thing that came out of it? An extensive review of The Private Room, the exclusive lounge for Suites passengers, just for you! 

Our golden ticket to awesomeness was handed to us at our private check in facility at T3. Fond memories of the private first class check in lounge where I spent a good hour with the helpful SQ staff who sorted out my travel woes some time back. These folks are amazing I tell you. So we breezed through the private immigration counter and headed to the Krisflyer lounge.

Many travelers would check in way ahead of their flight to enjoy the comfort of The Private Room.
I love that The Private Room is situated far away from the crowded Business Class lounge (gosh it could be crazy in there) and it's also a walk through the buffet lines of the First Class section. Since the sprawling and peaceful TPR is only reserved for Star Alliance first class passengers and SQ's top tier elite members, you can be guaranteed of impeccable but non-intrusive service (it was previously only for SQ passengers).
Love the little nooks right by the windows but the daylight could be pretty harsh at times.
Choice beverage for breakfast! Bubbly to kick start the vacation. It's Krug or Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame. I only remembered that it wasn't Dom Perignon. :P

Here is the breakfast menu at The Private Room. We checked in slightly earlier just so that i could sample the breakfast selection. Such hard work for the blog really. :P
Some of the Asian dishes are available for lunch and dinner so i thought i'd give the English breakfasts a shot. Well i regretted immediately. TIP: Stick to the Asian dishes. Really. You'll see why later but first, my top favorite- the Roti Prata.

I should have listened to the folks on SQ flyer talk and gone for the prata immediately. These freshly made pan fried doughs are possibly the best roti pratas that i've eaten in Singapore. Crispy layered buttery goodness. I was so gheeful after eating them (punny me). And that flavorful chicken curry that packs a punch! OMG. They need to sell this somewhere i swear. I think i need another trip back in here to convince the chef to open shop. 
Assorted Dim Sum. Stellar as usual. Freshly made, quality ingredients, just like what i'd get in a good Chinese restaurant in Singapore or Hong Kong. Always order this too. Good thing is that it's available for lunch and dinner too. 
Bak Chor Mee- Egg noodles with a minced pork gravy with shredded mushrooms and meat balls. This is done in a somewhat Cantonese style with mildly sweet saucy minced meat. The noodles are also the more delicate Hong Kong egg noodles which were crunchy. Remember to get the dried chili to pair with. 

Now to the extremely disappointing English Breakfast menu. TPR really needs to do something about this. Can you see the papery egg whites is this Eggs Benedict? Too much vinegar in this one! That hollandaise sauce was also weak in flavor and texture.

And overdone egg yolks. The crispy pancetta slices failed to save the dish.
Even Prima Deli does better waffles than this Waffles with cinnamon apple and raisins. The texture resembled those from the supermarkets.
I can make better french toast than these from the TPR. The bread was too thin and it's definitely the regular white bread from the supermarket again (Brioche should be used by the way). I didn't see what's so Singaporean about this Singapore French Toast. No we don't eat such lousy french toasts in Singapore. The citrus flavored mango coulis was very thin and tasted processed. 
Do yourself a favor and skip the coffee as well. 

Now the lunch/dinner menu at TPR, most of which we have sampled before.

Go with the Lobster Thermidor with 3 cheeses. Well freshly cooked lobster is always better than what you'll get on board plus it's unlimited servings. Love the creamy cheese.
I don't know what got into my head but i opted for a lighter option which is the Baked Snapper Fillet. It's good if you're sick and lacking an appetite but it was too darn plain for me.
Instead of having the entire Wagyu Beef Burger (ok it's actually pretty small but the patty isn't that flavorful), we would always order the seared foie gras on its own (it's supposed to be in the burger). Sadly, it seemed to have gotten more oily! :( 

The Asian selection was yummy once again. The Lap Mei Fun (Claypot Rice)- a dish of steamed white rice with Chinese preserved pork sausage, waxed duck leg, pork belly, salted fish, all cooked in a dark sauce (prep 10mins) is a refreshing dish to see on the menu. Taste wise it was decent.

Assorted Satay- chicken, beef or mutton, served with onions, cucumbers and rice cubes, with peanut sauce. Tastes the same as what is served on the SQ Biz/ First class but slightly juicier.

S enjoyed the Beef Brisket Hor Fun (rice noodles) served with tender braised beef brisket.

Other than eating, there's not much to do in the lounge other than to relax before the flight and i find myself most relaxed if i'm able to get a pre flight/ between flights bath. TPR's shower facility is great with ample space and regular bath amenities.
It doesn't have a full rain shower but this nozzle works equally well. 
Also, the jacuzzi jets to give you a nice back massage during your bath. It'd be great if they provide better bath amenities though. 
Hope this gives you a better idea of what The Private Room provides. Enjoy your next transit here!

My search for brunch in Orchard Road ended on a high as i headed to Salt Grill and Sky Bar for their latest brunch offerings. I've previously dined at Chef Luke Mangan's exclusive and intimate restaurant perched on the 55th story of Ion Orchard (read review here) and it was ahhmazing. I'm so glad that they've now added brunch to their selection.
The restaurant's look has been updated and it features an exclusive dining area and a brand new bar. Of course, the unobstructed views of Orchard Road, to Marina Bay Sands and beyond add a romantic touch to the dining experience.
On to brunch. a small selection of brunch platters are offered. There are only 4 but that pretty much covers all the brunch permutations available (other than waffles). Each brunch set is about $40 and comes with a main (which is a platter in itself), 2 sides (from a selection of 8), freshly squeezed juices, and a choice of coffee or tea. It may sound like it's quite pricy but i guarantee that it can easily feed 2 person or 3 if you order the right combination.
Now my favorite platter would be the French Toast with eggs done any way, bacon, spinach, and mixed mushroom. The french toast was amazing. I liked that the bread absolutely soaked up all that egg mixture. It was almost like eating egg! The mixed mushrooms were fried with garlic and had a smokey and earthy taste which was irresistible. The bacon could be a little more crispy though. We had the scrambled eggs which were sufficiently creamy and firm but could be a little more runny.
I would recommend pairing this with the rocket and pear salad with blue cheese and caramelised walnuts. Love that stinky and savory blue cheese and that candied walnuts were way too addictive. Since there are already mushrooms in this platter, the next best side would be the avocado (i'm biased) or if you need more carbs, the house made crumpets aren't too bad as well. Eat them fast while they are crispy and still porous and dense, they don't do too well cold. These crumpets would not be out of place at tea with some clotted cream, butter and maple syrup/preserves. I sure hope they serve this at tea. It's almost a savory pancake with a crispy shell.
The Full Aussie Breakfast is quite similar to the French Toast platter so i guess you wouldn't want to waste your calories on plain toast would you? We had this with the Wagyu sausage which i thought was a little too hard and dry. I was expecting a fat and juicy link of meat.

The Eggs Benedict was a little different from the usual as it uses the house made crumpets instead of a regular muffin or brioche. Salmon gravlax (prepared with salt, pepper and dill), poached eggs, house made crumpets, spinach and hollandaise. The hollandaise wasn't too heavy and had a light tinge of acidity. Overall a decent but not fantastic eggs Ben. This was a much smaller platter compared to the above 2. I did not like the homemade baked beans as well as they were bland too.
I didn't quite like the Buttermilk Pancakes because the buttermilk flavor didn't come through. the blandness worked well with the maple syrup ice cream (which was smoky sweet) and the brûlée bananas though but i wished they were fluffier. I found myself pairing the crumpets with the condiments of this dish instead. 
Salt Grill and Sky Bar is certainly a nice spot to enjoy a romantic brunch or tea.  I will be back for the french toast and crumpets!

Salt Grill and Sky Bar
55th and 56th floors, ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
Tel: +65 6592 5118
Brunch available on Weekends and PH: 11am - 2pm