Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Of the hoods in New York City, my top favorites would be East and West Village and Brooklyn! Since i've spent a considerable amount of time in Manhattan, i thought i'd dedicate this post to the awesome capital of hippie that is Brooklyn (and in particularly Williamsburg)! It took a fair bit of eating and running/yoga-ing/spinning to work it off so i hope you guys enjoy it!

Let's start with the conventional brunch food and then move on from there. Obviously the hippies in Brooklyn aren't gonna stick much to the mainstream.

Five Leaves is still a personal favorite after all that brunching i did in the Big Apple. The Big Breakkie ($13) will satisfy any egg, bacon or hash brown craving and the Ricotta Pancakes ($13) were the most amazing disks of fluffy goodness- They had us at honeycomb butter! 
18 Bedford Avenue. Daily: 8am - 1am

Down the rabbithole i'll gladly go, for the Stuffed French Toast with strawberries mascarpone at Rabbithole. I loved that airy home made brioche which was paired with a fragrant and light cheese. The same can't be said of the Rabbithole Florentine which had a rather overpowering caramelized onion taste (though S thought it was fine). I did regret not having their signature Eggs Benedict when we were hit by the delicious smell of bacon came wafting through the crisp air from the nearby table.
352 Bedford Ave Brooklyn. Daily Breakfast: 9am till 5pm
606 R&D
Doughnuts and coffee are quite the standard American breakfast even though i'm not a huge fan. Oh but well, we gotta pay respect to traditions right? 606 RD serves freshly made dough throughout the day alongside their grilled pimento cheese sandwich with crispy bacon (another American favorite), three onion buttermilk bread with salted caramel butter (holy moly)!
606 Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights

You would miss this plain looking cafe from the outside. Well that's what happened to me, many times in fact. Until i was enlightened by YELP. ;) Breakfast in a garden under a tree (with AC) aye? You've come to the right place! Other than the quaint space, you can bite into the most amazing Japanese influenced home baked croissants which are buttery and crisp, with a lovely pull inside. Go for the Organic Egg Scramble Sandwich ($4.50) which pairs a creamy Parmesan thyme scrambled egg with the lovely pastry. 

I'll also recommend the Organic Apple Soy Shake ($6), made with home made organic apple vinegar, soymilk, cinnamon and pickled apple. For a heartier option, the Sashimi Zuke Don ($15) is a hit with the umami soy sauce marinated sashimi, avocado and sweet mushrooms over sushi rice. Bring cash! If not there's an ATM inside. 
77 N 6th St, Brooklyn. Daily: 8/10am till 5pm

The answer to Jack's Wife Freda (possibly my favorite brunch spot in Manhattan). This highly acclaimed Greenpoint spot is a hike from the G train, but destination dining in an old glass factory? That's quite worth the trip no? The cardamom sugar bun and labneh (creamy yogurt cheese) bring your legs back to life. If not, have a go at the lamb pies or Shakshuka.
95 Commercial Street, Greenpoint

After an early morning run up and down, to and from the Williamsburg bridge, the best way to recharge is to head to Egg for their Southern-accented breakfast (and breakfast only). What's popular here is their Organic Grits (with cheese if you please) ($5) made using stone-ground grits from South Carolina's Anson Mills. It's the first time i had grits and it was kinda bland for me. Their buttermilk biscuits were also tad too dry for me (i still prefer the biscuits from Clinton Street Bakery). Eggs Rothko is another favorite (essentially a toad-in-the-hole with sharp cheddar) here. Go early before it gets packed  (hence the morning run). 
109 N 3rd St, Brooklyn. Daily: 7/8am till 5pm
Go BIG or you go home. If BIG is your thang then Pies and Thighs is a must. They have earned their badge(s) for the best fried chicken, best biscuits, best doughnuts, best apple pie... You can't go wrong with their Chicken Biscuit ($7.50) which is a hot sauce-honey butter coated fried chicken cutlet buttermilk sandwich. Pair it with the Fish & Grits ($12), a side of creamy Mac & Cheese ($5) and then end it off with their Banana Cream Pie ($5.50) or any of the other sweet pies/doughnuts. The guilt is worth it.
166 S 4th St, Brooklyn. Daily: 9/10am - 12am.

Along the same line, Brooklyn Star does a weekend brunch of Fried Pork Chop, Fried Eggs, and White Grits. Do not miss their good ol' chicken and waffles.
593 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn. Weekend brunch: 12 - 4pm.

Sweet Chick
For the Manhattanites who want a Southern Breakfast experience that is well.. tamer than Pies and Thighs, then Sweet Chick is for you. Here you get your organic poultry deep fried and served on flavored Belgian-style waffles. Pick from the following flavors of bacon and cheddar, rosemary, and mushroom. More greens are available alongside your roasted pork tenderloin and dry-aged rib eye meal. , and humble sides such as mustard greens, pickled watermelon rind and homemade buttermilk biscuits.
164 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn. Daily: 11am till 12/2am 

This is my favorite bagel spot in Williamsburg. I went dizzy with the overwhelming selection of bagels, cragles (a croissant-bagel), home made spreads of creative cream cheeses, tofu, and crutter (cream cheese with butter)! Don't know what to get? Well, you can't go wrong with the Bacon, egg and cheese bagel with bacon, egg and cheese. GET OUTTA HERE! Or how about a sweet french toast bagel people? I made my special of kale olive cragel with bacon and cheddar cream cheese and it was too dang good, plus they were really generous with the amount of spread they slap on. Part of the menu is here and it doesn't even list the whole range of flavored bagels and cragels. Start planning now. Or you'll never get to eat. 
349 Bedford Ave or 754 Metropolitan Ave. Daily: 6am till 10pm.
Head here for the dense and chewy NYC style bagels. The selection of cream cheeses and bagels isn't as wide as the Bagel store's but the quality is good enough. I wasn't too happy with the amount of cream cheese I got on mine, also, their cheese spread is kinda runny and i'd prefer something a little richer.
189 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn. 24h.

THE INTERNATIONAL (COFFEE)- i feel like i gotta sneak this in. #caffeineaddict

Of course, bagels have to go with coffee! a couple of places that i'd recommend in Williamsburg would be Brooklyn Roasting CompanyBlue BottleBlack Brick, and Oslo Coffee Roasters
TIP: Grab a double chocolate sea salt cookie from Blue Bottle while you are there. It's amazeballs! 

Cold pressed juices is all the rage these days, be it in NYC or Singapore. Head to Mr Pinas for their value for money cold pressed juices! It's $3 for a small and $4 for a large cup. Pick any ingredient that you fancy and they will mix it up for you. What's more, they give you every bit of the juice that you create so you actually get about 1.5 cups of juice. I had this every day on the way back from yoga class, with bagel in hand, or on the way out to Manhattan! It's super convenient because it's right by Marcy Ave subway.
221 Havemeyer St

This not the most inventive brunch you can get in Brooklyn but it's old school. And it has a mix of everything from the definitive Rye Benedict ($12) with grilled pork belly on a buttermilk biscuit to a runny Scotch Eggs. Me? I'd share the mega huge Meatloaf sandwich ($16) which is piled with salty fried onions and a BBQ sauce. For sweets, go for the Challah French Toast or homemade Cake Doughnuts.
247 S. 1st St., Brooklyn. Weekend Brunch from 11am.
One cannot miss Smorgasburg! Where else can you find everything New Yorkish in a spot? Expect long queues for lobster rolls, ramen burgers, tacos and more. The shrimp tacos were the bombdiggity. 
Sat: East River State Park
Sun: Prospect Park
Tell me if there's a reason to stay in Manhattan now that all the awesome stuff is in Williamsburg? #foodismylife
So go forth and spread the love. It's the Brooklyn way! Also, share with us what is your favorite brunch food/spot in Brooklyn.
How do you differentiate yourself from the many bakeries selling a variety of Asian soft rolls and European breads and even providing hybrid versions? Well, you pick your favorite kind of bread and focus on being an expert in that. Well that's how i see the newly opened Crown Bakery & Cafe, latest venture by gardening retail giant Far East Flora Holdings Pte. Ltd. There's immense potential of them becoming the de facto Sourdough Expert

Let's start with their belief of using all things natural and wholesome. I love bread but i also know that the store bought ones aren't very healthy. However, Crown Bakery makes their bread healthier by not adding any artificial food flavoring, coloring, preservatives, additives, and chemical improvers. Natural leaven is used to craft all their breads (yes they grow even their own yeast)! Also, the best ingredients, including the finest French mill wheat flour, Hokkaido Kitanokaori flour, German sourdough, French butter and direct-from-farm honey are used. 
I fell deep in love with the inventive Crown Sourdough Buttermilk Waffle ($6 with maple syrup and butter, $9 with Haagen Dazs ice cream and fruits). The batter is only kept for 4 hours each time to ensure freshness. I loved the light chewy German sourdough texture. The savory (sea salt is used) and lightly sour flavors set this waffle apart from the a dime a dozen ones out there. 
This delicately crispy waffle is best paired with butter and maple. I thought the ice cream overpowered the batter with its sweetness and soaks it and that kind ruined the overall texture and flavor but well it all boils down to personal preference. 
This bread monster brought home a huge box of breads and finished it in a couple of days. Here's what i ate and would recommend to you guys. Matcha lovers should definitely get the intensely flavored Shizuoka Matcha products. The Azuki Loaf ($4.80) has a mochi like texture in the middle (i kid you not) and i liked that the azuki beans weren't too sweet. 
The Shizuoka Matcha Brioche ($3.20) is like a little bouncy cake (look at those air pockets)! The green tea paste provides a great shot of caffeine for all you caffeine addicts. This is a lot less sweeter than what's available on the market so don't be too surprised. 
Do heat up the breads and pastries for that added crisp (I swear that everything toasted tastes better). The Croissant Aux Amandes ($3.60) was full of almond paste.
The New Zealand Cream Cheese Danish ($3) is one of my favorites! I took a bite before i considered toasting it and even though it was more like a bun when it is cold, it was so yummy i finished it before the toaster saw the light of it. NZ cream cheese and Parmesan are used in this one and the handcrafted raisin yeast gives the layers a fruity honey aftertaste. However, it was not crazy sweet as lemon juice is added to balance the sweetness. 

On to the savories. The Mentaiko Mayo Garlic Crisp ($2.80) is a no brainer and the garlic baguette is given the Midas touch with the creamy and salty mentaiko and Japanese mayo mix. It's heavily flavored with the pungent garlic so beware! This MUST BE TOASTED. Remember that!
The Red Wine Fig Sourdough ($8.50) is a great sandwich bread. On its own, it's a tad sour so i'd prefer to add my nut butters or my current favorite Ovaltine spread to it. Toasting it can do too but do not over do it. Otherwise, pop it into the microwave briefly and it'd be a little moist and warm enough. 
Crown Bakery's crown treasure is the Hainanese Chicken Bread ($4.50). This is made from chicken soup, skinless chicken thigh, garlic, ginger and shallots, together with their sourdough batter. You even get chunks of chicken in the bread! The flavor isn't particularly strong but it goes well with the garlicky chicken rice chili sauce. 
Crown Bakery & Café currently offers 45 varieties of bread, viennoiseries and snacks. A small all day breakfast selection is currently available and more will be added in the future but i think i'll be happy eating a warmed up slice here.
Crown Bakery & Café
557 Bukit Timah Road, Crown Centre #01-03
Singapore 269694
Sun - Thu: 7.30am - 8.30pm
Fri - Sat: 7.30am - 9.30pm

Impeccable service right from the time you step onto the premise and to the time you depart. That is what is expected at any COMO Hotels and Resorts. A recent visit to Point Yamu by COMO in Phuket Thailand sealed my love for this luxury chain. Located at the tip of Cape Yamu overlooking the Andaman Sea and limestones karsts of Phang Nga Bay, Point Yamu is the perfect island getaway.
I don't imagine anyone would dislike ice cream or soft serve unless you are lactose intolerant (then that's too sad). Surely many of you would have already tried the popular Taiwanese brand Honey Creme at 313@Somerset. I first tried their soft serve sometime back and found it kind of rich and oily (high cream content). Truth be told, I didn't think it was worth my buck. However, when i visited recently to sample their new flavors, i found myself liking their improved soft serve formula which is more milky and less sweet and yes i'm a fan of a particular flavor (which i'll intro in a bit)!
Many of the people in Honey Creme's snaking queue will agree that their soft serve is really smooth. Premium fresh milk and cream are used and there is no added preservatives or artificial sweeteners. The owners Sherry and Jo have taken in feedback and tweaked the soft serve to suit the Sg palate- more milk and less cream (it's healthier too).
The original Honey Comb ($5.90) features honeycombs imported from New Zealand and Australia and are cut directly from its frame and. The Comb Honey cup uses honey from Taiwan and has a distinct fruity longan taste which I preferred. I also liked the Organic Mixed Grains ($5.90) which has a mixed grains topping of ground millet, black sweet rice, buckwheat, oats, brown rice, and black sesame. It's very fragrant and less sinful.
A popular flavor is the Honey Creme Alishan Milk Tea, a Alishan milk tea soft serve ice cream layered with Alishan tea jelly, cookie crumbs and honey-coated pearls. This is like a bubble tea in solid form. The tea jelly is made in house and i could taste the tea in this one but i can't say the same of the soft serve. They also have the same milk tea soft serve in Teh C (half tea-half original soft serve) and Gah Dai (sweeter with candy floss) versions.
Now, about the 2 new flavors which will be available starting 1 June 2015. Presenting my favorite- the Cereal Milk ($5.90) . If you have tried Momofuku Milk Bar, you would not be a stranger to this flavor.
This is a cereal-infused soft serve which tastes like the milk at the bottom of your cereal milk breakfast. Think a sweet and salty oat and cornflake tasting concoction. Layered with cornflake crunch, this is the perfect breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea, dinner, supper snack. Hohoho can you sense my excitement? The cereal flavor could be stronger in the soft serve but i just kept going and eventually unknowingly finishing every single bit of this one. My favorite bit is the part at the bottom that has soaked up the melted cream!
In celebration of SG50, another addictive flavor introduced is the Honey Creme Pandan Gula Melaka.
The limited edition Honey Creme Pandan Gula Melaka is inspired by out local desserts of pandan cake, chendol and ice kachang! The local ingredients like attap chee (palm seeds), crispy puffed rice, toasted coconut chips (specially imported from Thailand and lovingly toasted here), and gula melaka gave the dessert contrasting flavors and textures. This is another one that i gladly finished. No artificial coloring is used in this one as the pandan concentrate is extracted the manual and traditional way.
If anything, I would love for the gula melaka to be richer, and for it to be layered with the coconut chips too! Just for the National Day weekend (7 – 10 Aug 2015), Honey Creme will also add a Merlion-shaped biscuit to the top of the pandan parfait as a special SG50 treat. Make this one a permanent feature already! Oh and this is exclusive to Singers! Yay!

Both Cereal Milk and Pandan Gula Melaka ($6) will be available from 1 Jun 2015 at the 313@Somerset outlet. Remember that the Pandan Gula Melaka will only be around till 30 Sep 2015!
Honey Creme will also be opening their second outlet in Singapore at the third largest suburban mall, Jem. Slated to launch in mid-July 2015, the new space will be a takeaway kiosk where customers may enjoy all of Honey Creme’s distinctive soft serves on the go.

Honey Creme (313@Somerset) 
313 Orchard Road, 313@Somerset #01-37, Singapore 238895 
Daily; 11am – 10pm 

Honey Creme (Jem) 
50 Jurong Gateway Road, #B1-06, Singapore 608549 
Daily; 11am – 10pm 
Things are heating up at Resorts World Sentosa! First there's the reintroduction of the weekend lunches at Joel Robuchon restaurants. Then this weekend, Celebrity Chef Andrew Turner of Hotel Café Royal in London is presenting his specially created dishes (13 to 16 May) alongside resident Chef Scott Webster.
For his collaboration with Osia, Chef Andrew has created several dishes that are based on his style of contemporary European. The set dinner comprises dishes by Chef Scott and Chef Andrew.
We started our set dinner with some Stone Hearth Flat Bread served with extra virgin olive oil, butter and dip. Truffled Kalamata Olive and Macadamia Pesto are the hot favorites here and i enjoyed the fluffy hot bread when it was first served. 
We were then served the Pea and Mint Veloute with Comte Cheese and Thyme Ravioli, Smoked Anchovy Flute. The veloute is was a smooth and creamy broth that is great on its own, or as a base for the goat cheese ravioli. I liked the interaction between the light touch of mint, sourness of the goat cheese and the brininess of the anchovy. Doesn't the  anchovy sticks remind you of Anti:dote?
Osia's Char Grilled Fremantle Octopus with cucumber apple slaw and green chili jam failed to impress with its rubbery texture.  
Osia won me back with their Pan fried Foie Gras by with textures of banana (in espuma and caramelized form), Madagascar vanilla and Jamaican rum. It's a first having bananas paired with foie gras and it was surprisingly a good match due to the savory and salty caramelized bananas. 
The Hokkaido Scallops and Byron Bay Pork Belly served atop Piccalilli Puree, is Chef Turner’s elegant version of a surf and turf. While the scallop was faultless, the pork belly had a strong porky flavor which didn't taste too fresh.
On to the mains, the Grainge Black Angus Beef Fillet MS 2 by Chef Andrew was a lovely piece of fillet mignon served alongside an Oxtail Anna Potato, Pak Choy in a Sweet and Sour Hong Kong sauce. 
Asian twist on this one with chinese sides. The flavors were refreshing enough but overall the dish was kinda oily. 
The signature Osia dish is the Perch with sesame ratte potato, pea tendril, soy milk curd and a shiromiso glaze. Light tasting dish with a little sweetness from the miso. 
I was never a fan of meringue until i tasted the Neaten Mess by Chef Andrew. It was presented like a toadstool of a field of strawberries! 
The only way to eat this is to smash everything and dig into it. Make sure you get bits of the crunchy meringue shell, the smores-like center, cool strawberry and thyme sorbet and the sweet berries of course. I finished every bit of this one!

Enjoy the set menu or pick from the a la carte dishes at Osia. For lunch and dinner, the set menu offers a 3 to 5 course which is priced from $50. Our 4 course dinner was $110++. If you wanna catch Chef Andrew in action, make sure you head down by 16 May! If not, you can always enjoy Osia's signatures anytime. 

Osia Bar & Restaurant
26 Sentosa Gateway #02-140/141, Singapore 098139
Tel: +65 6577 6688
Thu - Tue: 12 - 3pm, 6 - 10.30pm 
Closed Wed
It makes my heart skip a beat whenever a new cafe/restaurant is added to my hood! Introducing Holqa Cafe, a new-hole-in-the-wall, blink-and-you'll-miss it cafe along East Coast Road. It's along the stretch of cafes/restaurants like Carvers & Co., Bergs Gourmet Bugers, Rabbit Carrot Gun etc. 
It's easy to miss Holqa because it's right behind the bus stop and there isn't any clear sign. People are also distracted by the new bakery that is just next door. But seek and ye shall find some comfort in this small cafe. 
The Iced Flat White ($5) was a respite to this summer heat. Strong and well balanced it was and provided the much needed boost of energy for more yoga classes. Espresso based coffees are priced between $3 and $5 (add 50c for iced versions). 
A must order here is definitely the Braised Asian Pulled Pork with 3 cheeses sandwich ($15.90).  It used to be served on a bagel bread but now much improved with a brioche bread. Braised pork jowl with Asian spices is layered next and then topped with gruyere, mozzarella and cheddar. Finally, a generous swiggle of gingered mayo.
The brioche was ahmazing and it was more like a brioche cake. This is what a brioche should be btw- buttery and layered. It's a little more airy that the traditional brioche but it was like inhaling butter and that's always a good thing. The exterior was crispy but i didn't see toast marks (did they air fry this?) But whatever it is, it's LOVE. I can finish a plain loaf easily.

That asian style pulled pork was sweet and juicy and worked well with the salty cheese and tangy mayo which had a light hint of ginger. DELICIOUS. 
The rest of the mains are well.. normal i guess. I may go with the regular Eggs Benedict ($15.90) or the Pork Burger ($18.90). Another must have here is the Sns-Ji ($9.90/6pcs), which is like a Korean fried chicken wing dish. Think secret home-made sweet and spicy sticky sauce on crispy skin.
Desserts are on offer too but there's no space left in this tummy since i hardly shared my brunch with S. Haha.
Do check Holqa Cafe out if you're in the East. I'll be back for that brioche. 

37 East Coast Road Singapore 428755
Weekdays (closed Wed): 12 - 9pm
Weekends: 9am - 9pm