Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

The Black Swan is all about the 1920s sophistication. Think fine European classic dishes served in an equally classy and Art Deco building (The Quadrant) at Cecil Street. What i hear is that the bar is rather spectacular for an after work drink but don't miss out on their food! 
The Black Swan recently updated their menu and it now features classics such as Chicken Velouté, Steak Tartare, and Duck Leg Confit We hear that the Head Chef watches his team like a hawk to ensure the traditional preparation of these dishes are adhered to. 
Starting with the Raw Bar, the Black Swan Seafood Platter ($148) is a good starter to go with the selection of martinis and cocktails with its mix of Alaskan king crab, oysters, Maine lobster, Obsiblue prawns, Uni, and clam ceviche.
VEGGIES LOVERS REJOICE! From 23 to 29 November 2015, look forward to the first ever Gourmet Greens Week showcasing the natural, pristine beauty of vegetables on a plate, presented by FIJI Water and Chope. Singapore’s hottest restaurants spanning cuisines such as Balinese, French, Italian, Indian and Mediterranean will feature exquisite all-vegetarian menus priced at $30/pax for a four course set lunch and $45/pax per person for a four course dinner. Additionally, each diner will also receive a complimentary 330 ml bottle of FIJI Water during their meal. 
Meat lovers, trust me you will fall in love with the humble vegetable after this. The Kale dish at Humpback by Group Executive Chef Polo Seah has won the hearts of many meat eaters. Really. 
The Kale dish at Humpback has been updated for the #GourmetGreensWeek with Holland Sunchoke done 3 ways- puréed, pickled, and roasted, and sweetened with some honeycomb. Love the kale chips as always because of that umami after they have been crisped. The sunchoke (or jerusalem artichokes) were given a tad of spice and i love the sour pickled ones. Thought the sunchokes were a tad too soft. I much preferred the crunchier types at Maggie Joan's
At Sugarhall, Chef Polo once again swept me off my feet with the innovative Beetroot Tatin with pecan nuts, golden beets and mascarpone cheese. Gosh those gorgeous buttery, crispy and flaky pastry!! Plus that creamy mascarpone was perfect with the sweet soft beet and that tangy balsamic tinge. 
Of course you gotta get Stewart's Legado Rosa, a Bacardi Legacy drink, when at Sugarhall. This refreshing drink is made from Bacardi Carta Blanca, passionfruit, egg white, Angostura bitters, and Mezcal spray. 
If you're afraid that vegetables won't fill you up, then go with Burlamacco's Three Eggs Cooked in Spicy Tomato Sauce & Fresh Herbs which IMO is the best hangover food ever. Every mouth was a rollercoaster ride of flavors with the spicy and peppery arrabiata. I can't help but mop the sauce with the warm mini baguette (which was a tad too hollow for me). OSO's Oven Baked Classic "Parmigiana" Eggplant wasn't too bad either (it was very filling) but i thought they could totally do with more tomato and cheese. 
Be prepared to be wowed by the various flavors, textures, and techniques in these vegetable dishes during Gourmet Greens Week. Participating restaurants include Absinthe, Afterglow, Blue Bali, Burlamacco, Highlander (Chijmes), Humpback, Luxe Sydney, Original Sin, Oso Ristorante, Pepenero, Punjab Grill, Song of India, Sugarhall, Tandoor, The Missing Pan, Neon Pigeon and Sopra Cucina & Bar. 
Semifreddo by Pepenero
To book, guests can visit Chope at Bookings will commence on 16 November 2015(that's today!) All menus during Gourmet Greens Week are meat-free, with a focus on vegetables, but may feature dairy and eggs. 

Additionally, stand to win $1,000 worth of dining vouchers when you participate in the Gourmet Greens Week Instagram contest. Simply upload a photo of your #GourmetGreensWeek experience with the hashtag and follow FIJI Water (@FIJIWaterSG) and Chope (@ChopeSG) on IG.
Sofitel So Singapore wants you to know they have more than a pretty pool with an awesome city view. With their newly appointed Chef Trevor Paulo heading the the hotel’s gastro-bar dining concept restaurant Xperience, their new star attraction is gonna be the delicious mod European dishes.

We put Chef Trevor to the test with his four-course Christmas Eve dinner ($88 onwards). 
We started with the Amuse bouche of Potato Blinis, topped with a dollop of  refreshing dill Greek yogurt and a salty herring roe. 
Entrée was a house-cured Salmon Gravlax on a bed of edible truffle and mushroom soil and pickled shallots. Interesting textures though it felt a little dryish when brought together. Perhaps a tad more creme would provide a smoother sensation.
For the main course, Chef Trevor will personally present a Hay Roasted Savel Chicken at the guest’s table. Lots of theatrics involved in this main course, including the firing of roasted hay and on the spot carving of that tender bird.
My my the chicken was so damn good. The white meat was flavorful on its own and even better with the creamy stuffing of mushroom pate, brioche, shiitake and truffle. The touch of truffle split jus added more umami to the dish. The jus is full of fatty goodness from the roasted chicken, which was sauteed with a mirepoix and deglazed with red wine, reduced further for 1.5 days and given a touch of truffle oil at the end. Yea.. Such dedication is given to an accompanying sauce.
If the meal were to end there and then, it would bask in the glory of the chicken. But (yea the but..) the deconstructed version of the Pear Tarte Tatin spoiled the meal with an overall dry and bland experience. The individual components were decent actually (lovely chiffon and honeycomb) but they just didn't gel together as a dish. The lack of pear flavor also didn't sit too well with me either. I found myself craving for the traditionally intense cinnamon spice, butter, and pear. Well just give me a regular pear tart and that would have been perfect.

That said, the sampling was sufficient to convince me that there are more reasons to come back to Sofitel So Singapore. Check out their Festive menus which include prix fixe and buffet options from $88 onwards. Something to look forward to is certainly Chef Trevor's specialty Croque En Bouche.

Xperience Restaurant
35 Robinson Road, Singapore 068876
Tel: +65 6701 6800

Omakase at fine Japanese restaurant because nothing beats fresh seafood in terms of cheering us up. Sushi Mitsuya comes highly recommended for the new old school type of edomae (traditional Tokyo style) headed by Chef Ryosuke Harada
If you wonder how it differs from the regular Japanese restaurant, Sushi Mitsuya prides itself in the traditional storage and preparation of fresh seafood, adapting techniques from the Edo era when refrigeration was not used. Natural ingredients with sterilizing and preservative qualities are used to keep the food fresh. We were initiated into this technique right after we sat down at the 18 seater Hinoki counter- Harada san skillfully made cuts on our chutoro and proceeded to soak it in soy sauce for the course to come.
Only omakase is available for dinner ($130/200/300) and there is also a bar omakase menu ($100) available with purchase of a 750ml sake. We went with the Umi set ($130) and added 2 a la carte urchin dish to our meal. Of course we didn't grasp the full extent of our impending meal. 
Dinner started with appetizers. The marinated octopus had the quality of a kakuni (braised pork belly). The typical chewy texture had been broken down and the meat was sweet and tender.
Next, the Buri Yellow Tail belly. Harada-san told us that Japanese chefs are particular about how they name the Yellow Tail and they do not call them Hamachi. Hamachi actually refers to the name of the farm which grows the small yellow tail (farmed fishes are a no no at fine Japanese restaurants). This fish is named by their size and there are 4 types with Buri being the biggest of the lot. That marbling was gorgeous and I actually preferred this to the super oily Otoro (tuna is overrated). 
Hot small plates interspersed our sashimi and sushi course to excite our palates with differing textures and temperature. In season are the chestnut and baby taro; the former served in a light tempura style with a brandy syrup (it was marinated in it), and the latter steamed. 

The following fish courses: 
Sawara- King Mackerel that has been marinated to a briny robustness and then lightly seared. 
Ika with shiso leaves- lemony, refreshing, with a light gluey texture from the sweet squid. 
Ika no Shiokara- Squid tentacles marinated in salted and fermented squid gut (or liver). The saltiness is perfect for beer or sake. 
Then came the Shirako, or milt, aka sperm sacs of the male fish (typically cod). The raw shirako was creamy and velvety all around, and the soy bean cream added to the custard texture. 
Bonito served with ginger and chili padi in soy. This tasted more South East Asian than Japanese actually but it captures the edomae spirit.
Next, Madara cod, which is less fatty as compared to the Gindara. Madara is a tad more bland and typically used for hot pot whereas Gindara is grilled and served with mentaiko or teriyaki. 
Next, the sushi course which was a succession of the salty tangy sushi rice with succulent seafood. I'm so coming back for more sushi. 
Kinmedai, golden eye snapper. Chef Harada's favorite apparently.
Scallop with black salt and yuzu peel was spectacular. It's a party in there with the sweet succulent flesh, zesty citrus and the special black salt to season. 
The Chutoro which Harada-san prepped at the start of our meal was taken out of its soy marinate. It was super umami as the soy had taken some moisture from the fish to bring out its natural flavor.
Anago is always a favorite and this was soft and fluffy but had a couple of bigger spikes, which I removed.
Unfortunately we missed the White Uni season by a bit and had to settle for red uni, which is still delicious. When I saw the plate lined with those gorgeous tongues, my exclamation of beauty amused Harada-san, as I am the his first customer to say that uni is beautiful. Well it tasted as good as it looked! Creamy, briny, and sweet. Such deliciousness. We had this in the sushi version. 
For a different uni texture, go for the super umami Grilled Uni Rice ($40). Uni was mixed into the rice, formed into a patty, and then topped with more tongues and grilled. It gave the uni a firmer texture, which was a good contrast to the creamy sushi course.
After that, the otherwise stellar Mini Ikura Uni don ($35) paled slightly in comparison. It's still really awesome of course but I'd pick the grilled uni rice anytime. 
The mini makimono was the standard Negitoro, which I thought could do with more vinegar and spring onion. 
The savoury tamago which had the texture of a sponge cake. Almost a pre dessert.
Harada san busied himself with making some leaf art while we sipped on the comforting grated turnip in soup. Turns out that he was making a crane and gecko cutout for the sushi birthday cake! It even came with a seaweed-wasabi candle! Thank you Sushi Mitsuya for the successful surprise! 
We rounded the meal with a trio of sweets- Kinako ice cream, dried fruit mochi and a sweet Japanese pear. Yummy. We left thoroughly stuffed and immensely satisfied. Pretty sure we'd be back. 
60 Tras Street, #01-01, Singapore 078999
Mon– Sat: 11.30am – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm
Sunday Champagne Brunch is what gets us through the work week and i was won over by the enhanced spread at The Line at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore. I wasn't expecting much since the standard was meh the last time i visited (it was still known as the best buffet line then) but newly appointed Chef de Cuisine Vincent Wong upped the buffet game and i was won over. How could i not with their 16 theatre kitchens that include foie gras presented 10 ways, 13 types of fresh seafood on ice and 30 types of New and Old World cheese served with unlimited Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut. GASP.
While the typical Singaporeans pile their plates with the huge seafood spread, i started with the foie gras and cheese!
Well there were only 8 types on the table but plenty of options. There's the classic, chocolate chips, honey apple, pimento, fig, yuzu, berries, and port. Of the lot, you can't go wrong with the classic. I also liked the fig, berries, and port wine versions. Of course, some Spanish Iberico ham to go with can never be wrong.
People have the cheeses for dessert but i like to start and end with cheese. It was a fantastic cheese tasting with a selection of hard and soft, mild and sharp types. Pair them with the fresh fruits, nuts, and jams for a complete experience.
The different types of sashimi available. DO NOT MISS THE SALMON ABURI SUSHI. SERIOUSLY. They were morsels of creamy umami i swear. 
The spread of seafood on ice includes oysters from Ireland, Sydney and France, and crabs including Alaskan Red King crab, Alaskan Bairdi Snow Crabs and Sri Lankan Crabs. If you like your seafood baked, there's the Oyster Rockerfeller with France Prat Ar Coum oysters from Brittany and Lobster Thermidor.
Knock yourself out at the meat station. Featured here is the 48-Hour Slow Roasted Wagyu Beef Leg with a Mustard Crust which was sadly dry. The Australian Stockyard Tomahawk Steak fared a little better. Other meats include the 200 Day Grain–fed Australian Stockyard Striploin with Truffle Jus, Herb-crusted Lamb Rack and more. 
If not, the Mediterranean grilled meats were quite dandy with the heavy spices. 
I thought the satays gave the ones at Pan Pacific's Edge buffet a run for their money.
Save space for desserts. Pastry Chef Hervé Potus went overboard with his stellar chocolate selection (in a good way)! Love the tarts, the cones, the cakes, the truffles. Of course there were other types of pastries, tarts and cakes, fruit trifle, Singaporean desserts and “kuehs” and ice cream. They also have frozen yogurt alongside the ice cream!  

The Line’s Sunday Champagne Brunch is priced at $158 per adult and includes unlimited Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut. Cheers!

22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350
Sunday: 12 - 3pm

I love back alley finds and Maggie Joan's join the ranks of awesome small plates restaurants in Singapore. The new restaurant by Daniel and Glen Ballis, the people behind Moosehead, focuses on the vibrant Mediterranean cuisine from their backstreet 'tavern'. No seriously, Maggie Joan's main entrance is from the back alley of Amoy Street
The windowless interior features an underground industrial décor with unique picks from junkyards. A contrasting homey semi private area for cozy gatherings. 
Staying true to their Mediterranean roots, Maggie Joan's features familiar flavors in refined modern interpretations. Fresh seasonal produce is used and that only means vibrant flavors and a changing menu (more reasons to come back)!