Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Purists may be up in arms, but nobody said Christmas dining is only about turkey! Kotobuki would like to invite you to celebrate the festive season with them as they launch their special year-end promotion set!
Start the meal on the right foot with a glass (or two!) of Utakata sparkling sake- we loved our Yuzu flavoured one! Once you’re nicely warmed up, get started on the festive feast which consists of sushi, sashimi and tempura ($82, including a bottle of sparkling sake).
We loved how the Oshizushi (pressed sushi) came delicately and exquisitely arranged in a mosaic. 8 different variants were presented, including salmon and unagi on a bed of lightly vinegared rice. We must say we are not big fans as the topping to rice ratio is underwhelming. Plus that rubbery skinny eel was.....
Christmas is ‘round the corner! If you are still looking for a lovely place for Christmas dining, here’s a suggestion: Melt Café at Mandarin Oriental Singapore.
Tuck into Traditional Roasted Christmas Turkey with delicious cranberry sauce and traditional giblet gravy.
Look at the glistening Honey-glazed Bone-in Christmas Ham beckoning! Yums.
What’s Christmas without the sweet treats? On the festive table are Christmas Fruit Cake, Chocolate Yule Log Cake and Petits Calissons Christmas Tree to name a few. Psst, the Chocolate Yule Log Cake is pretty addictive!
Japan is such a diverse country with multiple prefectures, each with their own crowning glory. When we speak of Japanese tourism, the usual suspects are Hokkaido, Osaka, Tokyo, Kyoto etc. However, there are multiple hidden gems interspersed amongst the many cities that make up Japan, and Niigata is one of them.

With the Shinano River running through and irrigating the city before opening into the Sea of Japan, Niigata is a port city renowned for their seafood, rice, Sake and fresh produce. From now till 30 Dec 2016, Tóng Lè Private Dining has partnered with Niigata City Prefecture to feature a set menu incorporating freshest ingredients direct from the famed “Rice Kingdom”.
We loved the Snow Crab (featured in the dinner menu), which consists slivers of the sweet, briny snow crab flesh marinated in two types of rice wine, served on a bed of Japanese tomatoes and topped with ikura.
Ama-ebi, or sweet shrimp, is an extremely popular ingredient in Japanese cuisine. What is special about the sweet shrimp featured in this specially curated menu is that their color and shape resembles that of chili peppers or 'nan-ban', earning them the nickname of Nanban Ebi. In order to preserve the sweetness and texture of these prawns caught off the coast of Niigata, Chef Ling of Tóng Lè has chosen to top the raw prawns on a light, velvety smooth pumpkin soup with delicate Japanese mushrooms.

No one does Wagyu like the Japanese, and the Wagyu beef we had was melt-in-your-mouth tender, and rich in flavour. Also excellent was the succulent greens and roasted chestnuts served on the side.
Sundays are made of Sunday Roasts and where better to have it other than at Morton's The Steakhouse, a Chicago steak establishment at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Singapore. Yes, we no longer have to wait till dinner to feast on the perfect steak with Morton's three-course Sunday Lunch priced at only $65++. 
Prime Ribs at Morton's Steakhouse (+$25)
How does a 16oz juicy Slow Roast Prime Rib sounds to you? WE SAY YAY.
The Sunday feast begins with an appetizer and you cannot give the intense Signature Lobster Bisque a miss. It's smoky, umami, and so silky. We couldn't stop dipping the gorgeous onion loaf into it. The savory-sweet Baked Five Onion Soup is a close second and we adored the stringy cheese that tops the soup.
The greens are not quite worth the stomach space actually, being low in nutrients (lettuce are mostly water). That said, the Centre-Cut Iceberg is a good carb-less vehicle for that glorious blue cheese sauce!!! I have no idea how anyone would be able to finish this head of lettuce as an appetizer on their own.
NOW NOW, make sure you come with company so that you can have some of that heavenly Lobster Mac & Cheese as an additional order. This is hardly a side, it may potentially overshadow the mains here. Is $70 is worth the tag on a mac & cheese? HELL YEA if it's filled with chunks of succulent sweet lobster in every bite. And that sauce was like a condensed version of the lobster bisque!
Planning the Christmas gathering? Why not celebrate this festive occasion at Jamie’s Italian? From 28 November to 31 December, Jamie’s Italian is offering festive three-course lunch and dinner feast menus at $49.90/pax and $65.90/pax respectively. Christmas sure came early! Here are some picks from the lunch and dinner menu.
Fancy pâté for lunch? Try the Festive Italian Pâté, a plank of toasted ciabatta topped with free range chicken liver and vin santo pate, grated parmesan and crispy sage. For dinner, we recommend the refreshing Bresaola Salad with slices of cured beef, creamy ricotta on beautiful greens and sprinkled with toasted almonds, parmesan and aged balsamic. Of course there are other options like salmon too.
Lighter mains are served for lunch, but tasty nonetheless. Have the wildly addictive Wild Mushroom Pappardelle- think freshly made al dente curly noodles, tossed in a sauce of garlicky porcini mushroom and served with pan-fried Paris brown and oyster mushrooms. Or a carb-free Sea Bass served in a white wine, chilli, fennel and garlic broth with huge juicy mussels.
For dinner, you'll be faced with tough choices for your protein options. Mull over the Gennardo’s Porchetta, Roast Baby Chicken, Pan Fried Cod and Dry-Aged Sirloin Steak. All the main courses are accompanied by a side of hearty vegetables: Rosemary roasted potatoes, Brussels sprouts roasted and topped with parmesan and pangrattato, and parsnips, celeriac and squash roasted with olive oil and rosemary.
Fretting over your Christmas holiday meals? InterContinental Hotels Group may likely be your one-stop shop for all festive offerings from savories to sweets, traditional Christmas flavors to localized Singaporean ones. 
InterContinental Singapore will be my top choice for a perfect Christmas meal around the fireplace (if only i have one at home). 
The Maple Wood Bacon-Wrapped Tom Turkey ($168 for 5kg) is by far the best turkey i've had all season. Wrapped with decadent strips of bacon and slow-roasted to perfection over maple wood, the juicy meat was more chicken like than typical dry boring turkey. Each order is also served with sides including charcoal-baked potatoes, winter vegetables, mushroom stuffing and giblet gravy- a hearty meal on its own. 

The desserts by Pastry Chef Ben Goh and his team will sweeten your holidays. I highly recommend the Buche de Noel White Yule Log (1kg for $68), which comprises a moist red velvet sponge layered with lemon curd, sheathed beneath a beautiful layer of cheese frosting. The sugar free Framboise of the Wild Forest (1kg for $68) offers a guilt-free choice which comprises a chocolate mousse, sugar-free chocolate ganache, centred with a raspberry confit atop a crunchy chocolate biscuit base. 
Meat Lovers, there's no looking further than Crowne Plaza Changi Airport for the best Christmas roasts. OMG THAT BBQ GRAIN-FED BEEF RIBS (1.2kg for $118) is DA BOMB. Sous-vide for 24 hours, it falls right off the bone with a light tug of the fork. If you don't like the tangy BBQ sauce, there's also the Roast version that is paired with the palatable mushroom duxelle and red wine shallot gravy. 
Searching for ideas to sweeten up this Christmas? Indulge in Antoinette’s Yuletide Elegance. With many magical creations in store, you can make this Christmas with family and friends special. If like us, you also associate Christmas with log cakes, then Antoinette has your perfect Xmas covered with their two new log cakes— Superlova and Marronette.
Chestnut is one of our favorite fall food and it's used generously in the Marronette ($55/$110), a chestnut cake layered with chestnut crème chantilly and perfumed with Myer’s dark rum and orange confiture. Decorated with a thick ribbon of vanilla crème chantilly and candied French chestnuts, this log cake is bursting with warm nutty flavors!
Superlova ($50/$100) in contrast, is a feminine creation of all things pink. A finer rose sponge, rose petal mousse, raspberry jelly, rose petal glaze, more rose coral sponge, raspberry caviar, rose macaron, raspberry crumble, raspberry marshmallow.. You get the picture. However, it is not merely a rose and raspberry log, as there are also yuzu cream and lychee that bring a tangy kick to the tastebuds.
Don't like logs? How about a rose? Red Rosette ($150) makes a sexy centerpiece on the festive table, and is an elegant conversation starter. A chocolate cake with orange, layered with almond nougatine, and dressed with dark chocolate Chantilly with edible red cocoa spray, this red Christmas tree is more than a luscious eye candy.
Put down your mugs muggles (pun fully intended) and listen up: there’s a new place in town where some serious beer magic is happening! Alchemist Beer Lab lays claim to being the first and only infusion beer lab in Asia, and features a proud display of 16 visually stunning beer infusion towers to offer a wide variety of infused beers.
All the magical action happens within the infusion towers, where selected ingredients are placed in the fusion chamber followed by the release of compressed gases, before the beer is infused. With an infinite selection of ingredients that can be infused into a wide variety of ales, ciders, mead and stout, the possibilities are endless and we are sure even Severus Snape would be proud.
For a light start to the meal, we would highly recommend the 50 Shades of Pink, which is a pink guava infused cider. It conveys a mellow sweetness that cuts through the tartness of the cider. The Honey Trap would please those with a sweet tooth- honey mead is infused with hops, kaffir lime and lemongrass which immediately evoke memories of your last spa experience. The Obama (stout infused with marshmallow, vanilla pod and mint leaves) is an interesting concoction, as the bitterness of the stout competes with the sweetness of the marshmallow and refreshing mint to deliver complex flavors with each mouthful. You would either love it or hate it, much like how the Americans view their outgoing president. (FYI: I love it!)
More than just a micro-brewery, Alchemist also prides itself on its selection of modern European tapas that are not just sidekicks to the amazing beers, but are stars on their own. The Charcuterie platter is an excellent appetizer consisting of Iberico sausage, prosciutto, chicken and black truffle ballotine and duck liver parfait with calvados jelly. For some Mediterranean flavors, the smoked eggplant Falafel is wonderfully crispy and moist, and goes well with the accompanying paprika yogurt. 
Been to Holland Village in the recent weeks? There are quite a few newcomers, Otto’s Deli Fresh being one of them. Located in Raffles @ Holland Village, it is still quite a hidden find in the buzzing enclave. An inspiration of Chef Otto Weibel, a respected veteran in Singapore’s F&B industry, Otto’s Deli Fresh encapsulates Chef’s Otto’s passionate desire to bring homespun recipes with refined gourmet flavours to tables of family, friends, and neighbours.
Warm the tummy with earthy Button Mushroom Soup ($8.50). I love that caramelised onions are used to naturally add flavours to the soup, and the most enjoyable bit is dipping the slightly sugared and toasted brioche into the fragrant bowl.

Otto’s Deli Fresh serves good sandwiches if you like something to grab. Get your hands on the juicy Pulled Pork Burger ($19). It is a 5-hours sous vide pulled pork cheeks and citrus cabbage apple slaw between the warm toasted carbs. Served with fries and condiments, this makes a happy meal.
For a pressed sandwich, there’s a lot in that inch-thick Pressed Beef Steak Ciabatta ($20) — Hanger steak and Bresaola beef, housemade pickled Japanese cucumber, rocket, gruyere, caramelised onions and housemade bbq sauce. Go with this if you are in the moo-d.
Love your meats fresh? There are Heritage US Kurobuta Pork Rack 300g ($39) and Limestone Ridge Full Blood Wagyu Beef Rump MB4 - 150g ($32) amongst the types and cuts of meats to pick from. (Served cooked of course!) Both meats are seasoned with salt, grilled, and finished off in the oven. There is the housemade bbq sauce served alongside, but I wish there are different sauces to highlight the different meats.
Desserts were disappointing. You'd think that with four types of waffles out of a total of seven dessert options, the waffles would be at least.. something. The dense waffles would have worked ok if the flavor is richer. We tried Burnt Banana Waffle ($11.50), and despite the decent milky peanut butter gelato (the other toppings—“burnt” and freeze dried banana— were mere decorations in my opinion), I was not enthusiastic enough for a second bite.
You have to try the Valrhona Chocolate though! Hot ($9.50) and Iced ($12.50) versions are available, but I’d suggest the former, especially on a cool rainy day/ night. It’s tough to resist this red cup of joy — think luscious chocolate rimmed with crushed toasted hazelnuts. If you have ever wondered what a ferrero rocher - kinder bueno drink would taste like, well, this is the better version. There is a reason for it to be labelled ‘Otto’s Favourite Drink’ on the menu! That said, there was over-generosity of the sea salt in my cup that particular evening…

A place of familiar comfort, Otto’s Deli Fresh warms us with the hearty deli offerings. Besides the red meats, there are also seafood pastas on the menu. For the remaining rainy December days, expect to find us warming up to a Hot Valrhona Chocolate.

Otto’s Deli Fresh
118 Holland Avenue #02-01 
Raffles @ Holland Village Singapore 278990
Daily: 11am - 10pm
December, the month of jolly merrymaking. If you are in town for a sunny (or rainy) Christmas, take the opportunity to soak in the heritage of the charming Raffles Hotel as you celebrate the festive season in colonial style.

An epicurean experience awaits as you tuck into Bar & Billiard Room's buffet-styled Christmas Eve Dinner ($288/adult) or Christmas Day Dinner ($288/adult). The renowned Christmas Day Brunch ($318/adult) is available for more indulgence.
Scottish Smoked Salmon, Kristal Caviar and Blinis from Christmas Buffet Menu.