Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Has it been half a year since i last visited Wildseed Cafe at The Summerhouse?! Well so much has changed and we hear that Wildseed Cafe no longer does those yummy sandwiches. :( There's no fretting though! The Summerhouse has just launched their new weekday lunch and weekend brunch menu and you will be spoilt for choice! The weekend brunch menu is the more extensive one, and you'll get some of the more filling dishes on the weekday lunch menu. 
For starters, i absolutely adored the Burrata Rocket Salad ($20) which has a meaty flavor to it despite it being vegetarian. I love every component on this salad- the creamy burrata, meaty rocket pesto, citrusy dog fennel, umami marinated tomatoes and crunchy toasted sourdough. If you're gunning for a healthier brunch/lunch, this could be your main course. 
What's better than sweet potato fries? Presenting the Yellow ($14), which is a dish of crunchy Mimolette-cheese-covered sweet potato cubes topped with an earl grey and passion fruit vinaigrette, mustard puree, and pickled pumpkin and carrots. This dish is definitely more savoury than sweet and we found the pickled sides rather refreshing. 
WARNING. Do not mistaken The Summerhouse's Eggs Benedict Modernist ($22) to be a traditional full-size breakfast plate because it is clearly under the starters portion. Instead, Chef presents an innovative egg dish with various textures of egg with Black Forest Ham, and a unique chive hollandaise. On this plate, there's an interesting bacon infused egg white custard with an amazing panna cotta texture; breaded and fried egg yolks, and a runny sous vide egg. I would love for something sharper to cut through all that egg though.
Now i'm gonna skip to 'Desserts' because that's where they placed the ah-mazing French Toast ($14). I obviously have no issues having something sweet for breakfast, especially if it is this pretty. The fluffy brioche is soaked in egg with cinnamon and brown sugar before being pan-fried for that nice caramel crust. Chef serves this with seasonal fruits, zingy raspberry-yuzu sorbet and raspberry tuille. I thought that the use of vanilla bean custard was ingenious- it's not as heavy as ice cream, but it was smooth enough to provide the same mouthfeel while harmonizing the tartness of the sorbet.

Another dessert i may take for breakfast would be the Natural Yoghurt with Grilled Pumpkin Ice Cream, served with granola and local cinnamon, and local honey. I mean, it's essentially a granola bowl no? 
My other favorite brunch dish is the Pulled Pork Scrambled Eggs Burger ($19). YOU CANNOT MISS THIS FOR YOUR LIFE. I will leave nothing on the plate, not even the burger bun because it's filled with bacon and cream cheese with sambal mayo!
The bun is fried and then sliced to sandwich a juicy and tangy pulled pork made from pork collar, creamy scrambled eggs, avocado, Mimolette cheese, and more greens. This may possibly be the best burger of 2017. Really.
For heartier lunch/brunch options, there's the Miso Shiitake Linguine ($22) with 3 grilled prawns (+$8). If you would like a less heavy carbonara, this would be it. The fried ebi sakura was very much bacon-like, which i thought was missing the umami seafood flavor. It's possible to have this as a vegetarian option if you tell the kitchen to hold the ebi. 

If you, like i do, miss the falafel sandwich previously served at Wildseed Cafe, there's the Falafel Platter ($14/24) which uses pretty much the same ingredients in the sandwich! Think generous serving of the crusty herbal falafel, feta cheese, eggplant ragout, sautéed pak choy, butterhead lettuce, rocket pesto and yoghurt sauce. 

Other items available for lunch includes a Wagyu beef burger made with wagyu beef MS8 patty, and a grilled chicken thigh with smoked rice (Summerhouse's take on the local chicken rice). 
Sweet endings begin proper with the Balinese chocolate ice cream ($12) which cannot be missed as well. A freshly baked crunchy but gooey hazelnut cookie is topped with the smooth vanilla bean custard, chocolate ice cream made from Bali-grown Valrhona cocoa and a dehydrated hazelnut praline powder. If i may add, this dessert provides the same comfort you'd derive from a glass of rich chocolate milk. 
Loving the new brunch and lunch menu at The Summerhouse Dining Room. We enjoyed our meal with a bottle of Bliss Family Vineyards Chardonnay from their cute little wine cellar. The stock of wine comes from the 1 Group's suppliers and you could purchase a bottle to enjoy it at the restaurant or at home.

3 Park Lane Singapore 798387
Tel: +65 8608 3340
Mon – Thu: 12 – 3pm
Fri, Weekends & PH: 12 – 3pm, 6 - 10pm 
It was a throwback to my gorgeous Greece holiday (read more about my itinerary here) when i stepped into the natural light-filled breezy space that is the newly opened Bakalaki Greek Tavern at Tiong Bahru. We heard that Bakalaki's kitchen is run by Greek Chef Spiros Palaiologos (formerly of Blu Kouzina) and they use traditional ingredients are sourced from Greek suppliers. A range of Greek wines and other specialty products like extra-virgin olive oil are also available here.

We started with a bottle of Avaton – Gerovassiliou ($86.90), a dry full-bodied red which consists 3 Greek red varieties. The wine held up well with the accompanying rich meats that we ordered. For starters, we had the Spanakopita (2pcs for $15.90), a Greek filo pastry filled with spinach, feta cheese, leeks and dill. We enjoyed the refreshing aromatics used in the filling though the dill was a tad overwhelming. 

We made it a point to not over-order and so the eggplant dip Melitzanosalata Agioritiki ($14.90) was forgone. I trust that the smoky spread with red peppers would go so well on the pita (which we also did not order, because carbs).
Moussaka ($25.90) it was for us because it's one of the defining dishes in Greek cuisine (at least for me). I ordered this at every opportunity i could when i was in Greece and i had the best one in Delphi (Epikouros Tavern). Bakalaki's version was a huge disappointment due to the overwhelming curdy béchamel sauce. There was hardly much of the tart tomato minced beef sauce to cut through the richness. The star of the dish should be the eggplant but i could hardly taste it. Skip the Moussaka and go for the crowd favorite grilled octopus Htapodi ($32.90) instead.
After a recent refurbishment, Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant at Holiday Inn® Singapore Atrium welcomes new Executive Chinese Chef Chan Shun Wong and his new dishes. I was hoping that the dining experience would be better than that forgettable Chinese New Year meal i had earlier in the year and I was not disappointed.
Dinner started with Xin's Signature Home-style Roast Duck with Tea Leaves ($32 half duck/ $58 whole duck). The mouth-watering perfume of the duck reached us before we saw the glistening bird. I can still hear the crackling of the skin as Chef was carving the meat for us. I expected the tea flavor in the tender meat to be pronounced but it wasn't as the the tea leaves were used in the smoking process prior to roasting. We also had stir-fried assorted mushrooms with white truffle oil ($10/portion) to accompany the duck and it brought out the earthy smoky flavors. 
I thought the Poached Clams Xin Cuisine style ($22/ $33/ $42) was cooked with the duck bones a la Peking Duck dining format as the soup tasted very meaty (like salted duck soup). However, there was none! We concluded that our taste buds could have been deceived by the preserved vegetables, ginger and Chinese wine, which are also typically used in a salted duck soup. The broth was tasty but overpowered the light sweetness of the juicy clams (if that's what you're looking to taste in this dish).
I enjoyed Chef's version of the typical deep fried prawns with <insert fruit/veg/egg> mayonnaise. Xin's cuisine serve their lightly battered and succulent prawns with a light and refreshing yuzu mayonnaise that isn't too rich in texture ($10 per pax/ $26/ $39/ $50). I thought the cornflakes were going to be part of the batter but turns out they were just purposeless sprinkles on the side.
Ask me where to get the best scones and Regent Singapore will be rattled off the top of my head. There may be a lot of other great scones but my goldfish memory only retains the most memorable ones, and I can never forget the light fluffy texture of their scone paired with buttery clotted cream and lemon curd. Thankfully the renovation at Tea Lounge at Regent Singapore did not take too long and you can now enjoy their lovely afternoon tea in a more contemporary colonial garden setting. 
Interactive and theatrical elements have also been added to Tea Lounge's repertoire of delightful bites for their Weekday Three-tier Afternoon Tea. A table-side trolley service provides hand-brewed coffee and special tea blends, brewed to perfection at their optimum timing and temperature; while award-winning Pastry Chef Alex Chong and his team conjure some sweet dreams for the dessert course you pick from the menu. 
First things first, the scones! I knew something was different when i bit into them and i confirmed that the recipe had been tweaked to produce a slightly denser scone that doesn't break apart so easily. I can't tell it i liked it better than the previous version, but i did enjoy it very much. The scone has a nice crunchy crust all around but still retained a moist center. Of course, it was perfect with the Devonshire clotted cream and smooth-like-butter and not-too-sweet lemon curd. There's also a house-made strawberry preserve that's served but i'm simply not a jam person. 
We were also huge fans of the seasonal quiches, which were the best savory items on the tiers. That amazing snappy buttery shortcrust held the moist egg custard with heirloom summer tomato and cherry wood-smoked ham. 
The rest of the petite savory bites sounded fancy with their extravagant ingredients but failed to deliver. The best of the lot was the sweet Alaskan king crab wrapped in watercress crepe, and the smoked Norwegian salmon with caviar on beetroot loaf. The open-faced Wagyu Beef and Lancashire cheese with Périgord black truffle sandwich was dry and bland; and the Duck Breast and Lavender infused Foie Gras Terrine on tart had a slight gamey flavor to it. Needless to say, i could not be bothered with an egg sandwich as it affords no satisfaction at all.
There was a time when Yung Kee was the go to for roast goose in Hong Kong. But as predictable as HK TVB dramas, a family feud resulted in a winding up order end 2015. Well, truth be told, the falling standard and the rising prices have made it an unpopular choice and i sought other alternatives on my subsequent trips. This time, we compare the "successor" of Yung Kee- Kam's Roast Goose and hole-in-the-wall cranky Yat Lok, both of which have been earning the 1 Michelin Star badge since 2015. 
Kam's Roast Goose (KRG) was started by the third generation of the family that started Yung Kung. Within a year of opening, they earned their first Michelin star, a feat that Yung Kee did not even managed. KRG knew to stick with the winning formula and kept the family recipe (sauce and marinade techniques), goose supplier, and chef (formerly at Yung Kee) the same. 
Of course, KRG must have improved something along the way. How else could we explain the consecutive Michelin star that they have clinched from 2015 to 2017. They are so successful that they have even opened an outpost here in Singapore (read the review of Kam's Roast Goose Singapore here).
The 30 seater store at Wan Chai is perpetually packed. Be prepared to queue or you may miss out on their signature roast goose leg on rice. Well we went at 3pm and had to order half a goose in order to enjoy the juicy leg. To be honest, i'm not a fan of roast goose, i find them too fatty and would rather have roast duck or char siew instead. I was a bit disappointed at the roast goose at Kam's as the skin wasn't very crispy and the fats weren't quite rendered enough to flavor the meat. 
I also made the mistake of not ordering the char siew!! Well, i was seduced by the lap cheong because we don't get the cured goose liver sausage in Singapore. That obviously didn't turn out too well and i ended up having to stuff my face with the incredibly seasoned and strong-flavored sausage and not having space for that glorious fatty caramelized meat. I was hoping that the blood sausage would be as good as the version that i had at Man Fu Yuan (they serve it with the stuffed suckling pig)
Decent fare at KRG. The noodles are super springy and i'd pick that over the rice. Next time, i'll stick to char siew, and their suckling pig.

Kam’s Roast Goose 甘牌燒鵝

Po Wah Commercial Centre, 226 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Daily: 11.30am – 9.30pm
I will always remember my first Yat Lok experience. I was exploring Sheung Wan on my own and i couldn't decide on what to have for dinner (because i ruined it with Tim Ho Wan's char siew bo lo bao for tea, and i was also down with a cold). The Michelin guide told me there's a 1 star roast goose place in the area and i ended up eating a meal because it was empty (at 8ish pm) and the food is quite cheap. FYI they have also clinched a 1 Michelin star from 2015 - 2017.
It was late and Yat Lok had already ran out of roast goose leg so i went for the meat and another side of char siew on rice. I only wanted to have a taste because my throat was protesting from an inflammation, but i ended up polishing the entire plate of rice. That was how good it was.

The skin was thin and crispy with a thin layer of fats that melt in your mouth. The meat was succulent and well flavored and that sauce was amazing! I wasn't expecting much when the dish was presented to me but that light colored sauce added so much more flavor to the fluffy rice. Even though the char siew looked a little pale and not caramelized enough, it was a great accompaniment to the glistening roast goose.
The environment is not as comfortable as Kam's Roast Goose and I heard that the service can be pretty curt but i'll bear with that for their delicious meats.

Yat Lok
34-38 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2524 3882
While writing this article, i was a little confused on whether Yung Kee has reopened. I didn't bother checking it out when i was in Hong Kong this year but it seems like they are active on their social media accounts. If that's the case, perhaps there's a need to check them out again to make a comparison.

Yung Kee
32-40 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2522 1624
Daily: 11am - 11.30pm

The winner of the Michelin Star Hong Kong Roast Meat goes to... YAT LOK! If they can make a sick girl with an inflamed throat wolf down a plate of roast meat on rice, you can bet that it's worth your calories.

Share with us your other favorite roast meat places in Hong Kong and we'll check them off the next time we visit.


ALL HAIL THE KING OF FRIED CHICKEN! No one does fried chicken better than the award-winning Yardbird Southern Table & Bar from Miami and i've heard no end from Jr on how they are the best fried chicken he has tried.

Thankfully, there's no need to fly all the way to Cali for a taste of the bird as they have opened an outpost at Marina Bay Sands! Have a taste of Southern U.S. classics at The Bird Southern Table & Bar which includes their famous 100-year-old recipe Lewellyn’s Fine Fried Chicken, Shrimp 'N' Grits, Buttermilk Biscuits, and Butter Lettuce and Grilled Mango Salad. 

Get started with The Bird's extensive beverage program which serves quality hand-crafted cocktails, including Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade, The Bird’s Old Fashioned with Bacon Infused Bourbon, and the Watermelon Sling. 

My Watermelon Sling ($24) is a refreshing blend of Death's Door white whiskey with fresh pressed watermelon juice and fresh lemon, balanced with Aperol and rosemary. I preferred Jr's Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade ($27) as it is more tangy. This punch is made with Wild Turkey Bourbon, blackberry puree, fresh lemon, cardamom and Angostura Bitters. Special to Singapore are some other specially created cocktails with local elements. 
The lunch and dinner menu differs slightly but their signatures are available all the time. A must order is the Fried Green Tomato BLT (3pcs, $18) which i almost passed over because it sounds so meh but the burst of flavors was a party in our mouths. The savory house-smoked pork belly and panko crusted juicy green tomato were brought together by a smokey tomato jam and creamy pimento cheese. The Deviled eggs ($14) are a-ok but i'd rather have a side of Skillet Cornbread ($10) or Buttermilk biscuits.
Kogane Yama is the latest kid on the block to join the Ten-don craze in Singapore. Japanese for “golden mountain”, that is the image the folks behind Chir Chir Fusion Chicken and Masizzim want to evoke in you when you stare at the pieces of golden brown tempura piled up high on a mound of sticky, warm Japanese rice (if you order the set with udon or soba, then sorry you might have to imagine a golden field instead, since your tempura comes served on a plate!).
Located on Level 2 of Bugis Junction, Kogane Yama is a cosy restaurant that seats around 40. As with any specialty restaurants, you do not get a lot of choices as the menu is kept very lean. The decision making process involves 4 steps, from choosing your tempura, to choosing your carbs, then choosing the spiciness of your sauce and finally whether to make it a set. Simple! If you don’t eat tempura, or do not espouse deep fried food, then you might want to go somewhere else instead because there really isn’t much else of an option for you.

Kogane Yama offers a choice of 4 types of tempura bowls (or plates) - vegetable, chicken, prawn or combination. If greedy or indecisive are qualities ascribed to you, then the choice is simple- the combination bowl offers two prawns, a piece of fried chicken (that reminded me a lot of Long John Silver, not a bad thing since I love the batter but that of course is personal!) and an assortment of tempura vegetables. As the items are fried-to-order, you should expect a bit of waiting time; after all this is no fast food restaurant!
Most of the items served are pretty standard; the chicken I had was a tad dry although other diners commented that theirs were ok. The prawns were fairly sizeable and fresh but not mind blowing. But don’t get me wrong, it is definitely delicious for the price. The standout items for me were the tempura seaweed (essentially deep fried Taokaenoi) which was crispy and not too salty, as well as the deep fried prawn heads that were served detached from the bodies! All that crustacean brain goodness! Less commonly seen in Ten-don restaurants is the tempura Shisho leaf, an acquired taste for many because of its minty, herby taste. The tempura is drizzled all over with your choice of sauce- the Level 2 (out of 3) spicy level was the favourite for the night. It was a good mix of sweet and spicy without being overbearing.
When questioned on what is Singapore heritage food, most would think Peranakan but it's only a subset of it. Chef Damian D’Silva of Folklore will tell you that Singapore heritage food is a cuisine that represents the various ethnic groups in Singapore. It consists of the age-old recipes passed down from generation to generation; food that we eat at home; the my-grandmother-cooked-it-better dishes that are special to each family; the lost recipes that are not found in restaurants because they are too labor intensive to make. Because of one man's dedication to documenting his family's secret recipes, we now have Folklore
This man is passionate, some say crazy, to commercialize this sort of artisanal home cooking. Painstaking labor and long hours go into coaxing the flavors out of the handpicked ingredients. For the prices that he charges, I'm not sure if it makes any profit sense. 
Let's bring on the rendang, chap chye, hae zor, assam fish and more! 
We started with some cold appetizers. A spicy refreshing start came in the form of a Four Angled Bean Salad ($12). Green mangos, chilies, ginger flower and dried shrimps tossed in a sweet sour sambal belachan sauce. It can be very spicy!
When we were planning our 16 day South America trip, other than making sure to include Machu Picchu Peru in the plans (read about it here), we also wanted to sample the new world wines at the source. The plan was to sample the award-winning Malbec in Mendoza (since we were starting in Argentina), but the airport was closed for maintenance then and i didn't want to waste too much time on the roads. So we looked to Chile for inspiration!
There was a time when Chilean wines were considered cheap and pedestrian, but that is not the case now. Do you know that Chile produces more Cabernet Sauvignon than the U.S.? The ideal climate allows for the production of exceptional reds at very affordable prices! 
Also, Chile has their unique Carménère, a savory medium-bodied red with a red bell pepper note. The vegetal red goes very well with greens of course and works for those who likes some spice in their wine. This grape was thought to be Merlot when they first imported the grape cutting from Bordeaux in the 1800s. It was not till 1994 that they found out that it is actually a Bordeaux variety Carménère. This varietal is nearly extinct in Bordeaux now and and thus is exclusive to Chile.
Nose-to-tail eating doesn't seem to have taken off in the majority Chinese populated Singapore. I find it strange because we Chinese are (supposedly) familiar with offals and innards (hello kway chup), so much that we even eat that for breakfast (sometimes). It thoroughly surprises and bewilders us that a gorgeous Spanish restaurant like Dehesa isn't packed every night (like Esquina). Perhaps they have gone overboard with their marketing of their "inner" beauty? 
For those who are intimidated by the alternative cuts and random parts, your fears are unfounded. Chef-Owner Jean-Philippe Patruno aka JP, previously of Bomba Paella Bar and Una, fires up more than just the grey matter. Classic Spanish dishes are available here and he's more than adept at delivering them. 
I let my weakness for Croquetas (4 pcs, $14) take over and swooned in bliss as I bit into the creamy filling encased in the crunchy panko crust. This is one smooth morsel! Make sure you give it a good chew together with the spiced paprika aioli and jamón joselito. I struggled with my need to finish this and saving space for my main meal. 

That should ease you into starters. If you don't go into the nitty gritty, the Dehesa platter of cold meats ($32), is what you would likely order at any other restaurant- a rotating homemade charcuterie consisting pate, lardo, deep-fried pork scratchings. We all know where the ingredients are from, we don't need to be told/reminded, other than how good they taste. 
Well if that doesn't go down well, take a few bites of the smoky Pimientos De Padron ($14). They will sure cleanse the palate of any gamey leftovers. 
If you're not for the cold platters, have the Chorizo ($24) which is served with soft cooked eggs and a smoked mash, and pork crackling! This comfort food combination never fails. If only I could find some bread to go with this.