Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Our favorite Morton's the Steakhouse, has introduced new seasonal dishes this fall to their lineup of all-American favorites. 
Before i go on, get ready to make a reservation because the new fall menu is only available for a limited time!
Enjoy the flavors of autumn starting with an earthy and nutty Beet & Goat Cheese Salad ($26) with plump red and golden beetroot, crunchy candied walnuts and sharp goat cheese served atop a bed of baby greens tossed in a honey-balsamic vinaigrette. 
Fancy some sweet silky and delicate pearls of mussels? Well the Moules Marinières ($47) is a new steamy dish of mussels cooked in a fragrant white wine broth. The mussels come from either Holland or Australia. We couldn't stop soaking the crusty buttered toast and the famous Morton's Onion Bread Loaf in the broth. 
Some new cuts of steak include the crusty and robustly flavored 10oz American Wagyu New York Strip ($138) from Snake River Farm Idaho. This is of a higher grade than the regular prime beef and has an intense beefiness to it. If you like meaty, this is it.
For those who prefer a smooth butter feel to your slice, go with the 14oz Bone-in Filet Mignon ($138). It's a tough choice between the two but i'm glad i had both. As usual, the meats come with a variety of butter i.e. Foie gras, cognac, truffle, and blue cheese, and sauces.
For sides, always go for the creamed spinach but make sure to order this sin-free Cauliflower Mash that is flavored with truffle and garlic.  
My favorite side from the autumn menu is the Maple Glazed Sweet Potato Fries ($24). BEST SWEET POTATO FRIES EVER. You get an all-around crunchiness and a smoky caramel flavor to this hearty comforting snack. I could not stop myself.  
Save space for the new Morton’s Chocolate Layer Cake ($24) which i'm praying damn hard that this stays on their regular menu. The towering cake is dense and rich but each bite is so light that you can just go on and on and on until it disappears. Of course, that perfect drizzle of salted caramel that is not too sweet and gooey is icing on the cake. You can easily share this chocolate bomb with 3-4 pax or have it all for yourself. I recommend the latter. 
Of course, start and end the night with Morton's famous Lychee Martini or one of their signature martinis. Always a pleasure to be back at Morton's The Steakhouse, this is just an added excuse to make more visits this fall.

Morton’s The Steakhouse
5 Raffles Avenue, Singapore 039797
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Singapore, 4th Storey
Tel: +65 6339 3740

A $129 ten-course omakase with quality ingredients that are flown fresh 3 times weekly from Japan? It's almost too good to be true but yes, the guys at Kyuu by Shunsui are serving a sashimi-robatayaki omakase that is plated like art. If the Shunsui name sounds familiar, well Kyuu is a sister restaurant of Kappo Shunsui at Cuppage Plaza and Chef Tomo Watanabe's Tokyo restaurant by the same name was also named in Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand list for three consecutive years between 2015 and 2017.
The less than a month-old Kyuu by Shunsui is overseen by Head Chef Issey Araki, formerly from one Michelin-starred restaurant Akasaka Tantei in Tokyo, Japan. He was also part of the team that opened Kappo Shunsui. His specialty? Impressive knife and charcoal grilling skills! The 27-year-old chef also has a puffer fish processing license to his name. 
Best seats in the house? By the bar. That's where the action is. Tip: Try not to sit right in front of the grill unless you wanna be barbecued. 
Our meal started with three appetisers: A refreshing and lightly spiced Red Snapper and Japanese Ginger with Sumiso (a mixture of miso, rice vinegar, and sesame paste); a starchy and fragrant Homemade Sesame Tofu covered with a bekko-an sauce (a mixture of dashi, soy sauce, mirin and sugar) and wasabi; and a citrusy Soft Simmered Duck topped with Homemade Miso.
I've first had Wolfgang's Steakhouse USDA Prime Beef in their New York City home and there was nothing but praises for the affordably priced steaks that are delightful and HUMONGOUS.After many successful openings in dragons and phoenixes of Asia, Wolfgang Steakhouse has finally arrived in Singapore's current hottest district The Quayside at Robertson Quay. It is housed in the newly opened Intercontinental Singapore Robertson Quay.
The interior is reminiscent of the original New York institution with the warm and cozy walnut and mahogany colors. Absolutely inviting, especially over a bottle of wine. The selection at Wolfgang's is mostly from California but they do have some really expensive French wines like the Romanée-Conti which is S$25 grand a pop.
Start your night with some appetizers. I highly recommend the juicy and sweet Crab Cakes ($38) alongside the extra thick and smoky Sizzling Bacon ($12/slice).
Then, the main event. Wolfgang’s Steakhouse is known for its tender sub-primal cuts of prime USDA Black Angus meat, which are dry aged in a proprietary designed aging room for 28 days. The high-grade meat sourced for the restaurant possesses the large, evenly distributed intramuscular fat that is most suitable for the dry-aging process. Each piece of meat is rotated to receive regulated and constant airflow and, as the meat ages, its muscle tissue naturally breaks down to tenderize and produce a deep, concentrated flavor profile. As a result, each in-house butchered piece of meat has a distinctly deep and nutty flavor and the utmost tenderness. 
The meat is carved to size before fired at 1600-degrees Fahrenheit on a grill broiler to seal the meat’s juicy succulence and flavour.
May I say that Perth has become a go-to destination in recent years? I'm hoping it's not an age thing because i used to think that Perth is damn boring! Anyway while researching on where to go on a long weekend, i discovered that Perth has quite a lot to offer!
If you're the active/nature sort, you could go hiking, explore caves, surfing, diving, swim with dolphins, cycling, hunt down quokkas (which are the happiest animals on our planet) etc. If you're a foodie, there's lots of fresh produce and great food, and coffee, and WINE (hello Margaret River and Swan Valley).
After doing some serious research, we realized that a 5 days 4 nights trip isn't sufficient to explore Perth quite thoroughly. :( Nevertheless, the following itinerary would give you a flavor of Perth. 
Day 1- Fremantle, Cottlesloe
I'm glad we chose to base ourselves in Fremantle because FOOOOODDD! Well there's the Fremantle Market where you can get fresh produce and also plenty of ready to eat bites. The market is only open on Friday to Sunday so make sure you visit at the right time!
We caught the full glory of the market when we came back from Margaret River and we weren't disappointed by the selection of food. Just look at this monstrous burger! It was too filling even for 2 of us.
There are also a couple of noteworthy cafes like Ootong and Lincoln (we kept going back because it's one of the rare places open over Easter weekend and coffee was good too), Roasting Warehouse/ Port City Roasters, Moore & Moore Cafe. There are more cafes to check out in the Perth CBD but the city was dead over the holidays. You would have better luck than me if you are there some other time.
Make sure you check out Ootong and Lincoln's Potato Cake ($21.50) with semi wilted spinach, hollandaise, 2 poached eggs. We went for the mushroom option which was very hearty. Their quiches and cakes are great too (don't miss their carrot cake)!
For dinner, head to the Fremantle Harbor for (not Cicerello's fish & chips) but Little Creatures Brewing for some really awesome craft beers and food, like this incredibly juice streak sandwich with jammy onions. Their freshly baked wood-fired pizzas were also flying off the oven and by the looks of it, they must be really delicious. Don't miss the grilled octopus too!
Enough of food for a bit, we also had a fun time at the Fremantle Prison Tour, which brought us around the compounds. Depending on your comfort level, you could check out the solitary cell (where prisoners spend their days in pitch-darkness), as well as the gallows. 
Depressing hur. There’s some beautiful art in the cells and the church/chapel is really serene.
We also found time to drive up to Cottesloe beach. There isn't much to do there except to sunbathe/surf, neither of which are activities we'd wanna do in winter though we did see some hardcore kite-surfers. 
Day 2- Rottnest Island AM, Margaret River (PM)
One of the must-do on our itinerary was to visit the quokkas on Rottnest Island. Purchase your ferry tickets online as they sell out for the popular timings. We took the earliest ferry out on Rottnest Express because we were planning to continue our trip to Margaret River after. The ferry departs from B Shed Victoria Quay, Fremantle. For all day parking, head there early and look for the long term parking near C and D sheds. They cost AUS$10/day. The parking at E shed is limited to 3h only and that is definitely insufficient for a trip to Rottnest.  
First thing to do is to rent a bike to explore the island. The bike rental includes helmet and bicycle lock. You could also rent snorkels from them! Fret not if you are looking for a more relaxing way to check out Rottnest. There are also buses and segways, as well as guided walking tours if you do not want to head out too far. 
If you are going for the bike option, be prepared for a workout and dress for it. I obviously thought that it was gonna be an easy cycle but no. There are many hills and no shelters/food along the way, just toilet sheds and open benches at the lookout points. Make sure you have sufficient water and sunscreen. Pardon the ridiculous outfit, the jacket was to protect me from the sun. 
We made our own wraps and carried other snacks in our bags! These are essential! Unless you are fine with having a late lunch back at the main bus station. I certainly don't recommend that. Plus i don't think the food options are great. 
Also, don't expect to see quokkas everywhere! It took us forever before we spotted any and then we had to crawl on all fours in order to get a proper wefie with them. But yea, definitely quite a fun experience but tiring experience! We had to cycle non-stop (there were short breaks), and only managed a short stop at one of the beaches. There are some shower facilities at the main bus stop but don't expect anything fantastic. We just about made it in time for the 2.10pm ferry back to Fremantle. If you are staying in the city still, you could take the 4+pm ferry instead. I wouldn't recommend staying on the island as there is really nothing much to do.  
Then it was a long drive to Margaret River and we made it in time for a relaxing dinner before exploring the wineries the next day. 

Day 3 Margaret River
Margaret River is definitely worth the 4h drive out of Perth city if it's your first trip. The wines are great, and so is the food. Make sure you do a wine lunch/dinner at one of the vineyards. I'll do another post on the Margaret River wineries next. If you are hard-pressed for time, Swan Valley is a good replacement. 
If you are in Margaret River on a Saturday, definitely head to the Farmers' Market for the local produce, fresh bakes and confectioneries. Don't miss the granola parfait! 
Take a break from drinking with a visit to one of the caves in the area- Ngilgi, Lake Cave, or Jewel Cave. We also took a drive around Boranup Forest. Visit Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse if you have time for the drive down south. There are also accommodation options in this area. 

Day 4- Margaret River AM, Busselton Jetty stop, Fremantle Market PM
We left MR but not before grabbing some delicious breakfast. Aussie breakfasts FTW!
We also stopped by Busselton Jetty on the way back. There's nothing much here actually unless you managed to get a ticket to the aquarium at the end of the jetty (we didn't).
Still, it's a nice stop just to stretch your legs from the drive. Another stop would be Bunbury or Mandurah where you could grab a mid day bite.  
We headed back to Fremantle for the evening and it was bustling with performances. Definitely hang out here!

Fremantle Day 5- Rockingham Island, Perth CBD
We decided to head out to Rockingham Island on the last day as there was no life in the city at all. I really wanted to check out the cafes but oh wells, I settled for little penguins instead. 
We were hoping to see the penguins on the island but we did not spot any (they were all out fishing for food). If you have more time, i think Mandurah would be a better option as you can go watch/swim with the dolphins.
Hope this itinerary provides you with some ideas on what to do in Perth! I certainly wouldn't mind heading back again. :)
Till the next one. 

Moving away from its previous tapas concept under Michelin starred Chef Carles Gaig, La Ventana at Dempsey Hill has rebranded itself as an equally star-studded fine dining Spanish restaurant, serving dishes by their new Espanol chef-consultants Chef Roberto Terradillos (El Serbal restaurant in Santander) and Toni González (El Nuevo Molino, Puente Arce, Santander). 
No tapas? Well, the owners feel that the market is ready for Spanish fine dining and we couldn't agree more. I've been mourning the closure of Santi since 2012 and there hasn't been anyone to break me out of that depression.  
Over at La Ventana, while they have done away with the tapas sharing concept, they do still have Spanish classics like Jamon y Pan con tomate, croquettes, calamari, and a couple of paellas. However these are presented fine dining style. Their 4-course lunch is rightly priced at $50/pax while tasting menus start from $108/pax.
We sampled a few items, some of which are on the tasting menus. A cold Carabinero Prawn Salmorejo Soup ($19) brought me back to that rainy night in a hole-in-the-wall Madrid tapas bar. La Ventana's tomato soup is a lot punchier with a distinct raw onion bite to it, which could have been better toned down. The spiciness was reduced by the refreshing cubes of watermelon, a slice of olive and a random grape. I thought the prawn was going to be the surprising element to this classic dish but it only played a decorative purpose. 
The disappointment was forgotten when the Octopus with wasabi mayonnaise and tapioca balls ($28) arrived. The tentacle was so tender and i could remove the suckers with the push of my fork. The flavor of the octopus was amazing but it got a little tired as it was all the flavor you'd get on this plate. The tapioca balls (or sago/pearls) are also cooked in the octopus jus. There was hardly a hint of wasabi to cut through the briny seafood, which was a waste because the touch of spice could have elevated this dish. 
Next, the Tuna Belly with Peppers Broth & Toasted Garlic Parmantier ($51). Note that this is only a tasting portion and i'm sure you'd get a bigger slab for $51.

Just look at that gorgeous piece of marbled tuna belly! This is exactly like a piece of aburi chutoro and the creamy meat simply melted in our mouths. If you want to enjoy the natural flavors of the meat, i'd suggest you not smear any of the garlic potato mash on the fish as it would completely overwhelm it. 
The one dish that was the most balanced is the Iberian Presa Charcoal-Fried, Carrot & Toasted Coffee ($44). Now it may look really meh and possibly dry, but an easy cut reveals a lovely juicy pink under the charcoal crust (made of ground squid ink puffed rice). Best fried pork cutlet I've eaten in my life. I can't quite describe the marinate except that it tastes a little Asian (it reminded me of five-spices but not quite). The salty sweet pork was complemented with a smoky caffeine coated carrot which had a lovely cocoa bitterness. Definitely a must have at La Veneta.

If this doesn't satisfy you, we heard that the Crispy Suckling Pig with Passion Fruit ($39) is also worth a try! For carbs, you can't go wrong with the Lobster Paella Carnaroli Rice with Whole Maine Lobster ($78)
We must have our sweet ending but we don't like it cloying. La Ventana's Carajillo ($18) sweetness comes from the hot brandy-espresso. The brandy brought out the sweetness in the plated dessert made using the same ingredients. Boys would like this one. 
I preferred the Cheese Ice-cream, White Chocolate Cream, Quince & Honey ($17). Pretty sure this is a better cheese dessert than Cheese tea from you know where. There's a light saltiness from the use of parmesan in the ice cream and it is perfect with the buttery crumble. 
We enjoyed our meal at La Ventana even though some tweaks could be done to bring the dishes to the next level. The wines are pretty good too- we had the 2010 Bodegas Julian Chivite Navarra Coleccion 125 Blanco and the 2011 Contino Rioja Graciano Variedad, both recommended by their sommelier. Make sure you get him to recommend you something.

La Ventana
16A Dempsey Road, #01-01 Singapore 247695