Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Not into OTT Chinese New Year reunion meals? Then head to Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant for their Reunion Imperial High Tea (新春团圆宫廷下午茶) instead! I've always been a fan of their high tea because they're portioned just perfectly for a lady (though guys may complain of the portion). The 9-course dim sum and tea pairing set menu comprises yusheng customised for the party size (even for one), handcrafted dim sum, as well as Chinese New Year desserts. 
We started with the Prosperity Salmon Yusheng, which takes on a western style with salad vegetables but the orange dressing with candied orange peel gives the dish a Chinese spin. 
Long Jing is served for the dimsum course. But over at the TOP of UOB Plaza, as they have a spanking new cocktail bar Chuān @ The Sixtieth, they have added on a cocktail to their dimsum-tea menu. For the reunion menu, Jubilant Gathering (欢菊一堂) is served. It is a specially concocted craft cocktail made of vodka and chrysanthemum tea, and a lemon ice ball that melts into the drink slowly. We loved the fragrance of the tea in this delicate cocktail! 

Handmade dimsum is served next. Every item is hand made and they are so delicate! We hear that the items on the high tea menu are specially created but sometimes they'd include 1 or 2 items from the regular dimsum menu inside. We particularly enjoyed the steamed juicy seafood wrapped in seaweed (pictured left). The broth from the seafood was so delicious we literally drank it all. The pink mushroom dumpling had filling that is encased in this amazing thin mochi skin. Oh, special mention goes to the crispy yam puff in curry paste, which was super crispy (and not oily at all).
If you intend to 避年 (skip Chinese New Year) like I do, but don’t wanna miss out on the festivities, may I suggest a staycation at the lovely Capella, on the Singapore tourist island Sentosa (haha new branding), and tossing your way to prosperity at their onsite Chinese restaurant Cassia
Well the highlights for Chinese New Year is the Lou Hei ($38/pax min 2pax) and this you can’t get it overseas. This colorful pyramid of vegetables, designed by the Executive Chef of Cassia, Chef Lee Hiu Ngai, uses a medley of premium ingredients. The sauce for 2018 is a hawthorn sauce, which adds a lovely berry tartness to the crunchy salad.
Lobster, salmon, North Pole clam adorn this salad. These are sashimi grade seafood btw, so it’s understandable if you don’t want them mixed into the salad but to enjoy them on their own.
Do not miss the Double-boiled thick chicken broth with sea cucumber, fish maw, duo of scallop and flower mushroom soup. The rich, creamy soup contains all the goodness from the poultry and the seafood were succulent and sweet. I’m such a fan of Cassia’s soups!
Every Chinese New Year, i'd be looking forward to the decadent creations by InterContinental Singapore Executive Chef Eric Neo at Man Fu Yuan (满福苑), one of my favorite Chinese restaurants. From now till 2 Mar 2018, indulge in five 5-8 course prix-fixe festive menus.
Begin the festivities with a toss to a prosperous year ahead with new creation, the Prosperity Yu Sheng with Hokkaido Scallops, Salmon, and Sake Goma Sesame Dressing (双星报喜). 
Those looking for a more indulgent celebration can opt for the Fortune Menu (五福临门) which features the Treasures Yu Sheng with Abalone, Hokkaido Scallops and Salmon served with a sake-goma sauce. I loved the balance of 酸甜苦辣 in every bite of salad. That and the luscious slices of seafood!
What's a proper Chinese meal without Double-boiled Chinese Soup? We sampled the creamy pork bone soup with fish maw, bamboo pith, and the prized fresh Matsutake mushrooms (fresh from Yunnan). The aroma was intoxicating but i wished the soup was less salty.
When it comes to pig, no one does it better than Man Fu Yuan. I'm a HUGE FAN of their Whole Suckling Pig stuffed with Glutinous Rice (read review here) which is a staple on their menu. If you like to try something different, this pig-duck-veg-carb sandwich made with roasted suckling pig, pan-seared foie gras, citrus-marinated daikon, and crepe could be your alternative. While it was suggested that we wrap all of that using the crepe, we ended up eating each item individually because they were massive. The crispy suckling pig was faultless but i thought the foie gras was an overkill and the crepe was more of a "paper towel" to absorb the oil from the goose liver.  
Some fishy is going on at the recently opened Nototel on Stevens Road. FiSK Seafoodbar & Market has set up shop, making it the dining and shopping heaven for seafood lovers. 
A wide variety of  Norwegian and coldwater seafood is available. Fresh, sustainable, traceable, healthy, and safe, these are some qualities of the seafood brought in by Snorre Food, whose founder and CEO opened FiSK. Contrary to common beliefs that frozen food isn’t fresh,  we learned that some fish retain their freshness, flavors, and nutritional benefits when gutted, cleaned, and immediately frozen until consumption. Well, the food at FiSK certainly changed our beliefs. 
Prawns on Ice ($6/100g) are from the cold waters of Norway. These little prawns are imported frozen for freshness and defrosted at room temperature before serving. Get yours hands dirty and you'd be rewarded with the sweet flavors of the sea. A surprise is hidden under the bellies of these little shrimps.
Let the 2018 Chinese New Year feasting begin! Here's sharing some of my favorites from Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium. I had high expectations of the restaurant since the revamp (read my earlier food review of Xin Cuisine here) and Chef Chan Shun Wong did not disappoint. 
Toss your way to prosperity with the Salmon Yu Sheng with Fish Skin and Passion Fruit Yogurt Dressing ($78/$98). The tangy, refreshing, and crunchy dressing was perfect with the crunchy vegetables and deep fried fish skin. The salmon slices were of the sashimi cut and we really appreciated the generous serving. The yu sheng is also available for takeaway and you can choose from a variety of toppings.
How about suckling pig in a Peking Duck style? We had the indulgent BBQ Suckling Pig with Foie Gras, Yam and Japanese Cucumber, which was a crispy sandwich of the mentioned ingredients that were roasted and fried, sweetened by hoi sin sauce. Love the texture but it's on the oily side, especially from the battered and fried foie gras. Surprisingly, the foie gras provided a salted egg yolk type of flavor to each bite. 
I would think that the Home style Roast Duck with Tea Leaves ($68 whole duck) would be a better option. 
Every time i walk past Moosehead, i'm reminded never to forget making a reservation, if not i wouldn't be able to get into the contemporary Mediterranean restaurant. It's always full because their menu is always exciting.
In the past year, they've had so many interesting collaborations with international and local chefs and hawkers, and all that has gone into inspiring their updated dinner menu.
You HAVE TO start with Burrata ($21). Chef Seumas’s version may look simple but it tastes unlike any other burrata i've had. There are three other ingredients to this dish, other than a creamy Italian burrata. A crunchy house-pickled zucchini (with Chardonnay), fragrant Genovese-style pesto made with Thai basil, and an aromatic deep-fried deep-fried curry leaves lent depth to the sweet cream of the cheese. 
I thought i was having a Japanese dish when the Hokkaido Scallop Crudo ($21) was presented. The thinly sliced ponzu-marinated Japanese scallops were served with apples pickled in housemade verjus pickle marinade and garnished with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. There's a light refreshing spice at the end due to the yuzu and wasabi that went into the scallop marinade.
Egg tarts. One of my favorite snacks growing up. What's not to love about snappy crust and wobbly egg pudding?! Yes pudding, not custard like the real Portuguese pastéis de nata (i'll save the review of that for my Lisbon post).
Anyway, during my last trip to Hong Kong, i did an impromptu taste test of 2 famous egg tart brands Honolulu and Tai Cheong since they were both within walking distance from my hotel! Here's the low down. 
Something you wouldn't notice unless you place both tarts together. Honolulu is on the left and Tai Cheong on the right. The radioactive yellow of Tai Cheong's egg tarts could be attributed to a higher egg yolk content (so i heard) and given that it's sweeter, i suspect there's some glaze to it. 

Tart Base & Egg Custard
Honolulu's base is dense and crunchy at the bottom but the edges are more of a layered airy puff pastry. The style is more similar to the Macao-Portuguese egg tarts. The egg filling was rather wet tasted very much like a mixture of soft boiled eggs.
Tai Cheong's crust is something i'm more familiar with. Don't you love snappy shortcrust pastry? Well i do. This is what i'd call a sugar crust. If you like butter cookies, you will love this type of crust. The egg custard was denser, more curdy and can be sliced clean. 
Scent-wise, Honolulu's tart is more savory (lardy) while Tai Cheong's tart smells like a dessert. After the first bite of Honolulu's tart, my throat felt rather uncomfortable and there's an oily aftertaste. It was less noticeable after a few more bites.
I definitely preferred the eggy fragrance of Tai Cheong's tart.
Verdict! I preferred Tai Cheong's egg tart obviously. It's perfect for breakfast, or that afternoon snack, or pre-bed supper. Then again, if i were to take part in an egg tart eating competition, i'd probably pick Honolulu's since it's more savory and i could possibly eat more of them. FYI, Jr prefers Honolulu's.

Did i get that egg tart craving going? Well well, thankfully both Tai Cheong and Honolulu's egg tarts are available in Singapore! Go grab yours now.


Are you familiar with New Zealand beef and lamb? I'm not. For most beef lovers, our beef come from US, Australia, or Japan. Hence it was interesting to have a taste of the New Zealand meats at Wakanui Grill Dining at the stunning Marina One Singapore.
Wakanui Grill Dining first started in Tokyo in 2011 and the Singapore outlet is the first overseas franchise. What's special here is their dry-aged Ocean Beef and succulent Wakanui Spring Lamb which are grilled on Binchotan charcoal. 
Ocean Beef is produced from the Angus breed against the backdrop of the snow-peaked Southern Alps and pure snow-fed rivers of the Canterbury Plains in New Zealand’s South Island. 
The concept behind Ocean Beef was to develop beef that achieves the perfect balance between marbling and leanness, while retaining natural juiciness and an intense beef flavour. Even though the marbling is nothing like the regular wagyu beef, i was surprised by the tenderness of the meat. The cattle are grass-fed for 18 months on the lush green, high-protein pastures, and then finished on specially formulated wheat, barley and maize-based feed for four months at the Five Star Beef Feedlot located in the coastline area of Wakanui, South Canterbury, from which the restaurant takes its name.

The beef are wet-aged at Wakanui, but for the Ocean Bone-in Ribeye (1kg $199), they are further dry-aged for another 21 days. I preferred the regular Ocean Beef Ribeye (350g $79/ 500g $109) which has a lovely crust! If you are into stronger meat flavors, the Canterbury Grass-fed Fillet (Lunch 150g $45, Dinner  250g $78/ 500g $138) is recommended. This is my favorite cut here at Wakanui!
Next, the Wakanui Spring Lamb! Sheesh these are the BEST LAMB i've had in my life really. There's none of that gaminess, and the meat is superbly tender and there's no need for any sauces at all! It all boils down to quality meat. These lambs are born in late winter/early spring and are raised for approximately six months on the lush and highly nutritious spring pastures. The meat is then wet-aged for around four weeks until reaching its peak flavour, at which point it undergoes quick freezing. This process ensures that the optimum flavour and texture of the lamb can be enjoyed year-round. 
You can have them as appetizers ($8/chop) or for mains (Lunch half rack $32, Dinner half rack $42/ full rack $82). They are seasoned with Christmas Island salt.

Have the meats with sides of Sautéed Mushrooms ($18), or that dense and fragrant Handcut Potato Wedges with Truffle Oil ($15)
Alongside the meats, you could have the Kikorangi Blue Cheese Caesar Salad (Lunch $14/ Dinner $22). The blue cheese is very light, even the non-cheese eaters in our company were ok with this version. 
Seafood eaters could have the New Zealand Ora King Salmon (Lunch main $39, Dinner starter $24) that is marinated for a full day with juniper berries and bay leaves, before being house-smoked a la minute over cherrywood chips for three mins and baked for another three. ($24). It is served with Chef's recipe sauce - tomatoes, shallots, olive oil, green chillies.
Some Japanese influence is seen in the Seasonal Hassun starter(Lunch 2pcs $24, Dinner 3 pcs $32). When we visited, we had a silky scallop beancurd wrapped in winter melon with a dashi reduction; unagi and daikon on beetroot puree; and a dryish lotus root tempura topped with bonita flakes.
For desserts, the class New Zealand Hokey Pokey Ice Cream ($14) is a must. Love the burnt honeycomb brittle in the house made vanilla ice cream. 
The Baked Rare Chocolate Cake ($14) which is a lovely bitter-sour Valrhona Guanaja Chocolate cake. The acidity comes from a blackcurrant puree that is included in the batter and the sweetness comes from the whipping cream. I don't know about you but i like a rich dessert to anchor my meal. :)

With so many meat restaurants opening in Singapore in 2017, i must say that Wakanui Grill Dining provides diners with a unique steak experience. Make sure you pay them a visit.

5 Straits View #04-02 Marina One The Heart Singapore, 018935 
Tel: +65 6384 2665  
Weekday: 11,30am - 3pm, 5.30 - 11pm
Sat: 5.30 - 11pm

Tis the season to feast and we headed back to one of our favorite restaurants this year, Audace at Wanderlust Hotel (read about our previous meal here). This time, we sampled Chef  Jérémy’s communal Sunday brunch, which is actually more of a fine bistronomy lunch! How else can you categorize a meal consisting of 6 appetisers, 5 main courses, 5 side dishes and 5 desserts? To call it Sunday brunch is a plain understatement. 
Instead of going through all of the food we had, i'll just highlight my favorites, since the menu changes very often and you are likely to be tasting something different. Well one thing that should be kept on the menu for sure is the Pumpkin Soup. The creamy pureé is rich and buttery and super intense and that one shot is certainly not enough. If you're expecting some brunch sort of food, the Focaccia With Cooked Ham & Mascarpone Black Pepper will hit the right spot mainly because of the herby crusty bread!
The Salmon Gravlax with Beetroot had a light acidity and sweetness to it. Texture en pointe.
The Asparagus Salad Chorizo Iberico was also a nice nuttiness to it. 
For mains, i thought the fish dishes were a lot better than the meat ones. In particular, the Pearl Grouper With Orange Paste was my favorite main dish. There's this lovely smooth fat to the fish and it's perfect with the smooth broccoli pureé. The orange accent was also very interesting. The Grilled White Tuna was a bit drier but love that crisp on the outside. 
The Braised Pork Belly was a tad too bland for me when i first bit into it, but as i chewed on, it has a nice light sweetness to it. It's great that it isn't too seasoned actually.
Both duck dishes we had- the French Breast Duck, and Duck Terrine were both too gamey for my liking. They had a strong bloody liver flavor to it, which wasn't appetizing.

The mains come with sides of creamy Polenta (love this one)/ Broccoli Mash (the best!)/ Baked Carrot/ Risotto (yums)/ Baked Rutabaga & Aubepine (most interesting veg). 
Then there were desserts and i enjoyed ALL OF THEM! On this platter (left to right), a Speculoos macaron which will explode in your mouth; a comforting crunchy chocolate cookie; and a snappy and not too tart Lemon Cream Tartlette & Candied Berce
The Dark chocolate mousse with salted caramel is LOVE! Super dark and smooth and not too sweet!
End on a refreshing note with the Pomelo, Black Pepper and Honey. The bitterness worked strangely! 

So glad to be able to revisit Audace before the year ends. Can't wait to be back for Chef's signatures!
2 Dickson Road Singapore 209494
Wanderlust Hotel
Tue-Sat: 7.30am - 12am
Sun: 7.30am - 4pm
Sunday Brunch: 11.30am - 4pm
We all love a home-cooked Christmas feast but honestly who looks forward to the cleaning?! How about glamming it up at one of the best hotels in Singapore a.k.a. Capella Singapore and have the chefs be at your beck and call while you chill to the view of the South China Sea? The Chef’s Table, a private dining affair at Capella Singapore, is the answer to your perfect Christmas party!
The #alldayerrday semi-buffet Private Brunch Affair caters to a party of 10 and more, and you could do it any time of the day. What's best is the 2 hours of free-flow Taittinger champagne and other alcoholic beverages of your choice to start. Mulled wine sounds perfect to us too!
Hone in on the cold seafood section for the freshest oysters shucked to order (we had both US and Canadian varieties on the day we went), lightly poached Boston lobsters, succulent prawns and juicy scallops.