Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Joining the numerous grills sprouting over our tiny island is KOAL, the latest addition to Les Amis Group’s array of award-winning restaurants. What sets KOAL slightly apart is that it playfully marries Asian (Japanese, Korean and Chinese) and Western flavours and grilling techniques, to offer diners a light to night dining experience. 
Our night at KOAL started with a smorgasbord of starters and sharing plates. Jr enjoyed the Chunky Salmon with Coriander and Green Chili Dressing ($12), which was like a spicy and tangy South East Asian ceviche. 
I'm a carb monster and i love a good dinner roll. KOAL’s Bread Roll with Bacon and Grilled Spring Onions, Sour Cream and Chive Butter ($8) was a fragrant and fluffy one though i thought it could be salted further. 
My vote goes to the Crispy Pork Riblets ($16) with a smattering of peanut and sesame. The meat had a nice crispy Mala Honey glaze over it. I enjoyed picking up a piece and gnawing off a juicy bite off the bone. I would probably skip the Scallion Salad ($6) in the future. This was more like a condiment for me though i guess it helps to cut through the greasiness of the meats with its spicy sesame soy dressing.
Luke's Lobster Singapore is on a roll with another limited edition exclusive- the Hot Honey Lobster Roll available through the month of May. 

This roll was first launched in the USA end 2020 as a partnership between the New York City-based brand and Mike’s Hot Honey. If you enjoy the signature lobster rolls, the Hot Honey Lobster Roll ($27.50) is the same 4oz/113g of Maine lobster claw and knuckle meat but tossed in the chili-infused honey (that honestly is more spiced than spicy for us Singaporeans). You could still taste the sweet brininess of the delicate meat, but with a tad more flavor than the usual rolls. What would make it better- if the meat were hot, though this cold style is definitely what Luke's is known for (it's just not what i prefer). 

I also gave the rest of the menu a try and i'd say stick with the lobster rolls (the meat is more flavorful than the very bland crab), and get yourself some curly fries to pair with (these are crunchy curls of goodness). The soups are sorely disappointing- the lobster bisque was overly buttery and the clam chowder was too salty. 

The permanent addition to the menu- the Grilled Cheese series, ought to balance the negative at Luke's. The Lobster Grilled Cheese ($18.90) sees chunky seafood crammed with a load of melted cheddar within two square slices of buttered Shokupan. It's not quite grilled cheese so don't go expecting the traditional rich stringy pulled cheese for this is more of a creamy cheese lobster mix. I wouldn't mind having this in bun form too.

You could now also enjoy Luke's Lobster at home now. Pick up some of these pre-packed, flash-frozen seafood from most of NTUC Finest outlets and create your own rolls. There's the Lobster Meat with Seasoning ($42) with two packs (4oz each); Lobster Tail with Seasoning ($36) for two slabs (3-4 oz each) of flash-frozen and half-shelled tails, complete with Tessa Mae’s Lemon-Garlic Marinade that is perfect for stovetop sizzling or grilling; and the retail-exclusive Lobster Mac & Cheese ($31), smothered in a creamy blend of mascarpone and cheddar, ready to eat after a quick pop in the microwave. 

Luke's Lobster
350 Orchard Road #01-K4, Shaw House, Isetan Scotts, Singapore 238868 
78 Airport Boulevard, #01-K209, Jewel Changi Airport, Singapore 819666
Chef's Table BBQ put the idea into us and so off to Meatsmith to scratch the itch, even if it meant eating dinner at 8pm (because we made a last minute reservation). And of course it had to be full on American smokehouse barbecue at the OG Telok Ayer outlet (Jr also prefers this to the Indian style bbq one at Campbell Road). 
I had reservations about the Platter for 2 ($90) given how small of an eater i am but Jr was very confident about finishing 6 meat items- brisket, pork ribs, pastrami burnt ends, pork belly burnt ends, brisket spring rolls, and fried buffalo wings. Looking at the presentation, you can tell who are the stars. So either go for the slabs of meats first or start with the smaller stuff. 

The brisket spring rolls were smashingly crunchy and filled with sweet shredded meat. A good bite to have to break the meaty monotony. Same goes for the spicy and very acidic buffalo wings. While i didn't have high expectations of them, they do help to spice things up a little. 
The pastrami ends has a super peppery rub on it and was a tad too salty for us. The pork belly was also a little plain despite its paprika spice rub but i assure you that the meat was meltingly good. 
Moving on to the mains, the beef brisket was as expected- smoky on the outside, tender overall, and gelatinous at some parts. Enjoy the natural meaty flavor on its own, or smear a little of the Meatsmith BBQ sauce. The ribs were great too and certainly one of the better ones around with the right amount of sweetness. 
The platter also came with the pickle plate and cornbread. I found the corn bread a tad too crumbly and it was hard to pick up the loose bits but yes that's just nitpicking. Love the flavors though. We also added on the slaw ($6) to refresh our palate. Must say we did pretty well in finishing the meal. 

Desserts are available too, S'mores tart sounded lovely but our stomachs were protesting. Expect a wide variety of whiskeys and bourbons, or perhaps an alcoholic Bourbon sweet tea.

Telok Ayer
167/169 Telok Ayer Street

21 Campbell Lane
What was your virgin meal post Circuit Breaker? Phase 2 coincided with our #fridate and i was craving for a good fresh burger and that led us across the island to Burger Labo, by Ken Loon of Naked Finn. The burger lab has been experimenting on burgers to produce one of the best burgers i've eaten, the Basic Burger, which is not at all basic #humblebrag LOL
The Basic Burger (120g single/ 240g double, $18/$25) has gone through so many iterations from 2015 and the current version features a patty made with a blend of Black Angus beef & Toriyama Umami Wagyu A4 patty, grilled on cast iron griddle. Damn this is one juicy beast. Go for the double btw, you wouldn't regret it. The condiments all contributed to the perfect bite- crunchy pickled and also jammy caramelised onions, sharp American cheese, house-made bone marrow ‘butter’ and house-made shio kombu mayo-based sauce. Holding it all together is a glistening glossy brioche bun that made the angels sing. The buns are from Brera Bakery, a favorite of mine.  

Wash it down with an alcoholic milkshake. Boy that chocolate bourbon one was wicked!

Now sadly, the Chicken Burger (150g, $20) was sold out by the time by the first seating. SOBS. The recipe is by Julien Royer of Odette and showcases a GG French Poulet boneless leg marinated in yoghurt & spices, grilled on cast iron griddle. I'd probably have to go back for this, and another Basic Burger again.
Looking for a go-to guy for authentic mexicano? Well, as the name itself suggests, El Mero Mero is exactly where you should be headed for the real deal, and i really don't mean Tex-Mex. The restaurant at CHIJMES has been serving us amigos for the past five years with solid Mexican classics and now it has taken its offerings a notch up with its refreshed menu that is designed to reflect both Mexican culinary history and its dynamic modern foodscape. 
What's Mexican food without Guacamole ($16)? The version here at El Mero Mero is made better because you can mix all the smashed avocados and condiments in yourself before smearing it on the crunchy charred tostadas. My advice? Order another side of fried masa corn chips because they are thinner and crunchier than the charred ones.
Even though the Corn sampler ($15) may look pedestrian, it certainly didn't taste so. The Cotja cheese mayo dressing made all the difference. I adore a good taramasalata and this tasted like that, except that it's sharper in flavor and also happens to be vegetarian.
The brown corn-mushroom donuts are out of this world though. It's the first time i've had Huitlacoche, a fungus (or mushrooms) that grows on the corn.
We all know that Potato Head has mad burgers and cocktails and we are truly glad that they have dedicated a standalone joint Three Buns Quayside to serving these finger-licking good comfort food. 95% of what you're gonna be savoring are handmade by the team helmed by Chef Adam Penney.
The menu is a mix of old favorites from Potato Head folks (hello Baby Huey) and new menu items unique to the Quayside location. Expect the highest-quality grass-fed Australian patty made from two prime cuts of beef, house-made sauces, and premium cheeses from US, UK, and Greece, sandwiched between their lovely butter brioche buns. 
If you’re looking for a hit of local flavour, check out the Red Man Burger ($28) – this isn’t on the regular menu yet, but you can tell that this is a burger that’s put together very intentionally. This is a twist on beef rendang, using beef cheek that’s prepared sous vide, accompanied by a specially prepared burger bun made from coconut oil and milk. This was easily our favorite burger! Just look at that juicy meat that falls apart!
You can tell how good a burger joint is by how well they do the classics and Three Buns doesn't fail. The Smokin’ B-Boy ($23), a bacon cheeseburger, is perfectly balanced with its juicy patty, savory bacon, crunchy fried and caramelized onions. Their no-frills cheeseburger Da Cheese Master ($15) works if you're a hard-core ketchup lover.
The Bun DMC ($16) is another one that’s unique to this location, moving away from the typical pickle to a home-made watermelon relish, as well as a mix of fried onions and onion puree. These ingredients worked quite well together, but the watermelon relish didn’t stand out as much as I thought it would (which was a pity). 
For a meat-free option, the Truffello ($15) was very aromatic, and buns were well done. Unfortunately, the slaw and the juicy Portbello makes for a very soggy burger, and there's nothing sadder than wet buns that disintegrate. The truffle butter sauce was also lost in the mix. If you want more of that punchy flavor, go for their Truffle Hound ($15) hotdog instead. It’s rather plain but at least you’ll taste the truffle.
We would come to Three Buns for their fries alone. Naughty Fries Jr. ($9) (pictured below), and Miso Dirty Fries ($9) were the stars in their own right – these fries are shaped in a curve, which was excellent for scooping up the sauces and toppings. What's more, they stayed crunchy even after being out on the table for a while, and the flavour profiles of both hit just the right spots.
I had a hard time deciding which one was my favourite – the Naughty fries has a hit of gochujang, while the miso and pork floss in the Miso Dirty fries adds an umami that makes the dish so addictive. My advice? Go in a group and get both – they’re great for sharing around a table, and will be gone in a heartbeat.

Come during the weekends and you'll get more than just burgers from 11am to 4pm. The Blueberry Basic ($15) is anything but basic. The porous buttermilk pancakes are savory bittersweet, with hints of coffee, vanilla beans and vanilla salt with ice cream and blueberry sauce served on the side. The Ronnie ($19), a chicken sausage with miso bearnaise burger, is served with super crunchy tater tots. I found the tater tots more irresistible than the slightly sticky and mushy patty (it tasted similar to MacD's).

Desserts wise, I found them all a tad too sweet for my liking, but the milkshakes were worse. Give them a miss please. However, I thought that the tartness of the Zesty Calamansi & Lemon cream ($6) would make a really good filling for a lemon tart/crumble. 

If you have to have a milkshake, go for the Aye Sailor ($18), a rum-spiked chocolate milkshake which countered the diabetic drink. The 3 Monkeys ($18), a banana-infused whisky milkshake tasted like cough syrup after being left out for a while.
In spite of the unhappy ending, let's focus on the good stuff, which are the burgers and fries. Those are gonna have us coming back to Three Buns again and again. 

-B & C-

Three Buns Quayside
60 Robertson Quay, #01-01, Singapore 238252
Tue-Fri 5pm-12am
Sat-Sun 11am-12am 
I cannot emphasize how much of a good deal the Morton's of Chicago Sunday Lunch Special is! From $98/pax, you get to enjoy a sumptuous 3 course set lunch featuring some of their signature steaks. And, there are even more choices now as Morton's has gotten some new additions just for lunch. 
The 3 course includes an appetizer, entree and a dessert and the options are simply mouth-watering. 
Appetizers feature some salads, and i had a proper taste of the Chopped House Salad this time and found it to be very appetizing with refreshing chunks of avocado, onion, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. Plus one can not resist bacon. 
If you don't mind spending a bit more, how about a heady and rich Lobster Bisque (+$10) with a juicy piece of flesh swimming in the creamy broth. Morton's signature Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and Maine Lobster Cocktail are also available at an added cost if you are looking to indulge in fresh seafood. 
What's a Morton's meal without some delectable steaks! An 8.5oz Filet Mignon with asparagus and mashed potatoes is available at no added cost. But if you're a steak connoisseur, their center-cut Prime Ribeye, New York Strip, and Porterhouse are available as add-ons. 
Non-steak eaters also have a wider variety of options. Chicken Christopher, Chicken Bianco, Honey-balsamic Glazed Salmon, Shrimp Scampi Capellini, and Short Rib Bolognese are available as entrees. 
Dessert parlour Sugarhaus by day, speakeasy steakhouse Fat Belly by night. These two are reasons why you can camp out at Serene Centre for the whole day without having to go hungry. 
In the day, Sugarhaus offers diners of all ages homemade European-inspired ice cream. My favorite was the smooth-like-butter Dutch Chocolate which is made with a concoction of different types of chocolates. The Sea Salt Toffee is another one that you cannot miss. I love the saltiness in this, which has a butter caramel aftertaste. Have the ice cream on their own ($3.50/$4.30 per scoop) or with their fresh waffles ($6). 
Other exciting flavors include Sour Cherry, made with amarena cherries imported from Italy; or the Hibiscus Yogurt for an exotic and aromatic treat. 
Apart from ice cream, of course there are a mix of homemade desserts on display at the counter. Fat Belly is where i had my first galaxy cake and i must say that it changed my mind on artificial looking cakes (which is the main reason why i did not eat any earlier).
Sugarhaus’ Galaxy Tart ($8) is a dome of beautiful white chocolate mirror glaze that is filled with chocolate mousse, raspberry jelly and chocolate crumble. It's a lovely mix of tartness and rich smoothness. 
Next up is the Lemon Popsicle Tart ($8). As its name suggests, the mouth-watering tart comes in the shape of a popsicle filled with lemon sable, lemon parfait and coated with white chocolate. I love the sharpness in the lemon cream, with a crunchy sable that is reminiscent of the Chinese cashew cookie. 
Sugarhaus also offers a simple menu of savoury options available till 5pm. We started with the Melted Cheese Toastie ($12) which has gruyere, cheddar, and mozzarella sandwiched in a distinctly sour sourdough from Woodlands Sourdough next door. Not my preferred toastie sadly.
How about a modern okonomiyaki? The Corn & Zucchini Fritters ($15) was more on the wet floury spectrum, slightly salvaged by my love for kewpie mayo, bonito flakes and okonomiyaki sauce. AND THAT FRIED BACON! And sunny side up egg. 
For a more filling bite, the Crab Linguine ($22) satisfies with the heady and umami peppery prawn sauce. Shards of shredded blue swimmer crab claw added a sweetness to the savory pasta. The linguine was on the slightly softer end but i wouldn't mind ordering this again. 
Come nightfall, the bar section of Sugarhaus turns into Fat Belly, serving a lucky 10 customers alternative cuts of beef, particularly the Flat Iron (or Oyster Blade). The menu also features other cuts such as short rib, skirt, rib-eye. 
The Flat Iron ($22), was quite marbled and tender. It certainly has more meaty flavors than the usual steak though i still prefer a ribeye. All steaks come with a side of house salad and chimichurri sauce. Very Argentinean.
For an additional $5, guests can also enjoy side dishes such as Creamed Kale and Guanciale Mac & Cheese. There will also be one dessert exclusively available on Fat Belly’s menu: the Foie Gras ($13) is served with foie gras ice cream, brulee banana, speculoos and roasted nuts. If that's too funky for you, stick with their usual, they're good.

Sugarhause and Fat Belly
#01-03A, Serene Centre, 10 Jalan Serene, Singapore 258748 
Tel: +65 6314 2247 
Sun - Thu: 11am - 10pm, 6 - 10pm (Fat Belly)
Fri & Sat: 11am - 11pm (Last order 5pm for hot food; 15 minutes before closing for desserts), 6pm - 11pm (last order 10pm)

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.
Finally our first Peruvian cevicheria in Singapore! Given our love for raw fish (just look at the number of sushi and sashimi restaurants, plus the recent poke craze), i'm surprised it's taking so long for ceviche to take off! TONO Cevicheria is also Asia’s first-ever Peruvian Cevicheria opened by Peruvian Chef Daniel Chavez, co-owner and chef of OLA Cocina del Mar. Expect authentic flavors and strong Pisco Sour from the team of Lima-trained Latin American chefs.
If you're wondering what Peruvian food is like, well... It's kinda fusion, with influence from the Incans, Spanish, Africans, Italians, Chinese, and Japanese. We can see a mix of all flavors in their national dish, the ceviche. (I'm just making this up, there isn't a national dish but if there should be one, it has to be ceviche.) Learn more about Peruvian food in my post on my Lima food tour here.
For the uninitiated, ceviche is made with fresh seafood, citrus (usually lime), chillies, and onions. The creamy marinade that comes from the run-off of the seafood is called Tiger's Milk and it is used to cure the seafood. What's best with ceviche? Pisco Sour. The one served at TONO was delightful though it could do with a bit more Sour. 
At TONO, there are a few types of ceviche to pick from. Starting with my favorite Tono Ceviche ($28). This mild but balanced dish uses an interesting tiger's milk which features charred ginger, and smoked aji amarillo (peppers) among the typical citrus-fish jus. Plus there's an added crunch from the crispy baby calamari to go with the fresh fish.
If you want something to kick start your appetite, the Nikkei Ceviche ($24) is a tart Japanese style yellowfin tuna salad with a soy, mirin, hondashi tiger's milk. There's a lot of lime in this one! There is some avocado puree with the dish but i couldn't detect much of it due to the overwhelming acidity.
Another Japanese inspired dish is the Yellow Pituco Tiraditos ($24). The yellowfin tuna is sliced thinly in this one (almost carpaccio style), and dressed with chilli vinaigrette and some cream sauce. The spiciness is one that will take you by surprise and give you a hacking cough (like that when you choke on ma la). The garnishes depends on chef's mood for the day and we had radishes, crispy quinoa and plantain chips on ours.
Fun fact of the day. There are more than 4000 varieties of potatoes in Peru. Well we only had 1 type in the Escabeche causa ($22) which is served with 2 types of chicken (chicken shreds mixed with mayo, and grilled chicken with panca chilli sauce) served with potato mash and escabeche sauce. The piquant sauce is made with fresh peppers and aji panca (dried red peppers), garlic, tomatoes and onions, with chicken stock. The aji panca gives the dish a light smokiness.
Skip the Jalea ($32), which is essentially a crispy seafood platter with tapioca chips, salsa criolla and smoked chili mayo. It's not that it's not nice, it's just that there's nothing special about it. Plus we can always get more interesting seafood elsewhere in Singapore.
Same goes for the Lomo Saltado ($40), a Chinese influenced stir-fried beef with red wine vinegar and the other typical Chinese aromatics. As with their Chi-Fa (Peruvian Chinese food stalls), this is served with french fries and rice. My take? I'd have the authentic Chinese stir-fry. 
Anticuchos (chicken or beef, $22/25) are meat skewers which have been marinated in a mix of red wine vinegar and aji panca before being seared on a plancha. It is served with a Chalaquita sauce made with a little tomato, pepper, onions and white tiger's milk (used in ceviche clasico). The beef was more juicy than the chicken skewers. Peruvian meat dishes, actually most dishes, have varying degrees of sourness. It's appetizing at the start but sometimes you just want something heavy to anchor the meal. 
Thankfully we had the Arroz con Mariscos ($34) a seafood rice with crabmeat, fish, prawns, and calamari in aji panca, aji amarillo and achiote oil base. Long grain rice is used here and provides more bite. The seafood remained succulent as they areseared separately before being folded into the rice. 
Peruvians love their sweets and i had too many alfajores con dulce de leche when I was in Peru but these Alfajores ($12) at TONO are way better! The light butter cookies with dulce de leche and mango mousse simply disintegrates into powder when you bite into them. The dulce de leche is housemade, as is the mango mousse. Both are delightful without being cloying.
More rice for desserts? Sure if it's Combinado ($12), a comforting spiced vanilla rice pudding and purple corn Mazamora. The rice pudding is made of bomba rice cooked with milk, cream, sugar, orange peel and vanilla, with coconut puree added at the very end. While the purple Maxamora syrup may look strange, it's made with Christmasy ingredients like star anise, apples, and quince, along with pineapple skin and purple corn. It made me miss the sweet Chicha Morada drink which is served everywhere in Peru. 

Make sure you call ahead for a table at TONO. They are packed everyday already!

7 Fraser Street
#01-49/50 Duo Galleria
Singapore 189356
Weekdays: 12 - 2.30pm, 6 - 10pm
Sat: 6 - 10pm