Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

One of my favorite Japanese restaurant has got to be Chikuwa Tei, which is located at Mohamed Sultan Road near Robertson Quay. I have been frequenting this restaurant for at least 2 years and it has always provided good food at reasonable prices.

There are 18 bento sets to choose from, from S$12 to $25, the most expensive being the Chirashi set. I've tried a couple of their bentos and the quality is pretty consistent.
If you like Sashimi, you would love this. Just look at the generous chunks of fresh fish piled on top of the vinegar rice! Each piece is about 10cm long and at least 1cm thick and you can taste the fresh sweetness of the fish. S orders this everytime we go there.
Depending on my mood, i would go for Ten Cha Soba set ($12) when i want something lighter. Or their Chikuwa Tei set when i'm really greedy. They have 2 sets, 1 for individual and another for 2pax. It is more pricy (about S$40-50/pax) but there is a variety of dishes, from grilled to tempura and sukiyaki even.

Anyway, i love the refreshing cha soba which has a tinge of matcha taste in it (not all cha soba tastes of green tea). The texture of the green noodles is also very spingy and the dipping sauce is of the right amount of saltiness. My comfort food. I would go for cold udon but they advised me against it (it isn't on the menu). Just be good and listen to the aunties.  
The California maki (S$8) is also very satisfying. In fact, it's quite a huge portion. The chef is very generous with the avocado and flying fish roe. There is no need for soy sauce because the natural saltiness of the roe is sufficient for flavoring.

If you were wondering if it's the same notorious chef from Wasabi Tei at Far East Square, it is (or was). I didn't see him the last time i was there so i'm not sure if they have changed their chef.
Hope you like the food as much as i do. Remember to order the sashimi! You wouldn't be disappointed. :)
Food: 4/5
Service: 3.5/5
Atmosphere: 3.5/5

Chikuwa Tei
9 Mohamed Sultan Road #01-01
Tel: +65 6738 9395
Daily: 11.30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm

The Volkswagen Beetle is back! Wheeeee. Can i say how much i love the Beetle? My friends kinda hate it because of the Beetle game i play- the one that allows you to smack someone really hard on the head when you see one (gotta shout Beetle at the same time). If you don't know about this game, you don't have a childhood. Period. Anyway i have always loved the cute look. What can i say? It's a girly thing. The cute dashboard with little touches like the flower vase and the cute button look.

Anyway, after more than a decade since its debut in 1998, the latest Beetle has finally gotten a major face lift and it has been completely redesigned for 2012.
This car is definitely more dynamic, masculine and sportier than its predecessor. It's a little squashed from above but the interior is wider, lower and longer, giving it more classic proportions and legroom plus a bigger boot. For the boys, how does a 200-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder TSI© engine sound? Try this and you'll find out. There is also the Turbo charged version 2.5l in-line 5 cylinder engine, same as that of the VW Golf. Other sensible electronics feature and control interface such as Bluetooth, iPod and navigation system are present. Did i also mention that Fender®™ Premium Audio system is part of the latest update? Quality sound to accompany a quality drive. Woah.

Catch it at the VW showroom now. You can also see it at Knightsbridge and Raffles City till 22 July Sunday (12pm to 9pm). These are not ordinary displays though, it's in fact a TALKING car. He will talk to you, take a picture with you and that would be uploaded on the VW Beetle Fanpage at I'm going to make an appointment for a test drive soon. It may just turn out to give my other favorite, the Mini Cooper S, a run for the competition.

Media Invite
I guess people must have picked up on my love for caffeine and my afternoon tea indulgence. Well Gryphon Tea Company sure did! Was invited by FoodNews to learn more about the Gryphon Tea and FIJI Water partnership on their new Grand Cru Collection. Fine tasting tea and fine tasting water? Count me in.
The collaboration doesn't come as a surprise to me. The quality of water as essential in brewing a good pot of tea as are the leaves, which have to be fresh and of high quality.“The leaves need to be brewed with water that enhances and not overpowers the delicacies of its natural flavour. FIJI Water, with its clean taste and finish is the perfect water for tea brewing,” says Lim Tian Wee, founder of Gryphon Tea Company.
The Grand Cru Collection includes 10 new single origin tea harvested from the world's best tea regions i.e. China, Japan, and India. The collection is for sophisticated and worldly tea connoisseurs and novices alike. If you would like to learn more about the different teas, get the collector's set (S$390 excluding GST) which consists of 36 different teas in 15g tins. Each section has a short descriptor on the flavor of the tea housed in the sleek tin above it. The box makes a good jewelry case too, as suggested by Tian Wee:)  
The session was held at the Gaggenau Showroom, which was elegant and comfortable. It was almost like fine dining but the main courses were water and tea. This has got to be the healthiest tasting i've attended to date. We started with a water tasting conducted by Ava, representative of FIJI Water and we compared FIJI to spring and distilled water. 

I've always loved FIJI Water for a reason unknown to me till the tasting itself. It's not just the iconic square bottle that appeals to me (Women...), it's really the taste and mouthfeel of the water. The texture is soft and easy on the throat and the balanced mineral content and pH value gives it a light sweetness that isn't overpowering.
Next, Tea master/blender and Director of Gryphon Tea Company, Tian Wee, led us through an insightful lesson on tea appreciation. This is one really humble guy who is passionate about tea making, brewing and drinking. Tian Wee is constantly trying to find out about people's perception of the taste of the tea as everyone will notice different notes in the flavor. He is always on the look out for interesting flavors and blends which he develops based on his travels and experiences, with the latest being the Black Forest Blend created for Gaggenau.
We tried 5 teas from the Grand Cru Collection- Silver Needle (China White tea), Gyokuro Pearl Dew (Japan Green tea), Dan Cong Magnolia (China Oolong tea), Darjeeling Margaret’s Hope 2nd Flush (India Black tea) and Vintage Pu'Erh (China Black tea).
There are several steps to go about appreciating the tea. Things to note would be the appearance of the dried leaves, the scent of the brewed tea leave, as well as colour and and taste of the liquor.
Love the lightness in the Silver Needle White tea. I think i'm in the White tea phase right now. Gryphon tea could be enjoyed at many cafes and the Grand Cru collection could be savoured in true opulence at The Knolls, Capella Singapore (had tea there once, read about it here).
Thanks again to Gryphon Tea Company and FIJI Water for inviting me to the tasting!

Note: All views expressed are personal opinions of the writer and objective in the sense that she's not influenced by anyone. What's the point in writing in something that i do not believe in right? If i think something sucks, i would definitely voice it. So be cool about it people.

Gryphon Tea Company
Gryphon Tea Company will provide a personal doorstep delivery service to each client for an exclusive period. Prices range from S$38 for White Peony tea to S$78 for a Iron Goddess of Mercy tea. Each tin holds 40-80g of premium quality single terroir loose leaf teas.
Tel: +65 6779 2948 (for orders)

FIJI Water
FIJI Water is now available in 4 sizes in leading supermarkets and selected convenience stores: 1500ml (suggested retail price - S$3.50), 1000ml (suggested retail price - S$3.00), 500ml (suggested retail price - S$1.60), 330ml (suggested retail price S$1.25).

I had a chance to taste the food at The Exchange during the Heineken media invitation (read about it here). I seldom explore the CBD because I don't work there. I'm sure there are many interesting joints that offer delicious meals but I guess I'll have to leave the job to the bloggers who work there.
The Exchange is actually a pretty cool bar to hang out at after work. Great music, great space, great crowd but that kinda ends there. It's alright for a couple of drinks but not if u are starving and want some food to ease your hunger pangs because the service is downright slow.
Truffle fries were really salty and we couldn't taste the truffle oil at all. The texture of the fries was fine but where is the truffle oil?! The steak tartare (S$18 for 7-8 pieces) was served on little round pieces of toast. Wasn't memorable enough for me to say anything about it.

We ordered the Gourmet platter (S$80) for sharing along with some other starters.
This is one section of it. The cold cuts on the extreme left left a bad taste in my mouth. They had a slight porky taste which is typical of old and bad pork? That stale oil taste and fishiness.. The duck rilette is worth mentioning though because of the generous chunks of meat. It tasted pretty much like shredded and deboned duck confit instead of a pate-ish texture. This goes extremely well with the toasted breads. I enjoyed mine on the herby focaccia. The oysters were quite pathetic though. Just look at how small it is. They sell them individually for S$4. Hur. And they weren't particularly fresh as well. 
I think the best dish in the platter would be the Grilled scallops with bacon (there were only 4). The juicy and succulent scallops has thoroughly absorbed the smokiness of the bacon and thus makes this a great savory snack to go with beer. The Chicken and lamb skewers were nothing special though 
If there's something you should order, go for the steak. The Hanger Steak ($40 for 220 grams) was melt-in-your-mouth, tender and yet a little bit chewy and very flavourful. The hanger is the part between the loin and brisket btw. The downside is that they took forever to come, as with all our other dishes. Also, it's quite a small steak. Even my little tummy wouldn't be satisfied.

So to go or not to go? I'm struggling with this one. Skip the platters, go for the steaks and be prepared for a long wait. The beer kinda helps with the waiting. Cheers!

Food: 3.5/5. They have an extensive wine list as well.
Service: 2.5/5 Very slow service. Waited at least 15mins to get someone to take my order, that was after someone said they'd get back to me.
Atmosphere: 4/5

The Exchange
8 Marina View, #01-05 Asia Square Tower 1, Singapore

Tel: +65 6636 1200
Weekdays: 8am – 12am

Sat: 11.30am – 12am
(Closed on Sun)

Media Invite

Was invited by the cool folks at Heineken to learn more about their beer pouring technique coined the "Heineken Star Serve". I was quite psyched because Frank Yu, the one and only Heineken Draught Master, was going to teach us how to pour the perfect pint. I think it's every guy's dream to open a bar and a female bartender is like woah COOL? Pardon this little fantasy of mine.
The event was held at The Exchange (more about their food later) which is located at Asia Square Tower, right smack in the CBD area. Nice place to chill out after work but not exactly conducive for teaching inebriated bloggers how to pour themselves a beer (hee hee). I swear we were all kinda dancing to the music with beer in hand. :P
Back to Frank. He's Singapore's one and only appointed draught master who has gone all the way to Amsterdam, the birthplace of Heineken to undergo intensive training sessions before he was awarded the coveted title of Heineken Draught Master. The training in Amsterdam is the first of its kind to be conducted by Heineken's Global Draught Master, Franck Evers, and only 8 were selected from all over the world to participate in the programme.
I think most of us were thinking it couldn't be THAT hard to pour a glass of beer. But as proven by the  picture above, things could obviously go quite wrong. Frank was really patient with all of us as he went through the different steps. We learnt that the foam (head) is quite essential. Too much and you don't get your drink, too little and it'd be too flat. 2 cm of foam is just about right. The temperature and cleanliness of the glassware will also affect the taste of the beer. I guess i wasn't that high after all! A+ for being attentive. :))
There are 6 steps to pouring the perfect pint. 1. Rinse the glass and then tilt it 45deg to let the water drip evenly. Excess and uneven water droplets will cause the foam to collapse. 2. Tilt the glass at a 45deg and let the beer run into the glass. Make sure the nozzle isn't too far from the glass. This will prevent too much foaming. 3. When it's almost gonna overflow, gently tilt the glass up. 4. Stop the tap when the glass is about full. 5. Let the beer rest and then level the foam by a scraper (not sure what it's called). 6. Serve the pint with the Heineken logo facing the customer and place it on a Heineken coaster. 7. Shout Yum Seng! (i'm kidding about point 7).
My first pint didn't have enough foam because i was too careful! Didn't want it to foam too much. Frank let me have a second go and it turned out to be the perfect serve! Whee! Now now, who wants to hire me as a bartender? ;)

I'm not trying to promote Heineken or anything. In fact, i'm not even a regular beer drinker. I think i only drank a little more when i went to Croatia because beer is so cheap and it's a lot smoother than what we have back home. Most of the time i'd have ciders in Singapore or if i have to, i'd go for Erdinger. I recently tried Heineken, prior to the event, and found that it's quite easy to drink. It goes down quite easily, isn't too gassy or bitter (unlike a popular brand in Sg). Definitely my choice of beer (if i really have to drink one).

Beer on a Monday night? Why not? Think it's the perfect way to get over the dreary Monday blues! :)) Cheers!

Loysel's Toy has been around for a while now and i visited the place quite some time ago actually. I haven't gotten down to writing because i don't like writing about bad food and that was what i felt about Loysel's- a huge disappointment despite all that hype when it first started. 
The out of the way location is typical of most specialty coffee joints in Singapore. Kith, Toby's Estate, Broers, FortyHands etc. I like that these cafes are a little out of the way. I like the quaintness of it all and i also like that it deters most lazy people as well (for my own selfish reasons). BUT, in my honest opinion, there's no way i'm going to be back there again. It's not worth the ride over.
We took a seat outdoors because the interior hardly has any breathing space. It's a nightmare if you are claustrophobic and the same even if you aren't. The outdoor seats are fine provided weather conditions are ideal i.e. cool air, low humidity, light breeze, rays broken by scattered clouds. In other words, you got to be darn lucky. If not, be prepared to face the SG tropical heatwave and a potential meltdown (make up or what not).
I'm ok with the limited food selection actually. Saves me the trouble of deciding what to order. Usual breakfast items are available e.g. Pancakes with strawberries and honey mascarpone (S$10), sides like bacon are available at an additional cost. They also have quiches (S$7).

Items from the bakery looked more promising than what was available on the menu. Check out the muffins, cakes, tarts and pastries at the counter. The pastries looked glossy and i noted that the croissants have a nice height to them.
I had the Big L's Breakfast (S$15)- Scrambled or poached eggs, sauteed mushrooms, garlic pork sausage and grilled tomato with toast. This was really bad, and i already lowered my expectations for something that costs 15bucks. My first reaction was that Coffee Bean does a better breakfast than Loysel's. The eggs were dry and bland. Sausages were no better with the cardboard-like texture. The toast was stale as well.

S had the fruit salad with yogurt which i felt was pitiful. It was a little plate with some pieces of chopped up fruits, which weren't even exotic! Also, they didn't look fresh to me as well. Seems like they've been cut and refrigerated for some time. And that costs 10 bucks? Seriously??
The Iced Mocha (S$6) was very diluted. Good mocha wouldn't be served using chocolate syrup. I'm ok with the regular syrup sort but i do expect better from Loysel's since they are serving Papa Pahleta's coffee.

Verdict: Not recommended. I'm never coming back. The regular coffee chains are better than this. I think what LT needs to do is to simply focus on the coffee and outsource their food items. Or perhaps change the cook.

Food: 2/5 Not giving it a 1 because i didn't try a lot of items but i definitely won't review it again
Service: 2/5 Slow service. Not very friendly as well.
Atmosphere: 2/5 Not comfortable. I might sit at the void deck and drink coffee from the kopitiam.

Loysel's Toy
66 Kampong Bugis, #01-02 
Ture / Sam Tat Warehouse, Singapore
Tue–Fri: 9am – 6pm
Sat–Sun: 9am – 7.30pm
(Closed on Mon)

Do you know about the Weekday S$15 Nett Set Lunch at Clarke Quay? There are 2-5 course set lunches available from the various restaurants nestled in Clarke Quay and i personally think that it's an awesome deal (no they are not paying me to promote this). Anyway, this promotion has been around for the longest time ever and the current promotion runs till end 2012. Surprisingly, i've found it hard to make it between the 12-3pm slot for lunch so i've only tried 2 of the restaurants, the first being Hot Stones and the most recent was Renn Thai.
 Good thing there were 2 of us so we tried all the dishes available for lunch.
Spring Rolls (1set) and Green Mango Salad (1set). I don't usually have this dish because i prefer mangoes that are ripe. Was quite pleasantly surprised because the dish was very appetizing with the mix of sweet, sour and spice. The spring rolls were not bad either. They were stuffed with carrots, radish, mushrooms and dried shrimps and went well with the sweet sauce on the side.
For mains we had the Phad Thai and Pineapple Rice.
I thought the Phad Thai was delicious. The glass noodles were of the right chewiness and they weren't too dry. I like that it wasn't too sweet either. Some Phad Thai are way too sweet i feel. I'm not too sure if that's the original Thai style though. Someone enlighten me please?

The Pineapple Rice wasn't too shady as well though there aren't much ingredients used. A few chunks of chicken, random little pieces of nuts thrown in.  More floss please!
The Tom Yum Soup really packs a POW. Very very extremely spicy this is but it was so good with the fresh prawns. S started perspiring away and i was reaching out for the ice water ever so often but it's delicious!
I was wondering how is it possible to serve 3 or more courses for only S$15 nett then i saw that drinks are considered as 1 course as well. For example, Korean Boss BarBQ considers themselves to serve 4 course when it's actually just 1 main course of meat dish+ rice+soup+side dishes. That's a little misleading I feel but then again, it's 15 bucks for a decent restaurant meal so i'm not complaining (and neither should you).

Food: 4/5 Surprised by the quality of the dishes. I still love Nakhon but this is slightly more comfortable and the central location makes it a good place for a meal before drinks. :)
Service: 3.5/5 Acceptable service.
Atmosphere: 4/5 Comfortable with Thai pop songs playing in the background.

The promotion is on for weekdays, 12pm-3pm, excluding PH. Free Parking during the same period too.

Do go try the other restaurants. Next on my list should be The Forbidden City by Indochine (Viet) and Tomo Izkaya (Jap). :))

Renn Thai
Blk D, #01-05A, Clarke Quay
Tel: +65 6292 4748

Was invited by the nice people at for food tasting at Outback Steakhouse! Thanks Celes for the link up! It's always nice to meet up with fellow bloggers over a meal. This time i finally got to meet Misterchewy, the other half of Missuschewy. So here you go, the whole shebang of the night's meal. Warning: Do not read on an empty stomach.
Gifts from Cute hur?
We started with the freshly baked honey whole meal Boston bread with a home made buttermilk butter. The bread is good on its own, with a tinge of natural sweetness. The centre was pillowy and fluffy when warm. The creamy salted buttermilk spread is smooth, almost like clotted cream minus the stickiness. 
Alice Springs Chicken Quesadilla- Grilled flour tortilla stuffed with grilled chicken breast sauteed mushrooms, bacon, melted cheese and served with honey mustard
This is a dish that i'd order as a main. The quesadilla had a buttery pastry texture that reminded me of roti prata. I like that it's moist and creamy on the inside. How can anything with cheese, bacon and mushrooms go wrong right? This is good even without the sauce.

Ahi Tuna Chopped Salad- Fresh iceberg and spring mix lettuce and cucumbers tossed in wasabi vinaigrette with crispy wanton skin. Topped with sashimi style pan seared tuna (S$12.90/22.90)
This was one of my favorite dishes because it's really refreshing. Trust me, after having so much meat, you'd want to eat the veg. The pepper crusted tuna sashimi was splashed with citrus to give it that tangy taste and that really helped to reinvigorate our taste buds.

Combination Appetizer- Sharing portions of Kookaburra Wings, Aussie Cheese fries and Crispy fried mushrooms (S$25.90).
Fried food galore! Perfect snacks to accompany an ice cold beer. The batter is a little on the high blood pressure end but who can say no to wings and fries? I love the skin on fries which still had remnants of its rootiness (not that it's muddy) and hello to more cheese and bacon. Ngoms.

Typhoon Bloom- Hand cut, fresh onion strings dusted with Outback's secret seasonings, whirled into a circular stack and fried to a crisp. (S$15.90)
If you like onions and you like fried batter, have this. I could only do a few strands of this. Same sentiments around the table.

Seafood Pasta- Shrimps, calamari and fish fillet with fettuccine tossed in homemade marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese (S$26.90)
There's something comforting about a simple tomato based pasta. Perhaps it's the reminder of the youthful carefree days of smearing bolognese all over my face as i slurp my noodles. The fettuccine was perfectly cooked to maintain a nice crunch. Simple and hearty dish.

Ribs and Alice Springs Chicken- 1/2 rack of pork ribs with chicken breast topped with bacon, honey mustard sauce, sauteed mushrooms, Monterey Jack and Cheddar
I'm not a fan of ribs but this was marinated very nicely. The sauce was dry and probably the marinate rubbed on prior to grilling instead of a sauce being slapped on after. There wasn't a lot of meat but it was tender and fell off the bone easily. The chicken was moist and tender. I suppose it's the same combination as the quesadilla and you already know what i said about it.

Outback Special 11oz- Sirloin steak (S$33.90)
Ribeye steak seasoned and seared with 17 different seasoning and char grilled over an open flame for the extra smokiness (S$39.90)
Among the 2 steaks, i preferred the Outback special because sirloin is obviously more tender. Perhaps it's also to do with the doneness of the meat (both were medium done) and i like mine medium rare. Ribeye is the tougher cut obviously but if you love your meat, you would probably go for this. The mash was chunky with bits of potato skin and bacon. Finally something that's a little bland. The sodium level of all the dishes combined made my tongue feel like sandpaper at this point. The meats were undressed because they didn't know what we wanted but take your pick from peppercorn, pepper and mushroom sauce (if i'm not wrong).

You don't go to Outback Steakhouse for desserts. Period. We had the Desserts Sample Trio (S$18.90)- Chocolate Thunder from Down Under (Brownie), Cheesecake and Banana Nut Cake. Edible, not fantastic. Save that calories for a starter instead. It's more worth it. 
Food: 4/5 More hits than misses. Somehow the non steak dishes fared better.
Atmosphere: 4/5 Great place to hang out with the dudes over beer and snacks. There's a tv screen for soccer. This is where i would have my JC or uni gatherings.

Outback Steakhouse 
9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-99
Millenia Walk, Singapore 039596
Tel : +65 6837 3242
Daily: 11.30am - 10.30pm

What else is there to do in Zagreb other than the Segway City Tour (read about it here)? Well, most of the sights are pretty much covered in the tour so here's the next best thing to do. Coffee-People-Watching
You can do that pretty much anywhere in Zagreb but the best place to do it is along the cobbled stones of Tkalčićeva Street. This is where everyone hangs out in during the lunch hour, late afternoons/evenings. 

The area is full of restaurants, cafés and boutiques. Just walk around and pick a caffe bar that suits you whenever you are tired. I think for the Croatians, it was watching this Asian couple walk up and down the street. The main bulk of tourists are Europeans and there are very few Asians touring the place. At some towns we were the only Chinese around. It was oddly comfortable being an obvious stranger in a foreign land though. I guess that's because Croatians are extremely friendly. 
Anyway, the cafes and restaurants remain open till the late hours of the night. Perfect excuse to just lounge around the whole day. :)) But in my opinion, the cafe that cannot be missed when you are in Zagreb is Eli's Caffe. This is the best coffee that i've tried in Zagreb. SO SO GOOD. 
I love how smooth and fragrant the drinks are. It all boils down to the preparation- from the roasting to the brewing. Eli's Cafe is the first specialty coffee roastery in the whole of Croatia. The beans are then prepared and brewed by 3 times Croatian Barista Champion Nick Orosi. Gosh i love this dude. He's really funny in the sarcastic way and of course really good at his coffee. He reminds me Nick Miller in New Girl! They even look alike. -Major girl crush- 
According to him, his is the only job that makes people happy everyday, all day, all year round. I couldn't agree more. Yes i'm a caffeine addict. :P According to S, the other job would be selling ice cream, but it only works in a tropical climate like ours. Well S eats ice cream even in winter time! Such the dessert monster.    
So yea, i told S that i'd marry someone who can make me perfect coffee every morning when i wake. I think the way i gushed over Nick may prompt S to take up a barista course in the near future. :P But honestly, wouldn't you wanna wake up to the aroma of coffee beans every morning? Anyway, do head over to Eli's cafe if you are in the area. I guarantee you a great caffeine experience. :))  

Ilica 63, HR - 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Tel: +385 (0)91 4555 608
Weekdays: 8am - 7pm
Sat: 8am - 4pm
Sun: 9am - 2pm