Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

I don't know about you girls but one of the things that i love about visiting the hair salon is the hair wash, head massage, blow dry and the perfectly coiffed hair that i can never attained on my own. It is a headache when there are events and weddings to attend and it just doesn't quite make sense to go to a regular salon because they aren't too fancy with the styling as well. 

Well, thankfully we have PREP, a fun hair salon at Mandarin Gallery, which specializes in hair grooming! I found an opportunity to try their services as i had to attend G's wedding and i simply had no time to curl my hair into shape because.. well i'm a busy girl! So i squeezed 45mins out and headed to Prep to get my hair ready for G's big night. This funky salon specializes in the good ol wash, blow dry and styling for us busy ladies. 

Took a sit and was promptly served a tea of my choice. Bright colored candies are also available. :)
At PREP, there is one price, $39 across 6 distinct styles which are clearly described in a pictorial menu, with no hidden costs. They are straight, natural waves, tousled waves, voluminous curls, tousled bob and sleek bob. I decided to go with 'The Great Gats-Beach' to tease out the curls in my soft curls.
It started with a nice wash and massage. You could also add on hair treatments if you wish. 
The end result.
The curls didn't turn out like the picture as you can tell. They were more the big curls of my already permed hair. As I did my hair 5 hours before dinner, the curls had to be tighter so that it'll loosen perfectly for dinner. I was mildly disturbed by the Indonesian rich lady look. :P
This was the hair a couple of hours later. I only scrunched the ends a little with styling milk so that it would loosen some more during the night.
Overall, i was rather satisfied with the service at PREP though my ends were a little frayed/burnt when they curled it with the curling tongs. :/ 

I would probably pay PREP another visit to try their other hairdos. Customization could be done i.e. braids, up-dos and stuff. Hair grooming for guys, as well as kiddos, are also available ($29).   

Mandarin Gallery #03-34, 
333A Orchard Road, Singapore 238897
Tel: +65 6732 6123
Mon-Sat: 10am - 8pm
Sun: 11.30am - 7.30pm
When we talk about Italian cuisine, the first that comes to mind would probably be pasta or pizza. But there is more to Italian food than just that. I think that as we travel more and become more refined in our palate, we are now ready to explore the lesser known regional flavors. Sopra Cucina & Bar is where you can be educated on the lesser known Sardinian cuisine, which is influenced by many cultures such as the Arabs, Spaniard, Romans and Phoenicians.

Hidden just off the main stretch of Orchard Road, Sopra Cucina & Bar is Singapore’s first Sardinian restaurant. The exterior reminded me of old school Hollywood and the decor an ode to the glamorous days of post-war Italy. The menu features dishes unique to the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, together with great thin-crust pizzas, wines and cocktails.

Inside, an eclectic treasure trove of antiques and vintage finds sourced from Italy allude to a bygone era. In the main dining area, intricate hand-painted tiles cover the floors and luxurious leather banquettes line the walls. If the environment sounds intimidating to you, i can assure you that it is most certainly not, especially if you hang out at the alfresco bar area.

There are many dishes to try here and the best way to sample the Sardinian classics would be to go for the Menu Sardo, a set meal which allows you to try many traditional dishes. The 4 course meal is priced at $98 with a minimum of 2 pax. The dishes that i'd be highlighting are also available in the a la carte menu should you feel not up to it for a full meal.

First Course
Bicscotto Di Pecorino ($22)- Seard roll of fresh Pecorino cheese in "Carasau" bread (a thin crust sheet), served with a touch of honey. Pecorino cheese is a staple in Sardinian cuisine and we saw a repeat of that in many dishes to follow.
Even though Sardinia is an island and many would expect seafood to be a staple but lamb plays a huge role in the food scene due to its mountainous region.The Zuppa Gallurese ($26) is a traditional Sardinian bread soup with lamb stock and Pecorino cheese. There is only 2 tablespoons of rich lamb stock and it was soaked up by the bread and cheese. It smelled pretty gamey but i thought the taste wasn't that bad. Then again i think my tolerance for gaminess is pretty high. W thought otherwise but the Zuppa was still acceptable for her.

Second Course
CW: Ravioli Dumpling, Seafood Semolina Pasta and Sardinian Gnocchi with pork (tasting portions)
A native Sardinian, Head Chef Simone Depalmas is the one behind the specialty pastas and dishes from the idyllic island. The pastas are all made fresh on site, like the Culurgiones Ogliastrini ($28), a variation on ravioli filled with potatoes, pecorino cheese and a surprising hint of uplifting mint, served with butter and sage. It was a little bland but i enjoyed the fluffiness of the potato dumpling.

Malloreddus alla Campidanese, Sardinian gnocchi covered in a beautiful pork and rosemary sauce. These gnocchi weren't that heavy on the stomach and had a chewy density. The tart sauce was appetizing but could be rather sour.

Fregola ($29), a couscous-like roast semolina pasta with seafood. These grains are bigger than cous cous with a starchy texture. There is a little spice in this one but generally it tasted rather light. I would liken it to a risotto.

Third Course
Other highlights include Agnello alla Sassarese ($35), a slow-cooked lamb and olive stew. The lamb was very tender and the gravy salty and flavored by the olives. W thought this to be gamey but again i was good. I wished that there were crusty bread to mop up the sauce though.
The Porcheddu Sardo ($48/pax) is a traditional Sardinian roasted suckling pig with roasted potato. (Additional $15 to set menu). I didn't enjoy this at all. There was too much fat that weren't rendered enough to melt in the mouth. The skin wasn't crispy enough and the meat was bland. Honestly i would rather have my Chinese sio bak over this anytime.
We have the Salted Crusted Sea Bass for our Pesce (MP) Fish of the day. The fish was so good on its own then we didn't even bother with the tomato basil sauce. 
We also tried the Sopra pizza (not on the set menu) ($26 for personal 9"). The pizzas are made by  co-founder and award-winning Pizza Master Chef Luigi Gianni. These traditional pizzas have a thinner, crispier crust than Neapolitan pizzas. The light fluffy dough with savory Parma Ham was addictive enough for me to come back with a bunch of friends to have this again. Oh yums.


For desserts, we had the Seadas ($15), a traditional Sardinian ancient fritters with cheese and honey. This had a fried epok epok texture. Interesting but not something that i'd order again.
We also tried their blood orange sorbet and pistachio ice cream ($6 each). The sorbet was very refreshing after our heavy meal blood orange but the pistachio ice cream was way too sweet despite its intense nutty flavor. But do try their Pistachio Crumble and the Tiramisu!
Equally impressive is Sopra’s extensive wine list put together by restaurant manager and former World Gourmet Summit “Sommelier of the Year”, Mauro Serrajotto. Mauro is a fantastic host and he kept us entertained and taught us many new things about food. 
The refreshing Amaro Smash ($16), Amaro Montenegro with smashed pineapples
And the Strega-Tini ($16), the Cursed martini with grape fruit.

I absolutely adored the vibe of the place and the incredible service! Sopra is certainly a place that i would hang out with my friends. Oh i already did and certainly will do again.
Thanks to Sopra Cucina & Bar for hosting me for the wonderful meal!

Sopra Cucina & Bar
#01-02, 10 Claymore Road
Tel: +65 6737 3253
Mon - Wed: 11.30 - 12am
Thu- Sun: 11.30 - 2am
Still hunting for mooncakes for the upcoming Mid Autumn Festival? Here is another one for your consideration. Grand Hyatt Singapore presents a selection of artisanal mooncakes, handmade by their team of gourmet pastry chefs.

It is true that happiness comes in a baby blue box and these dainty mini mooncakes come encased in one too! Be rest assured that the delicate delights would be safely transported, each enveloped by a conical plastic dome within.

This year, three new snowskin flavours are added to the collection; Green Tea with Sake Truffle, Yam with Coconut Truffle and the White Lotus with XO Truffle. Adding a touch of luxury to this celestial occasion is the Black Sesame Yuzu Truffle topped with a delicate sprinkling of gold dust. And it glitters! In addition, popular snowskin mooncakes including the Champagne Truffle, Lychee Martini Truffle and Durian flavour, will also be available.

I didn't managed to try all the flavors because they were quickly devoured by the family! Mama loved the Durian flavor one. Rich flavors no doubt but i thought the skin was dry. The consistency of the snowskin varies from mooncake to mooncake but generally they were drier than others that i've tasted.

If you like the density and flavor of the traditional mooncake paste, then Grand Hyatt's snowskin mooncakes would be your cup of tea. I could taste more of the lotus paste than the matcha in the Green Tea mooncake. Other flavors like Lychee Martini and Custard with Salted egg yolk were more new age snowskin in terms of texture and flavors. I enjoyed the Lychee Martini one (i'm such a alchy) but the Custard was really like the custard puffs in the traditional bakeries (certainly not my cup of tea).

For those who prefer the baked varieties, classic flavours such as Red Lotus Single Yolk with Roasted Melon Seed; White Lotus Double Yolk with Roasted Melon Seed; White Lotus with Roasted Melon Seed; and Sesame Lotus Single Yolk with Bamboo Ash are also available till 19 Sep. You could get them at the shop at mezza9 of Grand Hyatt Singapore.

8 miniature snowskin mooncakes (indiv flavors or mixed): $62
4 large traditional mooncakes: $60-$62

Grand Hyatt Singapore
10 Scotts Road
Tel: +65 6887 5492
Daily: 11am - 11pm
Quayside Isle on Sentosa Island is fast becoming the chill out spot for the young and fabulous. Sunset dining in the plush and luxurious setting, with a magnificent view of the marina littered with beautiful yachts; it is easy to think that you are on holiday. I recently checked out MUSEO, the sister restaurant of Arteastiq Boutique Tea House.

The vantage point over the marina allows you to people watch from your comfortable sofa seats. I found them rather perfect for hanging out with friends. 

We started with drinks first and Museo selection of cocktails is rather extensive with 30 specialty cocktails that have been created. I say go for their tea infused cocktails if you want something different.

I would certainly recommend the Mezzanine range for sharing. Choose from 12 tapas size bowls at about $12 each.

A good way to sample the various dishes is to customize your own Mezzanine set which allows you a choice of 4 dishes for only $39. Ignoring the pretentious names which are rather irrelevant to the food, the quality is actually not bad. In fact, i thought these were better than the main courses.

My favorite was the Deep fried prawns flavored with lavender. Juicy tempura prawn drizzled with sweet lavender mayo. The texture of the mayo was a bit like the tze char style but it had a light lavender perfume to it. Very delicious. The crispy but tender Smoked Roast Pork Belly also has our votes. The pepper crusted Tuna Tataki was rather refreshing with a tangy vinaigrette. The Soft Shell Chilli Crab packed a punch with the tomato based chili sauce with a hint of sambal in it.

The baked River Prawns and Linguine ($28) was saved by the well flavored aglio olio pasta that was citrusy and savory. The baked prawns didn't gel too well with the cheese and herbs and the meat was also on the dry side.

The Two-way Lamb ($35) that is the Chef's recommendation wasn't all that impressive as well. I found the lamb rack rather bland despite the cherry tomato chutney. The Shepherd pie fared a little better but nonetheless mediocre at best. 

We fast forwarded to tea to conclude our meal because of the disappointing mains. I've always loved the presentation of the tea at Arteastiq and i'm glad Museo kept to that. Don't you love the cups? Of course the teas were very soothing. I enjoyed my Ginger tea very much.

We ordered 3 desserts for sampling and each came with a choice of ice cream. The Green tea brûlée ($12) was obviously not given the TLC that it deserved. The golden caramel top was absent! Instead we had semi melted sugar granules sitting on top a curd that was too dense and gelatinous. 
The red wine stewed strawberries in the Strawberry Crumble ($12) was really sour on first taste but we quickly got used to that refreshing acidity. I liked the crispy and buttery crumble that was light and airy.
The dessert that takes the cake goes to the Vodka Chocolate Lava Cake ($12). Not that the vodka taste was particularly strong but we liked the light bitterness that was brought out in the molten centre.

Hits and misses at this one but if you just stick to the Mezzanine and end with tea and desserts, you should have a rather enjoyable date. Museo also does a weekend high-tea buffet from 1.30 to 5pm. Each diner gets to enjoy an elaborate range of intercontinental dishes, afternoon treats and desserts, complemented by Arteastiq’s signature range of tea sets for just $48 per person.

31 Ocean Way #01-22 Quayside Isle Singapore 098375
Tel: +65 6734 8066
Monday to Thursday: 2pm to 1am
Friday to Saturday: 1.30pm to 2am
Sunday: 1.30pm to 1am

Facial Virgin. That's me. Never have i in my 20+ years of existence gone for a facial treatment. Obviously my grooming in other areas didn't apply to skincare. Well, I'm really thankful to Yanni for taking such great care of my face, ensuring that my skin is repaired and nourished!
This time i decided to try the DRx Medispa Essential Facial (Plus) at Yanni's recommendation. This is DRx's fundamental treatment for good complexion and it has won CozyCot Holy Grail Award 2008 and All Time Favorite Facial of Elle Magazine's Beauty IT List 2009Essential Facial treatment consists of Ultrasonic Cleansing, Ultrasonic Nutrient Delivery (PG-Vit) and a therapeutic mask, while Essential facial (Plus) adds Microdermabrasion to the program. After trying it for myself, I gotta say that I'm a huge fan!

Anyway, since starting on DRx's products, there has been a visible change in the condition of my skin. Lorna was very happy with my skin color. She almost didn't recognize me when i went back for my first review. Hee. According to her, my skin was 2 shades lighter! There are also fewer bumps thanks to the Comedone Formula (CF) though there're still some little pimples. One thing for sure is the brighter skin. You should definitely use Max C if you want glowing skin.
Step 1: Microdermabrasion. A diamond tipped hand piece is used to remove the superficial layers of skin with a diamond tipped handpiece. This was quite enjoyable actually and all i felt was a light suction. Absolutely painless. My skin was smoother immediately after.
Here's my dead skin! Heh. When this treatment is repeated over time, your skin will have fewer lines, smaller facial pores and reduced superficial scars. I like!
Step 2: Ultrasonic Cleansing. Ultrasound is used to eliminate dead cells from the skin surface and loosen impurities, oils and comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) that are embedded in pores. The blackheads can then be easily extracted. This prepares the skin for effective penetration of therapeutic substances that follow. It sounded like a dentist drill! O the horror. I was expecting it to hurt but there was only a light buzzing sensation on my skin.
Look at the oil that was surfaced! EEEKS!

For the Ultrasonic Nutrient Delivery (PG-Vit), Vennice, my therapist assessed my skin condition and decided that PG Vitamin C would be best for me. This stimulates the production of collagen in the dermis for firmer smoother and younger skin. Vit C also helps with whitening and i swear my skin was glowing after the treatment.

After which, my face was ready for extraction. That is the scariest word in any facial i swear. My virgin facial face obviously had a lot of things to be extracted. It was painful, especially for first timers but it was worth it. I've never seen my nose so smooth and void of strawberry heads my entire life!Vennice had to work darn hard on my face. Who knew that my relatively clear face had so many blackheads to remove. She did show some sympathy when i confessed that she's my first and she promised it will be better next time.
Finally, a therapeutic mask to calm the skin from all that squeezing. DRx's Alginate mask is made from high quality marine-derived ingredients. I suppose it rejuvenates the skin as well. :)
I got a shock when i saw my face after the treatment. There were big bumps where the blackheads were very stubborn. This is me sans make up and filter. :( Chester tried to console me by telling me that he has seen way worst and promised that my face will be fine in 3 days. 
This is me 3 days later, with a little bit of concealer under the eye and drawn brows. Whee! With sun screen of course. This is my standard 'made up' face actually. The big red spots were almost gone and my skin was really glowing. Some lines from my Vit A which causes some drying, but yea. I'm extremely happy with the facial! 

The Essential Facial is $115 (45 mins) and $215 for the Plus version with Microdermabrasion (15 mins). 

The DRx Medispa
302 Orchard Road, #14-02
Tong Building (next to Paragon Shopping Centre)
Singapore 238862
Tel: +65 6223 1555
Mon to Sat: 10am to 8pm
Sun: 10am to 6pm
If all mooncakes were made like Yan Ting's, i would certainly be a mooncake fan. Of all the snowskin mooncakes that i've tasted this Mid Autumn season, Yan Ting is, without a doubt, DA BEST.

Let's start with the skin. The skin was supple and yielded nicely to the smooth paste that it encased. There was the little bit of chewiness that was similar to that of a Japanese mochi, something that i appreciate in a snowskin. What's best was that it didn't have that overpowering vanilla essence.
There are five new snowskin mooncake flavors that are created by Yan Ting this year. There's the decadent Pure Mao Shan Wang premium Durian, tangy Mixed Berries with Strawberry Paste, fragrant and light bittersweet Green Tea with Melon Seeds and the smooth and hearty Purple Sweet Potato.

What I love is the use of fresh and natural ingredients. I thought I was biting into real fruits when I had the berries mooncake. All the mooncakes were also of a subtle hint of sweetness which makes them really easy to devour. At least i could pretend that they are healthier? Hur hur.
If i can only have one mooncake ever, it would have to be the Royal Milk Tea Snowskin Mooncake with Red Bean Paste and White Chocolate Champagne Truffle. I could get high on the champagne truffle that is smooth creamy and intense. Double that high with the strong milk tea with a lingering aroma. This is too good I swear. 
For gifting, the Premium Gift Set (8 assorted snowskin $138, 4 traditional baked mooncakes $158) comes with a charming oriental tea pot with two teacups and a canister of a premium grade Dongding Oolong tea. The regular boxes are also very pretty (as shown in the first picture) and could double up as a really solid jewelry case (which my mama happily kept).

Yan Ting's mooncakes are available on sale till 19 Sep. Go get yourself some of that champagne truffle one. Cross my heart you won't regret it. 

Prices for a box of 8 snowskin
Single flavor (8pcs)- $66.80
Assorted- $67.80
Champagne truffle- $68.80
Pure ‘Mao Shan Wang’ Durian- $108.00

Yan Ting
St. Regis Singapore, Level 1U
29 Tanglin Road
Tel: +65 6506 6887
What the Mid Autumn Festival a.k.a. Mooncake Festival spells for food reviewers is the endless supply of mooncakes that threatens the waistline and jawline. While i enjoyed the innovative variety of snowskin creations from the various hotels, i found myself craving for something different, something savory. My cravings must have been heard by the good people at Thye Moh Chan, who sent over some salty teochew mooncakes to neutralize all that sweetness.
I wouldn't call them mooncakes actually because they are more like the 'piah' (chinese pastries) that i grew up eating. I love the salty tau sar piah (mung bean paste pastries) since young and hence i really enjoyed the savory mooncakes that Thye Moh Chan offered. 

TMC has been handcrafting these ethereal-light flaky pastry skin with a selection of fillings laboriously by hand since 1943. My mama was raving about them when we walked past the store at Chinatown Point previously. Needless to say, my little old lady left the store with a huge bag of traditional biscuits. You could imagine her happiness when the mooncakes arrived. I didn't even get a chance to get a proper picture before she dug in. 
Sweet or Salty tau sar (single yolk) Medium (4pc/box) - $24.80, Large (1pc/box) - $22.80
The sweet and savoury mung bean filling each enveloped a single salted egg yolk. The sweet rendition is topped with white sesame, while the savoury encompasses a blend of salty mung bean paste with fried shallots, white sesame and is seasoned with white pepper. They crumbled very easily and i found that it is easier to scoop each slice up with a spoon so that you can taste all the filling.

My favorite flavor was the Yuan Yang! Medium (4pc/box) - $24.80, Large (1pc/box) - $22.80
It is similar to the Salty tau sar but on top of that, there's spicy pork floss in them! ZOMG. I guess that's also some of the Breadtalk influence as they have been running under the Breadtalk brand for a while now. Not that i'm complaining. The pork floss adds on that tinge of sweetness which gives this mooncake a more complex flavor. Super yums!
Mummy's favorite is the Double Delight. Medium (4pc/box) - $24.80
Other than the red bean paste, there's the unique ‘crystal’ filling made with winter melon, melon seeds, dried orange peel, white sesame, spring onions, and glutinous rice flour. Sticky, chewy and sweet. Guess that's how i got my sweet tooth. ;)

There's also the rare Durian flavored one during this MAF period. Limited quantities of this smooth D24 durian-infused bean paste and crispy pastry could be purchased only at Thye Moh Chan outlets for $35.20 for 4 medium sized mooncakes.
For something to symbolize the big round moon during MAF, you could go for the Traditional Teochew Mooncake ($18/pc) which is a delightful combination of maltose, white sesame, dried kumquat and five-spice powder.

All the mooncakes are produced in limited quantities so you are encouraged to place your orders in advance for collection till 15 September. Mooncake vouchers are also available for gifting purposes and you can also mix and match the flavors too.

Thye Moh Chan
Parkway Parade Basement 1, 80 Marine Parade Road Food Republic
Tel: +65 6344 8885
Chinatown Point, 133 New Bridge Road, #01-45
Tel: +65 6604 8858
Daily: 10am – 10pm