Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

When i was in New York last year (one of the many times), a friend who studied there recommended Lady M Confections, a crepe cake place which he couldn't stop raving about. Sadly my food itinerary was too packed to even squeeze in desserts and I was constantly told I missed the best cake of my life. Well then it came over to Singapore!

Mille crepe employs the best of the French and Japanese dessert making. Lady M's Mille crepe cake is made up of more than 20 layers of thin eggy crepes, layered with the fresh, light and vanilla perfumed cream. You can only imagine how much work goes into each cake!
I love how there is this slightly chewy texture with the combination of the layers. The first time I visited, the seasonal Green Tea Mille Crepe ($8.50) wasn't available. The Matcha monster in me was disappointed but the signature Vanilla Mille Crepe ($7.50) more than made up for it.
I was overjoyed when the Green Tea Mille Crepe greeted me on my second visit. The intense matcha taste came from the fine green tea powder which was generously added to the cake. I thought it was less sweet than the Vanilla one (in a good way) and certainly my favorite of the 2.

While Lady M is best known for the Mille Crepe, they do several other cakes and tarts too. If you like cheesecake but found the New York version too rich, the Gateau Nuage ($7) has taken on a Japanese light touch to its texture and taste. The filling is a delicious milky whipped cheesecake, which was sadly accompanied with a thin and soggy graham crust. I wish there was more crunch and bite to this one.

Will be back to try more but you certainly have to make space for the Mille Crepe. Have a sweet weekend my dears!

Lady M Confections Singapore
#02-103 Marina Square Shopping Mall
6 Raffles Boulevard
Daily: 11am - 9pm
People working in the CBD area rejoice! Asia Square has launched the Asia Square Dining Enclave  which hosts restaurants and outlets that spans across several cultures and cuisines. The 50,000 square feet Food Garden will feed about 1200 hungry people at any one time in its relaxing green space.
With the expansion of the Food Garden since their opening in 2011, expect some new iconic new tenants that have been specially added to the mix. 
Soup Stock Tokyo from Japan and Guzman y Gomez from Australia, have opened their first-ever overseas outlets in the Asia Square Food Garden. My Hokkaido Crab Bisque from Soup Stock was a tangy tomato cream soup with minimal crab flavor. If there were more substantial ingredients in it, it could potentially be an alternative to my other favorite- Soup Spoon's Simon and Garfunkel.
You lucky people also get to dig into Ippudo Ramen Express Shiro Tonkotsu Ramen during lunch! Just thinking about the chewy Hakata noodles in the slightly sweet milky broth that is perfumed with garlic is enough to make me drool! 
If you're on an Atkins diet or Paleo or just protein loading, 180deg Rotisserie by Chef Eric Teo would leave you very satisfied. The special hormone-free Sakura chicken comes in three unique flavors- Old Bay, Venice and Yuzu.
I didn't think much of P.L.T. Sandwiches when my sandwich was first served. Well that's until I bit into that juicy Pork sandwich that is juicy and bursting with flavors. This is the perfect takeaway if you don't have time to lunch out.

Other than retail kiosks, there are also several new restaurants on Level 1 and 2.
63Celcius's 2kg Australian Tomahawk Wagyu was lovingly grilled in the Josper Grill to seal in the juices. This was certainly one of my favorite dishes of the night. 
Tao Seafood Asia Chili Crab Claw with Man-tou was a well balanced dish. The tangy chili sauce remained gluey and paired well with the crispy sweet mantou.
Be entertained during your Teppanyaki meal at Tatsu Sushi. Both the Beef in Foie Gras Sauce and the Crayfish in Yuzukoshō Mayo were well prepared. I'm certainly heading back for a full meal.
For desserts, head on to Artisan Boulangerie Co. which has one of the best lemon tarts I've tasted. A crunchy butter cookie-ish tart base with lemon filling of a perfect combination of sweet and sour. I'd rank this slightly below Carpenter and Cook's (read my review here).

With so many dining options, I'm expecting full house at lunch time. Remember to sneak off early for lunch! ;)

Asia Square Food Garden
Level 2, between Asia Square Tower 1 and Tower 2
8 Marina View, Singapore 018960
Weekdays: 8am - 9pm
When it comes to dolling up, it's a head to toe kinda affair for me. What to do? I'm a sucker for coordination. Which means my outfit, accessories, bag and shoes gotta complement each other. Oh and my manicure and pedicure too! Attention to details ladies! As the saying goes, there aren't ugly women, just lazy ones.

I recently checked out Absolutely Nails, a sister brand of the popular Feet Haven Reflexology along East Coast Road Singapore in preparation for a friend's wedding dinner. Heh.
Absolutely Nails has recently relocated to be situated within the Feet Haven outlet, just a stone's throw away from 112 Katong Mall. Get a foot massage before your pedicure session! I mean, if you're gonna indulge, must as well go all the way right? I just love to be pampered and fussed over.
I was led to the back of the shop house to the cosy corner where Absolutely Nails was situated. The first thing I noticed was the use of aromatherapy to create a relaxing atmosphere for the ladies.
Jocelyn was the one who helped me with my nails. She's really meticulous and careful and my cuticles were removed painlessly. We settled into a comfortable silence while she worked on my nails. I don't know about you guys but I hate making irrelevant small talk.

I did the gelish manicure, which IMO is the best manicure invention. I cannot tell you how many times I've ruined my nails just moments after I've stepped out of a nail parlor, no matter how careful I am. 
Gelish is perfect for manicures since it dries immediately after sunning in the UV machine. It's pretty scratch resistant and the mani looks perfect for at least a good 2 weeks. It's great for the holidays because you won't have to squeeze with everyone else for nail appointments and will still have pretty nails come party time. :)

Jocelyn gave me a simple but elegant nail art design to match the nude chiffon dress that I was planning on wearing. If you have some design in mind, be sure to let her know. If not I'm sure she can come up with something that suits your needs.
I was surprised to know how affordable the nail services are at Absolutely Nails! Just to give you an idea of the prices, 5 sessions of Classic Manicure with Classic Pedicure only costs $195 and they throw in an additional session! The individual price is only $39!

The Gelish Manicure service with soak off is only $43 per session and $220 for the 5+1 package. Geesh. I've paid $100 for the same service (with package) at some chain nail parlor! Totally got ripped off. MEH!

Absolutely Nails
136 East Coast Road
Tel: +65 6345 3303, sms at +65 86062930
Weekdays: 10am - 8.30pm
Weekends and PH: 10am - 7pm 

Li Bai is well known for its wide range of Cantonese cuisine. I meant the restaurant located at the basement level of Sheraton Towers Singapore, not the famous Chinese poet. The cosy restaurant is popularly known for their dim sum but the other Cantonese dishes were stellar as well, which i found out after sampling some dishes from their Chinese New Year menu. 
Little appetizers were served and we couldn't stop snacking on the candied chestnuts with sesame seeds. The seasoned dried scallops with chili and dried shrimps had me ask for seconds (sans chili oil). I think there's some XO sauce added to it and it's certainly a good seasoning/accompaniment to the mains.

As with any CNY dinner, Yusheng is a must.
Instead of the regular salmon, we had the Turbot fish, whose name in Chinese means 'many treasures'. There are fried taro and pumpkin slices in the mix, which gave the dish some added crunch.
Next, the Braised Superior Bird's Nest with Crabmeat and Crab Roe. I was delighted to see that Li Bai uses birds' nest as a replacement for shark's fin. Well at least bird's nest can be sustainably farmed so it's the lesser of two evils. I liked the clean and light taste of the birds nest (Li Bai was extremely generous with the bird's nest), which was served with a copious amount of crab roe. Ask for the XO sauce, we heard from the PR girls that it's great with the soup. 

Next, the Lobster done two ways: Salted Egg Lobster and Sautéed fillet of lobster with greens. Surprisingly, I preferred the sautéed fillet even though anything served with salted egg is faultless. The sweetness of the crustacean could be tasted better with the ginger garlic sauce. The texture was superb as well, with the meat being springy instead of chewy.
Stewed "Eight Treasures" Chicken with South African 5-head Abalone and Sea Cucumber is the perfect dish to be eaten with a bucket of fragrant steamed rice. Much effort has gone into the preparation of the chicken, which was first stuffed with chestnut, mushrooms, barley, lotus seed etc, then fried and browned, before stewing it for 2 hours to achieve that fall-off-the-bone quality. Abalone was briny sweet and tender too. 
Our wonderful chef for the night, Chef Cheung.

We ended dinner with traditional Chinese desserts with a twist. This Pan-fried Nian Gao had coconut in it and was more like the Malay kueh. The Water Chestnut Cake hearts were a refreshing end to the dinner as well. Li Bai will be serving 9 reunion set menus that caters to various group sizes from 17 Jan to 24 Feb 2014. Do make a reservation in advance to prevent disappointment!

Li Bai is certainly a Chinese restaurant that I will keep coming back to. Great service, environment and food. Mums will definitely love this one! 

Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant
Sheraton Towers Singapore
39 Scotts Road
Tel: +65 6839 5623
Mon-Sat: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 6.30 - 10.30pm
Sun: Dim Sum 10.30am - 2.30pm, 6.30 - 10.30pm

Eating clean has become a regular feature in my life (i've been eating homemade salads on weekdays for a couple of months now). Call it a part of being a yogi or the fear of becoming really fat. I mean, with all the food tastings and growing old, maintaining my current physical state is almost like a full time job.

Real Food has been around in Singapore for some time now but i've never tried the food there #Confessionsofacarnivore. I'm really not a vegetarian fan because i love my meat too much to give it all up. So after going green, i was interested in sampling the veg options available in Sg.

I tried the food at both the Killiney and Central outlet. Given the philosophy that there is no shortcut to good quality food, Real Food does not microwave or use pre-packed, processed or pre cut ingredients. Everything is prepared fresh on the spot. So be prepared for slow food (like they said). However we were all not prepared for how slow that is. It took them a good 20mins to serve us our juices at the Kiliney outlet. Central fared a little better wrt waiting time.

Baby glasses of juice cost $6-8 a pop. My my. And it wasn't like some special juice.
I had the Orange and Pumpkin Salad with Vinaigrette ($10.80) which was a disappointment. Because I've been making my own salads, I'm highly aware of the prices of ingredients and this is seriously a ripoff. Honestly, I make better salads and they fill me up way better than this one.
I decided to give RF a second chance at their Central outlet. The Beet (Millet) Burger ($12.80) wasn't too bad. The handmade patty is made from beetroot, carrots, onions, millet and zucchini. Taste wise, it was alright though lacking in substance (literally) Some increased density and fibre would be great though.
My favorite would be the Dry Dumpling Noodles ($8.80). It tasted like any simple homemade noodle dish except for the use of organic ingredients. The organic brown rice udon was more springy than the usual udon and the dumplings were succulent and juicy. Chili packs a punch too. By far the tastiest of the lot.

Sadly, eating clean is an expensive deal in Singapore (or in any developed country) and frankly, I think it's absurdly ridiculous. Everyone should be entitled to fresh and healthy produce at an affordable price. Well for now, I'll just continue making and eating my salads.

If you have any good vegan/healthy food options, do share with us!

Real Food 
110 Kallang Road

Also at:
The Central #B1-52-53
Square 2 #B1-105/106/129
West Coast Plaza #B1-06/07
It's the lunar new year season soon and that only means more feasting! I recently checked out the CNY offerings at one of the Park Hotel Group's properties, Grand Park City Hall. Award winning Park Palace has been lauded for it's authentic Cantonese gastronomy and this is about as traditional Chinese banquet style as it gets.
We had the super luxe Imperial Five Treasures Golden Shunde Yu Sheng which is priced at an auspicious $888. So what goes into a yu sheng aka Chinese salad that costs this much? Abalone, Lobster, Geoduck Clam, Salmon and Hamachi, topped with Caviar and Fish Roe. Top that up with 24k gold foil and there you have it.
In place of the traditional salad of radish, carrots, pickled ginger and pomelo, crispy fried vermicelli was used. Not the best substitute in my opinion unless you really love fried food. The crispy silver fish that was added had us fishing around for the treasured pieces. That said, I can see how this dish would appeal to middle aged Chinese businessmen.
Toss toss toss! The massive yusheng feeds close to 30 pax. Order of the Imperial Five Treasures Golden Shunde Yu Sheng must be made at least seven days in advance. If not, go for the regular Yu Sheng with Salmon ($55/75), or with Abalone ($75/85).
I gave the Shark's fin with Chicken wanton soup a miss because I don't support the shark's fin trade (I don't think you should too). Pen Cai, a flavorful meat, seafood and veg casserole braised in stock, is my favorite CNY dish. The Pen Cai with Nourishing Pig Trotters ($298nett for 6pax / $488nett for 10 pax) has three layers of 18 ingredients: Sliced Abalone, Sea Cucumber, Whole Conpoy, Prawn Balls, Roasted Duck, Roasted Pork Belly, Soya Chicken, Fatt Choy, Black Mushroom, Lotus Root, Broccoli, Radish, Beancurd Skin, Gingko Nut and Black Fungus. Hearty, comforting, delicious. The portion is very generous too. This dish is available for takeaway.
Lobster Gems in Dual Style – Live Lobster sautéed with Fresh Lily Bulbs, Asparagus & Wolfberries, surrounded with Deep-fried Cheese Lobster Balls. I preferred the sautéed lobster as one would be able to taste the freshness of the meat. That said, oozy cheesy fried seafood can never go wrong.
The Roasted Whole Suckling Pig ($255 nett) was stellar IMO. The style was served similar to Peking Duck. The combination of steamed skinny mantou, sweet sauce and crackly skin was just mind blowing. You could choose how you want the rest of the meat prepared. We had it roasted with the sweet sauce and it was juicy and delicious.
Dessert was a wickedly rich fried durian parcel with decadently creamy and sore throat inducing durian flesh. Make sure you drink plenty of water or herbal tea after this one!
Park Palace CNY Dinner set menu is available in their Grand Ballroom on 30 Jan and is priced at $558 for 6pax, $858 for 10pax. There are also 8 different set menus available, catering to varied group sizes. The CNY menu is available till 14 Feb 2014.  

Park Palace, Grand Park City Hall
10 Coleman Street Singapore 179809
Tel: +65 6432 5543
Common Man Coffee Roasters has been creating waves on the coffee scene. Well, with the partnership of indie coffee father Harry Grover of 40 Hands, Australia’s Five Senses Coffee and the lifestyle conglomerate Spa Spirit Group, it is no wonder why and how CMCR is drawing in the crowd.
Located at 22 Martin Road, Common Man Coffee Roasters join the many artisan coffee shops e.g. Kith Cafe, Toby's Estate, Smitten in the Robertson enclave to provide us, brunch hungry Singaporeans with a reason to wake early on weekends. Be prepared to wait for your table but be thankful that breakfast doesn't run out because they serve an All Day Breakfast menu. 
The decor and vibe is very Aussie. I like the cool bar seats which plays with varying heights. And those spotlights sure do make me feel like i'm on Broadway.

I can't help but notice the sign behind the bar that says "Free Coffee and Doughnuts for the Unemployed". Well i don't see any doughnuts on the menu and you definitely would be paying an arm or leg for the pricey food that is served at CMCR. Really there is nothing Common Man about the prices. I mean god.. what did eggs become so expensive in Singapore?

Ignoring the little dishes for breakfast, the heartier options like the Common Man Full Breakfast, Turkish CM Breakfast are all in the mid 20s range. I have no qualms with spending 30 bucks on brunch with coffee but even i am feeling the pinch here. Expect higher prices for the lunch menu. Desserts also go at a whooping $12.
Organic Eggs Benedict ($24) with two poached eggs on top of tender braised ox cheeks and lightly toasted artisanal sourdough toast. This has been raved about by many. Well, at least it is a fresh take on the typical (but always satisfying) Eggs Ben.

The meat was very tender, the eggs flawlessly poached and the hollandaise sauce was rich and creamy in terms of texture. Everything felt rich i.e. on the oily side but it was a bland dish. I was expecting the braised ox cheeks to be more umami but it was just meaty. The hollandaise also lacked the tangy citrus taste. The richness of the dish was a little discomforting towards the end of the meal so it was a good thing that the portion is small?
My Mocha ($6) was stellar. W judges V and i and anyone who orders mocha because he feels that it conceals the quality of the coffee with the cloying sweetness from the chocolate. However, this mocha was nicely perfumed with the intense chocolate aroma and i thought it enhanced the flavor of the smooth coffee.

Common Man Coffee Roasters isn't for the common man but it's ok to indulge in an expensive plate of eggs once in a while i guess.

Common Man Coffee Roasters
22 Martin Road Singapore 239058
Tel: +65 6836 4695
Daily: 8am - 7pm 
Kovan is becoming a hipper place for people living in the North East! I know we have Serangoon Gardens and all but that area is seriously too congested for my liking. Recently, the brothers and i checked out Lola's Cafe, a fairly new joint located at Simon Road, just a stone's throw away from our regular Punggol Nasi Lemak haunt (i don't like it btw). 

Lola's Cafe is a cheerful cafe with a limited seating capacity. I reckon it sits about 20 to 30 pax. And they are really popular. Go early, put your booking down on the iPad booking system and be prepared to wait.

I've heard good things about the brunch menu (available from 10am - 3pm on weekends) but i've yet to try it. Friends that i've sent in Lola's way enjoyed the Avocado Eggs Benedict very much. All my favorite ingredients in 1 dish, you bet i'd order that next time.
We met late for supper and picked from the bites section. The Truffle fries with grated Parmesan cheese ($12) was MEH. I'm a fan of soggy fries but this style is simply not compatible with truffle oil. The fries were bland and lacking in the truffle aroma.
My favorite is the Honey and Paprika Crispy Wings ($9). You have to order this! This is an order from the Tummy Ministry. I loved the light crispy batter which stayed crunchy throughout the meal. The meat was nicely marinated and went perfectly with the light touch of honey which coats it.
Their homemade desserts are apparently quite popular here but both desserts that we tried were less than satisfactory. The Dark Chocolate Sea Salt tart with Kahlua coffee cream ($5) sounded more delicious than it tasted. Filling to tart ration was off (too much tart) and the tart lacked in the butter department and was simply too crumbly (and i don't mean it in a good way). The tart tasted like one of those factory manufactured pastry shells. Meh. 
Sticky Honey Apple cake with French Vanilla ice cream ($7). According to the brothers, who aren't very picky with food,  Swensen's apple crumble tastes better and i concur. 
I had the Matcha green tea latte ($6) which was worse than Starbucks. It was terribly bland. Will never order this again.

I was hoping that i would be head over heels in love with Lola's Cafe but i wasn't. Hopefully their brunch will change my opinion about them. Till then.

Lola's Cafe
5 Simon Road Singapore 545893
Tel: + 65 6343 1808
Tue: 3pm - 11.30pm
Wed - Thu: 10am - 11.30pm
Fri - Sat: 10am - 12am
Sun: 10am - 11.30pm