Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

A good love story always begins with fresh, rustic bread. That's how The Missing Pan was started by by artisan bakers and husband-and-wife team Bernard Toh and Grace Chia in November 2013. I couldn't help but fall in love with this all-day bakery/brasserie that serves up freshly baked organic breads in their little shophouse along Bukit Timah Road.  
The first level is the bakery that spills out to the small alfresco area along the sidewalk. But hidden on the upper floor is a cosy brasserie where diners get to enjoy more elaborate meals. 

We started with the Bircher Muesli ($10), my go to when I want something healthier. TMP's version is smoother but you could still get the great taste of Granny Smith, muesli, puffed brown rice, oats, maple syrup, nuts, cinnamon in a yogurt mix. I love how tangy the dish was and it's a great starter to share but it certainly will fill you up if you have it as a main.
The French Toast Salpicon ($19) is a delightful plate with the many colorful fruits. It may look like an ordinary sweet french toast but it hides a huge secret within it.

Cut through that fluffy brioche and out spills a savory combination of chicken, spinach and mushrooms. Weird it is not, in fact I thought the gravy could be more creamy and savory. It's really a go-bold-or-go-home dish. The strawberry-smoked maple syrup was delightful with the toast though.
The 62 Degree Eggs Benedict with Smoked salmon ($22) is another favorite with diners. TMP got all the ingredients right; perfect salmon, creamy avocado, seaweed crumbs on crunchy sourdough but the somewhat weak in-house hollandaise sauce didn't managed to lift the dish. The overall taste was a lil blah.

I would love to have the Beetroot and Quinoa Salad ($12) but they ran out of the ingredients sadly. 

The Guinness Pot Pie ($24) got most of the things right. Hearty beef stew with Guinness topped with a buttery flaky puffed pastry. This is the perfect cold weather dish!

If you remember Uppercrust, well TMP's owners were behind that. They kept some of their best sellers such as the Pulled Pork Burger ($19).

There is quite a selection of desserts from the bakery and great with the coffee.

For desserts, the Mela Con Formaggi ($14) is a sweet-savoury combination of granny smith, banana caramel sauce, chocolate soil, citrus mascarpone, homemade honeycomb and parmigiano reggiano chips. I couldn't stop eating this one.
The Chewy Brownie Coffee Cheesecake ($7.20) will satisfy your coffee addiction. I loves the creamy cheesecake on top and the chewy chocolate brownie base. Delicious!
My mean cup of coffee complemented the sweets well. TMP uses a special blend customised by a local coffee roaster. The coffee is smooth with slight chocolatey undertones. If coffee is not your thang, there are milkshakes, ciders and a good selection of craft beers from Belgium and the United Kingdom.

The Missing Pan also offers hearty dinners such as Pan-Fried Red Snapper ($24) and roasted chicken. Or if you're like me, you can always have toast for dinner!

The Missing Pan
619D Bukit Timah Road, #01/02-01 Singapore 269724
Tue - Fri: 9am - 2.30pm, 6pm – 9pm 
Weekends: 9am – 4pm, 6pm – 9pm
Man Fu Yuan is one of Singapore’s finest Chinese restaurants, serving classic Cantonese cuisine created especially for the restaurant by a Hong Kong Master Chef. From now till 31 May 2014, Man Fu Yuan is serving some glorious dishes from the good old days, made using good quality ingredients and special and laborious techniques. 

Now here are some favorites from the Nostalgic Menu
This is the dish that had @thehungrycow devour 2 bowls of rice with it and also people going back for seconds and thirds (me included). The flavourful Mixed Beef Stew with handmade beef balls 牛什牛丸煲 ($28 per portion). I love how the meat is tender and savory. The beef balls were succulent and had nice chunks of water chestnut in them. This is the perfect comfort food.
As a nod to Man Fu Yuan’s tea-infused menu and focus on premium tea selection, chef’s new creation Tea-smoked Pork Belly Char Siew 脆皮叉烧 ($24 per portion) takes centre stage, featuring pork belly marinated in a combination of Chinese rose wine and barbecue sauce. Combining Cantonese roasting methods with Szechuan technique of smoking the char siew, this results in a deeply flavourful and succulent meat with the smoky aroma of Royal Red Robe tea, finished off with a maltose glaze.
It's fatty and decadent but hey YOLO. 
The char siew goes perfectly with the crunchy duck-egg noodles 猪油渣捞全蛋面 ($6 per person) served with first-press soy sauce and topped with crisp-fried lard. Yes you heard me. There were a lot of fried lard in this meal and is certainly not for the health conscious. I avoided the lard but i have to admit that it does add depth to the flavor of the dish.
I loved the Hong Kong Style Steamed Pork Belly in Shrimp Paste 港式咸虾酱蒸花肉 ($28 per portion). This is another comfort dish and i can fully identify with the flavors though i've never had this dish before. A simple dish of “Hong Kong” style pork belly is elevated to delicious new heights as it is slathered in fermented shrimp paste from Tai-O in Hong Kong, home to high quality shrimp pastes and then steamed to perfection. Salty, stinky and oh damn delicious. Give me another 2 bowls of rice.
Nostalgic flavors are really all about familiar and heartwarming home cooked flavors. I loved the Steamed Chicken with Chinese Sausage and Mushroom 风流天子(腊肠香菇蒸鸡球) ($26 per portion) with the soy gravy that has absorbed all the sweetness of the lup cheong and smokiness of the mushrooms. The meat was also really tender. 

Other menu highlights include the following.
Pig Trotters with Vinegar 猪脚醋  ($28 per portion). The meat was well braised in plum vinegar and you can smell the sour perfume from far. The dish is on the oily side though. 
Steamed Fish Head in Black Bean Sauce 豉汁蒸鱼头 ($28 per piece), studded generously with morsels of lard. 

The Six Treasures Seafood 龙王夜宴 ($88 per portion) a ‘60s banquet classic. The seafood in the basket was mostly bland but I enjoyed the salted egg yolk prawns which had a fluffy and crispy egg skin.

As with any decent Cantonese meal, there needs to be a good double-boiled soup. We had the Winter Melon with Seafood Soup 原只东瓜炖海中宝  ($58 for 4 persons). It's light on the palate but still savory. The soup comprises prawns, scallops, crab meat, conpoy and duck steamed and served in a whole winter melon.
Ended dinner with some Hashima. It typically comes served in a coconut but Chef wasn't too pleased with the coconut that day.

If you find these flavors familiar and are craving for it now, Man Fu Yuan's A Taste of Nostalgia Menu will be available as part of a rotating a la carte menu available daily till 31 May 2014. Do call the restaurant to find out if they'll be serving your favorite dish before heading down! 
Man Fu Yuan
80 Middle Rd Singapore 188966
Level 2, InterContinental Singapore
Tel: +65 6338 7600
Daily: 11.45am - 3.30pm, 6.30 - 10.30pm 
Chope-ing tables is a uniquely Singaporean thing. Nowhere else can you find tables being reserved by packets of tissue paper, umbrellas or random personal items that aren't too expensive to be stolen or easily mistaken as garbage. Well well, you can now chope tables in a more glamorous and convenient way with Chope.
Chope is Singaporeʼs favourite online reservations provider for diners seeking a curated selection of the cityʼs best and hottest restaurants. There are currently over 250 restaurants that span nearly every cuisine and corner of Singapore and Chope keeps adding more and more awesome restaurants to the mix! They have quite a number of my favorites e.g. Disgruntled Chef, Esquina, Pollen, Fordham and Grand.. and also a long list of restaurants that i wanna visit! Hello Black Swan, dB Bistro, Kaixo and more!
Making a reservation cannot get easier with Chope. All you need is the app, which is downloadable from iTunes or the Google Play Store and you are ready to make a booking anytime and anywhere. I'm sure you have been in situations when you need a last minute reservation but can't get away to make the call. Or sometimes even when you do, nobody picks up the phone! Or if you are like me, i would have sudden cravings in the middle of the night and the Type A in me simply need to make a reservation immediately. Well all these problems are solved with Chope. :)

Simply select a restaurant, enter your details, click Book, and you will instantly receive email confirmation! If you need to make a change or cancel, simply use the links in the confirmation email.

With the crazy number of F&B outlets opening every month, it is helpful that Chope features the new restaurants they add to their plate on their main page. An easy A-Z list and a Search Nearby function also come in handy. I found their new Search function extremely useful because it provides me with all the reservations available at my preferred time and party size!

To narrow the search, go with Cuisine and Area and wala!

I don't even have to call the restaurant to negotiate my reservation anymore. Perfect for planning a gathering with friends. It's also great because Chope provides me with options that i may not have thought of before. 

You can find more information on the Chope website but the app is such a life saver for busy diners like me. Oh what's cool is that Chope has also expanded into Hong Kong! I'll definitely be using this app when i'm there! 

Hungry? Book a table using now!
The iconic Raffles Hotel has finally gotten itself a decent restaurant for brunch with The Halia coming under its roof. Afternoon tea at the Tiffin Room is one thing but ladies of leisure still need their morning coffee run and eggs of course! And what better place to do it than at the urban, casual-chic sister of the award winning restaurant. 
I much preferred the indoor space which has a bit more privacy as compared to the alfresco bar area. Plus the Singapore weather is not meant for dining outdoors, even with ceiling fans. Give me my ac please.

There is that partial garden feel within the restaurant and it felt quite cosy dining under the vines.
I started with the Cardamom, Ginger & Cinnamon Coffee ($10), which proved to be a mistake. Ginger and cinnamon are best added to tea and not coffee. This tasted like some herbal brew. Stick to the Halia infusion ($10) with sun dried ginger and wild mountain honey. Nice warming and soothing effect on the tummy.

Weekend brunch starts at 11am. The selection is extensive with both the Brunch Specials and the Main Menu available for the picking. I've been in quite a bread mood recently and the Assorted Bread & Pastries ($12) really appealed to the tummy. The croissant was delightful and i love that they serve clotted cream with the basket.

The Pancake with bacon, maple butter, fresh strawberries & puree ($12) was one of my favorite dish. I always get overwhelmed after eating a piece of pancake but Halia's rendition had me going on and on. I like the slightly buttery batter which was fluffy and the thin flaky bacon was an interesting complement to the dish. 
If you're more the traditional English Breakfast sort, you'd do well with the Grilled breakfast with any style eggs ($23). What's interesting was the sweetened bacon which was thick and juicy.

Look at that glorious poached egg. It said poached but i felt it was more half boiled. Nevertheless, i like this texture better than the papery poached sort.
The scrambled eggs had this interesting layered texture and i like that it was runny but not too creamy. I'm getting hooked on buttery eggs.  

I'm not so much of a fan of the White bean Iberico chorizo leek stew ($16) but if you like gumbo and the starchiness of such a stew for brunch, then this would be it. The stew was  rich and starchy with a tinge of sourness from the smoked chipotle sauce. 
The Heirloom Tomato ($20) was a so so dish. Definitely not what i would order. 
Freshly shucked Irish oysters ($5.50/pc) are also available for brunch. 
Moving on to the Main menu. Potato Fries with Truffle Aioli & Piquant Mayo ($8). You can never gop wrong with tuffle aioli!

The Celeriac "Lasagna" ($12) is an interesting signature with crunchy thin sheets of pasta. I thought i was munching on vegetables. This was accompanied with mushrooms, thyme, baby spinach, lemon and Madeira cream. 
Another signature is the Halia Chili Crab Spaghettini ($25). Piquant spicy finish that is typically Asian. The flavor of ginger was rather strong but it gave the dish a fresh note. I could also taste the sweetness of the crab meat. If only they would use a thicker pasta.

The Sous Vide Baharat Chicken Leg ($28) was very tender and flavorful. It also had that smoky taste which was well complemented with the sweet butternut squash puree. I was intrigued by the crispy thin skin which had the texture of a baked potato skin. Served with a ginger, coriander and pepper salsa. 

I like how Halia caters to vegetarian eaters with their innovative dishes. The Mushroom, Lentil & Walnut Bake ($24) was absolutely delicious and even this meat eater was sold. It was nutty, cheesy, savory and sweet with the fennel seed cream and sun dried tomato. I would order this again.

As you can tell, the Halia offers a wide variety for brunch and i found it quite perfect for group gatherings. Enjoy!

The Halia
#01-22/23, Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road
Tel: +65 9639 1148
Mon - Fri: 11.30am - 10pm
Sat, Sun & PH: 10am - 10pm
Since the closure of Santi, I have been lamenting the lack of awesome fine Spanish dining in Singapore. That was before Catalunya came into the picture 2 months back. Boasting a team trained at the famed El Bulli, Santi, Drolma and Sketch, Catalunya sounds like she has the perfect ingredients to succeed in this niche. However, they have chosen to go the classic Catalan comfort food direction, which is quite the opposite of El Bulli.
Catalunya sits at the Fullerton Pavilion, a 120 seat 4300 sqft floating structure beside One Fullerton. The futuristic glass dome would have been a perfect fit for molecular gastronomy cuisine but  Executive chef Alain Devahive Tolosa doesn't want it to have any bearings of El Bulli. Instead, he introduced traditional Catalan dishes from his grandmother's time with a modern up class twist. I just feel that there's a slight mismatch between the locale and the food. I would much prefer the classic Spanish tapas bars. I'm not complaining or nit picking, i'm just wondering out loud.
The view was nonetheless stunning. The floor to ceiling glass panels offer an unobstructed view of the majestic Marina Bay Sands. This is waterfront dining at its best in Singapore, albeit its artificiality. It's very peaceful sitting there watching the waves and the Audi yachts sloshing around in the bay. Catch the sunset over drinks and then enjoy a romantic dinner under the stars. S and i went in broad daylight just so we could get better pictures for you guys but we'll definitely be back for date night.  
We started off with cocktails and it is only right to have a Sangria (i'm traditional that way). The Catalunya Sangria (S$19), made from a Protocolo Red wine base with Martini Rosso, Bacardi Superior, orange, lemonade and sugar, hits all the sweet notes. The sweetness is quite deceiving for it masks the potency of the drink, but i like it. ;) There is a good selection of wines, beers and 20 other cocktails so you could drink like a Spaniard, any time of day.

Since tapas are the highlights, we went ahead with 4 of that and then a main dish for sharing. 
Many Singaporeans would shy away from the Pa Am Tomaquet (S$8) simply because it's pricey for the simple ingredients. What's special about toast with olive oil and tomatoes you say? Well, good food doesn't have to be complicated. I love the lightly salted crusty bread which has the texture of a cracker puff. The tomatoes are juicy sweet and lightly seasoned with some sea salt, garlic and olive oil. Refreshing way to start our meal. If this is too simple for you, try the Tomato Tartar Confit (S$18) which is more 'prepared'.
I love croquettes and this is what i'd order at any tapas place. The Jamon Iberico Croquette (4 for S$12) was a creamy bechamel filling of flour, milk, cheese and butter (all my fav ingredients) and also generous chunks of Jamon Iberico. Breaded and fried to a light crisp, it left me craving for more after the first bite. I was really tempted to get another serving of this. 
The Tortilla Omelette DeConstruccion (S$10) is the very same revolutionary chef Ferran Adria created at El Bulli back in 1999. This is the closest you will get to EB now that it has changed its culinary directions. Think of this as a blended Spanish omelette with layers of tastes. Do not drink it simply. Use your spoon instead, cut right to the bottom of the glass to reach the sweet caramelized onion puree and make sure you scoop some of the egg yolk sabayon and the light potato foam on top before sending it into your mouth. The dish isn't bad but it's too fancy for my liking. I very much prefer the traditional tapas style which is more substantial and hearty.
The Traditional Suckling Pig "Segovian style" (2-3pax, S$125) is a hot favorite with diners. It's so well roasted that a plate is used to butcher the piglet before serving, typical Spanish style. The tapas version is as shown above (S$18) and is served with a refreshing lemon puree. The meat is so moist and the fats so well rendered i could not separate the 2. The guilt went out of the bay windows after i took the first bite though. Absolutely fantastic. 

The 2 favorite mains are the Suquet with Scorpion Fish (S$50) and the Lobster Rice (S$55). The Suquet brought back wonderful memories of the Catalan Fish Stew that i had at Santi but i gave it a miss in favor of the Lobster rice.

Good for 2-3pax for sharing!

The short-grain rice with lobster was cooked in a rich fish stock that is like a lobster bisque. The flavor is rich and savory with chunks of squid, clams and juicy succulent lobster. Indeed, the lobster may be of a lower grade but it was still quite satisfying. Each pot comes with a little crawler for sharing. 

Thank god S stopped me from ordering another tapas dish, if not we wouldn't have been able to squeeze space for desserts. 
The Warm Creamy Almond Tart (S$12) was worth the 15-20min wait. Actually, this is more lava cake than tart. I love the light fragrant nuttiness of the almond and caramel filling. Too bad the moist cake gave way far too readily and spilled its golden sauce onto the plate before we dug in. I would prefer a simple vanilla ice cream rather than fruit sorbet to go with it though. We were thoroughly stuffed by the end of the meal.

So to go or not to go? I think the answer is pretty obvious. Ignore the mismatch in the food and the decor and just focus on the flavors and the view. You will not be disappointed. :)

82 Collyer Quay
The Fullerton Pavilion,
Tel: +65 6534 0188
Daily: 11-2am