Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Hello from the Travelerintransit. I promised a report on my weekend staycation at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport so here it is! Honestly the weekend flew by so quickly because S and i were both feeling so relaxed in the tropical resort environment of the hotel and before i knew it we had to check out. BAH. Anyway take a look at what Crowne Plaza has to offer! And really, it's the best transit hotel ever.
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport takes on a Contemporary Asia theme which focuses a lot on the tropics. There are plenty of open and green spaces which remove all that strain from traveling (and work in our case). I couldn't believe we were in an airport hotel when i stepped into our 75sqm King Suite. Boy the space was huge. Love the huge windows that allow natural light to flood the room in the day.
I love the soothing colors of the room and it's really similar to the new leather upholstery of my favorite carrier Singapore Airlines. The typical deluxe rooms are 36sqm and all rooms come with a 1.8m work desk and an iPod docking station. The rooms function equally as a space to rest and recuperate or as a working space for the travelling executive. The difference with the Suite is that there's an additional living area, everything else is the same. 

Our comfortable King Bed that sleeps like a cloud. What you're not seeing is the walk-in wardrobe that's in the same section of the room! :)

I cannot believe that all the rooms come equipped with a bathtub. That's sheer luxury for city hotels and it's big enough for 2! Wink wink.
There's also a separate standing rain shower. 
Love the refreshing citrusy scent of the bath products from The White Company. All your toiletries needs would be accommodated.
Here is my favorite part of our suite. Pool access from our bedroom! 
It walks straight out to the 30m landscaped outdoor swimming pool. 

From everywhere in the public areas, there is contact with lush gardens – including surprising views upwards to rainforest trees through a water covered skylight.

I left S to take a short nap while i explored the hotel. Here's the Crowne Plaza Club which is created exclusively for frequent business travelers with their personalized service and host of special privileges and amenities available daily from 6.30am to 11pm. 
Business travelers could work from the Crowne Plaza Club Lounge comfortably. There are Internet workstation and meeting rooms for booking, as well as photocopying and faxing facilities. Complimentary WIFI access is also available.
All day coffee, tea, juices, mineral water, soft drinks and a selection of cookies are available. Of course i helped myself to some cookies while waiting for S to hit the gym with me. 
Enjoying some me time with some fresh juice. Staying indoors to protect my skin from the harsh sun. :P
Vitamin C ftw! Into the tummy, and onto my skin. 
The secret to staying slim is hard work at the gym. Squeezed in a heart pumping run and some yoga stretches at the small but adequate fitness center. Love how the machines are all so new and fancy. Always work on even when traveling i say! 
Another Club perk is the daily evening drinks and canapes from 5.30 to 7.30pm. They have my favorite Wensleydale Cranberry Cheese!
Well for small tummies like mine, these are actually sufficient as a proper dinner. Mini sandwiches, puffs and dim sum, along with artisan toast and cheese and a good selection of desserts, you hardly need to eat after.  
If you require a proper meal, there are several places you could eat at in Crowne Plaza Changi Airport. I would recommend Imperial Treasures for their consistently good chinese cuisine. For international fare, you may want to consider Azur, which provides buffet as well a la carte meals. Read my previous review of Azur here.

We had the Black Angus Buffet which was their promotion then. Hits and misses. We preferred the fresh seafood section though.
Lovely king and snow crabs. S made me shell all the prawns and crabs for him! I'm certainly very marriageable by Singaporean men standards. Hur hur. The plump oysters were really good too, probably Canadian or Australian. 
Post dinner exploration of my favorite airport in the world and then back to the pool to chill out. Beware of mozzies though. They bite the sweet ones. ;)
Morning rise and shine! Had a great night's rest and woke to breakfast served at the Club Lounge. They serve breakfast daily from 6.30am to 10.30am. The spread in the lounge is probably not as great as that at Azur (where we could have eaten breakfast at) but it's quieter at the Lounge and certainly more relaxing with the pool view.
A perfectly portion controlled breakfast for Ms Skinnyfat. Adequate eggs, lovely mushroom ragout with zucchini, juicy sausages and my favorite cheese. 
Back to chilling out after breakfast. Planning the next travel while on vacation is my thing to do. Then it's the gym again and back to the bathtub. The Travelerintransit is always on the go really. I'm too Type A to stay still. Heh. 
We really enjoyed our stay at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport and i was so reluctant to leave (i wouldn't mind leaving on a plane though). CP is currently having a Great Value Package till end Apr 2014 and it includes breakfast for 2, complimentary internet and $40 nett non-cumulative F&B credit for use in Azur, Lobby Lounge and bar '75 (not valid for in-room dining). You need to book your package 14 days in advance though and you can book it here at Prices start from $290 and Club Access is an additional $100 per night.

Thank you Crowne Plaza Changi Airport for this wonderful staycation! Till the next one.


Crowne Plaza Changi Airport
75 Airport Boulevard
Singapore 819664
Tel: +65 6823 5300

Happy Easter Month of April 2014! Back at my favorite tea spot for Easter Tea and it's no other than Axis Bar & Lounge at Mandarin Oriental Singapore. I've always been impressed with Axis Bar's all rounded 3 tiered classic afternoon tea (read it here) and was delighted to know they introduced something new for Easter. More excuses to head back. :)

This time we were seated in a small private section that gave us a partial view of the Marina.
This seats 4 comfortably but could accommodate more if necessary. 

Here's a look at the menu. There's a selection of Mariage Frères and TWG teas. I had the White Night Jasmine which had a soothing jasmine perfume. Very light and fragrant tea. Coffee is also available but what's Tea without tea yea?

We started with the Cherry Blossoms Champagne Jelly which was rather bland and missing everything champagne. But once the food started coming, we forgot about that misstep.
From left to right. The Egg salad sandwich with watercress had a nice creamy texture. I loved the Lump crab meat and avocado sandwich which was 1/3 part sweet crab meat. Bresaola and gem lettuce mini wrap with cheddar and the cucumber and cream cheese sandwich were fillers but they didn't do that bad on their own either.
More savory stuff! From top to bottom: Poached lobster with coriander mango salsa. The Carbonara Eggs en Cocotte deserves a highlight. Loved the garlic carbonara sauce at the bottom of the egg. Mix everything together and slurp it down. Satisfaction guaranteed! The Duck rilette and foie gras mousse terrine was also delightful. 

The scones made my day and i devoured my share before Stupidgirl finished her first. Oh but that wonderful crunchy buttery goodness was just irresistible. There were 2 flavors, a Strawberry yogurt scone and a Citrus peel and Tahitian vanilla scone. I preferred the strawberry yogurt which was lightly sweetened and was good on its own. BUT i can't resist smearing it with the lovely clotted cream! And there's also the slightly tart lemon curd and the fresh raspberry jam.  

For puffs, we had the Easter ham and green pea pie and the Chicken and potato turnover. These are ok items though I preferred those on the regular menu.

The fancy macaron with pear liquor fillings has a popping surprise in it. You gotta try it to find out. I went gaga over the presentation of the edible Easter egg basket with gianduja chocolates.

The big one had an amazing caramel filling! 
Kids will go nuts over the Vanilla financier with rhubarb marmalade and the Easter Carrot Cupcake. Too cute to eat really. This is more for presentation than eating though..

Blueberry and black currants cremeux mini gateau and Sable almond berries fruit tart. The mini gateau had a light berry tartness that blended well with the bitter dark chocolate. I also enjoyed the buttery sable.

Can't think of a better way to celebrate Easter! The Easter Tea will run for the month of April 2014 and it costs $42 per person ($80 for two). Hope you enjoy this! 
Thank you Mandarin Oriental for the invitation!

Axis Bar & Lounge
5 Raffles Avenue, Mandarin Oriental
Singapore 039797
Tel: +65 6885 3098
Daily Afternoon Tea: 3pm–5pm
Additional seating on weekends: 12.30 - 2.30pm

A beautiful smile brightens up anyone's day, especially your own! Smiling causes your brain to think that you're happy so you should always smile to yourself at least 3 times a day! I used to hate smiling until i straightened my teeth with the traditional braces when i was in secondary school. The perfectionist in me made me redo my upper front teeth in university because they went out of alignment (yes you gotta wear your retainers for life and no i didn't wear them religiously). I could not bear having imperfect teeth and i was regretting not straightening the lower set at the same time (yes vanity). Well thanks to Invisalign, i can now have super perfect teeth without looking like a teenager again.  
My pre-treatment smile. Yes it's quite perfect but it's not totally perfect.
Here's me and my pre-treatment smile. I've been complimented on my smile many times and it looks quite perfect but i'm the only one who knows the imperfections because i see my teeth and feel them all the time.

Anyway since I've been through the traditional method of teeth straightening, I can tell you straight out the 3 primary benefits to choosing Invisalign over traditional braces.
1. Nearly invisible- nobody knows that you are straightening your teeth!
2. Comfortable- no metal brackets or wires to cause mouth irritation
3. Removable- you can remove the aligners during meals and they are easy to clear. It's also easier for you to brush and floss your teeth.

The Process
You'll have to go through several consultations with your dental provider to determine your treatment plan. It includes x-rays of your mouth and impression of your teeth (making moulds) These information would be sent to the Invisalign laboratory in Santa Clara, US for generation of a 3d digital model to determine your treatment plan. They will subsequently produce your customized aligners in the US, which would be sent to your dentist.

Mould of my teeth! Say EEEEEEE. My aligners were ready 4 weeks from the final impression of my teeth. My Invisalign treatment is done by Dr Cheng Eng Wah of I.Dental Surgeons at Tanjong Pagar. Dr Cheng has over 20 years of orthodontics experience and also a platinum provider of Invisalign. He was extremely detailed and objection in highlighting the differences between traditional braces and Invisalign. Having a good dentist certainly helps you make informed choices on your dental care.

Before starting on the aligners, Dr Cheng showed me how my teeth will look like at the end of the treatment. This is the before.

This is the after! Yes i know it looks about the same but it's really for correcting minor issues since i really don't have that many problems (told you i'm a perfectionist). It's mainly the angle of some teeth. The most significant that you can tell from the pictures would be my left cross bite (right of picture) and also the alignment of my front bite. 

I'm supposed to wear the aligners for 22 hours a day, except for eating and brushing. The aligners will have to be changed every 2 weeks till the end of the treatment. Seems like i only have 14 sets of aligners to get through so that's about 7 months for my teeth to move towards the final position prescribed by Dr Cheng. Mine is considered the 'light' treatment treatment already while the typical treatment takes about 1 to 2 years. It all depends on the severity and how strictly you follow the prescribed treatment. The cost of the Invisalign treatment would vary in that case but typically ranges from S$7-9k.
Here is me with my aligners! You can't even tell that they are there!

I'll be updating regularly on my Invisalign treatment so watch this space if you're thinking of straightening your teeth. Feel free to ask me anything about Invisalign and i'll try my best to answer your questions!

To find out more about Invisalign, you can check out their website here. In the meantime, SMILE!
Kickstarting the trip report on my autumn Japan Kyushu trip starting with the flight experience from Singapore to Fukuoka on the Singapore Airlines A330-300 Business Class. My SQ business class experience has been limited to the long haul flights so i was pretty interested in finding out what's the difference on this medium haul flight. 
The medium-haul Singapore Airlines Business Class to Fukuoka on A330-300 is configured in a 2-2-2 layout with 30 Business Class and 255 Economy Class seats. The configuration is certainly not as comfortable as the 1-2-1 on the A380 (read my review here) but the space is adequate.

An advanced seat control panel allows you to adjust your seating. The seat converts to an 8 degree incline lie-flat bed but i'm not a fan of this as i kept sliding down my seat due to my petite stature. Each seat also has a fixed back shell that offers enhanced privacy and there is also a personal screen between the seats.

The seats are upholstered in premium leather and ergonomically designed but the general cabin space has a lot of plastic and the finishing wasn't quite flawless. My first thought was that this was an old plane and the interior was refurbished some time ago.
I wasn't quite sure why there are strange pockets of stowage areas. They weren't very useful in terms of storing laptops or oddly shaped items. In terms of power, I was grateful for the in seat laptop supply to keep me juiced before we land.

Again, SQ doesn't provide personal amenity kits for J class. L'Occitane toiletries are provided in the bathroom. BLEARGH.

Since we took the red eye to Fukuoka, supper was offered on the sleeper service menu. We used the Book the Cook (BTC) service to pre-order our main course, which i immediately regretted when i saw the in-flight menu. The pecking order of SQ airline food is as such: First the fabulous Hananakorireki (a delectable Japanese meal created based on the seasons). Next the BTC and last the regular 3 course meal provided on the plane. Tip: Never bother with BTC when flying to/from Japan (especially from Japan). Trust me, nothing on the menu is as good as the Japanese meal prepared. I wouldn't even bother with the International and Asian cuisine in the regular meal. 
Started with some meh pastries, which were made better with butter that i personally salted. 
The Boston Lobster Thermidor is a hot favorite on the BTC menu. I would certainly recommend this. Succulent Lobster tail sautéed in butter, flambéed in brandy, sprinkled with cheese, and served with creamy mushroom sauce, garlic and spicy mustard, and buttered asparagus. Quite delightful.
S had been raving about the Seared Black Cod Fillet 'à la Niçoise' for some time now and so he booked that for me. Served with haricot vert, olives, kalamata olives, cherry tomato and anchovy butter. I wasn't quite impressed. It's the first time i had fishy cod (and i don't mean that in a good way). :( I would very much have preferred the Seared Nut-Crusted Veal Fillet by Chef Carlo Cracco, Seared Lamb Loin by Chef Matthew Moran or the Confit of Chicken with Mushroom Risotto on the BTC menu. I'm obviously the meat girl. 

So on the flight back from Fukuoka, we did not book the cook! Of course i had to have my Japanese meal. 

Our prelude to the flight was the satay with peanut sauce! It's quite nicely done actually. Meat was a little dry but the rich peanut sauce made up for it.

So here is the Autumn Hanakorireki. I was under the impression that i had to pick 1 set out of the 2 set list but they actually serve 2 bento sets per passenger. Woah. 
Ichino Jyu (First Course) comprised the following, from top right CW:
Prawn and chrysanthemum in beancurd paste; Gizzard shad with seaweed in sweetened vinegar; Prawn and trout roe rolled in radish; Red pimento in sweetened vinegar; Cold udon noodles; Scallop and vegetable omelette. Bentos rock my socks! 
Nino Jyu (Second Course) from Top right CW:
Grilled scallop with egg yolk, simmered abalone and yam, Sea bream sushi, fried chicken and asparagus in a rice roll; Simmered tender pork cubes with grated potatoes, winter melon, green beans and carrot; Simmered duck with black pepper, scallop and wakame with jelly, roasted chestnut, dried wheat gluten, simmered shellfish on pickled mustard leaf; Vinegared rice topped with conger eel and crab meat; Salmon with salted rice malt, turnip in sweet vinegar.

Other than the salmon being a little overdone, the rest of the dishes were all flavorful and delicious. I'm a huge fan of variety so the meal was quite faultless. You'll always be able to find something yummeh in a bento with so many items! 
We ended the meal with all my favorite autumn products in 1 dessert! Azuki mousse and sweet potato cream matcha cake! The sponge may be a little dry but the mousse and cream made up for it.
Then came the fruits! HUGE and FRESH produce of Fukuoka. The stewardess insisted that we take some to taste! Absolutely juicy and sweet pear and persimmon. We actually bought some before we left Fukuoka and when we regretted not buying more after we tried these on the plane.

So yea, hope you enjoyed part 1 of the trip report. I'll try to follow up soon with what we did in Kyushu! Onsen hopping, Volcano climbing and lots of Hakata Ramen! Watch this space! :)