Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

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! :)
Caffeine addicts, here is another cafe for you to check out. Assembly Coffee, a hole in the wall cafe (literally)  at Evans Lodge (sandwiched between Mr Prata and Wine Company), has a coffee menu more extensive than their food menu. Oh but you really shouldn't miss out on the best scrambled eggs and waffles here too. RAVE ALERT.
The cafe is a little on the small side and accommodates a maximum of 30 people and that would be an insane crowd already. We took a seat at the communal table and i have to stress that it's not for fat people. My fat thighs barely squeezed through the gap between the table and the high stools. The awkward height also made it almost impossible for us to eat without exposing ourselves indecently. I kid you not. 
Assembly Coffee uses beans from local roasters Liberty Coffee and Geisha Specialty. We had the Liberty Coffee Speakeasy blend on our visit which was delicious (i had the latte).
The drinks menu is 90% caffeinated so if you don't drink, you don't really have many options other than some juices and chocolate drinks. The Babychino ($3.90) was the cutest little chocolate drink that looked like a soufflé but i thought it was just mostly cream. I wouldn't consider it for a drink though.

Breakfast people can get their All Day Brunch here at Assembly Coffee though options are limited. There are a couple of egg options and sandwiches that covers most diners with their Beef, Pork (Pulled), Fish (Smoked Salmon) and Vegetarian (Tomato Basil Cheese) fillings. Other light bites include some pastries and quiches which looked quite amazing.

The Scrambled eggs with Smoked Salmon ($13.90) was AMAZEBALLS. It typically comes with croissant but they ran out so we had toast but it turned out rather perfect, mainly because of the fantastic scrambled eggs. The eggs had the perfect amount of butter (more wouldn't kill me for sure) and of the ideal moisture that did not turn the toast soggy. Flawless.

You CANNOT miss the Salted Caramel Buttermilk Waffles ($11.50) with vanilla bean ice cream. What it lacked in the texture department (could be crispier), it made up for in taste! Interesting hint of orange zest, slightly salty batter and perfected salty sweet caramel sauce that's generously drizzled on top. Paired with the creamy and intense vanilla bean ice cream, the result is a unicorn-ride-among-the-rainbows kinda ecstasy. One of the best waffles ever. Nope Strangers Reunion/Waffle Slayer don't cut it. Chocolate & Strawberries Waffle ($11.50) also available here.

Go early, go really really early or extremely late (and pray they have eggs and waffle mix). Assembly Coffee is certainly where you'd find me when i need a simple but delicious brunch.

Assembly Coffee
26 Evans Lodge, Singapore 259367
Tel: +65 6735 5647
Tue-Sun: 8am - 7pm
It’s the Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day again! For those of you who don't already know about this regular event, B&J will be providing all ye faithful moo-niacs a free scoop of ice cream on them on 8 April 2014. From 12pm to 8pm, free scoops will be dished out at four locations- VivoCity, Dempsey Hill, Great World City and Singapore Zoo (till 6pm only).

At the same time, join B&J in giving back to the community by donating what you can for the Children’s Charities Association of Singapore (CCA)!

CCA is an organisation which works to help the physically, mentally and socially-disadvantaged children of Singapore through fundraising efforts and programs, in order to educate, train and assist them to become independent adults who can contribute to society. The six member charities are: Singapore Children’s Society (SCS), Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf), Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore (CPAS), Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS), St Andrew’s Mission Hospital (SAMH) and Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN).

B&J will also be bringing Free Cone Day on Wheels for the very first time in Singapore to visit the member charities under CCA to make sure that no hand is left unconed! How lovely is that!

Well so go on down to Ben & Jerry's, enjoy a free cone on them and at the same time do your part for charity! These kids really need your help. Please do not be a cheapo and just have an ice cream cone for free please. Donations are certainly welcomed even if you're not gonna join the queue for the ice cream. :))
Haven't been updating on my skincare regime for some time so here's a post. I've been religiously using my Derma-Rx products and my skin has certainly become a lot fairer and brighter. However, there are still the periodic outbreaks which i combat with the Essential Facial Plus at the DRx Medispa.
I finally found time to go back for another facial. Well if you don't know, the Essential Facial is The DRx Medispa's fundamental treatment for good complexion and it helps to clear the junk out of your skin.This award winning treatment consists of Ultrasonic Cleansing, Ultrasonic Nutrient Delivery (PG-Vit) and a therapeutic mask. I always add on Microdermabrasion to rid my face of all the dead cells and i love how smooth my skin is after this procedure.

Microdermabrasion is not scary at all. Here's a look at the diamond tipped hand piece that is used to remove the superficial layers of skin. Just think of it as a mini vacuum cleaner.
To remove deeper impurities like comedones i.e. blackheads and whiteheads, the ultrasonic cleansing works wonders.
It is first used to remove the impurities and later on to infuse the nutrients into the skin. I went with the Vitamin C nutrient delivery to give my skin that extra glow.
Extraction was done but it didn't hurt as bad as the first time! That also means that my face is cleaner and clearer now! This is considering that i haven't done the facial in more than half a year! Good job me! Ok it's actually more the effects of the Derma-Rx products that i've been using religiously. :)
A therapeutic mask to soothe the skin after the extraction. Vennice, my beauty therapist was quick with the extracting and thus i left the spa with minimal red bumps.

This was me after the facial. My forehead was the most problematic so you can see the bumps and red spots. There has been a reduction of blackheads around my cheeks and chin though! 
The downtime to the facial was really short. The bumps subsided after a day and in 2 days, my face was glowing. Bare face here. Only concealer for my dark eye rings, non tinted sunscreen for the face and filled brows. 
Do check out DRx’s newly launched FaceBook pages for The DRx Medispa Singapore and The DRx Clinic and Medispa in KL for latest updates. I hear that there are gonna be some really exciting products and treatments coming up soon.

The DRx Medispa
302 Orchard Road, #14-02/#16-02
Tong Building (next to Paragon Shopping Centre)
Singapore 238862
Tel: +65 6223 1555
Mon to Sat: 10am to 8pm
Sun: 10am to 6pm