Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

I like to dine with the world under my feet and if you do too, then scoot over to the newly refreshed Salt Grill & Sky Bar at ION Orchard which provides a magnificent landscape of the Orchard Road skyline with their full glass floor-to-ceiling windows that span two storeys high. Swanky it is, Salt grill & Sky Bar serves up some Modern Australian cuisine by celebrity chef-restaurateur Luke Mangan and is known for its one-of-a-kind experience that begins even before guests enter the restaurant. Special concierge reception, private lift, exclusive dining area... it's hard not to feel special here.
I recently checked out their new space and also sampled the spring menu created by Executive Chef Mathew Leighton, who is the youngest Executive Chef in the group. But first, a tipple at the brand new bar. 
Crafted cocktails are a must here. On the left, the Salt Cooler is practically a health drink made from antioxidents (lotsa berries) with lemonade and cranberry juice. Well i preferred something stronger so it was The Australian by Luke Mangan ($18), a lightly spiced ginger based cognac-gin concoction.
Next, some canapes.The Tempura oyster, wakame salad, wasabi dressing. This is also available at Salt Tapas Bar (read review here) but it tasted better than i remembered. The juicy Lamb loin, mushroom duxelles in puff pastry were too addictive to stop at one. 
Modern Australian cuisine is an intersection of influences from cuisines around the world and i could taste that rightaway in the Amuse Bouche, Coconut broth with Sydney spice. Flavor-wise, it tasted very much like Thai Green Curry without the spice.

We then proceeded with our wine and dine event and our dishes were paired with drinks from the Award Winning New World Wine List of the Year 2013 by the World Gourmet Summit. There is also the signature range of eponymous 'Luke Mangan' wines which are produced in one of Australia’s leading wine estates - TarraWarra Estate in Yarra Valley, which Chef Mangan was personally involved in the selection of the grapes and the blending of the wines.

Wine with 1st and 2nd course. NV Clover Hill Tasmanian Cuvee Pipers River TAS, $19 per glass, $99 per bottle.
Something light and refreshing to start, the Sashimi of Kingfish with a sweet puree of ginger and eschalot and crumbles of goats feta ($33). 
Spring vegetables were served next with the mild goats curd, ginger bread crumbs and dried black olives ($31). These are probably sous vide to seal in the freshness of spring.

Wine with 3rd and 4th course. 2011 Yabby Lake Chardonnay Mornington VIC, $140 per bottle. 
I love my eggs and the 'Glass' Sydney crab omelette ($33) totally won me over with the precious sheets of runny egg in the center, enoki mushroom and herb salad in miso mustard broth. A generous serving of sweet crab meat was wrapped in the golden parcel. This is certainly a light dish that is refreshing with a basil taste (again, this is almost Thai food). 
Signature starters include the Tea smoked quail ($31), an original creation in which the bird is smoked with a combination of earl grey tea and rice, and nicely paired with almond cream, prunes, truffled grains (i believe there is quinoa), grilled shallot, sorrel. There are so many dimensions and flavors to this dish and i was slowly savoring each component. I haven't had prunes in a dish for sometime and it went well with the smokey tender quail.

For mains, we had the Sirloin Rangers Valley, New South Wales, 300 days grain fed Wagyu ($74). Moroccan spice, sauté spinach, eggplant puree, red wine sauce  Wasabi, whole grain mustard. Fantastic aubergine spiced purée. Pick your cut from the meat board before having it grilled to your preference (only medium rare for me).

Paired with 2010 Luke Mangan Shiraz by TarraWarra Estate Yarra Valley VIC, $25 per glass, $125 per bottle.

Other mains include Lamb loin cutlet ($69) enveloped in foie gras mustard crust and served with spiced parsnip puree, almonds and dates; Whole baby snapper ($53) with bacon and Prawn a la meuniere
Dessert was pleasantly surprising with Luke’s liquorice parfait ($18). I don't quite like licorice but i was amazed at how interesting the flavor and texture worked together especially with lime. You gotta try it for yourself.

NV Buller Fine Old Muscat Rutherglen VIC, $18 per glass, $160 per bottle. This was like liquid honey.

Salt Grill & Sky Bar also does an affordable but impressive 2 - 3 course set lunch menu on weekdays (12 - 2pm) that is from from $45 onwards. Definitely perfect for corporate diners seeking to impress clients. Degustation Menus are also available daily for lunch and dinner (4/6 course from $98 onwards). Wine pairing is also available.
With the Celebrity Chef Luke Mangan. He's such a humorous and entertaining chef.
Poster boy Executive Chef Mathew Leighton.

I enjoyed every dish that we sampled for the media tasting. Everything worked and that is so hard to come by these days. I'm becoming such a jaded food writer! Certainly would be back to have brunch and tea!

Salt Grill & Sky Bar by Luke Mangan
55th and 56th floors, ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
Tel: +65 6592 5118
Daily: 11am - 11pm
Daily Afternoon Tea: 2 - 6pm
Brunch (weekends and PH): 11am - 2pm

Some people find it ironic that i preach yoga, active lifestyle and healthy eating but yet i tantalize them with delicious (and also decadent) food from all my tastings and eating adventures. Well i think it works out perfectly for me. I compensate for all that gluttony with lots of work out and eating clean on weekdays, so that i can indulge whenever i want to. Well the main thing is to always evaluate your diet and its effects (it's usually physical).

In my case, i've noticed that my hair has been falling out more than usual and i've been putting it off thinking that it's due to the constant tying of hair when i'm in yoga class and also that the heat from the hot studio is causing breakage etc. Well, i was glad to know that The DRx Medispa has a Hair Guru Peggy, who is the resident Trichologist to solve my hair woes! The Trichology center is located within The DRx Medispa (how convenient!).
I knew i was in good hands when i met Peggy. Just look at that head of luscious locks! We chatted about my lifestyle and Peggy was relieved to know that i'm not that extreme a yogi in terms of my diet. I'm already taking in a lot of folic acid, Vit C and Vit A so the main concern was that i may not be taking sufficient proteins to prevent hair loss. You are what you eat. So yea! More meat in my greens now.
Peggy then proceeded to scan my scalp to determine which are the problem areas.

OMG am i balding?! FAINTS. I have some hair loss along the parting of my hair because i haven't changed my parting for at least half a year? You're supposed to change it every 3 months by the way. There is also thinning around the frontal part of my scalp. :(

This is what healthy hair should look like. Thankfully my hair follicles at the back are still thriving! I was reassured that there is still hope for me. Haha.

Peggy prescribed me with the Purifying Hair Treatment with Laser Therapy ($188 for 90mins) to clear up the gunk on my scalp. She also included the microneedle therapy to stimulate and promote hair growth and also to prevent premature hair loss. More on the needles in a bit!

The Purifying Hair Treatment provides deep cleansing of the scalp. We started with the deep cleansing serum to exfoliate and loosen built-up scales and epidermis.
After which, warm steam/mist was directed to the scalp to enlarge the hair follicles for better absorption of the serum. 
Nutrients absorption in progress. 
The treatment draws impurities to the surface of the scalp and also helps to control excessive secretions for a clear and refreshed scalp!

Now, the scary but necessary part! Needles!! There are 192 0.5mm Titanium needles on this roller and the therapist would roll it all over your scalp for 15-20mins. Now the question is.. Will it hurt??
No it doesn't. Just look at my stoic face. Now wait for it...
OF COURSE IT HURTS! They are needles hello!! I was squirming in my chair and trying to get away from the needles. The lady next to me obviously found me very hilarious. She did not even move a bit when undergoing the treatment and was chilling out with her magazine. But really, no pain no gain. I really want my hair to grow like a rain forest with thick and dense foliage and strong healthy roots. So yes, i'm ready for the next treatment. And apparently the pain gets easier with repeated treatment (it better be). 
The treatment ended with a Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) which is a cool laser to relax the scalp. It also helps in improving the hair texture.
Another consultation after the treatment showed that my scalp is pink (which means that blood circulation has improved) and clean (less junk). Peggy also got me started on the Nanogen Thickening Treatment Shampoo (200ml, $30). I love the cool minty sensation on my scalp when i use this!
I also started on the 3 month Nanogen Serum VEGF Growth Factor Solution ($170 ) on the thinning areas. Hopefully we'll see effects when i go back for a review.

The therapist then used the Repit Brush Iron from Korea to curl my hair. It’s a heated brush and a tong combined in one and it gives you fast and instant curls that last!
Just a little C curl at the ends since my hair isn't that long now. It was rather perfect as i was headed for a short weekend getaway to Penang with my friends. I felt like a Korean pop star with my curls! Shall play around with the brush the next time. :) 

Another picture with lovely Dr Yanni. Hardworking doc has got to work so she couldn't join us on our foodilicious Penang trip. More on the trip soon. :)

A visit typically involves a consultation with the Trichologists and is arranged 30 mins before your scheduled treatment. Subsequent consultations will be on a needs basis.

Quote "Blogger Cheryl" for 40% off the Tricho Purifying Treatment (U.P. $188). Grow hair grow!

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

It was a tapas calling recently and i suggested a gathering at Morsels, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it eatery tucked away in a shop house along Mayo Street. In fact, you wouldn't even know it's there because no one would randomly walk past this spot in Little India. Morsels serves morsels of food (really small plates) that are largely influenced by Japanese ingredients but it also incorporates a variety of cultures in their dishes.
Ingredients are sourced from local farmers and sustainable sources if you are big on that sorta stuff. Here's what we sampled.

Must Orders
You should definitely start with the Hokkaido Scallop Ceviche ($17/25). This is what spring/summer taste like. Cubes of  tangy compressed seasonal plum, salty tobiko and sweet scallops were tossed with cilantro, onion and a refreshing yuzu. It's even more awesome with the homemade tortilla chips which is a cross between a super buttery curry puff pastry and wanton skin. Super love! We ordered a second portion immediately upon tasting this.
If you do not wish to have morsels, then the following 3 mains should satisfy your tummy. Ume-sake Braised Short Rib ($30/38) was delectably tender and flavorful. Certainly umami. We especially enjoyed the Okinawan Sweet Potato mash that had a light sweetness to it and wasn't too starchy. Served with crunchy baby Bok Choy, Ume and koji wasabi. Another 2 portion dish!

The Firecracker Pulled Pork Conchiglie Pasta ($16/24) was also voted as a top favorite with our group. There's something about the sourish and spicy habenero pesto sauce with the caramelized pulled pork. Neutralize the zing with the dollop of sour cream or just mix it all in. They could do with more meat though. Again, the boys demanded that we order another plate!

The Grilled Hungarian Mangalican Pork ($28) wasn't too bad either. Mangalican Pork is really growing in popularity hur! The meat had a very clean un-porkish taste in fact and the cauliflower purée was a great healthy alternative to any cream sauce. We thought the Asian ginger sauce was just a regular BBQ sauce though.

The other dishes..
Now to the ok and not too fantastic dishes. The steamed clams in fig broth ($22) was on the sweet end. I only caught a hint of the kimchi flavor. The highlight was more the broth than the clams and it went quite well with the crusty bread. But would i pay $22 for soup? Not really.
The Squid ink Risotto ($25) is supposed to be a a signature dish but we all found the dish too salty for our liking. The risotto was lacking the smoky squid ink flavor and the salted egg sauce failed to elevate the excitement of this dish. The grilled poached octopus was delicious however and had the right amount of charred ends.
The Pan seared fish with buttermilk miso broth ($24) was just MEH. The bland tasting fish had a slight muddy taste to it and the foamy miso broth failed to cover that up. Portion was really small too.
All decent successful adults! Our teachers would be proud! :P
So yea. Hits and misses at Morsels. The group consensus was that we may come back for the top dishes instead of giving a go at all the funky morsels. We were at 70% stomach capacity at the end of the meal (probably less for the boys) and it was about $35/pax. You'd probably feel more satisfied if you stick to the bigger meals.

35 Mayo Street, Singapore 208316
Tel: +65 6396 6302
Tuesday to Thursday: 6 pm to 10 pm
Friday & Saturday: 6 pm to 10.30 pm
Walk into a time capsule of 19th-century glamorous New York right here at ManhattanRegent Hotel Singapore. This 1 week old bar will transport you back to the Golden Age of cocktails and fine drinking with its craft bartending, artisanal spirits and luxurious environs. There was certainly nothing run-of-the-mill-hotel-bar about Manhattan.

The 90-seat bar is home to the world's first in-hotel rickhouse, where bourbon, whiskies and spirits, bitters and single-cask cocktails are aged in American oak barrels imported from Minnesota. The rickhouse is run by American bartender Ricky Paiva who has years of experience under his belt, having worked at famed bars such as San Francisco's Rickhouse which does some of the rarest, tastiest bourbons from around the world. 
Manhattan's Rickhouse uses the Solera ageing method and house blends are created by mixed fractions of the contents of the various aged spirits or cocktails. 
We had to give the Solera Aged Negroni ($25) a shot and it came served with hand-cut ice from a metre-long showcase ice block at the bar. The Gin, Vermouth, Campari cocktail was citrusy with a light sweetness and very strong.
Lightly buttered and peppered with paprika popcorns are served as snacks
I was enthralled by NYC-neighborhood-inspired cocktails which are accompanied with gourmet bites that are reflective of each neighborhood and the melting pot cultures they represent. I was naturally drawn to the Upper East Side and SOHO but Wall Street and Harlem was appealing as well. Cocktails are priced from $18 to $25 and the fixed beverage menu will change every quarter.
On the Upper East Side, we had The Millionaire ($24)- Plantation Jamaica 2000 Rum, Cedilia acai liqueur, Albicocca apricot brandy, fresh lime and house made grenadine. The ingredients and house-made syrups are not kept for more than two days to ensure freshness.
The Princess Cut ($23) is a delicate G'Vine Floraison Gin- June fleur de vigne liqueur, fresh lemon, rose water and champagne.

The Rebellion Burgers ($20) is absolutely UES in terms of its quality and taste. Juicy Angus Beef patty served with a pungent but delicious tomato onion jam, artisan Nicosia cheese and butter lettuce sandwiched in a buttered and toasted paprika bun. Is it worth 20 bucks for 2 little bites? Well the boys said yes. Non meat eaters could have the tempting Maine Lobster 'Roll' ($26) or Veggie Burger
On Wall Street, where life is bold and wild and never dull, i had the New York Sour ($23)- St. George Bourbon, ruby port, house made lavender maple syrup, fresh lemon plum bitters. I didn't quite taste the lavender maple syrup but it was a delicious drink nonetheless. Pair this with the Charging Bull ($24) a petit filet with bourbon apple puree. 
Wall Street served us the 'BIG' apple cheesecake ($10). I noted the irony when 4 baby Philadelphia cream cheese apple (mousse) appeared on crunchy vanilla sable. The rum-infused apple cheese mousse is encased in a thin gelatin coating. Interesting but we'd price it at $8. It's quite a stretch for $10.

I would probably give American Chef Nicholas Trosien's SOHO Village Steam Buns a la Momofuku (my fav) a shot the next time. Durocc pork belly with Hoisin sauce anyone?
Ingredients Room for drinks and food
If you're up for something special, take the Manhattan Guided Tour ($35) with its tableside trolley service to create a special cocktail blending rare spirits with artisanal vermouths and bitters.

I would certainly be frequenting Manhattan Bar, before it goes too mainstream like 28 Hong Kong Street. For a celebratory after work drink, Manhattan Bar serves complimentary Raine Laws gourmet sandwiches during their Violet Hour. Now please excuse me while i have my drink.

Level 2, Regent Hotel Singapore
1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249715
Tel: +65 6725 3377
Daily: 5pm - 1am
Violet Hour (Weekday): 5pm - 7pm