Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Tis the season to be jolly! Yes it's almost Christmas and we need something to look forward to! So if you are cracking your head planning for a indulgent Christmas meal, I'm going to present to you the options available at The St. Regis Singapore by doing a French v.s. Italian showdown of Brasserie Les Saveurs and LaBrezza!
Brasserie Les Saveurs Trio of Appetisers.

Well this trio was too pretty to be eaten and they were delicate in flavors as well. The Avruga Pearl with Poached Hokkaido Scallop was my favorite. I didn't think much of the Pan seared Wagyu Beef Tenderloin with Parmesan Espuma though some of my dining companions would disagree. Foam doesn't excite me much and this didn't add any flavor as well. The King Prawn Tempura would be defeated by those from any decent Japanese restaurant. Batter was on the thick side and it kinda lost its crispiness.
Roasted Duck Breast and Duck Leg Confit was one of the standout dishes of the night. The duck was flamed with Grand Marnier and served with Winter Truffle Potato Puree which was waaaaay rich and creamy. It also came with steamed Bok Choy and House-smoked foie gras which tasted like smoked herbed cheese.

Now from La Brezza.
Italian Antipasti Selection of San Daniele Ham with Melon and Preserved Capsicum. The ham had a sashimi kind of texture which was softer and chewier. I preferred the regular proscuitto which is drier. Also, preserved capsicum just isn't my thing. The Veal Liver Pate was so-so as it was lacking in the umami creaminess. The Smoked Salmon and Mascarpone stack was my favorite of the lot, the only missing piece was an NYC bagel.
Homemade Cannelloni with Boston Lobster, Bottarga and Porcini Mushrooms, served with King Crab sauce was another of my favorites. Lightly salty Bottarga, slightly dry lobster chunks in an otherwise creamy filling in a thin and crispy pasta shell. That crab sauce made up for that mishap though because of that umami seafood flavors.

Based on the appetizers and mains that i sampled, i thought Brasserie Les Saveurs did better mainly because of the duck. The ambience at Brasserie would certainly be perfect for Christmas dinner but don't write off LaBrezza because of that.

The dessert selection was from Brasserie and as usual, they were delicately crafted. The Frozen Iced Nougat and Crispy Wafer with 70% Amedei Savarin made me forget that i was trying to control my portions. Yes i left the plate really clean. If you like chocolate, you'd go ga ga over this one.
And here is my favorite Homemade Christmas Stollen with Dried Tropical Fruit. Don't ask, just order this.
If you're planning on throwing a Christmas party, make sure you take away the lovely Honey-glazed Gammon Ham with buttered vegetables, apple and cinnamon compote, mash potato and honey pineapple sauce.

The meat was intensely salted and cured and the flavors came through even though we sampled mere silvers of meat. That honey pineapple sauce was lightly tangy and refreshing and i love the sides of roasted vegetables. Other than savory items, you could also take away cookies, Log cakes and hampers for gifting!

For more information on the festive Christmas and New Year menus, do check out

The St. Regis Singapore

29 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247911
Brasserie Les Saveurs
Tel: +65 6506 6860
Tel: +65 6506 6884

It's the hairy crab season and I went crabby at Sheraton Towers' Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant! I love love love the food that award winning Chef Chung Yiu Ming dishes out and his treatment of these luscious crustaceans was stellar as usual.

From now till 30 November 2014, indulge in the creamy delicacy. Chef has created 4 new dishes this year and we sampled some of it, among the other lovingly prepared dishes.

I love the dimsum selection at Li Bai and this time we had the Steamed charcoal skin shrimp dumpling to start and and it was spilling with piping hot sweet prawn juices. The Baked chicken and abalone pie to start. The pastry skin was crispy, flaky and ethereally light.
What's more, there are lovely chunks of abalone which has been very well braised. 
The Braised King Prawn and Sweet Potato topped with Hairy Crab meat and Crab Roe ($36) is one of the new dishes. These were huge succulent prawns paired with a thick crab roe sauce but the flavors were surprisingly light and thus the sweetness of the seafood could be tasted. It's also the first time i see a sweet potato mash served as part of a Chinese dish here but it worked well here. 

You may also want to consider the Braised Bird’s Nest with Hairy Crab meat and Crab Roe as an alternative dish if you don't like prawns.
The Red Garoupa prepared 2 ways was great as well. The natural sweetness of the garoupa could be tasted in the sautéed version and it was paired with steamed egg whites with a tofu-like texture. The deep fried version was lightly spiced with salt and chili. 1 fish, 2 textures, 2 flavors. I give it 2 thumbs up!
On to the star of the feast, the Traditionally Steamed Hairy Crab ($60/pc). If you have not had hairy crab roe before, it tastes just like a reduction of 2 dozen eggs (probably duck eggs) and that texture is just too luscious. The steamed version is thought to be the best way to experience the natural sweetness and distinctive taste of this delicacy.
I could feel my arteries throbbing in fear as I suckled on that rich and golden roe. Time to pop some atorva! Slurps.
If you are concerned about the hassle of de-shelling your crab, Li Bai also provides a de-shelling service! You do not have to die of hunger trying to get the little morsels of meat in the little legs! Whee! Just focus on getting that roe into your tummy.

We Chinese are full of that yin and yang, hot and cold nonsense so there's ginger tea to balance that 'coolness' of the hairy crab. I love a good ginger tea and this one is sufficiently spicy but sweet, and it warms the belly really nicely.
Chef created a special dish of Fried Crispy Rice with diced scallops and asparagus for us. It was truly fried rice (the rice grains were deep fried) so it was like rice crispies with normal rice. This is best paired with Li Bai's spicy XO sauce with dried scallops and chili padi. I swear I would just eat that with plain rice.

From the special hairy crab menu, you could also go for the Stewed Crystal Hor Fun with Hairy Crabmeat and Crab Roe ($78 for small portion)
To conclude dinner, a sweetened Ginger tea with Hashima. This was a little less sweet and a little more spicy than the ginger tea i had earlier. Delicious nonetheless.

Make sure you get your hands on these yummy crabs before the season is over (ends 30 Nov 2014).

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
The Serangoon folks are probably gonna kill me with this post on their not too hidden brunch spot but there was something that i tried which was too yums not to share. Here's Rokeby, just a couple shops down from 2 other popular spots Cajun Kings and Wimbly Lu. Sharing is caring you know?
The last time i've been in this hood was almost 2 years back when i ate at Cajun Kings! My my.. time flies! I thought that it wasn't necessary to make a reservation on a Saturday afternoon (honestly what was i thinking) and it turned out to be really crowded! Thankfully we got a table (indoors no less) in a short bit. Thank you my lucky stars!

There aren't many options for brunch actually and they could be generally classified into 3 categories, Eggs Ben, Waffles and 'Everything Else' (eggs, sausages, toast etc.). An example that falls under the 'Everything Else' category would be the Full Monty Brekkie ($17.90) and it comes with 2 eggs served with 2 bratwurst sausages, bacon, hash brown, grilled tomato, baked beans, salad and toast. And then you have every permutation of those ingredients.
A must eat here is the Aussie 2-way Waffles. This is a savory and sweet waffle (actually more savory than sweet). I was under the impression that the ingredients listed were going to accompany the waffle. However, the cheese, caramelized onion and bacon are all mixed into the waffle batter and cooked together! On the side, there were the sauteed granny smith apples which was crunchy and tangy, and also a rather juicy herb sausage.

Now this is what i call a waffle stack. I was initially intimidated by the tower but it was delightfully light with crisp edges. The server suggested that i add an egg into the waffles a la plaster prata style, so some parts turned out more egg crisp than waffle. Think of it like a plaster prata. The batter is on the thin side though so the waffle purists may not take this too well (i thought the flavors were amazing though). Rokeby do serve the regular ones too but i'm not sure how thick they would be. The maple syrup could be thicker but i'll brush it off as the added apple puree made up for the lack in texture.

Nettie had the Eggs Blackstone, which is essentially an Egg Benedict with bacon in it. She wasn't too impressed with the dish. If it weren't for the extra bacon, she would certainly have given this dish a miss. The vinaigrette that dressed the salad took her attention from the hollandaise sauce, which lacked in flavor.
Rokeby uses the Australian Five Senses coffee, which isn't my favorite type as the beans tend to be more acidic. I used the yummy Biscotti to neutralize the acidity. Ps. I think you can help yourself to the biscotti which is placed next to the self-serve water station. 
Overall, nice spot to have brunch on the weekends without having to dress up much. Downside however is the bad ventilation in the cafe, which would leave you smelling like the kitchen. Remember to make a reservation because it gets packed.

15-9 Jalan Riang
Singapore 358987
Tue - Sun: 9am - 10pm
I've been recently informed of a hidden gem in my hood which I've been too blind/distracted to notice. Yummy salted egg yolk steamed buns right under my nose? No way! And located next to my dinner/supper haunt along Upper Serangoon Road, Heng Long Teochew porridge, you gotta be kidding me!! To correct all my wrongs, I trooped to Yi Dian Xin Hong Kong Dim Sum with my mama for a dimsum brunch. 
I've honestly never noticed Yi Dian Xin in the very same coffeeshop as Heng Long because it's overshadowed by the corner store. Well I only visit at night when they're closed so I guess that's how I've been missing this. Prices are very affordable with the most expensive item only costing $3.50. Rice Roll with Prawn ($3.50) uses pre-made rice rolls but the texture is QQ enough and the prawns flavorful. For the more traditional and freshly prepared Chee Cheong Fun, head to the Punggol Nasi Lemak coffeeshop down the road, there's another hidden gem that does this. 
I had to have their Signature Salted Egg Custard Pau ($3.30) as it was raved about. The bun was kinda dense but fluffy enough and the filling was well balanced with milky sweet and savory notes. I loved that it's really flowy! Eat it fast! While the custard doesn't really coagulate when cooled, the bun doesn't retain the same texture as when it was warm.

Another pau to order is the Steamed BBQ Pork Pau ($2 for 2) which looks like any other decent Cantonese dimsum restaurant types. Dark sauce, chunky meat, flowered buns. What's not to love?
The Steamed Carrot Cake ($2.20) was another of my favorite. It's amazingly melt in your mouth with small chunks of radish and chinese preserved sausage. I'm usually more the pan-fried carrot cake girl but this won me over with the texture and that special soy sauce. I could easily finish the whole thing on my own.
The Prawn Dumpling ($3.30) had a rather thick skin but the filling was adequate. Siew Mai with Mushrooms ($2.80) was packed with juicy pork meat that wasn't too fatty. I actually like this one. Steamed pork ribs with bean sauce ($2.50) comes in the regular small metal dish and was rather tender. I do like this dish but always found it overpriced at dimsum places. 

From the deep fried section, I'd go for the shrimp dumpling (sold out). My Mama liked the Deep Fried Red Bean Paste with Banana ($2.50) which featured a light filo skin with a slightly coarse paste. I thought it was on the sweet and oily side though. Well obviously not my generation's kind of dessert.
Here's the menu for your reference.
The ladies in my family headed down on a Public Holiday again but this time we were too late! At 1230pm, they were only left with 1/4 of their items! It was a bad day for us because many stores were closed and hence everyone decided to eat dimsum. Heard from the owner that their dimsum typically sells out on weekend afternoons so do go early! 
So glad I found this place! No need to travel down to chinatown for my favorite Tak Po when dimsum craving kicks in! 

Yi Dian Xin
1012 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534752 
Tel: +65 9168 5587
Daily: 7am - 6pm
(Closed Alt. Tues)

If you enjoy alresco dining in a idyllic garden setting, then GRUB is probably gonna be up your alley. This restaurant is right smacked in the middle of Bishan Park, far from civilization (it's a walk from the ulu busstop so i'd suggest driving or cabbing) and amidst the greens and rocks and wildlife (mosquitoes). What's good is that the Cookyn Inc. folks are very picky on using natural ingredients and eating responsibly so you can eat without guilt. Also, your wallet will not be emptied as most dishes are priced below $15. 

Well i was under the impression that GRUB was still adopting a no-reservation policy but when i visited, groups without reservations were frowned upon. So make sure you call them up just to make sure anyway. S and i decided to give their brunch a shot and the options included the regular eggs and sausage combi along with a number of burgers.
I heard much about the Crispy Fish Burger ($12) and GRUB uses either Monkfish or Haddock, both of which are sustainable white fish. My first thought was that this is a fish and chip dish masquerading as a fish burger! Actually it would have done better without the empty bun that was way too light tasting (i couldn't taste the bread at all). 

The fries and that homemade remoulade (they make their own mayonnaise) was simply amazing. Top it up with mentaiko sauce for an additional $2 and this would be the perfect fish and chips. 
I liked that the fish meat is dense and fresh and the portion extremely generous. 

I wanted to order the Slow cooked Pork Belly ($17) that is sous vide and seared and served with sauteed leeks and sweet potato mash but was disappointed to know that it is only available for dinner! BAH.

The Belgium Waffles with maple syrup and butter ($6.50) was a terrible mistake we made as a result. The batter was undercooked in the middle and it was also tasteless. The watery syrup (probably maple flavored and not real maple syrup) did little to enhance the flavor. I would rather have Prima Deli's cheap waffles which taste much better than this.

Churros ($8) was highly recommended but the portion seemed too huge for us to tackle and i didnt think it'd be nice if we took it away. Well, you guys try it and let me know.
Here's the weekend brunch menu. Liberty coffee is served at GRUB and priced at about $4-5. 
I wouldn't mind eating at Grub if there isn't a queue but the inaccessibility may be a deterrance.  

510 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 Singapore 569983
Tue-Fri: 11am - 3pm, 5.30 - 10.30pm
Weekends & PH: 9am - 4pm, 5.30 - 10.30pm
Closed Mon and last Tue of the month
Keyaki at Pan Pacific Singapore has recently introduced a new okonomi concept kaiseki weekend brunch. This 'as you like it' concept to kaiseki dining allows diners to customize their 8 course meal from the traditional Japanese formal dining format. With 5 options available for each course, the only problem I foresee is the indecisiveness on your choice of dishes and that to me, is always a happy problem.
The meal starts with Kobachi (a light amuse bouche) and Sashimi to waken your palette.
Our Kobachi options were delightful. I can never say no to a freshly made tamago and the layered Unagi omelette had the right firmness and sweetness. The Seared beef with ponzu sauce comes recommended too.
Sashimi was fresh, buttery and sweet. Hotate was unavailable when we visited. The Amaebi sweet prawn was big and juicy. I usually do not order raw prawns but i would certainly do this again. 

Once the digestive enzymes are activated, hot dishes such as Yakimono (grilled dishes) and Teppanyaki were served.
The Cod Teriyaki was fatty (and that's expected and demanded of this fish) and we ate so fast we practically inhaled the fish. 
One could not go wrong with the fresh prawn with bacon which was smoky, salty and sweet all at once. Another option to go for would be the pan fried pork with ginger.

Other dishes included Chicken Soup and White Bait wrapped in Beancurd Skin.
The Nimono course is simmered in Keyaki's homemade dashi stock. The Agedashi tofu batter was thin and hence did not turn too stodgy unlike many failed ones that I've had. The soft chawanmushi custard was yuzu flavored this season and acted well as a mid menu palate cleanser.
The Agemono deep fried course presented the usual tempura dishes. We had tempura prawns, fish and a delicate soft shell crab. 
For Teppanyaki, I'd highly recommend the beef. I could certainly do more with that fried garlic slices. 
To conclude, the Shokuji main course. I was surprised at the sushi rice of my California roll. Sushi is an art imo and it takes dedication to produce good sushi so I typically don't expect much from Japanese restaurants which do not specialize in it. However, the rice at Keyaki was pearly, sticky and well flavored. I was tempted to order another roll even though I was way stuffed. 
The buckwheat soba noodles were amazing too and should not be missed. We loved the firm texture and intense flavors, and the elegant presentation of the noodles. 
Desserts failed to impress however with a rather icy ice cream (red bean/green tea). The sessional fruits were local seasonal fruits, which was sorely disappointing. Perhaps the traditional zanzai (red bean soup) would be better. Keyaki should add a warabi mochi to the mix imo. 
Overall, a good meal at Keyaki. Our tummies were satisfied and not exploding (which is a good thing). I loved the ambience as well and adored the zen rock garden just outside the restaurant. Great place to bring the folks for a relaxing lunch. It's $75/pax and $125/pax should you go for the boozy option of unlimited sake, champagne, selected red and white wines and beer.
7 Raffles Boulevard Singapore 039595
Level 4, Pan Pacific Singapore
Tel: +65 6826 8240
Weekend brunch (and PH): 11.30am - 2.30pm