Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Love the Pek Kio Wah Kee Prawn Noodles but don't want to queue or sweat while digging in? Then you must head over to their restaurant at Esplanade! We feel that the $1 increase in prices here is worth it for the extra comfort and prevention of any hangriness. 
Go straight for their giant prawns noodles. The ones we had were the $20 bowls and featured 3 prawns that were as big as the size of my hand (my hands are small but they aren't tiny). We recommend having the specially made mee kia that is springy and picks up the sambal chili sauce so damn well. The sauces are made in-house daily and we enjoyed the fragrant sambal which isn't too spicy. For more kick, spoon some of the special spicy sauce with a tart lime base. 
Here are the big ass prawns that we had. The extra large ones are even bigger (sounds like mini lobsters). For the large or extra large prawn bowls, they are priced the Pek Kio stall. The meat has a decent texture  (not too tough) but they can be sweeter.
Broth wise, Wah Kee does a pure seafood broth with hints of garlic in it. This resulted in a sweeter flavor to the dish. I prefer something more savory but this would be a good option for those who don't take pork. 
Another dish to order is the Clams Soup ($22) which has a sweet shellfish flavor. Careful of that chili padi though, you really don't want to choke on this one. Other seafood dishes exclusive to this outlet include Boston lobster, fresh oysters from France and US, scallops, crabs, which can be prepared steamed or grilled.
I didn't see the hype when I first tasted Wah Kee Prawn Noodles years back but I guess that's because I had picked the wrong noodles. It's still a little too sweet for me but I wouldn't mind eating this when my favorite prawn mee stall is closed. 

Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodles
8 Raffles Avenue Singapore
#01-13C Esplanade Mall
Daily: 11am - 2.30pm
Sun - Thu: 5 - 10.30pm
Fri, Sat & PH: 5 - 11.30 
Singapore Chinese are different from China Chinese (please get that right) and our cuisine cannot be more distinct. That said, i think that Singaporean Chinese are most familiar with the Cantonese  and Teochew style of cooking. We hardly know much about provincial cuisine other than Beijing Roast Duck and Sichuan Ma La Hotpot. Well, Silk Road Restaurant at Amara Hotel Singapore endeavors to educate you a little through their fare from Sichuan, Shaanxi, Liaoning and Beijing.
Look at this pot of gold!!
Start your meal with something hot and comforting. Silk Road's Double-boiled Chicken Soup with ginseng and gastrodia root has extracted the essence of the chicken after having boiled it for over 6 hours with herbs used in sichuan cuisine. Umami yes, but a tad on the oily side though the flavors are quite nicely balanced and not too herby. 
If the regular yusheng tastes too light for you, the Eight Treasures Yu Sheng will knock you out with its intense flavor. The toppings may seem more Japanese but the flavor is punchy, pungent Sichuan with their potent blend of spicy garlic sauce.
HATTENDO’s signature cream buns have landed in Singapore! Originating from Hiroshima, these lovely buns of happiness are perfected to be produced in Singapore, and trust me, the chilled cream buns at HATTENDO Café will send you to tendo (heaven).
Five amazing flavours—Custard, Whipped Cream, Matcha, Azuki Beans, and Chocolate ($2.50/pc) —are available. I would nudge you to get a box of the five flavours ($12.50) if you have yet to try these heavenly buns. The soft buttery buns are so fluffy that you will find yourself trying not to leave an indent in the bun while taking the perfect picture for Instagram. Yes, it is that soft. The silky creams are not overtly sweet but delicate to the tastebuds. It sure feels like having a milky cloud of matcha/azuki/chocolate/custard/whipped cream in the mouth. 
My favourite cream buns are Whipped Cream and Matcha (I’m greedy). You will love the Whipped Cream cream bun if you adore Japanese Strawberry Shortcake—the Whipped Cream is so light yet rich and I do not regret having the entire bun. Fans of matcha will adore Matcha cream bun with its intense matcha flavours. ‘Coz how can you resist any matcha sweets originating from Japan?  
Psst. Don’t worry about the calories. Ranging between 225 kcal (for Custard) and 250.2 kcal (for Chocolate), these buns have surprisingly fewer calories than I imagined! I can definitely have a cream bun for breakfast with a lovely brew, which is an original blend created by Itsuki Coffee for HATTENDO Café. And perhaps for lunch and dinner too.

For the record, there are also protein options (salmon and chicken), soup, mason jar salads and croutons (made from the special recipe used for the cream buns) available if you need your savouries. 
I insist on having these cream buns of happiness.

Hattendo Café
7 Wallich Street Tanjong Pagar Centre #01-05 Singapore 078884
Weekdays: 10am-9pm 
Weekends: 11am-8pm 
Yan Ting is on top of the game this 2017 with their line up of impeccable dishes in Chinese New Year set menus. In fact, it's one of my top 3 dining recommendations to usher in the festivities (go figure the rest)! 
Yan Ting's Prosperity Yu Sheng with Norwegian Salmon also tops my yu sheng list. Restaurants really ought to stick with the traditional Chinese salad instead of creating strange sauces or throwing on a ton of gold flakes (it's not like it makes the dish tastier). 
Yan Ting's version is refreshing with juicy crunchy vegetables and it's also not too sweet. Plus, they have the best crackers hands down! We all know how important that is, if not the defining element of any yu sheng. 
The Chinese New Year Pun Choy was better than I remembered. The diversity of quality ingredients makes this a perfect meal in itself. We love that braising sauce that has been well absorbed by the ingredients. Bring us a pot of rice with this please! Special mention goes to the abalone and Chinese mushrooms which cut like butter. The only issue I had was with the duck that was a tad gamey.
If pun choy is too much for you, consider the Braised Boneless Short Ribs instead. I get how the radish could be infused with the superior sauce but i have no idea how they manage to get that flavor into the soft gelatinous cartilage. 
Normally I wouldn't approve of deep frying fresh dish but god.. Yan Ting's Deep-fried Sea Perch Fillet with Fermented Beancurd was glorious! That crispy airy crunch with fatty meat encased within, and the coat of wine-flavored sauce were irresistible. Don't be put off by the fermented bean curd, we didn't detect any funkiness in this one. A third pot of rice with the sauce please!
Love meeting your relatives for reunion dinner, but hate the stifling environment and conventional dishes on offer at traditional Chinese restaurants? Looking to usher in the Year of the Rooster with the sea breeze in your face? Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House, which prides itself as a new age Chinese Restaurant, offers 3 communal-style set menus this festive season priced at $68, $88, and $108 per pax. 
Each set menu starts off with the signature “Perfect” Tea-Smoked Norwegian Salmon Yu Sheng. An exhaustive list of 20 ingredients including fried silver bait and crispy salmon skin make up this 十全十美 (Shi Quan Shi Mei) Yu Sheng platter, which translate to mean “perfect 10”. Dressed in spring onion infused olive oil and house special wild honey yuzu dressing, the “Perfect” Yu Sheng is an unique anomaly from the usual overly-sweetened yu sheng that we are used to, and had us going at seconds (and even thirds). 
Instead of the usual double-boiled herbal soups, Blue Lotus has introduced the Truffle Wanton Lobster Bisque. The vividly colored soup is rich in crustacean flavor, and the thin, silky wanton skin envelops a substantial number of crunchy fresh prawns infused with heady black truffle. 
The Steamed King Oyster with Garlic and Shallots showcases gigantic (palm sized!) oysters steamed with soya sauce topped with garlic. The freshness of the shellfish and the rich flavors of the ocean are preserved with the gentle steaming, with the sweet and light soya sauce being a discrete supporting actor.
Blue Lotus is very proud of their signature chili pomelo crab, and rightly so. For CNY, they have on offer the Blue Lotus Chilli Pomelo Crab Claw. Chunks of crab meat are packed into a crab claw which is then drenched in their signature chili pomelo crab sauce. The prominent taste of fresh herbs and spices, and the right degree of fieriness without the overpowering sweetness from tomato sauce (a common ingredient in other chili crab sauces) would have you shoveling spoonfuls of the sauce into your mouth. Eating a whole crab is not usually a graceful or glam affair hence the crab claw makes for a great and fuss-free experience.
The Rooster is likely to cry “fowl!” that we are welcoming it by eating a member of its species- but the Salt Baked Herbal Spring Chicken with Chinese Wine & Herbs is too good to be missed. The chicken is well marinated and expertly prepared such that it absorbs all the flavors from the wine and herbs and also retains all its moisture. 
No Chinese dinner is complete without the carb dish, and the Josper Grilled Jumbo King Prawn with XO Mee Pok certainly does not disappoint. The huge king prawns (filled with lots of unctuous goodness in the heads!) are grilled to perfection and served with the very local Mee Pok with a twist. In fact, the dark, sweet yet savory XO Mee Pok (reminiscent of KL hokkien mee) is so good, it’s hard to tell which one was the star of this dish.
Rounding up a fantastic meal is the Double Boiled Ginger Tea with Black Sesame Rice Dumplings. The ginger tea is simple, yet comforting, while the chewy glutinous rice skin lovingly encases the black sesame filling to ensure an auspicious, sweet ending to the meal.

Dining at Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House feels a lot like eating at your favorite hipster Uncle’s home. We enjoyed the creative dishes in the comfortable al-fresco setting. Check out their Chinese New Year set menus that are available till 11 Feb 2017. 

Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House
31 Ocean Way #01-13 
Quayside Isle, Singapore 098375
My most hated Chinese New Year activity is house visiting (because family tradition is that we must visit everybardee -eye-roll-). All that productive time wasted in front of the tv with lousy shows from yesteryears going on loop and mindless snacking on junk because there's nothing to do. Solution- take everyone out to the Yàn at National Gallery and have some refined nosh before you explore the exhibitions (or lose your relatives in the museum), or drown those awkward conversations at Smoke and Mirrors.
Expect traditional Cantonese cuisine prepared by Master Chef Chan Kung Lai. The reunion menus range from $118 to $268/pax.
Skip the usual Salmon Lo Hei and toss up some crunchy bits in the Signature Yellowtail Fish Yu Sheng with Golden Flake in Shun De Style. I'm old school when it comes to yu sheng, and I prefer a refreshing and crunchy Chinese tossed salad, rather than a plate of fried vermicelli. But i found myself enjoying this savory yu sheng that is drizzled with Yàn’s homemade soya sauce and peanut oil. Trust me it was hard to stop at one serving. Think of it as an appetizer instead of a yu sheng though. Guests also have the option to add on cubes of crispy lobster fillet for an additional price. 
It's gonna be impossible getting a table at Li Bai Sheraton Towers Singapore for Chinese New Year. The stellar Cantonese restaurant is so popular, they are usually booked out for eve and 初一the year before. Well thankfully there are 15 (or 30 if you'd rather) days of CNY feasting, so you'd likely be able to get your hands on Executive Chef Chung Yiu Ming carefully curated reunion set menus that cater to group sizes from two persons to a party of ten. Here are some highlights from Li Bai's reunion feasts.
Yu Sheng is a must and there are various options of the toppings ranging from the typical salmon, ikan parang, to the luxurious abalone, lobster, or king crab. All these come with a melange of ingredients like pomelo, yam, sweet potato, white radish, carrot and pickled ginger. Prices start at $62 for the small yusheng, and $108 for the large ones. 
Our dinner started with bowl of Double Boiled Bird's Nest Soup with Fish Maw, Chicken and American Ginseng. This is what chicken essence should taste like, with a light touch of ginseng. Love the slivers of birds' nest in this one. 
The Sauteed Scallop stuffed with Prawn Paste and served with Dried Oyster and Broccoli was flavorful. The pieces of seafood were lightly powdered with flour before being stir-fried, and thus there's a thin mocha texture with some crisp on the patties, which was quite enjoyable. 
I've been told that the Deep Fried Stuffed Chicken with Prawn Paste is laborious dish to make. How else can you get that layer of juicy patty under thin crispy skin?
The touch of mango gave the dish a refreshing sweetness (thank god it's none of that artificial yellow goo).
Carbs are a must to end the meal but we were disappointed by the bland Ee Fu Noodles with Crabmeat and Crab Roe Soup. Sadly the orange broth tasted nothing as rich as how it looked. Oh well thankfully I'm not a carb person so no loss to me.
Dinner ended on a sweet note with the Double Boiled Snow Lotus Seed with Red Date and Green Tea Nian Gao. The double boiled dessert was faultless (as expected) and the Green Tea Nian Gao ($50 for 1 kg) was a surprise for us. Loved the intense green tea flavor in this one and how the dessert wasn't too sweet. Have it pan-fried with egg or steamed for a softer warabi mochi texture (it goes perfectly with kinako and some brown sugar syrup)! 
If you are gonna miss the dine-in offers at Li Bai, you can still place an order for their takeaways, such as the Lobster and Abalone Fortune Pot |龙虾球鲍鱼盆菜 ($398) which is laden with a medley of premium treasures that symbolises wealth and abundance (comes with a claypot). Or for something different, have the Stewed "Eight Treasures" Duck with 6-Head Abalone ($398). I would also highly recommend their Radish Cake with Conpoy and Preserved Meat ($50/1kg) as a perfect lunch supplement. 

If by any chance you still miss that, The Dining Room offers a buffet lunch (16 to 20 and 23 to 28 January 2017, from 12 to 2.30pm) and dinner (27 to 29 January 2017, from 7 to 10pm). Prices start from $62

Sheraton Towers Singapore
39 Scotts Road Singapore 228230
Mon-Sat: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 6.30 - 10.30pm
Sun: 10.30am - 2.30pm, 6.30 - 10.30pm
Ryan’s Grocery, a specialty gluten-free grocer and organic butchery, makes preparing for your Chinese New Year essential steamboat feast hassle-free (and healthier!), by offering a selection of Shabu-Shabu sets, imported organic meats and wild caught seafood. 
Ryan’s Grocery offers a selection of handmade, gluten free, organic meat ball platters ($11.80/12 pieces). Choose from hormone free chicken, juicy and flavorful beef balls made from Blackwood Valley Black Angus beef or my personal favorite- the moist Borrowdale pork balls with extra texture and crunch from the water chestnut. I could have had a dozen by myself!
Fans of pork will go crazy over the selection of free-range Borrowdale pork available in a variety of cuts, including the collar, loin and fatty belly. These lucky hogs are raised in a stress-free environment, being allowed to freely roam, play in the mud and apparently even fed strawberries! The meat is not further processed, resulting in natural flavors. We especially love the fatty pork belly, which melts in your mouth after a quick dip in the soup.
Bovine lovers will love the Black Angus beef from Blackwood Valley in the countryside of Western Australia. Exclusively grass-fed, and devoid of growth hormones and antibiotics, these lucky animals live longer than other farm bred cattle, allowing their natural flavors to develop and mature. The meat was tender, with just the right amount of fat, and was excellent with the Great Southern Truffle Mustard!
One of our favorite Spanish tapas restaurant has turned 5! Esquina is celebrating their 5th anniversary with some special chef collaborations lined up this year, and they have kick-started the celebrations with a special 5th Anniversary Tasting MenuThe 5-course menu showcases signature dishes from the restaurant’s a la carte menu for a complete journey through Esquina’s cuisine in one meal. Priced at $55, the menu will be available for lunch (Tue to Thu) and dinner (Mon to Thu), available till until 31 January 2017. 
We started with the Tsarskaya Oyster with jalapeño ponzu, salmon roe, and pickled ginger flower. The creamy pearly oyster contrasted with the sour and salty elements to provide a refreshing start to the meal.
The Spanish Nigiri is a must order at Esquina. The presentation, and the texture of the roasted bell peppers may fool you into thinking it's sashimi! We were blown away with the smokiness of the peppers and that creamy and lightly salted bacalao brandade.
I wished I had an entire basket of the golden Chorizo Croqueta with Piquillo Mayo instead of one precious bite. The breaded crust breaks away quickly to ooze a creamy milky blend peppered with salty chorizo chunks. The lightly spiced mayo helps to cut any monotony of the fried ball. 
Wouldn’t it be lovely if Chinese New Year gatherings are not always about stuffing the poor tummy with 8/9/10 course meals? We love the auspicious plates of CNY delicacies, but after a few sessions (‘coz Ms. Popular), the novelty simply wears off. Since it is basic courtesy not to decline invitations (and food, really), I’ll be generous and share a win-win solution: Have Dim Sum at Avenue Joffre!
Before your party gets to the special Chinese New Year Dim Sum menu, do request for the Lychee-wood Roasted BBQ dishes, which are specialities of Avenue Joffre. While I do enjoy the Roasted Cantonese Duck 挂炉烧鸭 (Reg $22/Half $39/Whole $75) for its tender and juicy London duck meat and glistening crispy skin, I am swept off my feet with the restaurant’s Honey-glazed Barbecued Pork 滋味蜜汁叉烧 (S $18/M $26/L $32). 
Look at the beautifully glazed char siew! Melt-in-the-mouth pork and en pointe on flavours, I just could not stop at a slice. 
Expect nothing less for “Snow Mountain” BBQ Pork Buns 雪山叉烧包 ($6)— loads of awesome char siew packed in sweet-crusted soft buns. Think HK Pineapple Bun (菠萝包). I feel doubly loved since I adore my bread carbs.