Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Traveling takes a toll on my hair- sun exposure, harsher water, hotel shampoo (because it's to troublesome to bring my own). After all the traveling in the first quarter of the year, i headed to Silkcut Salon to give my hair some TLC. This time, Wendy recommended their latest Japanese Milbon Deesse 4 Step Treatment to moisturize my dry and unruly hair post Niseko snowboarding. 

To the uninitiated, Kaiseki is often confused with Omakase. The former is Japan's top fine dining cuisine which consists a prescribed set of courses dependent on the freshest seasonal produce; the latter is a style of dining that can be found at several types of Japanese restaurants and dishes served are up to the chef. In order to learn about Kaiseki, the best way is to eat it of course, and we recommend you do it at Kaiseiki Yoshiyuki, one of the very few restaurants in Singapore that specialize in this cuisine. 
If you're looking for punchy and wow, Kaiseki cuisine is not. Well, it takes more than your palate to understand and appreciate the beauty and intricacy that goes into planning and cooking the meal. It is an art form. There are no high tech kitchen aids in Chef Yoshiyuki's kitchen, the food is prepped by knives (no peelers even), true to his kaiseki training at the respected Kyoryori Hosoi in Saitama prefecture. 

For 2017, Chef Yoshiyuki will be serving seasonal menus tied to the Cultural Festivals of Japan. We sampled the Hina Matsuri (Girls' Day) menu, which is the first of the series of seasonal menus this year. 
We started our meal with a Shirozake, the first variety of sake and the most important element of Hina Matsuri. It was followed by the Hassun「八寸」course, an appetizer that brings together the mountain and the sea. Broad bean with fried gluten puffs, Temari sushi (river shrimp), stuffed squid, and fried white bait, were exquisitely presented on this plate.
Garden dining is made better at Botanico at The Garage, Botanic Garden's latest F&B establishment. There's none of the heat or humidity at the open bar of the restaurant (thanks to their strong AC in the open air area). It is easy to forget that you are in Singapore given the elegant 1920s Art Deco setting, lush greenery, and temperate climate.
We headed out of the cozy indoor dining area to the outdoor terrace for botanical-inspired cocktails like Garage Gin’Onic ($16), Blackberry Lychee Mojito ($14), and Thyme Lemonade ($16). My refreshing elderflower flavored gin was gone in no time. We highly recommend dining in the open space instead (because it's much prettier and more romantic haha) unless it rains.

Spanish-born Chef Antonio Oviedo, previously trained by Santi and the Roca brothers, delivers a seasonality-focused meal at Botanico. Here's a look at this season's best. 
Start with the refreshing Botanico Salad ($18) which features Cañarejal cheese, a traditional raw unpasteurised sheep's milk cheese from Northern Spain; heirloom tomatoes from France; and a mix of pickled beetroot and seasonable fruits. The milky creaminess is paired with the robust sweetness from the greens (or reds if you insist).
We will never say no to cheese and chorizo and the Idiazabal Croquettes ($14) has our full attention. The smoked emulsion of this unpasteurised sheep's milk cheese from the Basque country is extremely creamy and the ooze was pretty spectacular. Mind you, each croquette is about 3.5inches long and each portion comes with two of these so it's highly advisable that you split this with your friends. #sharingiscaring
Dug this review out of archives in an attempt to keep the blog alive but anyhow.. Stamping Ground Coffee is now at Upper East Coast (previously at Club Street) to offer Easties a cozy garden vibe to enjoy your coffee or tea in. 
Is there a better way to enjoy a cuppa and croissant with the light floral notes permeating in the air?
So first, coffee. Stamping Ground Coffee supplies their Cold Brew Coffee ($6) to Gemmills and some other cafes. Taste wise, it didn't leave much of an impression, which is strange since we hear that their beans are from Papa Palheta. The Flat White (S$5) is also on the milkier spectrum.
The food selection is bistro type, with everything prepped at the counter. The Bacon Jam ($13.50) with baked eggs (more like soft boiled) and mozzarella on brioche toast was sufficiently satisfying.

That ooze was soaked up by the fluffy brioche. I would have liked it better if the bacon jam wasn't all that sweet. Still, a delicious option.  
Skip the Tuna Croissant with apples, which is easily created at home. Well, Jr's choice and if that's what he wants to eat then so be it. But you shouldn't. #okthatsall

In all, Stamping Ground Coffee House isn't quite an exciting place for coffee or food but at least it smells good (they've an on-site florist) and it's a pretty place. For better coffee in this area, head over to Dutch Colony please. #notsponsored

Stamping Ground Coffee
87 Upper East Coast Road
Singapore 455223
Mon - Thu: 9am to 6pm
Fri - Sat: 9am to 9pm
Sun: 9am to 6pm
Looking for the hottest dining enclave in Singapore? It has to be the new Seletar Aerospace Park (SAP). We checked out The Summerhouse, a multi-concept F&B and lifestyle destination comprising The Summerhouse Dining Room and Balcony Bar located on the upper storey; and Wildseed, a café, patisserie and bar on the ground level. 
And yes, The Summerhouse is in a godforsaken spot on the island but treat it as an excursion to the English countryside as you roll along the the tree-lined roads and conservation black and whites. Our recommendation is to start the day at Wildseed cafe with a lazy brunch, then move on to after drinks at Balcony Bar, followed by supper at The Summerhouse Dining Room. In between, wander around the edible garden curated by Edible Garden City, or check out the gorgeous blooms at partner florist, Poppy Flora Studio. Or simply enjoy the peaceful nature.
The produce used at the Summerhouse is not only fresh (they connect with a farming collective of Singaporean and Malaysian growers and producers, as well as a Singapore kelong), they are also sustainably grown. Plus all the garnish used are harvested from the in-house edible garden. 
Pick from the colorful array of sandwiches, salads, eggs, cold cuts, cakes, and pastries. While indulging in the freshly made bakes, kick back with coffee from Nomad the Gallant, which roasts and blends their specialty coffee on site. 
The Flat White ($5) uses the Exodus Blend of Brazil, Fazenda Lagoa and India Bibi Plantation AB. Go for this if you like wood, spice, and chocolate. If you are not into caffeine, pick from a selection of fresh juices.
You know a restaurant/cafe has found its way to my heart when 1. I tell my friends to go there 2. I visit it again, within a reasonable time frame (too many restaurants to go to) 3. It stays on my goldfish mind for a bit. So yes Shukuu Izakaya checks all 3 boxes. Plus, it's within walking distance from my yoga studio so it's perfect for that protein fix after working out heh. 
This casual bar and bites eatery on Stanley Street serves Japanese small plates to go with a plethora of alcohol. Our choice of poison? Sake of course. Plus the boys at Shukuu Izakaya are certified sommeliers and can provide sake pairing options with the bites you pick. The sakes, and the produce served, are carefully sourced from Japan, delivering the most authentic Japanese dining experience right in the heart of CBD.  
Smaller snacks to prep our tummies for all the drinks to come. The Kawa Ebi-Age ($7), are crunchy and salty morsels that make a good snack. If you are into offal, the marinated chicken liver in soy sauce Reba Shoyuzuke ($6), wouldn't be a bad option. My gf who orders this quite often said it's pretty good. I enjoyed the tartness of the Gyu Ponzu ($7) but not the dry meat. 
For something meaty, i'd say go for the Pork Jowl Charshu ($18), a buttery slow-cooked Iberico Pork which is perfectly comforting. I'd say skip the dry and tough Yaki Gyu Tan ($14).
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!