Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Robertson Quay is undergoing some serious revival with new hotels and changes in the food scene along the river. A homegrown favorite SPRMRKT has expanded and set up shop at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI) Creative Workshop & Gallery. I've walked past several times but only noticed their bistro concept SPRMRKT Daily. Little did i know that their Kitchen & Bar, which serves refined European food, is tucked away upstairs through a side stairway.
The spot is absolutely gorgeous in the day with expansive views of the idyllic riverside. Lunch sets are offered, starting from $30, served with coffee or tea. They have also started their weekend brunches and we say grab a table now!
For lunch, start with a simple but wholesome Brussels & Roots with a honey clove dressing. The vegetables are simply steamed- golden baby beetroots and baby turnips along with the Australian Brussels sprouts. The garden of greens is flavored with pops of umami from the slow-baked tomatoes seasoned with thyme, garlic, sea salt and olive oil.
For lunch, go for a lighter Pan-Roasted Chilean Sea Bass. The fish is seared and basted with butter, then finished in the oven with a simple touch of salt, pepper, and lemon juice. A refreshing ratatouille adds a juicy crunch to the mix. We agreed with the chicken stock flavored polenta which was rich and velvety with some Parmesan sharpness.
Thinking of fresh Italian food? Head over to Basilico, Regent Singapore’s flagship Italian restaurant for a taste of the bountiful produce and ingredients that change each season.
The seasonally-driven Basilissimo menu changes quarterly to reflect the time of year. There's always something exciting and fresh going on here.
It's easy to go crazy with their semi buffet, which features a wide range of cheeses, cold cuts, and some seafood. I ended up with an entire plate of cheese as usual. Make sure you have their Grana Padana with truffle honey. To top off this extravagance, Chef added more freshly shaved black truffles on my portion. Man knows his way to my stomach! Go easy on the starters though. The daily dinner menu also includes a main course, and a dessert buffet at the end. 
On my way to Lombok-Bali to climb Mt. Rinjani currently and because of that, i'm reminded that i have some Ubud Bali posts that i've yet to clear so here is a mish-mash of things that you can put together for a chill weekend on the island.

Well there are plenty of villas and hotels to pick from and it was by chance that we found The Purist Villas and Spa. It's an intimate villas hotel nestled in the green hills of Ubud that is home to seven tastefully designed spaces.
There are 7 villas on site, which means plenty of privacy and space. Some villas have private pools with gazebos, while others have sun decks and loungers. We love the modern Balinese vibe that the villas exude.
Four-poster bed and decadent bathrooms are included. We star-gazed from our outdoor tub with vino in hand. Read about my other recommended Bali stays here- Como Ubud and Alila Villas Soori.

Something fun that i did in Bali was to go for a cooking class! A quick impromptu search later, we were signed up for a day of fun with Paon Bali Cooking School in Ubud. For our morning class, they brought us to the market, rice fields, and then to their traditional Balinese home where we took part in cooking a feast.
Looking for a place to stay in Buenos Aires Argentina? This #travelerintransit recommends Hotel Clasico in the trendy Palermo Hollywood area.
The boutique hotel is within walking distance of many restaurants and cafes that i was dying to check out and i also absolutely love the design of the hotel. Bed was firm and comfy with 250 Egyptian cotton threads bed sheets, feather cushions and duvet; 42” Smart TV set; strong air-conditioning; minimal street noise, natural light filled room in the day through the full length windows; and wifi connectivity through the hotel. In short, all you need for a good rest.
#Bathroomgoals Obviously archiving all these for the future home. :)
When i drop all my writing to start on a food review, you know this must be something to look forward to! Presenting Audace, my latest favorite fine French Bistro! This one month old restaurant at Wanderlust Hotel Singapore is helmed by Michelin Star awarded Chef Jérémy Gillon (previously from Le Montana in the French Alps) and serves a contemporary fine French Bistro menu which is lighter and fresher.

p.s. I see a trend with the other restaurants under the Unlisted Collection- a focus on 'bistronomy' (bistro fare with a contemporary touch) and spotlighting vegetables (different textures and flavors), generally food that is more approachable. Well i think this formula is working for 2016/17. 
Many of Chef Jérémy’s dishes are created daily with produce hand-selected from nearby Tekka Market. In addition to this, Chef Jérémy also sources his own herbs from the alps to make infused syrups, vinegars, cocktails, coffees and teas for his menus. As the restaurant is still very new, they are still deciding on whether to have a separate menu for lunch and dinner but right now it's the same menu. Pick from the a la carte items, or go for their discovery course (4 course $68, 6 course $98) which will allow you to sample a variety from the main menu. Signatures will change with the season. 
From the bar menu, we tried the Parsnip Confit cooked in Brown Butter Hay. Presented in a smoking cocotte, the smokiness of the hay gives this root vegetable a meaty taste (like luncheon meat). A syrup infused with an Alpine herb (Asperule Odorante) adds a refreshing scent to the dish. We also tasted a hint of mango! You can easily spread the parsnip over the crusty warm bread but make sure you spread that hazelnut butter that is hand churned and mixed with crushed hazelnuts for an added smoothness to each bite. 
Food is always a huge part of my travels and the first thing that i pin on my map when planning a trip. Given that we had little time in Lima, Peru, which i heard to be the gourmet epicenter of Peru, I thought the fastest way to get acquainted with Peruvian cuisine is through a food tour and we booked a private food tour with the highly raved Lima Gourmet Company.
With only the evening available to us before we fly out to Cuzco, we made sure to save our precious stomach space for a night of feasting with our guide, Lourdes Montoya.
We started the night with the iconic Pisco Sour at CALA, which is possibly the best place to enjoy a glass of this refreshing cocktail. There's the great debate about where Pisco Sour originated from (it's Peru vs. Chile) but we don't care as long it's tasty.

Just enjoying the sunset with cocktail in hand.
We then headed to Ámaz, one of the South America's 50 Best Restaurants for an Amazonian feast. Dishes here are made using jungle sourced food.
The meal started with a Shapshico cocktail (made with barsol pisco, siete raices, cocona and camu camu juice), We then worked our arms by making our jungle ceviche, a kick-ass plantain salad. 
Dishes here are meant for sharing and we enjoyed the variety of food which included a cane sugar marinated grilled chicken stick served with coconut and peanut foam; Sacha Chaufa, an Amazonian version of Chinese-Peruvian fried rice which has sweet plantains and cecina (a sun-dried pork); corn balls with chili salsa, and more fried plantains. 
Other snacks included the cassava with parmesan cheese bread; fermented cassava and chili sauce made with the Charapitas chilies; and Cocona, a Peruvian corn pancakes served with sour cream and pico de gallo.

Non-stop eating continues at another well-known Lima classic, the prestigious Huaca Pucllana restaurant, which is located within an archaeological site with ruins dating back to 500 A.D. 
How cool is this restaurant really?! 
Some exciting dishes we had were the Anticuchos (cow heart) with corn, causa (mashed potato) with salmon tartar and scallops with Parmesan cheese.  
More ceviche for us because it's iconic Peruvian! This earned Jr's stamp of approval. 
Then, a dessert platter of lucuma mousse (kinda like Chiku, which has a flavor of maple and sweet potato), Suspiro de Limeña (aka Sigh of Lima, a super sweet caramel pudding), gooseberry cheesecake (cheesecake de aguaymanto) and a rice pudding. 
Make sure you reserve an outdoor table so that you can enjoy the view of the Incan ruins as you dine. 

We ended the night at the bohemian streets of Barranco with more desserts! Do check out this neighborhood for their bars, restaurants, and views of the water. The restaurant El Tio Mario seems to be very popular. 
Love the vibe here. There's a Bridge of Sighs (Puente de los Suspiros) here too and word is that those who set sight on the bridge for the first time are entitled to a single wish if they can cross its 30-meter span without taking a single breath. Lame but we did it. And I think it works. Haha.
Can't remember where we had our parting gelato but it's near the square. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our night with the Lima Gourmet Company and i'll definitely recommend a food tour with them if you're in Lima. Do try to make a little more time for this city if you can!
I've never quite considered the food establishments at Fullerton Hotel to be worth checking out. I've had a weekend tea there once and that left me pretty much unimpressed. But that changed with the Jade Restaurant which recently underwent a gorgeous facelift in terms of aesthetics and culinary direction. Diners may now sample a menu that takes inspiration from the Tang Dynasty in an elegant Tiffany blue and white setting.
First timers to Jade Restaurant have it easy when it comes to placing your orders. The restaurant has curated a menu highlighting Jade's 'Eight Signature Dishes' which includes must-try items like the Crispy Roasted Pork Belly, Deep-fried Prawn with Wasabi Mayonnaise and Sautéed Diced Beef Tenderloin. Other than the usual lunch and dinner offerings, Jade Restaurant also has an a la carte Weekend Dim Sum Buffet (which i'll tell you more about).
I will willingly devour the Crispy Roasted Pork Belly ($14/pax or $29/portion) whole. Think lovely crunchy crackling and perfect ratio of buttery fats and firm savory meat that has been marinated with five-spice powder; the flavor is en pointe.  
Love char siew? How about a Baked Lemongrass Char Siew Lamb Rib Loin ($23/pax). Trust me you wouldn't even know it's lamb unless you're super sensitive to this meat. Very tender meat on bone, with a caramelized sauce made with bruised lemongrass, sugar, rose wine, fermented bean sauce and dark soy sauce, this rib is finger-licking good.
A highlight at Jade Restaurant is their soups! Their Soup of the day ($13/pax) is cooked for 3+ hours for that goodness to be infused into the broth. We had a sliced fish with tofu flower, konbu, and ham in a pork and chicken broth. Yes that tofu flower is manually knife-cut by chef and it floats gracefully in the broth.
One of the Eight Treasures is the Sautéed Japanese Wagyu Beef Tenderloin with Crispy Garlic in Black Pepper Sauce ($23/pax, $47/portion). The melt-in-your-mouth beef cubes provides a buttery jus that balances the slight heat from the pepper. I also loved the crunch from the garlic and the fragrance it lent to each bite.
A must order is the Simmered Egg Noodle with Boston Lobster and X.O. Chilli Sauce ($39/pax). This Hokkien-noodle inspired dish uses the same core ingredients of pork lard, cabbage and dark soy sauce in preparing the lobster and noodles. The star however, is the noodles! The Hong Kong imported noodles are first deep-fried, then simmered with prawn head oil, pork lard, garlic, light and dark soya sauce for the burst of umami. It's even better with the special X.O. sauce! The lobster is great, but the noodles are out of this world. I'd order them on their own!
For desserts, i'm a huge fan of their Pistachio “Muah Chee” ($8/2pc). That light chewy muah chee is ethereal. Good quality green pistachio nuts are first roasted, blended till fine, before granulated sugar are added to make the fragrant filling. I found myself finishing at least half a bowl of the Almond Paste with Poached Egg White and guess what? I'm not even a fan of the Chinese almonds but i couldn't help myself with Jade's premium almond cream as the taste isn't overpowering. 
Jade also has a highly affordable Weekend Dimsum Buffet which only costs $39/pax. We sampled 2 items from the list during the tasting, which are the Steamed Osmanthus Char Siew Pau ($5.80/2pcs) and the Chilli Crab Mantou ($7.20/piece). The char siew bun was a highlight during the tasting- the pork is cooked with honey and osmanthus flower and that provided the bun with a light floral sweetness. However, when i sampled it at during the a la carte buffet, i failed to detect the floral hint and the bun was more dense and sticky.
The Chilli Crab Mantou ($7.20/piece) is a great way to enjoy this local favorite dish fuss-free. The lightly crisped bun gives way to a tart-spicy sauce packed with silvers of crab meat. This item is limited to 1 per pax during the buffet. When you order it on its own, it is served with a refreshing palate cleanser of cold lemongrass tea with calamansi jelly. 
The good thing about Jade's dimsum is that for most dimsum items, you get to place your order by pieces! Say goodbye to paiseh pieces and hello to more tummy space for a variety of bites. Definitely have the har gow, siew mai, pork belly (it tasted as good as during the tasting), soups (limited to one order each and the Bird's nest and truffle in superior broth is yums), carrot cake, and mini egg tart. I'd skip the matcha custard bao (it was not flowy at all). The Kung Pow chicken was also off in terms of the seasoning.
There are also other hot appetizers and mains to order from. The prawn balls in wasabi mayonnaise is one of the Eight Treasures and is also on the buffet menu. Definitely order this. 
For carbs, we tried the lobster congee (bland), and fish hor fun (meh). Perhaps order the egg noodles with duck (nobody wanted to try that so i couldn't taste it), or the fried rice. The daily desserts we had was decent (i enjoyed the mango sago).

The food took a while to arrive so make sure you place most (if not all) of your orders at the start. It may be a little rushed, especially if you're the sort who have the capacity to try every single dish. 
Check out the Jade experience for yourself at Fullerton Hotel. Gorgeous food in a gorgeous setting. Make your booking right now.

Jade Restaurant
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
​1 Fullerton Square Singapore 049178
Tel: +65 6733 8388
Your hair betrays your age. While this is true for most, some of us also face the problem of pre-mature ageing and it manifests in the form of WHITE HAIR! Over the course of my working life, I've noticed that the number of white hair on my head has increased significantly! :( It has bothered me enough to the point that my hair stylist has resorted to covering up my roots every time I visit her. SOBS. 
After hearing about TK TrichoKare's new anti-ageing hair treatment – Advanced Age Defying Hair Treatment, I had to check them out. I expected to be in good hands of the award-winning hair and scalp care centre of course (they won numerous awards from the ELLE Beauty Treat List 2017 – Best Treatment for Hair Loss, Her World Spa Awards 2016, Harper's BAZAAR Hair Awards 2016, and the Singapore Women’s Weekly Hair Awards 2016 among others).
TrichoKare's certified trichologist - specialists who study and diagnose hair and scalp problems, helped me discovered my hair age through their Advanced Tricho Hair Test.
Greece will always have a special place in my heart. I decided that i wanted to visit the country in 2016. Came end 2015, major upheaval in my life, new job, new relationship status (i was briefly single). Then, a whirlwind 6 months later, dust was settled and everything fell into place (even the relationship part) and Greece happened! The universe has its plans for us really. So anyway, here's sharing highlights of the magical trip we took! This itinerary provides you with IMHO a comprehensive experience as you can get in 10 days. There's history, nature, sun, wine & dine, and city life. What more can you ask for right? Now read on. 
When to visit
A good time to head to Greece is in the May - early June period, before the rest of Europe breaks for summer holidays. It's slightly off peak so accommodation is cheaper, but at the same time the ferry frequencies would have increased so it's  more convenient for island hopping than when it's off peak.

Where to visit
Delphi- 1 night
Meteora- 1 night
Crete- 3 nights (Chania and Heraklion)
Santorini- 2 nights
Athens- 2 nights
Fly into Athens on your choice of airline. Scoot flies to Athens direct now so that's pretty awesome. We took Qatar and it was only S$950/pax. Choose to spend time in Athens first, or to do it at the end (we did it at the end).

We took a car from Athens to Delphi, and then Meteora, and dropped it off at Thessaloniki. It may not be the best thing to do because a one way car rental is A LOT more expensive. This costs $440 for 3 days. 

As we wanted to visit the islands, we decided to take a couple of domestic flights so that we could save some traveling time. From Thessaloniki, we took a flight to Crete island (in order to hike Samaria Gorge, S$150/pax), and then another flight from Santorini to Athens (S$200/pax). Between the Crete and Santorini, we took the ferry (S$100/pax). 

Places of Interests
Delphi in ancient times was considered the center of the world, the place where heaven and earth met. There isn't much to see other than the ancient site. It makes for a nice afternoon stroll to stretch your legs from the drive. Read all about Delphi's history here

We stayed in the suite at Fedriades Delphi Hotel (amazing view from the tub and balcony), which is within walking distance to the archeological site. Restaurants are also readily available in this area. Basic European breakfast is served, Greek yogurt is always available!
Meteora is a must visit for us. It presents nature's grandeur, history, architecture and culture/religion. The monasteries will amaze anyone, even non-believers. My advice is to take note of the opening hours of the monasteries that you want to visit. They are closed on different days of the week and they also close early. Find out more about Meteora Monasteries here.
We stayed at Doupiani House in Kastraki which has a great view of the rocks. This is the view from our balcony. Gorgeous right? Note that it's a little farther from the town so you'll need to drive. The rooms are basic but comfortable.  
Crete was one of the highlights of our trip! If you love nature, you should definitely check out Samaria Gorge, which is Europe’s largest gorge. This National Park is 18km long with unbelievable natural beauty. Spend 4 - 6 hours walking through the gorge (it is mostly downhill and steep at the start). We started at approx 730am and ended at 130pm. Remember to pack lots of snacks for picnics along the way. Fresh spring water is available at the various rest stops and free for refills. 
Agia Roumeli village is where the walk ends and you can enjoy a swim in the Libyan Sea! The easiest way to trek Samaria Gorge is to sign up for a 'tour' and they will settle all the transfers (pick up and ferry) for you.  The trek is non guided but you wouldn't lose your way for sure. We stayed in Chania for easy access to Samaria Gorge. 
Cretan food is also superb. We had our best meal at To Maridaki, which serves the freshest seafood we've eaten in Greece! The chefs are all Greek grandmothers btw. Gosh that grilled squid and fish.. If you have more time in Crete, do check out the Cretan wineries, and get their olive oil! 

We stayed at Kydon, The Heart City Hotel in Chania, which is walking distance to To Maridaki. It was a good idea #becausewine, and the restaurant served us a parting shot of raki (an aniseed-flavored vodka) before we left. We had a giggly walk back. It's good to note that the breakfast spread at Kydon is quite amazing (compared to the regular European standard).
Heraklion in comparison is more touristy and you can get your dose of 'city life' here, especially around the Lion Square area. To get from Chania to Heraklion, we decided to hop on a morning tour to the Palace of Knossos (with our bags), and requested to be dropped off in Heraklion. The morning was well spent learning about the Minoans (and Minotaur), our guide was very informative. There are plenty of tours offered in the city and we booked one when we were in Chania.

In Heraklion, we stayed at Kastro Hotel, a small hotel that is a 3 min walk to Lion's square. It's super basic but comfortable enough. We chose this so we didn't have to wake crazy early to catch our ferry to Santorini  (the only is a 5min taxi ride away from the ferry terminal). From Crete to Santorini, we took Hellenic Seaways. 
And then it was SANTORINI OF COURSE! I don't care how touristy it may be. How can you go to Greece and not visit Santorini right? Don't give me that BS about 'oh, that's for tourist'. The most important thing is that you have fun on your holiday. So on that, YES GO TO SANTORINI. 
To top off that touristy thing, go catch a sunset cruise. We chose this because we wanted to explore the island a bit without the hassle. The cruise brought us to the volcano and hot springs (we swam in it), and then we were off to the Volcanic Red beach, White Beach, and Mesa Pigadia for more snorkelling. A Greek BBQ was served on board and it was quite delicious. The highlight was of course the Oia sunset from the waters.  

We took our cruise with the Santorini Yachting Club, and our hotel helped book us on it. They have various fleets and price varies depending on how private the cruise is. The good thing about going slightly off peak is that you get the same privacy on a bigger boat at a cheaper rate! Prices start from 95€ per pax (for max capacity of 55 pax).
Whatever you do, make time for some wine tasting, especially their specialty dessert Vinsanto! Santos Winery is highly recommended. They are super generous with their tasting portions (80ml each) and the tastings come with snacks too! We were absolutely stuffed. We went with a 12 wine flight and it was only 27€! We also visited Domaine Sigalas which has better food than wines i feel. Art Space is another art gallery-museum-winery that I'd have loved to check out. 
We stayed at Esperas Hotel in Oia, Santorini which is the best accommodation we stayed at in Greece! I'd say splurge on a nice place in Santorini, the view is definitely worth it. We could enjoy the gorgeous Santorini sunset from our balcony. There's also the view of the caldera. Amoudi Bay is a short walk downhill and you can get seafood from one of the restaurants. We had our seafood fix at Katina's. Also check out Melatini for some delicious tapas in Oia. For more food and buzz, head back to Fira. 
And then it was back to Athens
There are plenty of ancient sites so i'll leave it to you to pick and choose the ones you wanna visit. I'd recommend that you do the Acropolis site first, and follow up with a visit to the museum. Of course, visit the Parthenon and its surrounding sites. 
Plenty of amazing restaurants in Athens to check out. See my pins below! Make sure you make a reservation or else you'll not be able to eat at the popular places. 

Hope you find this Greece itinerary useful! Let us know if you have other recommendations. :)