Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Ask me where to get the best scones and Regent Singapore will be rattled off the top of my head. There may be a lot of other great scones but my goldfish memory only retains the most memorable ones, and I can never forget the light fluffy texture of their scone paired with buttery clotted cream and lemon curd. Thankfully the renovation at Tea Lounge at Regent Singapore did not take too long and you can now enjoy their lovely afternoon tea in a more contemporary colonial garden setting. 
Interactive and theatrical elements have also been added to Tea Lounge's repertoire of delightful bites for their Weekday Three-tier Afternoon Tea. A table-side trolley service provides hand-brewed coffee and special tea blends, brewed to perfection at their optimum timing and temperature; while award-winning Pastry Chef Alex Chong and his team conjure some sweet dreams for the dessert course you pick from the menu. 
First things first, the scones! I knew something was different when i bit into them and i confirmed that the recipe had been tweaked to produce a slightly denser scone that doesn't break apart so easily. I can't tell it i liked it better than the previous version, but i did enjoy it very much. The scone has a nice crunchy crust all around but still retained a moist center. Of course, it was perfect with the Devonshire clotted cream and smooth-like-butter and not-too-sweet lemon curd. There's also a house-made strawberry preserve that's served but i'm simply not a jam person. 
We were also huge fans of the seasonal quiches, which were the best savory items on the tiers. That amazing snappy buttery shortcrust held the moist egg custard with heirloom summer tomato and cherry wood-smoked ham. 
The rest of the petite savory bites sounded fancy with their extravagant ingredients but failed to deliver. The best of the lot was the sweet Alaskan king crab wrapped in watercress crepe, and the smoked Norwegian salmon with caviar on beetroot loaf. The open-faced Wagyu Beef and Lancashire cheese with Périgord black truffle sandwich was dry and bland; and the Duck Breast and Lavender infused Foie Gras Terrine on tart had a slight gamey flavor to it. Needless to say, i could not be bothered with an egg sandwich as it affords no satisfaction at all.
There was a time when Yung Kee was the go to for roast goose in Hong Kong. But as predictable as HK TVB dramas, a family feud resulted in a winding up order end 2015. Well, truth be told, the falling standard and the rising prices have made it an unpopular choice and i sought other alternatives on my subsequent trips. This time, we compare the "successor" of Yung Kee- Kam's Roast Goose and hole-in-the-wall cranky Yat Lok, both of which have been earning the 1 Michelin Star badge since 2015. 
Kam's Roast Goose (KRG) was started by the third generation of the family that started Yung Kung. Within a year of opening, they earned their first Michelin star, a feat that Yung Kee did not even managed. KRG knew to stick with the winning formula and kept the family recipe (sauce and marinade techniques), goose supplier, and chef (formerly at Yung Kee) the same. 
Of course, KRG must have improved something along the way. How else could we explain the consecutive Michelin star that they have clinched from 2015 to 2017. They are so successful that they have even opened an outpost here in Singapore (read the review of Kam's Roast Goose Singapore here).
The 30 seater store at Wan Chai is perpetually packed. Be prepared to queue or you may miss out on their signature roast goose leg on rice. Well we went at 3pm and had to order half a goose in order to enjoy the juicy leg. To be honest, i'm not a fan of roast goose, i find them too fatty and would rather have roast duck or char siew instead. I was a bit disappointed at the roast goose at Kam's as the skin wasn't very crispy and the fats weren't quite rendered enough to flavor the meat. 
I also made the mistake of not ordering the char siew!! Well, i was seduced by the lap cheong because we don't get the cured goose liver sausage in Singapore. That obviously didn't turn out too well and i ended up having to stuff my face with the incredibly seasoned and strong-flavored sausage and not having space for that glorious fatty caramelized meat. I was hoping that the blood sausage would be as good as the version that i had at Man Fu Yuan (they serve it with the stuffed suckling pig)
Decent fare at KRG. The noodles are super springy and i'd pick that over the rice. Next time, i'll stick to char siew, and their suckling pig.

Kam’s Roast Goose 甘牌燒鵝

Po Wah Commercial Centre, 226 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Daily: 11.30am – 9.30pm
I will always remember my first Yat Lok experience. I was exploring Sheung Wan on my own and i couldn't decide on what to have for dinner (because i ruined it with Tim Ho Wan's char siew bo lo bao for tea, and i was also down with a cold). The Michelin guide told me there's a 1 star roast goose place in the area and i ended up eating a meal because it was empty (at 8ish pm) and the food is quite cheap. FYI they have also clinched a 1 Michelin star from 2015 - 2017.
It was late and Yat Lok had already ran out of roast goose leg so i went for the meat and another side of char siew on rice. I only wanted to have a taste because my throat was protesting from an inflammation, but i ended up polishing the entire plate of rice. That was how good it was.

The skin was thin and crispy with a thin layer of fats that melt in your mouth. The meat was succulent and well flavored and that sauce was amazing! I wasn't expecting much when the dish was presented to me but that light colored sauce added so much more flavor to the fluffy rice. Even though the char siew looked a little pale and not caramelized enough, it was a great accompaniment to the glistening roast goose.
The environment is not as comfortable as Kam's Roast Goose and I heard that the service can be pretty curt but i'll bear with that for their delicious meats.

Yat Lok
34-38 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2524 3882
While writing this article, i was a little confused on whether Yung Kee has reopened. I didn't bother checking it out when i was in Hong Kong this year but it seems like they are active on their social media accounts. If that's the case, perhaps there's a need to check them out again to make a comparison.

Yung Kee
32-40 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2522 1624
Daily: 11am - 11.30pm

The winner of the Michelin Star Hong Kong Roast Meat goes to... YAT LOK! If they can make a sick girl with an inflamed throat wolf down a plate of roast meat on rice, you can bet that it's worth your calories.

Share with us your other favorite roast meat places in Hong Kong and we'll check them off the next time we visit.


ALL HAIL THE KING OF FRIED CHICKEN! No one does fried chicken better than the award-winning Yardbird Southern Table & Bar from Miami and i've heard no end from Jr on how they are the best fried chicken he has tried.

Thankfully, there's no need to fly all the way to Cali for a taste of the bird as they have opened an outpost at Marina Bay Sands! Have a taste of Southern U.S. classics at The Bird Southern Table & Bar which includes their famous 100-year-old recipe Lewellyn’s Fine Fried Chicken, Shrimp 'N' Grits, Buttermilk Biscuits, and Butter Lettuce and Grilled Mango Salad. 

Get started with The Bird's extensive beverage program which serves quality hand-crafted cocktails, including Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade, The Bird’s Old Fashioned with Bacon Infused Bourbon, and the Watermelon Sling. 

My Watermelon Sling ($24) is a refreshing blend of Death's Door white whiskey with fresh pressed watermelon juice and fresh lemon, balanced with Aperol and rosemary. I preferred Jr's Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade ($27) as it is more tangy. This punch is made with Wild Turkey Bourbon, blackberry puree, fresh lemon, cardamom and Angostura Bitters. Special to Singapore are some other specially created cocktails with local elements. 
The lunch and dinner menu differs slightly but their signatures are available all the time. A must order is the Fried Green Tomato BLT (3pcs, $18) which i almost passed over because it sounds so meh but the burst of flavors was a party in our mouths. The savory house-smoked pork belly and panko crusted juicy green tomato were brought together by a smokey tomato jam and creamy pimento cheese. The Deviled eggs ($14) are a-ok but i'd rather have a side of Skillet Cornbread ($10) or Buttermilk biscuits.
Kogane Yama is the latest kid on the block to join the Ten-don craze in Singapore. Japanese for “golden mountain”, that is the image the folks behind Chir Chir Fusion Chicken and Masizzim want to evoke in you when you stare at the pieces of golden brown tempura piled up high on a mound of sticky, warm Japanese rice (if you order the set with udon or soba, then sorry you might have to imagine a golden field instead, since your tempura comes served on a plate!).
Located on Level 2 of Bugis Junction, Kogane Yama is a cosy restaurant that seats around 40. As with any specialty restaurants, you do not get a lot of choices as the menu is kept very lean. The decision making process involves 4 steps, from choosing your tempura, to choosing your carbs, then choosing the spiciness of your sauce and finally whether to make it a set. Simple! If you don’t eat tempura, or do not espouse deep fried food, then you might want to go somewhere else instead because there really isn’t much else of an option for you.

Kogane Yama offers a choice of 4 types of tempura bowls (or plates) - vegetable, chicken, prawn or combination. If greedy or indecisive are qualities ascribed to you, then the choice is simple- the combination bowl offers two prawns, a piece of fried chicken (that reminded me a lot of Long John Silver, not a bad thing since I love the batter but that of course is personal!) and an assortment of tempura vegetables. As the items are fried-to-order, you should expect a bit of waiting time; after all this is no fast food restaurant!
Most of the items served are pretty standard; the chicken I had was a tad dry although other diners commented that theirs were ok. The prawns were fairly sizeable and fresh but not mind blowing. But don’t get me wrong, it is definitely delicious for the price. The standout items for me were the tempura seaweed (essentially deep fried Taokaenoi) which was crispy and not too salty, as well as the deep fried prawn heads that were served detached from the bodies! All that crustacean brain goodness! Less commonly seen in Ten-don restaurants is the tempura Shisho leaf, an acquired taste for many because of its minty, herby taste. The tempura is drizzled all over with your choice of sauce- the Level 2 (out of 3) spicy level was the favourite for the night. It was a good mix of sweet and spicy without being overbearing.
When questioned on what is Singapore heritage food, most would think Peranakan but it's only a subset of it. Chef Damian D’Silva of Folklore will tell you that Singapore heritage food is a cuisine that represents the various ethnic groups in Singapore. It consists of the age-old recipes passed down from generation to generation; food that we eat at home; the my-grandmother-cooked-it-better dishes that are special to each family; the lost recipes that are not found in restaurants because they are too labor intensive to make. Because of one man's dedication to documenting his family's secret recipes, we now have Folklore
This man is passionate, some say crazy, to commercialize this sort of artisanal home cooking. Painstaking labor and long hours go into coaxing the flavors out of the handpicked ingredients. For the prices that he charges, I'm not sure if it makes any profit sense. 
Let's bring on the rendang, chap chye, hae zor, assam fish and more! 
We started with some cold appetizers. A spicy refreshing start came in the form of a Four Angled Bean Salad ($12). Green mangos, chilies, ginger flower and dried shrimps tossed in a sweet sour sambal belachan sauce. It can be very spicy!
When we were planning our 16 day South America trip, other than making sure to include Machu Picchu Peru in the plans (read about it here), we also wanted to sample the new world wines at the source. The plan was to sample the award-winning Malbec in Mendoza (since we were starting in Argentina), but the airport was closed for maintenance then and i didn't want to waste too much time on the roads. So we looked to Chile for inspiration!
There was a time when Chilean wines were considered cheap and pedestrian, but that is not the case now. Do you know that Chile produces more Cabernet Sauvignon than the U.S.? The ideal climate allows for the production of exceptional reds at very affordable prices! 
Also, Chile has their unique Carménère, a savory medium-bodied red with a red bell pepper note. The vegetal red goes very well with greens of course and works for those who likes some spice in their wine. This grape was thought to be Merlot when they first imported the grape cutting from Bordeaux in the 1800s. It was not till 1994 that they found out that it is actually a Bordeaux variety Carménère. This varietal is nearly extinct in Bordeaux now and and thus is exclusive to Chile.
Nose-to-tail eating doesn't seem to have taken off in the majority Chinese populated Singapore. I find it strange because we Chinese are (supposedly) familiar with offals and innards (hello kway chup), so much that we even eat that for breakfast (sometimes). It thoroughly surprises and bewilders us that a gorgeous Spanish restaurant like Dehesa isn't packed every night (like Esquina). Perhaps they have gone overboard with their marketing of their "inner" beauty? 
For those who are intimidated by the alternative cuts and random parts, your fears are unfounded. Chef-Owner Jean-Philippe Patruno aka JP, previously of Bomba Paella Bar and Una, fires up more than just the grey matter. Classic Spanish dishes are available here and he's more than adept at delivering them. 
I let my weakness for Croquetas (4 pcs, $14) take over and swooned in bliss as I bit into the creamy filling encased in the crunchy panko crust. This is one smooth morsel! Make sure you give it a good chew together with the spiced paprika aioli and jamón joselito. I struggled with my need to finish this and saving space for my main meal. 

That should ease you into starters. If you don't go into the nitty gritty, the Dehesa platter of cold meats ($32), is what you would likely order at any other restaurant- a rotating homemade charcuterie consisting pate, lardo, deep-fried pork scratchings. We all know where the ingredients are from, we don't need to be told/reminded, other than how good they taste. 
Well if that doesn't go down well, take a few bites of the smoky Pimientos De Padron ($14). They will sure cleanse the palate of any gamey leftovers. 
If you're not for the cold platters, have the Chorizo ($24) which is served with soft cooked eggs and a smoked mash, and pork crackling! This comfort food combination never fails. If only I could find some bread to go with this.
Not sure if i've mentioned this before but il Cielo at Hilton Singapore is one of the hidden gems in Orchard Road, where you to enjoy a delicious Italian meal without having to deal with the crowd. With Chef Yohhei Sasaki helming the team, there's now an interesting Japanese flair to the Italian dishes served here. 
The best way to sample the interesting Japanese Italian signatures is through Chef Sasaki's degustation menus for lunch and dinner. Lunch is a shorter affair with 2 or 3 courses ($25/35) and you can choose between a 5 course Italian ($88) or Japanese ($118) style degustation for dinner. The dishes are also available a la carte.
We started with the Kinmedai Carpaccio ($36) served with seaweed tuile, Madeira wine dressing and pink grapefruit snow. Not quite sashimi, yet not quite the regular Italian starter. The seaweed tuile added a nice crunch and umami to this dish and the scattering of the snow provided a theatrical start to the meal.
I love the Fullerton Bay Hotel for its amazing Marina Bay waterfront view and their high tea at The Landing Point remains my go-to for decadent bites. Well i've now found another reason to love them better with the newly refurbished French restaurant La Brasserie
Enjoy your customized Gin & Tonic ($19) as you enjoy the sunset from the opulent surrounding. I don't drink enough G&T but this was pretty refreshing.

The French brasserie classics and dishes here have the hallmark of ‘cuisine du soleil’. This ‘cuisine of the sun’ is the representative food of the South of France, a region that is said to be blessed with the sun for 330 days of the year. It is a cuisine characterized by Mediterranean flavours and a lighter touch.
Start with a hearty Traditional Onion Soup ($19) which is a caramelized sweet onion soup made with beef stock. The beef bones are first boiled with trimmings without fat for at least 4 hours, and then combined with caramelized white onions for another 3 hours. The hard work culminates into a sweet hearty broth. It's topped with a day-old sourdough with gruyere cheese that has been gratinated under the salamander. Eat it quick before the bread turns soggy!
Could we do with more Japanese food streets in Singapore? For sure. Shokutsu Ten Japanese Food Street has launched its third venue at Great World City, presenting a total of five food and beverage and retail brands under one roof. Sure it's slightly away from the main Orchard stretch, but you can easily grab a meal here and a movie even with the weekend crowd.  
Other than the existing Ichiban Boshi and Kuriya Japanese Market, 3 concepts are added. Check out new restaurants like Ami Ami and Men-ichi Sapporo Ramen, and also my old favorite Shimbashi Soba.

Ami Ami
Ami Ami is a seafood restaurant helmed by award-winning Master Chef Naoki Tsuzuki, who amassed over two decades of culinary experience in Japan and Singapore. Seasonal catch of the freshest quality is air-flown from Japan thrice weekly, and prepared sashimi/robatayaki/tempura style.
Over at the tempura counter, feast on fresh tempura that is deep-fried a la minute and served piece by piece. An original blend of sesame oil and soya bean oil is used to fry the tempura, giving it an additional fragrance and crisp. Go for the affordable set meals such as the Ami Ami Tempura Set ($45.80), which comprises fresh sashimi of the day, charcoal-grilled live scallop, assorted tempura, and the signature egg tempura served on a vegetable kakiage tempura rice bowl. 
The Original Egg Tempura (a la carte price at $6.50, served with rice) is a hit. This original creation by Master Chef Tsuzuki is an onsen egg wrapped in deep-fried beancurd skin. Poke it and let the runny yolk flow into the pearl rice. Before you eat it, make sure you give it a good drizzle of the tempura sauce.