Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Tis the season to feast and we headed back to one of our favorite restaurants this year, Audace at Wanderlust Hotel (read about our previous meal here). This time, we sampled Chef  Jérémy’s communal Sunday brunch, which is actually more of a fine bistronomy lunch! How else can you categorize a meal consisting of 6 appetisers, 5 main courses, 5 side dishes and 5 desserts? To call it Sunday brunch is a plain understatement. 
Instead of going through all of the food we had, i'll just highlight my favorites, since the menu changes very often and you are likely to be tasting something different. Well one thing that should be kept on the menu for sure is the Pumpkin Soup. The creamy pureé is rich and buttery and super intense and that one shot is certainly not enough. If you're expecting some brunch sort of food, the Focaccia With Cooked Ham & Mascarpone Black Pepper will hit the right spot mainly because of the herby crusty bread!
The Salmon Gravlax with Beetroot had a light acidity and sweetness to it. Texture en pointe.
The Asparagus Salad Chorizo Iberico was also a nice nuttiness to it. 
For mains, i thought the fish dishes were a lot better than the meat ones. In particular, the Pearl Grouper With Orange Paste was my favorite main dish. There's this lovely smooth fat to the fish and it's perfect with the smooth broccoli pureé. The orange accent was also very interesting. The Grilled White Tuna was a bit drier but love that crisp on the outside. 
The Braised Pork Belly was a tad too bland for me when i first bit into it, but as i chewed on, it has a nice light sweetness to it. It's great that it isn't too seasoned actually.
Both duck dishes we had- the French Breast Duck, and Duck Terrine were both too gamey for my liking. They had a strong bloody liver flavor to it, which wasn't appetizing.

The mains come with sides of creamy Polenta (love this one)/ Broccoli Mash (the best!)/ Baked Carrot/ Risotto (yums)/ Baked Rutabaga & Aubepine (most interesting veg). 
Then there were desserts and i enjoyed ALL OF THEM! On this platter (left to right), a Speculoos macaron which will explode in your mouth; a comforting crunchy chocolate cookie; and a snappy and not too tart Lemon Cream Tartlette & Candied Berce
The Dark chocolate mousse with salted caramel is LOVE! Super dark and smooth and not too sweet!
End on a refreshing note with the Pomelo, Black Pepper and Honey. The bitterness worked strangely! 

So glad to be able to revisit Audace before the year ends. Can't wait to be back for Chef's signatures!
2 Dickson Road Singapore 209494
Wanderlust Hotel
Tue-Sat: 7.30am - 12am
Sun: 7.30am - 4pm
Sunday Brunch: 11.30am - 4pm
We all love a home-cooked Christmas feast but honestly who looks forward to the cleaning?! How about glamming it up at one of the best hotels in Singapore a.k.a. Capella Singapore and have the chefs be at your beck and call while you chill to the view of the South China Sea? The Chef’s Table, a private dining affair at Capella Singapore, is the answer to your perfect Christmas party!
The #alldayerrday semi-buffet Private Brunch Affair caters to a party of 10 and more, and you could do it any time of the day. What's best is the 2 hours of free-flow Taittinger champagne and other alcoholic beverages of your choice to start. Mulled wine sounds perfect to us too!
Hone in on the cold seafood section for the freshest oysters shucked to order (we had both US and Canadian varieties on the day we went), lightly poached Boston lobsters, succulent prawns and juicy scallops.
One of the greatest challenge of a chef must be running an all-day dining restaurant in a hotel. There must be a wide selection of dishes for guests of all nationality and ages, and a balance between serving Singapore cuisine and international ones. Now throw in the healthy eating trend too and get the chef to whip up a menu that incorporates all of the above! Thankfully for Courtyard by Marriott, they've found Executive Chef John Chye who managed to do all of that at Sky 22.
Sky 22 is located on the 22nd floor of the newly opened hotel and diners get to enjoy an expansive view of the city area while dining. While breakfast is quite typical (western and local), lunch is more refreshing with the option to Build Your Own (Healthy) Bowl.
You'll taste more of Chef Chye's creations at dinner. Local flavors are infused into Western cooking and some of his inspirations come from dishes like Hakka Braised Pork, Singapore Chili Crab and more. Of course, standard Western dishes as thrown in for diners who are not that adventurous. 
A safe but tasty appetizer is the Oven-baked Camembert Cheese ($18). Somehow the saltiness of the Camembert was enhanced and it's gorgeous with the herby arugula walnut pesto and the earthy and tart Rosemary-balsamic portobello. Perfect combination on the crusty sourdough. Simplicity is awesome.
I remember Five Nines (999.99) for their mad-affordable and delicious European-Japanese fare when they first opened at Keong Saik Road (read my earlier review of Five Nines here). They have since moved to Cuppage Plaza and the previous location is taken over by sister restaurant Kyuu by Shunsui (a must read review here).
The concept is still the same with a seasonal omakase that showcases ingredients that are flown in from Japan several times a week and the team is led by 37yo Head Chef Takashi Ohkawa (who already has 20 years of experience under his belt). Opened for dinner only, diners can enjoy the seasonal 6 course dinner set menu for only $49! You'll only get to enjoy this if you make a reservation! A tapas style a la carte menu is available till 2.30am. The 6-course menu changes regularly but you can expect consistently fresh ingredients. The current menu is as follows. 
Marinated Botan Shrimp and CousCous Salad with Tosazu vinegar and salmon roe. That Botan shrimp was super plump and sweet. The tomato flavored couscous also helped to prep our palate for the dishes to come. 
Next, the Foie Gras Terrine and Bruschetta with instant smoked orange jam. It was interesting how the smoked orange infused the liver so thoroughly in that short couple of seconds. However, i would love for more of the foie gras and not the airy croutons.
Favorite dish of the night goes to the Squid Ink Tagliolini in a langoustine sauce topped with snow crab. The freshly made pasta was springy and well flavored with a roasted garlic base and a rich umami seafood sauce. To top it off, refreshing shards of snow crab that is flavored with citrus. Give me a huge plate of this now. It's seldom that i polished every bit of any pasta dish so you know this is that good. 
I didn't enjoy the Steamed Cod Fish rolled with Parma Ham. When steamed without any seasoning, the fatty fish oozed oil and the parma ham did little to flavor the meat thoroughly. Also, the porcini sauce brought out a strong fishy flavor, which was strange considering that cod is quite tasteless. 
The meat dish on the other hand was delicious. The fried breaded ball of Mozzarella and Lamb tenderloin was super tender and juicy and it was not at all gamey. I was surprised that the Japanese pepper had the texture of lentils and was not at all spicy. 
To end the meal, a Cream Brûlée with Raspberry Sorbet. I’m not a crime brûlée person but i love the egginess of the custard and it's like a HK/Macau style Portuguese egg tart. I would have it on its own or maybe with some ice cream instead of an icy sorbet though. 
Come for supper and grab a couple of tapas on the a la carte menu. Signatures on the menu include the “Hiroshima” Oyster with tosazu foam ($10); Kisu Fish Escabeche ($9), Tripes ala Romana ($14), and Octopus and Mushroom Ajillo ($15). They also do have pastas, pizzas, and meats if you're hungrier! I so wanna try the Cappellini with Sea Urchin and fresh tomatoes ($24)! Wines and whiskys are also available till late. Five Nines is definitely worth a revisit given the high quality ingredients and affordable price point.

Five Nines 999.99
5 Koek Road, #04-04 Cuppage Plaza, Singapore 228796 
Tue- Sat: 6pm - 2.30am
Sun: 6 - 11pm 
At our last dim sum buffet at Jade Restaurant at the iconic Fullerton Hotel, we lamented their slow service and hurried dining experience despite the delicious morsels. Guess they heard our unhappiness! Jade has recently scraped the buffet and launched a new dim sum experience: Gourmet Dim Sum Treasures, featuring an ala carte as well as a range of set menus to fulfil your weekend and public holiday dim sum cravings. 
There is a wide variety of lunch set menus and here's sharing the highlights to ease that decision making. First up, a trio of dim sum with a contemporary twist. My personal favourite was the scallop dumpling topped with salmon roe. The sweet scallop filling complemented the salty ikura roe perfectly. Also delicious was the golden sea urchin siew mai, where the ubiquitous prawn dumpling was given an instant elevation in status with the sweet and fresh uni. The foie gras and truffle shrimp dumpling was a tad too rich, and we found that the foie gras masked the flavour of the har-gow which was unfortunate as the prawn filling was fresh and bouncy. 
The next dish is the Garden of Roasted Delight, which consists of an assortment of meats including honey glazed barbeque pork, roasted duck, crispy roasted pork belly, thousand-layer pig’s ear, and thinly sliced pork with garlic and vinaigrette. The crowd favourite of the night, the roast meats were tender, flavourful and well executed, the pigs’ ears were crunchy-collagen-goodness and the vinaigrette was a piquant accompaniment to the thinly sliced pork.
Of course, a good pot of Chinese Tea is a must with dimsum and we recommend the elegant 8 Treasures Tea, a calming brew with floral notes of jasmine, chrysanthemum and rosebuds, accompanied by gooseberries, red dates and dried longans. A refreshing mint and citrus ending comes from the mint root and dried calamansi. The tea was clean and light, and an excellent partner to the wonderful dim sum dishes at Jade. 
No Chinese meal is complete without a comforting soup, and the Double boiled fish maw, sea cucumber, bamboo pith and tofu dumpling in superior consommé was no exception. The consommé was sweet and nourishing, and we instantly felt energized by all that goodness. 
This unassuming plate of Wok-fried rice flour rolls with scallop in X.O. sauce was a close contender for favourite dish of the night. The chee cheong fun was fried to a crispy goodness, bathed in the wonderful umami flavour of the XO sauce and the entire dish was chockful of wokhei. This was certainly a dish worthy of repeat orders. 
Dessert was a Shaved pineapple coconut ice with champagne jelly accompanied by a bird’s nest egg tart. The pineapple coconut ice (more a sorbet than ice really) provided a refreshing end to the meal, though the champagne jelly was unfortunately rather unremarkable. The bird’s nest egg tart was memorable because of the huge dollop of bird’s nest resting on top of the egg custard. 
We were all pleasantly surprised by the presentation of the Lotus paste pastry flowers. While these pastries were tasty in the own right - with the lotus paste being the right consistency and sweetness, and the pastry skin being flaky and nicely buttery, what got us awing were the accompanying decorations. Made of gelatin, and coming in an assortment of designs (from land, air and sea) and a riot of colours, each and every single of these were hand crafted by the chef, and there are enough of these to ensure that every table gets to be awe-struck at the end of lunch.
While the loss of the popular ala carte buffet at Jade Restaurant is a pity (it was really value for money), diners need not feel mournful for too long as the new, revamped menu is definitely worth a visit or more! Prices may be a little on the high side, but the beautiful and expansive interior accompanied by the wonderful food makes for a delectable experience. 

Jade Restaurant
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
1 Fullerton Square Singapore 049178
We can never have enough of Japanese food and yes to SORA Japan gourmet food hall at Changi Airport Singapore Terminal 2. The 7,760 sq ft space, which seats about 300 diners, is the largest restaurant across the four terminals, and houses six Japanese restaurants. The dining options includes ramen, sashimi, okonomiyaki and Nippon-inspired desserts and beverages.
SORA is owned by ANA Trading - the trading arm of Japanese airline company, All Nippon Airways and this is the first time they are operating a food hall outside of Japan. For SORA, they have also brought in 2 restaurants that are new to Singapore, one of which is a famous Okonomiyaki chain from Osaka!
Tsuruhashi Fugetsu
The fussy me have not eaten any other okonomiyaki other than the one from Osaka, so i'm glad to be able to satisfy any craving at Tsuruhashi Fugetsu now! My choice would be the modanyaki which features fresh cabbage, an assortment of battered meat and seafood, with noodles. The mix grilled before being slathered with Worcestershire sauce and mayonnaise and topped with bonito flakes. It made me forget that i was eating carbs. And even when i did remember, i chose to ignore it. Share this one, it's HUGE. 
The Mix Yakisoba ($19) was a bit bland for me. This is pretty much like Chinese fried noodles.
Has it been two years since Maggie Joan's opened?! Since that very first bite at this super cool contemporary Mediterranean-inspired restaurant on Amoy Street, i've been impressed with them over and over again (read my first review of Maggie Joan's here). To celebrate their second year of opening, they have given a thorough shake to their menu and we had many interesting plates that I would come back for.
Teaser, this is one of my favorite dishes. Read about it below!
Do the twist and nibble (not dunk) with the Taramasalata, Squid Ink & Nori ($3/pc). It's small but the flavors are punchy (like me haha). The crunch comes from the homemade squid ink tortilla and the Taramasalata cream is a citrusy mentaiko aioli sprinkled with some nori-wakame-cayenne pepper seasoning. I just wanna keep popping these babies. 
If you prefer something a little more substantial for a starting bite, try the Crab Sandwich and Green Harissa ($7). An airy cookie choux (the crust is sweet) holds a juicy and tart crab filling with refreshing chives and shallots. I liked the light touch of heat from the spicy harissa olive oil mayonnaise. Interesting balance of flavors i must say.
Now the Green zebra tomatoes, black olive and sea lettuce ($20) is just the right amount of green for me (you can’t have too much greens anw). I love the subtle flavors of the sea and the garden. To break it down for you, there's a slighty tart torched green zebra tomatoes, earthy tapenade, creamy homemade ricotta, salty pops of the sea grapes, and a crispy sourdough crouton cracker base. Savor each bite slowly for maximum pleasure. 
I can never resist ordering a burrata dish and i wasn't disappointed with the Burrata, roasted plums, shio konbu & basil ($23). The surprising element is the umami deep fried shio konbu strips which tasted like Mamee fried noodles (Singaporean childhood snack). 
Then we had a taste of Chef Oliver's childhood- Chicken liver, rhubarb, cocoa & peanut ($17).  As a kid, he would look forward to the rhubarb harvest in his garden and his family would have it with chicken liver pate. Well i have to agree with this combination as I couldn't stop slathering my sourdough with this creamy mixture. The flavored chicken liver pate and juicy rhubarb jam are blanketed with a savoury-sweet ‘soil’ made with peanuts, cocoa nibs, dark chocolate, malt powder and dehydrated mushrooms. I love how the grainy cocoa soil light bitterness provided depth to the dish. The House baked sourdough with smoked beef fat butter ($6) is great on its own, but it's even better with the chicken liver parfait!
If there’s something I have to pick on, it’s the Beef tartare, kimchi & smoked beef fat ($19). Somehow the mix of seasoning gave the Australian beef a ketchup flavor (which is not my favorite sauce) with a light bitter ending note from the kimchi. The charcoal mayo also does nothing for the dish.   
On to mains, the Smoked potato and egg yolk raviolo, pickled girroles mushrooms & hazelnuts ($28) was an unexpected delight. The thin chewy handmade pasta encases a lemon curd-like filling of ricotta, smoked mashed potato and egg yolk. It even tastes a little like lemon curd. The dumpling is complemented by baby spinach, pickled girrole mushrooms and roasted hazelnuts in a brown butter sauce infused with sage, and finished with Parmesan. Overall, it’s a great choice for a carb.
The Roasted barramundi, artichokes, seaweed and charred red pepper sauce and charred red pepper sauce ($34) is a simple comforting dish to have on a cold day or after a really shitty one at work. It's nothing wow though. 
We also tried the Coconut sorbet with rock melon granita which is only available on the tasting menu. That coconut is so rich and creamy without being oily at all and it contrasts with the refreshing rock melon ice made from fresh rock melon juice. Fav!
End the meal on the right note with a sweet treat like the Paris-Brest ($16) with chocolate, praline, pear and thyme. It’s more hazelnut than chocolate in this one, which satisfies the sweet tooth without going overboard. The thyme also gives the dish a refreshing twist.
Goats’ cheese parfait, honeycomb, raspberry & sorrel sauce ($12) may sound like a funky dessert but it's really a light ice cream made with goat cheese, sabayon and whipped cream (can’t taste the “goaty” flavor in this). The homemade honeycomb and granola provided the crunch to the dish, with a grassy sorrel syrup for contrast. Funky it was but it was more from the sorrel i think.

Always a pleasure to be back at Maggie Joan's. Be sure to check out their new menu!

110 Amoy Street #01-01 Singapore 068579 
(Entrance from Gemmill Lane) 
Weekdays: 12 - 2.30pm, 6 - 11pm
Sat: 6 - 11pm
The first thing that comes to my mind when visiting Perth would be Margaret River (is it because i'm an alcoholic?) On my recent trip to Perth (check out my Perth travel review here), i made it a point to check out the vino offerings in Western Australia. 
Now now, with the number of wineries in MR, you would probably go dizzy just from selecting the ones you want to visit. So here's sharing the list that i have curated, most of which i visited, and some others that i'm dying to visit, and 1 that disappointed.
Boodjidup Rd, Margaret River WA 6285 

Cellar Door: Daily 10am - 5pm
Restaurant: Thu- Mon 12 - 3pm

Of the wineries that we visited in MR, i was most impressed with Xanadu, with several of their bottles tantalizing my tastebuds. My favorites are pictured above, but I can’t remember which of the Chardonnay I preferred, just that Jr likes one and I the other. Also the 2013 Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon is great too. Lunch is available on their estate (see Xanadu's menu here) and I shortlisted it as a lunch spot after reading all the reviews. We went with something else in the end due to our itinerary but I’d check this out next time!
Leeuwin Estate
Stevens Rd, Margaret River WA 6285
Tel: +61 8 9759 0000
Daily 10am - 5pm

Leeuwin Estate is one of the most well-known wine producer from Perth. Jr is full of praise for their food, which regrettably i did not try.. But yes, their fine wines and great food under sweeping verandahs and domed skylights will sweep you off your feet. They are renowned for their “paddock to plate” philosophy, which focuses on regional produce and working closely with local artisan suppliers to create seasonal menus. Their Art series is also delicious.
Voyager Estate
Stevens Road, Margaret River WA 6285
Tel: +61 8 9757 6354
Daily 10am - 5pm

Voyager Estate is another spot that deserves repeated visits according to my trusted friend T (she thinks she's boring that way but why should anyone have to settle for potential disappointment elsewhere?). The cavernous spot is ideal for gathering of large groups but i love their outdoor space even more (it reminds me of Alice in Wonderland with their rose bushes). Check out Voyager Estate's award-winning tasting menus here.
Aravina Estate
Stevens Road, Margaret River, WA 6285
Tel: +61 08 9757 6354
Daily 10am - 5pm

Aravina Estate was recommended by my Airbnb host and it's wedding perfect (some influencer who recently got married was promoting this spot too). Horrible picture from me aside (i was too starved to head to the open grounds to get a better shot), the estate is perfect for that wedding reception under the stars.
The wines are ok, nothing mindblowing. Some dishes i enjoyed more than the others, like this duck with orange. I reckon the selling point here is the terrace dining where you can enjoy the view of the rolling hills and bushland. 

242 Quininup Road, Yallingup
Daily 10am - 5pm

Look no further than Arimia for an all-in-one wine holiday. This boutique vineyard and wine producer also has an on-site 4 BR house for those who wants to have the vineyard view all to themselves. Make your own meals or enjoy a leisurely lunch under the tall trees at the restaurant. Their tasting menu is available at AU$60 for 4 courses. 
Hay Shed Hill
511 Harmans Mill Road, Wilyabrup WA 6280
Phone: +61 8 9755 6046 
Daily 11am - 5pm

One of the places i REALLY wanted to check out was the tapas bar Rusticos at Hay Shed Hill. Sadly, they weren't open when i visited. What drew me to them was the Mediterranean style communal plates and tapas which are paired with their wines. So far, i've not been won over by Aussie fine wine and dine so i'm more inclined to check out the Rusticos' casual menu. Rusticos' 6 course tapas degustation menu is priced at AU$65 and i'd definitely top up for their wine pairing at AU$89.
Cullen Wines 
4323 Caves Road Wilyabrup 
Margaret River, WA 6280
Tel: +61 8 9755 5277
Daily 10am - 4.30pm 
Restaurant 11.30 - 3.30pm

Good wines and even better food are what you get at Cullen Restaurant. This was recommended by a fellow foodie-vino guzzler. Their restaurant has also been awarded two Chef Hat in the 2018 Good Food Guide. You know they are serious about their nosh when they serve fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables from their biodynamic garden. I've been told to grab hold of the Diana Madeline 2014 (Cab Sauv-Merlot) too. 
Caves Road (Cnr Tom Cullity Drive)
Margaret River, WA 6284
Tel: +61 8 9756 5050
Daily 10am - 5pm
Restaurant 12 - 3pm

Based on the reviews i've read online, i formed a super high expectations of Vasse Felix and it was sorely disappointing. The wines are more expensive than the others that I’ve sampled and they aren’t great. The only decent one was their most expensive bottle which is the 2013 Tom Cullity (76% Cab Sauv, 20% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot). It was good but it certainly isn’t worth the tag. We managed to get a table at the restaurant but we left after seeing the menu which wasn't very appetizing. Verdict- Can skip.

Things to buy from Margaret River (other than wine)
Other than drinking, here are other recommendations for Margaret River!
The Margaret River Saturday Farmers' Market is one of the highlights of my Margaret River trip. It isn't huge but it has a nice mix of fresh produce, bakes, jams, chocolates etc. 
My favorite store is the Margaret River Bakery!
Best berries and granola parfait i've eaten in my life! It's AU$8 of happiness in a giant cup. I simply refused to eat anything else. 
You also MUST get the chocolates from Temper Temper Fine Chocolate. That sea salt caramel dark chocolate is out of this world!

Also, if you're a cheese lover, you have got to drop by Yallingyup Cheese Company. We stuffed our faces with cheese after our wine-lunch.
Places to eat in Margaret River
I love Morries Anytime! It's one of the few places that stay open till later and their tapas are lovely! The grilled haloumi with pickled zucchini on Margaret River Woodfired Bread (AU$13) was the best! I'm still dreaming about that Blackbrook scotch on potato terrine with truffle butter (A$39)! If you are sick of wine, they have a good cocktail list here! I hope you stay nearby because the drinks are strong. Other restaurants on my list include Settlers Tavern & Margaret River Ale Co and La Scarpetta Trattoria.

Till the next wine trip!