Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

We are all aware of the many Japanese restaurants hidden in Cuppage Plaza, but do you know there's one hidden in plain sight just opposite the building? Sushi Chiharu by Tamaya Dining is tucked within Tamaya Dining, another casual Japanese restaurant. Expect an intimate night of intricate Japanese dining featuring fresh Japanese seasonal produce at this 12-seater omakase restaurant, whose flagship in Osaka is a three-time Michelin recommended Bib Gourmand (2016 to 2018).
Quality and consistency is expected of the food delivered at Sushi Chiharu. Sushi Chiharu handpicks the best chefs to work at their Osaka branch, and only a selected few get to be posted to their regional outlets. The chefs prepare two menus at the Singapore outlet, a 18-course Omakase Menu ($140) and a 10-piece Nigiri Sushi Course ($90). All items are served a la minute at the open sushi counter. 
The 18-course includes three appetisers, two seasonal sashimi, a seasonal dish, the restaurant's signature 10-piece nigiri sushi, a soup and dessert. We started with a pumpkin soup with caviar. I loved the distinct dashi flavor in this Tsukiji pumpkin purée. 
Next bite was the chunky Taraba Kani Kimi Sunose with Kimizu- grilled king crab legs with a vinegary egg custard.
The fatty Hokkaido sardines were complemented with a refreshing sharp ponzu. I thought that the acidity helped take the edge off the fish.
The sashimi course consisted of horse mackerel and chutoro. There was also aburi chutoro which melted perfectly. 
The tempura course was Hamo- Daggertooth Pike Conger. I enjoyed the light fragrant batter which didn't overpower the fluffy fish. 

Haenuki rice is used in the signature sushi course for its unparalleled softness, distinct grains, and how well they mold together. This rice is cooked with kombu, rice vinegar, and a touch of salt and sugar, to enhance its natural flavours. I love love love the rice and also how each piece of sushi is perfectly sized to pop into my mouth. 
The Ika Somen Nigiri features thinly sliced squid (like noodles) topped with squid ink salt and a light drizzle of Japanese lime.  
Kisu- Sand borer.
Edomae sushi is served here and thus there are several cured seafood dishes. Cured tuna may sound like a salty bomb but the special blend of soy sauce that Sushi Chiharu marinates the tuna in brings out the sweetness of the fish. 
In the preparation of Aji Su Arai Nigiri, Aji (horse mackerel) is submerged in a homemade vinegar blend between one to three minutes. It is then sliced and scored, and topped with finely chopped spring onions and ginger, and lightly brushed with soy sauce to finish. Again, the tartness cleverly cuts through the strong flavor of the Aji.  
Moving on, both the Bafun and Murasaki Uni (sea urchin) tantalized my palate. Who can say no to Uni?!
Prior to this Grilled Botan Ebi course, we had been tortured the whole night by the heady aroma of the grilled prawns that other diners were having. The sweet shrimp is served two ways- plump sashimi with marinated roe, and a crispy grilled prawn head stuffed with sushi rice. 
This was pure happiness. 
The Aburi Barracuda Kamasu was served with wasabi and salt. I thought it was a tad spicy.
Anago Nigiri is uniquely prepared by first boiling the Anago (sea eel), then grilling it atop a sasa leaf on the hibachi grill. The result is fluffy cloud-like flesh with a touch of earthiness from the sasa leaf. This is finished with a light dab of sansho pepper and a glaze of a sauce reduced from a combination of soy sauce and its own juices.
I can never say no to hotate and this one is coated in umami tare. Love that luxurious texture! 
Sushi Chiharu's signature is Kerayaki, their unique take on tamagoyaki made with locally sourced eggs. Egg whites are whipped up into a meringue and the yolks are folded in.
This results in an airy and slightly sweet sponge cake. A small amount of sushi rice is wrapped within the egg  layers (i'm not sure why though). I mean i could have a block of it on its own as a dessert.  
We ended the meal with a comforting miso soup with water lily.
The meal ended with a sweet Japanese melon which turned into juice when we bit into it. MAGIC. One can could also enjoy a wide range of seasonal sakes by the bottle, ranging from $118 to $300.

I really enjoyed my time at Sushi Chiharu. Great good, great price, great service. Be sure to make your reservation!

45A Cuppage Rd, Singapore 229464
Tel: +65 6835 3639 (Reservations are required for dining from 6pm to 9pm.)
Mon - Sat: 6 - 11.30pm
Sun & PH: 6 - 10.30pm 
We all know that Potato Head has mad burgers and cocktails and we are truly glad that they have dedicated a standalone joint Three Buns Quayside to serving these finger-licking good comfort food. 95% of what you're gonna be savoring are handmade by the team helmed by Chef Adam Penney.
The menu is a mix of old favorites from Potato Head folks (hello Baby Huey) and new menu items unique to the Quayside location. Expect the highest-quality grass-fed Australian patty made from two prime cuts of beef, house-made sauces, and premium cheeses from US, UK, and Greece, sandwiched between their lovely butter brioche buns. 
If you’re looking for a hit of local flavour, check out the Red Man Burger ($28) – this isn’t on the regular menu yet, but you can tell that this is a burger that’s put together very intentionally. This is a twist on beef rendang, using beef cheek that’s prepared sous vide, accompanied by a specially prepared burger bun made from coconut oil and milk. This was easily our favorite burger! Just look at that juicy meat that falls apart!
You can tell how good a burger joint is by how well they do the classics and Three Buns doesn't fail. The Smokin’ B-Boy ($23), a bacon cheeseburger, is perfectly balanced with its juicy patty, savory bacon, crunchy fried and caramelized onions. Their no-frills cheeseburger Da Cheese Master ($15) works if you're a hard-core ketchup lover.
The Bun DMC ($16) is another one that’s unique to this location, moving away from the typical pickle to a home-made watermelon relish, as well as a mix of fried onions and onion puree. These ingredients worked quite well together, but the watermelon relish didn’t stand out as much as I thought it would (which was a pity). 
For a meat-free option, the Truffello ($15) was very aromatic, and buns were well done. Unfortunately, the slaw and the juicy Portbello makes for a very soggy burger, and there's nothing sadder than wet buns that disintegrate. The truffle butter sauce was also lost in the mix. If you want more of that punchy flavor, go for their Truffle Hound ($15) hotdog instead. It’s rather plain but at least you’ll taste the truffle.
We would come to Three Buns for their fries alone. Naughty Fries Jr. ($9) (pictured below), and Miso Dirty Fries ($9) were the stars in their own right – these fries are shaped in a curve, which was excellent for scooping up the sauces and toppings. What's more, they stayed crunchy even after being out on the table for a while, and the flavour profiles of both hit just the right spots.
I had a hard time deciding which one was my favourite – the Naughty fries has a hit of gochujang, while the miso and pork floss in the Miso Dirty fries adds an umami that makes the dish so addictive. My advice? Go in a group and get both – they’re great for sharing around a table, and will be gone in a heartbeat.

Come during the weekends and you'll get more than just burgers from 11am to 4pm. The Blueberry Basic ($15) is anything but basic. The porous buttermilk pancakes are savory bittersweet, with hints of coffee, vanilla beans and vanilla salt with ice cream and blueberry sauce served on the side. The Ronnie ($19), a chicken sausage with miso bearnaise burger, is served with super crunchy tater tots. I found the tater tots more irresistible than the slightly sticky and mushy patty (it tasted similar to MacD's).

Desserts wise, I found them all a tad too sweet for my liking, but the milkshakes were worse. Give them a miss please. However, I thought that the tartness of the Zesty Calamansi & Lemon cream ($6) would make a really good filling for a lemon tart/crumble. 

If you have to have a milkshake, go for the Aye Sailor ($18), a rum-spiked chocolate milkshake which countered the diabetic drink. The 3 Monkeys ($18), a banana-infused whisky milkshake tasted like cough syrup after being left out for a while.
In spite of the unhappy ending, let's focus on the good stuff, which are the burgers and fries. Those are gonna have us coming back to Three Buns again and again. 

-B & C-

Three Buns Quayside
60 Robertson Quay, #01-01, Singapore 238252
Tue-Fri 5pm-12am
Sat-Sun 11am-12am 
Our favorite garden restaurant Botanico has been revitalized with a new Singaporean head chef at the helm, a reinvigorated concept and an enhanced interior. Dine in the lush greenery that has now been brought indoors and feast on a contemporary European bistro cuisine that is integrated with Asian inflections.
Chef Sujatha Asokan, or Chef Su, is a true-blue Singaporean who rose through the ranks at Esquina, Pollen and Stellar at 1-Altitude. It is at Botanico where she brings her distinctive voice and culture to the table and boy were the dishes interesting.
My suggestion is to dive into the interesting bits, and leave the oysters, cauliflower, and tempura asparagus out of the way. Sure there may be some interesting bits like the use of an exclusive-to-Botanico Cañarejal cheese (a traditional raw unpasteurised sheep's milk cheese from Northern Spain) but honestly it did nothing much to make the dish extraordinary.
The Seabass Ceviche ($17) sounds regular enough but there is nothing regular about it. This dish is Chef's interpretation of Assam Laksa, comprising of a spicy-sweet ceviche of seabass with green chilli, pomegranate and shaved ginger flower, served with tamarind dressed glass noodles and shrimp paste ice cream. Yes you heard me right, the pungent fermented shrimp paste has been made into ice cream sans the stench. You get a mere hint of the prawn paste flavor, but it did a good job in binding the dish together, like how it would in a rojak. Don't go expecting it to taste like Assam Laksa though.
The Beef Tongue ($20) is a must-order here IMO! Australian beef tongue is brined, sous vide and chilled before being sliced very thinly with a meat slicer. There isn't much chewiness to the meat anymore, and it tasted very much like what i would imagine a high quality piece of spam (i mean it in a good way, i mean, who doesn't like spam?). A contrasting crunch comes from the deep fried capers and there's also a spicy chipotle mayo and honeyed yellow mustard seeds to accompany the briny slices.  
Now, the Slipper Lobster Chittara ($32) is like a zhnged up mee goreng using fresh pasta that is cooked in a Chinese XO sauce, accompanied by chunks of sous-vide slipper lobster. This XO sauce is made in-house by slow-cooking iberico ham trimmings, dried scallops, dried shrimps (hae bee), lemongrass, shallots, garlic, Thai fish sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, housemade chicken stock, chilli flakes, sugar and salt for 2 to 3 hours. 
Another of my favorite is the Iberico Char Siew ($34) which is smokin shiok. The  Spanish top loin (pluma) is marinated overnight with housemade char siew sauce, smoked and then chargrilled. It's served with a crunchy carrot "noodles" and a roasted carrot purée spiked with ginger and OJ. 
Curry Lamb Neck ($32) features 24-hour slow-cooked lamb neck fillets and a curry inspired by chef Su's Indian heritage. The brined lamb neck is sous-vide at 55 degrees for 18 hours, then grilled in the INKA before serving and there is no gamey taste to the meat at all. The light curry is made from Vadouvan, a blend of curry spices from France. Accompanying the fillets are Vadouvan-spiced king oyster mushrooms, soy pickled tomatoes, roasted potato foam and pickled onions. 
Can't say no to the Stockyard Wagyu Petit Tender ($34), a cut from the cow's shoulder (there are only 4 pieces per cow). Served with a housemade green sriracha (like an Asian chimichurri), charred leek flowers and fluffy and creamy potato terrine. 
A sweet and savory dessert is the Jalapeño ice cream ($11). It tastes like a sour cream ice cream with a hint of spice and i love how it coats the dehydrated bacon financier crumble! Charred Sarawak pineapple adds a touch of sweetness to the dish. 
For something that is a bit more safe, the Lemongrass-infused Panna Cotta ($10) will satisfy, if you're into botanical flavors like ginger and lemongrass. It provides a refreshing end to the meal with pops of acidity and calming spice. 
What is food without wine? Pair your meal with Botanico's 30 premium wine labels -- all rated 90 points and above by Wine Spectator -- available by glass and carafe through the Coravin system, and even more by bottle. Cocktails are aplenty too, with stalwart classics sitting alongside new experiences like edible cocktail jellies (these are too dangerous). For the budding bartender in you, you can also personalise your drink from scratch.
Always a fun experience at Botanico!

50 Cluny Park Road Singapore 257488 
Singapore Botanic Gardens 
Wed- Sun (Dinner): 6 - 11pm
Weekends: 11am - 3pm 
Etiquette-free Chinese fine dining, that's what Madame Fan at JW Marriott NCO Club provides, and boy was it refreshing. You probably wouldn't associate the lush plush and dark cozy setting, which includes a DJ spinning music in the middle of the restaurant, with fine Chinese food. It's like a speakeasy, a hidden unspoken secret, and that's what makes the experience even more exhilarating.
We started with dimsum for our dinner starters because you can definitely have dimsum for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and supper.
While i would want Madame Fan to take all my money (which they likely would) for their delicious Scallop Shumai ($16), i'm not sure if the price tag is entirely worth it? I mean, i could get really tasty siew mai elsewhere, at double the portion for the same price. The Sri Lankan Mud Crab Wanton ($16) doesn't get my vote for a different reason as i could hardly find any crab in this one. The cheaper vegetarian dimsum were provided more ROI because they were very tasty. The Sichuan Vegetable Dumpling ($6) had a lovely mala flavor to it but maintained a light sweetness; and the Chinese Chives dumpling ($8) didn't have a horrible overpowering chives flavor either. 
The Double-Boiled Four Treasure Soup ($28/each) did well in soothing my shock from. The smooth and creamy soup with a lovely coconut fragrance will filled with chunks of seafood- sea cucumber, fish maw, dried Hokkaido scallop, and crab meat. Dig around the coconut and you'll be rewarded with tender sweet flesh which complements the savory broth.

By the time we got to the Aromatic Duck ($38 for half a duck), the dimsum fiasco had been completely erased from my memory. Sheesh that aroma was haunting. Each bite of the thin chewy crepe roll was filled with flavorful meat! I would love a bigger duck because that skin.. OH THAT SKIN. Making a mental note to order this as a main dish for myself next time.
Other decent-restaurant-standard dishes include the comforting Home Style Crispy Pork Stir-Fry ($16/portion) with salty black bean, bitter melon, preserved cabbage and yu tofu; and Steamed Soon Hock with Ipoh Soy Sauce and Spring Onion ($14/portion) 
What was a standout, which currently isn't available on the menu, is the Handcut Taiwan Noodle with Wind Dried Pork and La La clams. It appeared to be very bland-looking and i'm not a fan or carb heavy dishes, but one bite and i was sold by the thin and smooth noodles! ! The texture is a cross between hor fun and mee pok and flavored by a smoky sweet seafood-meat stock, likely from the addition of the lup cheong (which is a favorite of mine as well).
Save space for desserts. The Mojito Lemon Tart with Mandarin Sorbet ($14) is a must-have. It's one of the best lemon tarts in Singapore really. Expect a refreshing tartness in the lemon curd on a buttery crust. Who said a Chinese meal has to end with Chinese desserts?
Madame Fan is located in The NCO Club, a three-story entertainment lifestyle destination which also hosts hosts Fish Pool (a champagne, caviar and oyster bar in an esteemed collaboration with Louis Roederer);
Stags' Room (a wine reserve and lounge in partnership with Stags’ Leap estate and Penfolds); Cool Cats (a live music venue) and The Britannia Room (a unique events space).
The NCO Club
32 Beach Road, Singapore 189764
Tel: +65 6818 1921
Daily: 12 - 3pm; 6-11pm