Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Barossa Bar & Grill has launched its new outlet at VivoCity. I've vaguely heard of the brand before and they've been operating from the Esplanade branch but i've never tried it, i guess partly due to the location (sadly Esplanade isn't known as a food destination). We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of meats at this Australian-inspired restaurant, flown from four renowned Australian farms- Bass Strait, Wanderer, Josdale, and Carrara, each known for different qualities of their cattle.
Not only that. The restaurant also boasts its own dry-ageing fridge to enhance the flavors of their meats. To further elevate the experience, all the meat and seafood are cooked on a Spanish Josper charcoal grill for the perfect golden-brown Maillard reaction. 
For starters, the Barossa Steak Tartare ($26) is one smooth fella. The slightly thicker strips of beef were coated in a mix of smoked oyster aioli, ponzu jelly, pickled red onion, wasabi zuke, and a coagulated egg yolk. 
Ah Hua Kelong's Tiger Prawns ($26) are served charcoal grilled for that extra smoky headiness and further flavored by a shio kombu garlic beurre noisette. The charred kale chips that the prawns sat atop off were a great accompaniment to the juicy crustacean.
Recently i tried the Pico Laser at IDS Skincare, which Dr Michelle Wong recommended to help with skin rejuvenation and brightening, and also pigmentation reduction. I understand that this laser could be done monthly as the intensity is not that high, which also means that the downtime is shorter (about 1 - 2 days), and is good for maintenance.
The “Pico” in “PicoLasers” refers to Picosecond, which is one trillionth of a second. This is approximately approximately ten times faster than nanosecond Q-switched lasers and theoretically works more efficiently in targeting the specific tissues with less surrounding tissue damage. 
For the laser, my skin was cleansed first before numbing cream was applied. The numbing process takes about 15 - 20 mins but i thought it felt shorter than that. I was then quickly ushered into the treatment room and Dr Michelle started on the laser immediately. 

I was a little tense as it had been some time since my last laser treatment. I must say that the pain was a little more than i expected as i thought my face would be completely numb. I would say the pain was 3-4 on a scale of 10 but thankfully it was in short bursts. It was definitely more intense than IPL, plus i could smell the burn. Sensitive areas such as the upper lips also hurt more. Dr Michelle Wong concentrated the laser on my cheeks and nose for purpose of reducing pore size and pigmentation. Anyway before i knew it, the treatment was over and that took maybe 5 minutes. 
The East is best when it comes to food. There was a dearth of cafes in the past but that has quickly changed with big boys like Brawn & Brains, Dutch Colony and Forty Hands moving into the Siglap/Katong area. The latest hottest is The Brewing Ground, which has amazingly popped up steps from my place at The Yards, a transformed school compound at Telok Kurau. 
Experience the bright and breezy Eastie vibe with the glasshouse-inspired interior, or park your bike/pet out on the alfresco deck breezy alfresco deck. I've been lucky enough to walk in without a wait at lunch time but now that the secret is out of the bag, please make your reservations. I hear weekdays breakfast can pack a queue!
This is not quite the place for early risers, that is if you are looking to bite into their much raved about Breakfast Burger ($20), which is only served from 11am. They ought to call it a Brunch Burger actually. It is just as well because i doubt anyone can stomach this massive beast too early in the morning! Toasted brioche buns sandwiches a juicy rosemary pork sausage patty and creamy scrambled eggs, flavored even more with a lovely caramelized onion relish and a sweet ketchup mayonnaise. There was too much of the latter and i had to scrape some off for balance. A perfectly crispy hash brown completes the blockbuster. I was thankful for the side of mesclun salad which helped to to cut through the richness of the bun with its refreshing acidity. 
I first got a taste of Chef Jérémy Gillon and his Alpine-herb-forward French cuisine five years ago at now defunct Audace. It was certainly the most refreshing French dining i've experienced then. Fast forward to 2021 and Chef has already earned his star with his fine dining Restaurant JAG. Stepping into Restaurant Jag for the first time, we were pleased to see that Chef has remained true to his brand of serving seasonal cuisine inspired by the wild-foraged herbs from Savoie. 
It was yet another refreshing and educational meal with unpredictable flavors using herbs that we have never heard of or were able to pronounce. We went with the well-priced 4 course Executive Set Lunch ($98), which was a delightful experience. Do allow yourself at least 2.5 hours for this. I ended up rescheduling my appointment after because lunch took longer than expected but it was worth it though! If you have even more time to spare, there's also the 6-course Degustation Measured Indulgence Menu ($175). 
We started with a Salsify and Sariette biscuit with the crunch of a potato chip. 
Then a green Kohlrabi juice with Hyssop oil and balsamic. This had notes of apple and celery in it. 
A steamy dark rye was served with a duo of Normandy and herb butter. While we loved the fluffy insides, the dark burnt crust a tad too much to handle after a few bites. Lovely miso notes if you don't mind the char though. 
Let's face it, wine can be intimidating. And we're lucky to have the daring Rebel Rebel (and RVLT) which breaks down the stiffy French attitude and promises a ton of fun and adventure with their selection of down-to-earth, small-batch, and handcrafted wines that are terroir driven. Fret not if you're a newcomer to the wine world, Rebel Rebel offers wine by the glass and has a good mix that is rotated weekly, so you'd be able to try something new without having to commit. There's a curated range of over 200 wines priced from under  $100 to over $200 range if you wish to stick to the bottles. 
The bold wine-bar concept is supported an equally daring food menu by Burnt Ends alumnus Deborah Yeo, who throws together a exciting fusion cuisine. We started with slices of sourdough ($8) because we needed something to dip into the Pork Fat ($6), a translucent cream that is whipped fat topped with topped with crunchy farro and barley and some honey for a touch of sweetness. Something must have been wrong with my taste buds that night because i couldn't taste the gaminess ("porkiness") of the fat until i was almost done with the bread. It was enjoyable for me till then. You either love lard or hate it. 
We then went with another toasty snack, the Prawn ($14/2pcs). This smelled exactly like Otah but tasted more like a Thai prawn cake. While reading the reviews, i originally decided not to add on the uni to the toast because the overall spices would overpower the fresh sweet uni. Also, i thought the price was a tad pricey ($28 add on for 2 toasts) for a few pieces of uni. Well, all willpower vanished when the server asked if i'd like uni. So yes, it was a regretful move but i made sure to savor the uni on its own. 
Pick the Hamachi salad ($24) if you're looking for a refreshing plate in between the heavy ones. This Asian salad with Kumquat is almost like the Chinese Yu Sheng that we eat during Chinese New Year, but less diabetic. The bright salad was adorned with fresh slices of yellowtail. We could certainly do with a bigger portion. 
Vegans and Vegetarians rejoice! Homegrown restaurant Violet Oon has launched an extended menu of plant-based and gluten-free specialties at its Clarke Quay outlet Violet Oon Singapore Satay Bar & Grill, where you can enjoy smoke-kissed dishes alongside your meat loving friends. 
Expect big flavors with the use of regional spices, rempahs, house-made sauces, and the smoky sear of the grill. 

For starters, the Eggplant Goreng Dip with Emping Crackers ($17) was irresistible with the light bitterness of the belinjau nut crackers, balanced with the savoury coriander-infused eggplant purée. We got hold of some green chili sambal and boy it was a killer combination. 
The Grilled Cauliflower Sambal Tumis ($19) packs a smoky punch but I must warn that moreish sambal sauce requires a refreshing cocktail to extinguish the heat. Thankfully the cocktails at Violet Oon are perfect for that. Go for the Assam cocktail, it's my favorite of the lot.
Meatless Meatball Rendang ($18) was a soft mix of walnut, cheese and Impossible meat dumpling, braised in a spiced creamy coconut cream sauce. Honestly no one would have known that this was meat free. Certainly one of my favorite dishes on the menu. 

On to mushrooms, a crowd favorite is the Kunyit Lemak King Oyster Mushroom ($24), which sees a full-bodied grilled meat oyster mushrooms coated in an earthy turmeric-infused coconut sauce. 

It has been a month since i started on the skincare products by IDS Skincare (read Part 1 of my review here) I've been told by Dr Michelle Wong that i'm likely to experience some break outs as the products help to purge the underlying blackheads and impurities. Well even though that was expected, i was quite concerned with the additional spots, which unfortunately i picked at. SOBS. 
Apart from that, the dry skin condition has eased with the Recovery Serum and Moisture Boost combination! No more annoying flaky spots!

When i headed back for my review, Dr Michelle Wong assured that my skin was fine and that the Hydro-Therapeutics Treatment (HTT) ($198+) would help with clearing my skin further. This treatment works through various levels of deep cleansing to remove accumulated dirt, product build-up and clogged sebum that no regular cleanser can. It also helps with lines and wrinkles too!
The 60 minute facial is suitable for all skin types and leaves you with clearer and brighter skin. Check this out if you don't believe. 


The facial started with double cleansing followed by HydroD, a water dermabrasion which uses a multi minerals solution to remove surface impurities. Though dermabrasion may sound invasion, but you'd only feel a light suction on your skin. A deeper cleansing using ultrasound was next and you'd experience some light tingling zapping sensation (not painful at all). Then the usual extractions. I was told that my skin condition was pretty ok so that provided some assurance to my concerns. 

After the cleansing, Vitamin C is applied and with the help of the ultrasound device, you could expect better penetration of the serum. Lastly, a whitening mask was prescribed based on my skin condition.

The HTT treatment was very soothing and i was surprised at how bright my skin was immediately after. Will certainly do this facial again. 

360 Orchard Road
#02-02 International Building
Singapore 238869

8 Sinaran Drive
#05-09 to 10
Singapore 307470
It's been a long time since i last visited Golden Peony at Conrad Centennial and i remember being rather impressed on my first visit. The restaurant is helmed by Executive Chinese Chef Ku Keung who has over 20 years of professional culinary experience in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. Over our Chinese New Year tasting menu, i noticed that Chef is actually quite playful and adventurous when it comes to incorporating new food trends and also elements from other cuisine. 
We started our feast with an appetizer inspired by the Indian Puri snack. This Pao Pao minced duck reminded me of the typical second dish when having Peking duck, except that puri is used in place of lettuce. A savory sweet mix of minced duck and diced vegetables filled the crispy puffs, providing textural delight.
The Fortune OX Yu Sheng with salmon and wagyu beef contained a surprising element, which is mock salmon. Chef wanted to give us a taste of this vegetarian replacement and the texture was surprisingly decent and almost fish-like (it was a bit more like jellyfish). 
Next, an abalone ingot pastry served with sliced abalone rolled with asparagus and prawn paste. The seafood roll is apparently a new item and i'm sure it'd be a crowd favorite for all seafood lovers.
If you enjoy Pen Cai, know that it's included in the Diamond Ox menu ($1998 for 8 pax). Among the usual delicacies like abalone, scallops, prawns, lobster, sea cucumber, fish maw, conpoy and roast meats, lies a homemade meatball, made using Impossible meat! If we were not told of this, we wouldn't have thought the meatball was anything but the regular sort! Sneaky Chef but it is a great way to change diners' mindset on alternative meats/meat substitutes.
Start your own Chinese New Year tradition at InterContinental Singapore Man Fu Yuan (MFY). Now this is one highlight that i look forward to every lunar new year. This year, Executive Chinese Chef Aaron Tan and his team at MFY will be offering a selection of delicacies and prosperity prix-fixe menus until 26 February 2021 and it caters to couples and also intimate gatherings with family.
We tossed our way into prosperity with visually stunning 60-inch Blossoms of Spring Prosperity Yu Sheng adorned with Hokkaido scallops, salmon, crispy fish skin, shaped in the form of the Chinese character ‘Chun’ (春). The golden yuzu and plum sauce with shallot oil provided refreshing and light sweetness to the yu sheng. It is also possible to arrange for individually portioned yu sheng for your own tossing! For a 牛 beginning, there's also a yusheng with with Japanese Omi A4 Wagyu beef with salmon and Hokkaido scallops.
Next up, a luxurious Superior crab meat and pumpkin bisque with generous amount of birds nest and crab meat and roe in pumpkin husk. Lovely savory sweetness in this one! A must order IMO. 
The Signature West Lake Longjing smoked duck with truffle sauce (from real truffles) make for a good appetizer with its thin crispy skin and juicy meat. 
2020 has taken a toll on me this year, mentally and physically. The combination of stress, and a lot more outdoor workout on my roof terrace has resulted in dull and slight uneven skin tone, and also the slightly more clogged pores. I decided to put an end to this in 2021 by restarting a more diligent skincare regime and i started with a visit to IDS Skincare.
IDS is quite established in the aesthetic and clinical dermatologist market and they have their own line of IDS Skincare product, which is the result of constant innovation. IDS's proprietary formulation of Neulastin- consisting of key ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Collagen, Elastin, Adenosine, Zinc & Magnesium, and includes a technology called Enhance® Delivery System, facilitates the absorption of active ingredients into the skin and improves and eliminates wrinkles other than repairing and restoring damaged skin. 
I met with Dr Michelle Wong for a consultation and she was quick with her assessment of my condition and suggested some products to combat my combination skin. There's also some sensitivity/dryness around my mouth area so she suggested some products for that too. 
For cleansing, I went with the sensitive series of the cleanser and toner (C2 and T2), which contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant botanical extracts to help combat redness, environmental stress and soften the skin. I liked how there isn't a tight and dry feeling after washing my face, as compared to the DrX cleanser that i'm currently using. In addition, i also got the Facial Scrub (FS), a super gentle scrub with ultra-fine crystals with Jojoba oil that can be used daily. 
For the clogged pores, the Pore Formula (PF) helps to refine pores and reduce blackheads and whiteheads. The creamy texture is quickly absorbed into the skin. There's a calming tea tree oil scent to it but can be a little stingy, but that could be due to my currently sensitive skin. I use this on my T-zone and problem areas. 

Then my favorite C Plus (C+), age-defense serum formulated with a potent form of Vitamin C to combat dull skin and stimulates collagen! Having tried a similar product before, i knew this is going to be my favorite. 

Lastly for moisture, i was recommended the Recovery Serum (RS) and Moisture Boost (MB). RS helps to reduce redness and irritation, which i use on the dry spots. It could be blended together with the MB for extra moisture to the face. I really liked the combination of these 2 products for a hydration boost. My dry patches have improved after 3 days of usage. 
I love how the products are quick to absorb and are not sticky. For daytime, i'm also using the S3 New Tinted sunscreen, which has a matte texture. I prefer the tinted version because i'm not very fair. If you're very fair, you could consider the regular sunscreen. 

For a weekly treat, I'm also trying the Dermashield Mask (DM). It's supposed to help protect against the blue light emitted from digital devices and environmental pollutants which lead to early signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. 

Excited to see the results of a more consistent and diligent skincare regime. Will update more. To be better and prettier 2021.

You can visit for more about their products or if you wish to know more about your skin. 

360 Orchard Road
#02-02 International Building
Singapore 238869
T: +65 6450 3555

8 Sinaran Drive
#05-09 to 10
Singapore 307470
T: +65 6568 3555