[SBA2015] Best Food Blog: A “brutally honest” food blogger

October 31st, 2015


Singapore Blog Awards 2015 Best Food Blog - Ms Skinnyfat

Local food blogger "Ms Skinnyfat" admits she can get "brutally honest" in her reviews. (Image: Interviewee)

Local food blogger "Ms Skinnyfat" admits she can get "brutally honest" in her reviews. (Image: Interviewee)

1. Give us a brief introduction to yourself and your blog!

Hey I’m Cheryl a.k.a. Ms Skinnyfat (though people always wonder how fat is part of the equation). You can say that food and travel are my passion and I started the blog to share my dining and travel experiences with my friends. It saves me the trouble of having to repeat myself every time they quiz me – I simply direct them to my blog. I kid! It’s been about 4 years of writing and ranting about food and travel and nothing makes me happier than having people tell me that they enjoy my writing or that they love my recommendations.

2. What do you think sets your blog apart from other food blogs?

I can be brutally honest with my opinions since Ms-Skinnyfat.com isn’t a commercial site. I don’t see the point in sugar coating my reviews if the food is mediocre or horrid because it’ll be frustrating for the reader when their experience differs from what is written. That happened to me too many times (as a reader) so I’m very mindful of that in my writing. Of course, I’m not malicious in my comments because I know how hard it is to run a restaurant as well.

I can also wax lyrical about my food and go into the details instead of providing listings of restaurants, or simply captioning the dishes, or lamely stating the ingredients in the dish. I think my readers appreciate detailed reviews as well.

Ms Skinnyfat shares tips for a budding food reviewer. Read on! (Image: Interviewee)

Ms Skinnyfat shares tips for a budding food reviewer. Read on! (Image: Interviewee)

3. How much time and money do you spend into running your blog on average each month?

Oops I don’t keep track! In terms of time, I think people don’t realize how tough and time consuming blogging is. The process consists research, eating, photography, photo editing, editorial, editorial editing, before a post finally goes up. Each post can easily take 5-7 hours to produce! Let’s not even talk about the amount of money spent. If you look at the food that I feature, you’d get an idea.

4. Give 3-5 tips for a budding food blogger / Instagrammer!

1. Honesty is the best policy if you want people to keep reading your reviews. I have unfollowed blogs and websites because they don’t provide me with authentic opinions.

2. Don’t be too hung up over the number of likes or followers. In short, don’t sell yourself out just to gain popularity.

3. Photography is important. Food reviews are all about the visuals. You don’t need a dslr if you can’t afford one but make sure you edit your photographs to ensure quality.

4. Pay attention to your writing. Editing is time consuming but bad grammar and spelling errors are distracting and annoying. I can’t say that I’m perfect at it but I try my best.

5. What is your happy food? + What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

I’m greedy so I’m a coffee+bread/pastries+eggs person and I can have that for every meal. Of course I’m talking about the artisanal and well prepared versions of this combination.

I’m not an adventurous eater actually, so no bugs for me for sure. I guess the weirdest would be basashi (horse meat sashimi) in the Kyushu Japan region but it was just like wagyu sashimi.

Horse sashimi, known as Bahashi, is a delicacy in Kyushu region, Japan. (Image: Interviewee)

Horse sashimi, known as Bahashi, is a delicacy in Kyushu region, Japan. (Image: Interviewee)

6. Ok we know you love to eat, but can you cook..?

Does making salads count? Or how about coffee? I can make a decent aeropress coffee/pull an espresso shot too. Haha! I don’t cook but I like to believe that I can if I want to. =P

Bagels that Ms Skinnyfat made and a cup of Cortado she pulled. (Image: Interviewee)

Bagels that Ms Skinnyfat made and a cup of Cortado she pulled. (Image: Interviewee)

7. The question everyone has: How do you stay in shape?

I get this a lot! Well I am an yoga addict and I would be in my studio/ doing self practice if I’m not busy eating/traveling. I average about 10h of hot flow/vinyasa/power/ashtanga yoga and I also add circuit/cardio to the mix. I also make my own salad lunches on weekdays because I enjoy my greens. That said, I’m a huge snacker but I try to keep to healthier snacks like fruits, nuts, and muesli (nah I really just eat any junk I want).

More effort for a food blogger to stay in shape! Ms Skinnyfat is a yogi. (Image: Interviewee)

More effort for a food blogger to stay in shape! Ms Skinnyfat is a yogi. (Image: Interviewee)

8. Share with us some best and worst experiences you’ve had in your blogging journey and how do you deal with them.

The best experience would be the opportunity to meet people who are equally as passionate about eating like I do. The food blogging community is a fairly friendly one and I have become good friends with some of these bloggers and also with people from the industry.

Bad experiences are not limited to bad food. The dining experience can be affected by the dining companions as well. During hosted sessions, there would sometimes be overly enthusiastic bloggers/people who use Instagram who would go the extra mile to get their perfect shots. That means that the dishes would be brought everywhere and placed on the road/floor/any surface other than the table. It is inconsiderate and it does not do the dish justice by the time we get to eat. How could you expect your fellow diners to eat cold and dirty dishes! My solution is to provide feedback to the PR and marketing people and avoid future sessions with such guests.

9.  Lastly, say a few words about winning in Singapore Blog Awards 2015!

Well I was surprised about the win actually but it doesn’t change anything. I’ll still continue writing like I do and readers can continue to look forward many more honest reviews on Ms-Skinnyfat.com!

Singapore Blog Awards 2015 Best Food Blog: Ms-Skinnyfat.com

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Blue no bold: SBA team post-interview thoughts: Uli’s unique preference for music has helped her to create many niche looks. She manages to marry music and fashion, along with well crafted photoshoots, she translates all these onto her blog which helps her to stand out. She might not be the mainstream fashionista, but she truly is one with the most memorable character. To Uli, yes maybe your readers are just really shy!

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SBA team post-interview thoughts: As “brutally honest” as she might be, we thought it is not a bad thing since she knows the line. It is important in keeping a genuine voice for yourself and also your readers, and that is the best way you can set yourself apart and not “just another blogger”.

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