Brunch continues to be the most important weekend meal in Singapore, with a multitude of places popping up on the dining scene. From swanky hotel indulgences to casual home-style comforts, there’s a brunch setting for all tastes in this city-state.
The vintage brunch at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
Prepare for opulence, impeccable service and a grand affair when dining at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore’s Greenhouse. There is no better way to spend a Sunday than the at the vintage champagne brunch, complete with an unlimited flow of Moёt & Chandon, select wines and cocktails. From noon to 3:30 p.m., brunchers can savor a selection of fine roasted meats starring juicy and tender slow-roasted Wagyu beef, roasted char siew (barbecued pork with a crispy outer layer) and herb-crusted rack of lamb. Other Greenhouse specialties include fresh-shucked oysters with varietals from places such as France, Canada and New Zealand; an indulgent pan-seared foie gras station; and a cheese selection boasting more than 50 farmhouse options, including those imported from France. This brunch is a grand occasion, so remember to wear your Sunday’s best to dine in luxury at the heart of Marina Bay.
The Italian lover’s brunch at Fairmont Singapore
There is no better way to break the fast than the semi-buffet brunch at Prego (Sunday, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.), a trattoria where omelet and waffle stations are replaced with imported massive Parmesan wheels, charcuterie and white truffle delicacies. Renowned chef de cuisine Antonio Facchinetti shares his Italian heritage with Singapore, preparing 40 hearty dishes inspired by his hometown Milan. Of the main courses, the most notable are the Maine lobster with angel hair pasta prepared al dente and finished with aromatic basil; the Italian roasted pork belly with a cream sauce and a side of roasted vegetables; and the fettuccine with mushrooms doused in a scrumptious truffle creamed sauce. Be sure to save room for dessert, which is almost as impressive as the entrées: Housemade tiramisu (one of the best on the island), from-scratch nutty pistachio gelato and a delicate panna cotta all make for a nice ending to a bountiful feast.
A party in your mouth at Bacchanalia
Sunday at Bacchanalia (11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) is not your typical brunch scene: Imagine a posh crowd in a shaded room lounging on plush sofas and nodding to upbeat mixes by the resident DJ; the daytime meal is seemingly a continuation of Saturday night’s party. The food, however, lives up to its hype as the owners — the trio spent time at Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck in the U.K. — create a limited, but well-executed menu offering two set options and à la carte dishes. After a long Saturday night, the savory Bacchanalia burger is your best bet: Admittedly not the most creative burger in the world, it’s more importantly cooked just right. Housemade buns hold the adequately seasoned beef patty (grounded from fresh USDA beef) topped with melted cheddar, lettuce, tomato and pickle. For more standard breakfast options, peruse the list of eggs Benedicts. The salmon and avocado as well as the pumpkin versions are excellent choices, both made with organic poached eggs drizzled with a light hollandaise sauce on housemade English muffins.
International comfort food at Wild Honey
Wild Honey serves a consistently exceptional all-day breakfast in a rustic and comforting setting akin to Sunday family brunch at home. In an instant, transport yourself from the land of chicken rice and laksa (well-known Singapore staples) to all corners of the globe — Norway, Mexico, California, Canada, Belgium and England are no longer far-away destinations with owner Guy Wachs’ international menu. For the non-carnivorous: Order up the Norwegian (thick, buttery challah brioche topped with Norwegian smoked salmon, fresh avocado and a light hollandaise with pearls of salmon) or the Mexican (a burrito filled with creamy scrambled eggs, black beans, seasoned crisp breakfast potatoes and served with a red chamoy sauce, guacamole and sour cream). For the carnivores: The Australian is the way to go — a perfectly prepared 1824 Australian grain-fed sirloin that has been aged for 120 days is served with a fried egg, baked beans and ciabatta complemented by a chutney sauce bursting with spice and flavor. Wild Honey pays honorable homage to the commonwealth with the English — the restaurant’s filling signature dish comes with Cumberland pork sausage, bacon, baked beans, breakfast potatoes, sautéed mushrooms and scrambled eggs.
Quick and sweet at Tiong Bahru Bakery by Gontran Cherrier
Tiong Bahru Bakery is one of the best bakeries in Singapore with a reasonable weekend queue to match its favorable reputation. Opened in 2012 touting celebrity baker Gontran Cherrier, the small corner TBB location became an instant hit, offering a quirky artisanal experience accompanied by the aroma of freshly baked bread. The menu features simple but thoughtful sandwiches and pastries, and all orders are self-service at the front counter. For a quick bite, leave the sandwiches at the counter and get the plain or almond croissants. The plain ones have flaky crisped baked outer layers, which unravel to a soft inside. The almond croissant is modernized with hints of almond filling and a denser consistency than the norm. As long as your expectations are not Parisian standards, TBB does a wonderfully crafted version in Singapore without the 13-hour flight. For the sweet-toothed diner, a strong cuppa (local term for a cup of coffee) and pastry at TBB is the best way to start the day. The best-seller is the sinfully addictive kouign-amann — and rightfully so. A play on the traditional Breton pastry, the dough is transformed into a crisp circular heaven with butter, caramel and sugar crystals in between its soft layers. While the kouign-amann overshadows its fellow window counterparts, the apple crumble and fromage blanc are tasty and not-as-sweet alternatives.
Photo Courtesy of Bacchanalia