When the city’s 9-to-5ers shift into idleness, Singapore prepares to greet the weekend with these exciting brunch destinations.
Mention brunch, and a meal of eggs and breadstuffs immediately come to mind. Scrolling through your Instagram feed on a weekend, you would see the dish, in all of its iterations, as a symbol of a trendy Sunday brunch done right. But what is it about the unofficial meal that has made it such a coveted experience? After all, the hunt for the quintessential brunch place has, admittedly, become clouded by every other cafe that can poach an egg or flip a pancake. The origins of brunch are hazy. However, consensus points to the first appearance of the terminology in print to an 1895 Hunter’s Weekly article. In “Brunch: A Plea”, writer Guy Beringer defines the idea and principle of the word “brunch” which, as we have come to know, is a portmanteau combining breakfast and lunch. His plea for the combination meal was goal-specific: sleep in, rise late, gather your mates, and revive yourselves from the Night Before over a feast. With brunch, Saturday nights seem to be prolonged, putting you in a good mood because, “Is any busy work-a-day man in a becomingly religious frame of mind after rising eight and nine o’clock on his only ‘off’ morning?”
The new dining experience gave birth to a meal that was “cheerful, sociable, and inciting,” sans any hangover-induced misery and morning rush. Brunch was a more hospitable meal for Beringer, as compared to the solitude of an early breakfast. “In these hurrying, worrying, and scurrying days the sweets of life are too often overlooked, and, with the sweets, the hors d’œuvre, soups, and entrees,” he explains. “Brunch puts you in a good temper; it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow-beings. It sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” While you’re at it, raise your glasses in a jubilant toast with bottomless mimosas and bloody marys. Ultimately, it seems more about paying for the rosy experience of socialising than the meal itself. As Singapore grabs ahold of the bar carts and grazing tables with both hands, we turn to the most diverse brunch experiences that the city has to offer. Sounds like a plan?
Sundays shine brightest at the Kitchen Table, W Singapore – Sentosa Cove with W Does Brunch, serving up pulsating beats and eats amidst a boozy backdrop. For seafood lovers, satisfy your cravings with the Fresh Seafood on Ice Platter before moving on to Grilled Lobster and Grilled Spanish Octopus. Meat lovers can sink their teeth into selections from W’s Western Section, including Lamb T-Bone, Wagyu Beef Steak and Pan Seared Foie Gras ($150++ per person including free-flow champagne, every Sunday from 12.30pm to 3pm).
To end your weekend on a high note, secure a spot at the Vintage Champagne Brunch at Colony, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, which serves up luxurious tipples. Indulge in free-flow pours of Champagne Barons de Rothschild Reserve Ritz Millesime 2010, Champagne Dom Perignon 2010 and – wait for it – Champagne Cristal 2013. Complementing the bubbly is The Ice Bar, where one can find freshly shucked oysters and Sashimi Platters, while the Grill & Rotisserie pulls out the stops with timeless classics like A La Plancha Boston Lobster and Pan Seared Onyx Beef Rib-eye (starting from $142++ per person, every Sunday from 12pm to 3pm).
Next door, the Punch Brunch at Republic Bar showcases a cocktail menu devoted to anecdotes originating from Singapore, the UK, the USA, and Italy. Taking centre stage are three punch bowls, developed in conjunction with cocktail historian David Wondrich. Complement your drink of choice with appetisers like Prosciutto Di Parma and Chilled Heirloom Tomato Soup. For a heartier spread, go for the Hainanese Kurobuta Pork Chop or the classic brunch staple, Eggs Benedict. Divine sweet enders include a Crepe Suzette, Raspberry Yoghurt Ball, and Warm Chocolate Pistachio Tart ($168 per person, every Sunday from 12pm to 3pm).
Keep last night’s party flowing with the mix-it-yourself Mojito Bar at Opus Bar and Grill’s Free Flowing Sunday Brunch. The self-service counter comes complete with fruits and garnishes to muddle up the perfect mojito. Meanwhile, the Sunday Brunch selection includes a live foie gras station, sushi and sashimi counter, as well as a cured meats library. Expect Alaskan King Crab Legs, Wagyu Pastrami, Wok-Fried Chilli Crab, Cheesecakes from D9 Cakery and more. Don’t miss out on the Overnight Marinated Lamb Porterhouse, which is prepared on Opus’ signature open-flame grill, over charcoal and jarrah wood (starting from $98++ per person, every Sunday from 12.30pm to 3.30pm).
Kick back and relax with the Grand Champagne Sunday Brunch at Estate, Hilton Orchard Singapore. Little tots in tow can escape into a carved-out children’s section to entertain themselves with activities like roving magicians, face painting and pottery making. With the kids distracted, adults can give their full attention to the hearty fare and bubblies available. The Sunday fun is elevated with a Do-It-Yourself cocktail bar, as well as Singapore’s largest cheese offering available at a hotel buffet, and a 25kg Mortadella ham sliced a la minute (starting from $158++ per person, every Sunday from 12pm to 3pm).
Marrying Cantonese-style breakfast with the world of cocktails, Dim Sum, Drink Some at Madame Fan, JW Marriott Singapore South Beach features over 40 dim sum creations. Refined classics include Mini Buddha Jumps Over The Wall, Minced Wagyu Beef Fried Rice with XO Sauce, and Jasmine Tea Smoked Ribs. Tipplers can opt for Madame Fan’s cocktail programme, with ‘Sip’ and ‘Guzzle’ options available with selections like Tian Mi Mi, prepared with whisky, smoked camomile liqueur, mandarin and black peppercorn; and Yu Cha, a cocktail of Gin, vermouth, peated green tea and herbal liqueurs. (starting from $88 per person, every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3.30pm).
Muslim-friendly Hathaway is not only known for its quaint, laid-back charm but also for its gourmet offerings. Located in Dempsey Hill, the space plays host to Singapore’s culinary heritage, with a sprinkling of French and Middle-Eastern influences. Think mains like Pengat Pisang French Toast, and an Octopus Bakar & Sambal Udang that combines king prawns, Western Australian octopus, as well as kerabu kacang botol (a winged bean salad). The Ah Nya’s Fish Curry, made using owner Ivan Ting’s grandmother’s recipe, is also one to share between you and your mates. (brunch menu available daily, from 9am to 4pm).