Although brunches in Singapore are a hot topic of conversation, the discussion is usually centred around the big hotel type brunches that mostly operate on a Sunday. If one is looking for brunch on a Saturday the options slim down significantly.
There are a couple of significant upsides to a Saturday brunch; one is that you obviously have Sunday to recover, and two is that if you have kids and a helper then it may be easier to leave them at home and treat yourselves to some well deserved child free time. That’s if you needed an excuse. These Saturday brunches all offer something just a little bit different and hopefully something that you find appealing.
Garibaldi for Superb Italian Food
I had brunch most recently at Garibaldi and I’m listing it at the top because it left a strong impression. I’d been to a Sunday brunch at Garibaldi some time ago and I was keen to see if the Saturday brunch would be as good as I remembered.
We were seated in the private room as we were a group of eight. If you’re in a big group and you’re rowdy like us 😉 this is a great option. Service was a little slow to start and there was some anxiousness when it seemed as if the staff were waiting for our whole party to join before serving our first drink. It was almost half an hour between the arrival of the first of our party (promptly at 11.30am) and our first drinks being enjoyed. Of course once there were drinks in our hand we were much happier.
Brunch at Garibaldi is not buffet style, there is a set menu of a series of starters, pastas, mains and desserts. If there’s anything you particularly enjoy you can order more of it. Which is exactly what we did with the gorgeous oysters that arrived. Initially we had two each and on request we were served the same again. The oysters were skilfully shucked making them easy to eat and enjoy their fresh saltiness. I didn’t ask where they were from but I’d guess France, they were a medium size and creamy without being goopy. A request for shallot vinegar was helpfully whipped up for us and we all thoroughly enjoyed our first starter.
Next up we had a series of dishes presented: a beetroot carpaccio salad, tuna tartare with avocado and salmon roe, sliced roasted beef with tuna sauce and capers, a poached egg with bacon and hollandaise and cauliflower soup. Aside from the salad, which was fine but not exciting, the other dishes were all beautifully presented and offered mouthfuls of loveliness. The poached egg was a perfect ‘mini me’ of a standard bacon and egg dish you might get in a breakfast cafe. The bacon was diced though and had a perfect saltiness and slight chewiness that made it totally moreish.
The beef with tuna sauce was served cold like a vitello tonnato, with tender beef slices substituting well for veal. The creamy sauce with tuna was flavoursome on its own but capers added a good zing. The cauliflower soup was also a standout. I don’t like cauliflower as a vegetable because of the texture, but this smooth and luxurious soup removed that problem for me. It was creamy but not rich and slid down the throat lusciously.
Next it was onto the pasta course. Three pastas were served, a creamy vegetable penne, linguine with fish ragout and spicy tomato sauce and taglioni with pork ragout. All of these were popular but my favourite was the linguine with fish ragout. Generous chunks of fish had a good texture (not too soft for a pasta dish) and the spiciness of the pasta sauce made the match a perfect one without being too ‘fishy’.
I was getting pretty full by the mains and a slow cooked pork cheek did little to excite me. Until I tasted it that is. Really tender pork, so tender that you could have broken it away with chopsticks, and cooked in a rich gravy of tomato with a beer base. Divine. The pan fried salmon was ok, but a little overcooked for my liking.
Again I thought I was done but desserts were too tempting to resist. The chocolate squares were soft and rich and velvety, the ‘nipples’ of a white chocolate icing on top of a baby madeleine cake were so good that we asked for more, the second round arriving warm and fragrant from the oven.
Service for our brunch was impeccably pulled off by Kamal, although sadly another server appeared near the end and managed to irritate more than a few of us in her few short moments in the room. Thank goodness for Kamal though, he was fabulous.
Brunch options cover the gamut of free flow soft drinks ($78++), free flow Prosecco ($108++), free flow Billecart Salmon Brut ($148++) or free flow Billecart Salmon Rose ($168++). What’s more is that in your group you can choose any combination of those options so it’s a brunch to suit all budgets.
36 Purvis Street, Singapore
+65 6837 1468
La Brasserie for a take on French Bistro (formerly Clifford Restaurant)
The Fullerton Bay Hotel recently changed the name of their Clifford restaurant to La Brasserie, a French bistro themed restaurant. This is the large room on the far right of the hotel if you’re looking out towards Marina Bay Sands. The room boasts 10 foot high windows and is flooded with light during the day. You can see the water from nearly every seat and you feel as if you’re somewhere far, far away. La Brasserie is now more easily distinguished from The Clifford Pier which lies in the centre of the hotel.
The Saturday brunch selection is not as extensive as the Sunday brunch that’s also offered here, but it still has good options for everyone. One of the features of the Saturday brunch is that there’s a menu so you can choose the kind of eggs you like, items hot from the stove that include pancakes, fish and chips and burgers or you can peruse the buffet options to find something else that takes your fancy.
La Brasserie offers brunch on Saturday from 12pm to 3pm with free flow red and white wine for $98++. They also offer Sunday brunch with a more extensive range of Champagne packages and food options.La Brasserie
80 Collyer Quay, Singapore
phone +65 6597 5288
La Dolce Vita for Elegant Italian
For an elegant Italian experience La Dolce Vita at the Mandarin Oriental on Raffles Avenue offers a minimalist yet refined atmosphere. The naturally lit room near the pool area of the hotel is all white tablecloths and gracious service. This is not really the kind of venue to go with a big group of rowdy party goers.
The menu is primarily set, with courses of appetisers, pastas and mains being brought to the table. The selection is comprehensive and presentation and quality are exceptional. Dessert is offered from a buffet bar.
The bubbly is also one of the better ones in town, the Ruinart “R” Champagne is served at $158++ per person, with the menu at only $118++ without the free flow option. Brunch flows from 12pm to 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
La Dolce Vita
5 Raffles Avenue, Singapore
phone +65 6885 3500
Cocotte’s Weekend Brunch Trolley
For those looking for a more chilled out affair for brunch the option that Cocotte offer is definitely worthy of consideration. Cocotte do a ‘Weekend Brunch Trolley” where they roll out a great combination of menu favourites and seasonal choices. The dishes vary each week but have included the all time favourite poulet roti (roast chicken), escargot and a roast pork collar. There’s also a good mix of brunch favourites like croque monsieur or banana bread.
The brunch trolley is available between 12pm and 3pm on weekends and is $59++ or if you include free flow Prosecco it’s $99++.
2 Dickson Road, Singapore
phone +65 6289 1188
Common Man Coffee Roasters for an Aussie Style Brunch
Of course if all you really want is good coffee and a choice of eggs from poached through to Turkish style then you cannot go past Common Man. The only downside is that if you go after 10am on a weekend you will most probably have to queue. I still love it though and I simply can’t resist the Turkish Breakfast.
Common Man Coffee Roasters
22 Martin Road, Singapore
phone +65 6836 4695 (no reservations)
Other Saturday options include Ku De Ta (predominantly Asian food), Pan Pacific (a hawker buffet) and for another casual option Artichoke does a superb Egyptian brunch option.
Do you know of any other good Saturday brunches in Singapore?