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Brunch Scene Hotting Up in Singapore

With the brunch scene hotting up in Singapore and just about every hotel, restaurant and cafe wanting a slice of the action, The Peak closes in on the spots worth your time.

Few people can resist the idea of a leisurely weekend brunch where breakfast basics are served closer to noon. English writer Guy Beringer first coined the term for an 1895 Hunter’s Weekly article. Described as “cheerful, sociable and inciting”, it was his solution for “Saturday- night rousers” who wake up too late for breakfast but don’t have the appetite for a full lunch.

Singapore is going full steam ahead with the idea more than a century later, as increasingly more establishments introduce the Sunday meal to attract diners they would have otherwise missed should they be closed on weekend mornings.

These restaurants have upped the ante and gone all out to offer famished diners a wealth of options. Take your pick from champagne brunches where the bubbly is the main draw, to dressed-down affairs where a bowl of granola is all you need to jump-start your day. Here are our choices for that lazy Sunday meal.

Lime's buffet includes prime items such as rack of lamb. Some, like the foie gras, are cooked on the spot.
Lime’s buffet includes prime items such as rack of lamb. Some, like the foie gras, are cooked on the spot.

BREATHE EASY
Giving diners plenty of time to make their way to the Central Business District on a Sunday morning, brunch service at Lime at Parkroyal on Pickering starts at noon and runs until 3pm. Quibble all you want about the definition of the word – a combination of breakfast and lunch – and what time it should start; the fact remains that you’ll not want to arrive too late. With its atrium-like space, ample light through its floor-to-ceiling windows, views of lush trees and sofa seating, this is a place that will suck you in. Time will slip by and your cares, easily forgotten.

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The food is almost secondary compared to the ambience, but we aren’t mentioning this restaurant for nothing – the international buffet is one of the most impressive around. Lime aims to entice sophisticated diners and provides suitable inducement with premium items like foie gras terrine, guinea fowl, rack of lamb and a spread of speciality cheeses. Some dishes, like the risotto and pan-seared foie gras, are prepared a la minute, and lobster, sashimi, Thai salads and Chinese roasts are a given. Top this up with free flow Piper-Heidsieck champagne and you’ll find that brunch hours end way too soon.

Sundays, 12pm-3pm, 3 Upper Pickering Street.

Twice a year, the Ritz-Carlton's lobby makes way for its Super Brunch. There will be more food, in more variety, than you can think of.
Twice a year, the Ritz-Carlton’s lobby makes way for its Super Brunch. There will be more food, in more variety, than you can think of.

MORE CHOICES THAN MEET THE EYE
Mark Oct 27 on your calendars. If there’s one brunch you can’t miss, it’s The Ritz-Carlton’s Super Brunch – the biannual affair is the most decadent Sunday experience you’ll ever have. While the hotel’s usual champagne brunch features generous spreads of foie gras, Boston lobsters, Waygu beef and truffles, this event sees buffet tables stretching across the hotel lobby. In other words, this is brunch on steroids.

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Described by executive chef Massimo Pasquarelli as a “sophisticated culinary theatre that dazzles guests with creativity, aesthetics, and the culinary craft”, this edition of the Super Brunch offers extravagant selections ranging from a 120kg slab of Grade 8 Wagyu beef coated with Perigord truffles to a metre-long Serrano Ham; from eight varieties of gourmet homemade popcorn to a cheese board featuring over 130 varieties. The selection is hard to beat. Our tip: Choose a central location for convenient sampling – it’s a trek from one side of the hotel to the other.

Oct 27, 12pm-3pm, The Ritz-Carlton.

Ku De Ta's version is interpreted differently every week.
Ku De Ta’s version is interpreted differently every week.

SKY IS THE LIMIT
Ku De Ta’s location on Marina Bay Sands’ observation deck needs no introduction – especially when it keeps pulling in the crowd. There’s an indoor dining area for shelter against the elements but those who love catching a good breeze 191m in the sky can dine outdoors. In the afternoons, the atmosphere is relaxed yet sophisticated and, unless you’re a wandering tourist, we’d suggest you come in at least a shirt.

A small but decent spread changes every week. Besides standards like sashimi and cold cuts, the salads here are surprisingly good. The selection is seasonal but look out for the delicious nicoise salad – seared tuna loin with marinated tomatoes, lettuce and potatoes.

The buffet spread may be smaller than those at other establishments but, where it lacks on the table, it makes up for on the menu. Items to note include the steak and eggs served any style, and oysters with ikura, cucumber jello, micro herbs and lemon emulsion to reduce their naturally strong taste. Craving familiar Asian fare? Order the laksa. This fusion dish is made with linguini and comes with a generous serving of fresh tiger prawns.

Weekends, 11am-3.30pm, Marina Bay Sands Sky Park.

Brasserie Les Saveurs offers a wide selection, from antipasti to seafood and tantalising desserts.
Brasserie Les Saveurs offers a wide selection, from antipasti to seafood and tantalising desserts.

WHERE TIME STANDS STILL
Tuck into brunch at a leisurely pace as time seems to pass that much slower at Brasserie Les Saveurs. The high ceiling gives the illusion of breathing space, with lounge music and ample natural light contributing to the relaxing atmosphere. If you want a spot to park yourself and watch the day go by, this would be it.

The main draw of the champagne brunch is, hands down, the a la minute stations – after all, few can resist watching foie gras or fish being pan-seared just moments before they dig in. The buffet spread is seasonal, but tantalising antipasti, cold cuts and seafood are a staple, with bite-size portions of the restaurant’s signatures served up to tease your tastebuds.

We love the choice of champagne. The refreshing fruitiness of the Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve is the perfect way to ease into a lazy Sunday.

Sundays, 12pm-3pm, The St Regis.

Bochinche's chorizo with grilled tomatoes and provolone cheese is a savoury treat to start your day.
Bochinche’s chorizo with grilled tomatoes and provolone cheese is a savoury treat to start your day.

SOME LIKE IT EXOTIC
South American cuisine is woefully under-represented in this city, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for lower standards. New Argentinean restaurant Bochinche has been making waves for plating up great Latin-American flavours in a setting so chic, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s another swanky bar. And why not, as the first thing you see upon entry are high seats arranged around an open- concept kitchen.

While this spot comes alive at night, late workers no longer have to miss out on its dinner menu as those items are available at brunch. And, contrary to popular belief, beef is not all Argentinean cuisine has to offer – in fact, some of Bochinche’s best dishes don’t involve meat at all.

Fans of melted cheese can savour the provoleta – an Argentinean variety that’s baked with honey and given an added almond crunch. For mains, the grilled octopus, smoked leeks and tuna mayo are deliciously savoury, albeit small in portion. As brunches go, the braised ossobuco (veal shanks) on toast with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce offers a unique twist to the standard fare. You can bet that when meat is done, it’s done right.

Weekends, 11am- 3.30pm, #02-01, 22 Martin Road.

Coq and Balls' brunch selection is homey and undemanding - perfect comfort food.
Coq and Balls’ brunch selection is homey and undemanding – perfect comfort food.

SUPER-CASUAL SUNDAYS
If you’re in the mood for something low-key and down- tempo, look up Coq and Balls. Located in the hip Tiong Bahru neighbourhood, the eatery’s cheeky name is testament to its laidback vibe – it doesn’t demand that patrons dress up to the nines or be at their best behaviour.

Food here is simple and comforting. Dig into the baked granola with Greek yoghurt, if you’re hankering for an undemanding choice to kick-start your day. Our favourite is the classic eggs benny. Tear into perfectly poached eggs on sourdough bread and ham slathered with hollandaise sauce. The roasted vine tomatoes served on the side help to offset the dish’s richness with its natural acidity. Very satisfying.

Weekends, 10am-3pm, 6 Kim Tian Road.