The brunch spots
Sitting in a prime spot in Duxton, the cool new digs in Duxton follows Kilo's industrial aesthetic, with reclaimed timber, sturdy canvas blinds and brass finishings juxtaposed against warm drop lights, Persian rugs, cushions in bright hues of yellow, pink and scarlet – creating a warm, inviting vibe. Plus plenty of indoor plants to play up its concrete-jungalow vibe.
Brunch comes with some pretty straightforward choices – there is guacamole toast with cotija cheese ($19) and a smoked salmon open-faced sandwich with spicy avocado and crème fraîche ($22) for a something light to start your day. Serious brunchers should settle for the heartier options. The chorizo huevos rancheros ($21) may not look like much on the plate but it's an adventure to dig in the layers of corn tortillas, fried eggs, refried beans, house-made chorizo and salsa ranchera. A brunch favourite is also the fried chicken and waffles ($28). Using the egglet-style waffle which balances out the battered fried chicken, the dish comes with butter, syrup and hot sauce. It is another fun one to dig into as you play around with different combinations to eat it. Thinking of turning it into a boozy affair? No problem – there are freeflow options on the menu as well. Now we're talking.
The 1920s mansion of Yemeni spice traders has been re-fashioned yet again to house three dining concepts in one –Txa Pintxo Bar for tapas, Una for Basque-inspired dishes and Wildseed Café, which serves pastries and cakes as well as brunch during the weekend that you can enjoy out in the yard.
Brunch on weekends go all the way till 4pm so you can take all afternoon if you want at this picturesque mansion. All-day breakfast options are hearty but still health-conscious – you can have smashed avocado and bacon ($18) on ciabatta and served with pea shoots, tomatoes, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. The lunch menu boasts more exciting dishes like the bak kwa pizza ($21) and the kelong prawn and scallop pizza ($21) which is great for sharing.
Surely you can make space for pancakes for brunch. This Parisian-inspired pâtisserie has been making waves on the local scene for its array of delicate confections that look too good to eat. The introduction of soufflé pancakes to its menu is only going to make the joint (and brunch) more popular.
Sweet options include the berries and chantilly cream, locally influenced ondeh ondeh, and the unique crème brûlée – with vanilla custard and torched caramel layered over the pancakes ($16 each). Its savoury offerings come with omelettes and a choice of either creamy mushroom sauce and salad ($16), or slices of jamón serrano and hollandaise ($18).
Keong Saik Road is home to many buzzworthy joints, and Kafe Utu joins the list. It's the first African-themed café in Singapore, and you’re greeted with scenes from this diverse continent the moment you step foot into the coffeehouse. If Instagram is your main agenda, you’ll be glad to know that the café's wood and leather decor make a good rustic backdrop. It’s also got a rooftop lounge that’s Insta-worthy, with views of the neighbouring shophouses and the CBD.
But we're here for the brunch, which is equally photogenic – highlights include the ricotta hotcake ($24), Tropical Cloud 9 ($18), Swahili fish curry ($29), and Uguisu ($7), a matcha latte made with matcha powder from Kyoto.
The OG Aussie craft beer brewers have opened an outlet on our shores – complete with an in-house micro-brewery. The industrial-chic space is home to the brand's full line-up of craft beers including its flagship pale ale (from $12) alongside a selection of other brews exclusive to Singapore like the Club Street IPA (from $11).
If you're an early bird, don't fret. Little Creatures does brunch, all right. Coffee? Check. Schibello Coffee Roastery delivers your daily caffeine fix from 8am. Go large for brunch with the Eggs Benedict + Lobster ($42) or the works with the Little Creatures Breakfast ($19).
Salted & Hung's brunch buffet menu (from $68, available on Saturdays and Sundays) numbers just 12 items excluding the charcuterie counter. But that's 12 faultless dishes and all are generously sized. Aussie chef Drew Nocente’s food is inventive yet familiar, and very ingredient-driven.
Mac and cheese is what everyone should include in their brunch and this one comes with beef crumbs to cut the creaminess. Go through a myriad of flavours (and textures) with dishes like bacon chop and rum-spiced pineapple, house-made sausages with mustard and kelp, and if you're adventurous, take on the bacon ice cream sundae for dessert. We suggest sitting at the counter: to kaypoh and also because spying other tables' food is the easiest way to keep your appetite whet.
Here’s a champagne brunch with an emphasis on the booze. The regular buffet is priced from $118 per person but for just 40 bucks more, you’ll be able to enjoy free flow Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne, house red and white wine, beer, mojitos, Bloody Marys and margaritas. It’d be a crime not to shell out for this. There’s also a machine that pours out freshly squeezed orange juice on-site, so stir in a little bubbly and – voila! – you’ll have your very own ‘housemade’ mimosa.
The food stations at Mezza9 are as intoxicating. You have your cold seafood one, whose Maine lobsters, brown crabs and Spencer Gulf wild king prawns are all sustainably sourced. And a new Thai grill, which replaces a Japanese yakitori counter, spreads out barbecued chicken thigh and sausages that’ll remind you of the streets of Bangkok.
While the dessert section is admittedly modest compared to the others on this list, there are still treats like pastries and a chocolate fountain to keep your sweet tooth happy. The liquid nitrogen meringues are worth queuing up for – it’s that much fun. The flavours of the whipped dessert change every week, but the novelty of popping one into your mouth and breathing out vapour doesn’t. Perfect for taking a Boomerang that’ll make your friends jealous.
Garibaldi is arguably one of the best Italian restaurants in Singapore, serving dishes created with ingredients flown in from the homeland. And it’s no different for its weekend brunch: the menu ($98 with free flow soft drinks, add $40 for free flow prosecco, beer and house wines) varies weekly reflective of fresh ingredients available straight from the kitchen.
Garibaldi puts out stunning dishes from the get-go, starting with the mousse-like Burratina cheese from Puglia, served alongside the juiciest and sweetest San Marzano tomatoes, as well as poached egg with cheese fondue and shaved truffle. Six starters are served, but pace yourself. The mains are – surprise, surprise – heavy on the carbs (three pastas) and proteins (two meats). The rigatoni, with fork-tender beef ragout in red wine sauce, is the best of the pasta trio. But the star here is the tagliata. Typically an Italian-style steak, the Garibaldi version uses juicy Kurobuta pork, slightly charred and served with a mushroom ragout.
By this point, you’d be praying for sweet reprieve. And you’ll get it, quite literally, in the desserts – they arrive as four bite-sized pieces, arrayed on a long plate. The standout: an earthy coffee panna cotta whose creamy texture is right on point. In fact, everything is.
Compared to other hotel buffets, Basilico focuses on delivering a premier Italian experience (from $108) that you’ll be proud to bring a nonna to. From the minute you step in, you’ll be greeted by a variety of cheeses including a huge Zizzona di Battipaglia, which is traditionally used to celebrate special occasions. And brunch at Basilico is certainly special: there’s roasted wagyu beef rump and Amarone wine-braised crispy roast pork belly at the carving station, Sardinian malloreddus pasta with sea urchin, and pizzas that fly out from the oven every 15 minutes. The four-cheese pizza, while simple, is a dish we couldn’t get enough of – so fair warning: once you start, you’ll be spending lots of precious stomach space on carbs.
Just when you think you’ve covered most of the buffet spread, there’s an entire cheese room waiting to be explored. Here, the restaurant stores more than 40 regional farm cheeses from the many provinces of Italy. There’s a sharp, 40-month-aged red cow Parmigiano, applewood-smoked caciocavallo and, for the adventurous, a Barolo wine-infused pecorino. You’ll also find a chef stirring black truffle risotto with stracchino cheese – that’s more carbs you’ll love stuffing your face with.
You won’t find any stale, lukewarm food at Edge’s Theatrical Sunday Champagne Brunch (from $128). There are seven live food theatres where chefs prepare dishes à la minute, ensuring that everything you pile on your plate is piping hot. And you might want to skip dinner the night before to make room for this. The buffet goes on for four hours to allow you the time to sample everything.
The 16 food stations include a cold seafood counter where you’ll find sweet and fleshy Alaskan king crabs, Maine lobsters, oysters and a bounty of sashimi. A range of caviar, such as ikura, can also be spooned from the Raw and Caviar Bar. Meat lovers should rock up to the grill for juicy sausages and, the pearl of the savoury section, unctuous Ohmi wagyu striploin.
Thank goodness there’s always space for dessert, because the selection at Edge is the real kicker. From waffles, pancakes and crêpes all made before your eyes to traditional desserts like durian pengat and kueh lapis, it’s hard to try them all. Make a beeline for the nama chocolates – these nuggets of pure bliss are even better than those from Royce. Yeah, we didn’t even think that was possible.
"Craft cocktails" and "free-flow" are usually contradictory concepts but not at Manhattan. Starting from $150, it's a leave-the-kids-at-home affair on Sundays where you can get all the cocktails you want (well, wines and beers too) and free play in the Bloody Mary room that's decked out with a mind-boggling array of condiments from crudites and bak kwa, to pickles and hot sauces.
The cocktails at brunch differ from the usual bar menu; they’re generally on the refreshing end of the spectrum (think seasonal bellinis, fizzes and sours), but that’s quite brunch-appropriate. The buffet spread reflects the bar's American identity, down to the deli counter with freshly made bagels, cream cheese schmears and American cheeses. Among the highlights: shrimp cocktails and Maine lobsters, latkes with caviar, glazed cronuts and banana cream pie. And because it’s Manhattan, there's also negroni creme brulee and margarita dome.