…Where do I even begin? Ideally, I’ll be having brunch every Saturday because Sundays are for sleep-ins. I’d catch up with a few friends in the afternoon, people watch and shop a little – you know, because that’s what every Singaporean does. In reality, I’m still in my pyjamas and it’s almost noon. My hair is in a mess, and my face is dry and in serious need of makeup and some help. My acting class was rescheduled this week – which means MORE SLEEP. Something has to be sacrificed – thus, no brunch, although I did settle on Frosties for breakfast. But one can dream of having it, right?
and because of that, it brings me to…
brunch places I’d return to in Singapore. I guess it really depends on the occasion to be honest. If say, I was having a reunion with friends I’ve not seen in 10 years, and we wanted a cozy place with cushy chairs – because, as a girl, we go into such mini details and these obviously impacts our dining choice – I’d recommend somewhere central, like Wild Honey, for example.
But of course, and here’s when I enter into my dreamlike state again, brunch to me at least, is an intimate occasion. If I’m alone or with another friend, I’d look for a place where I can sit for as long as I want to, and without getting glares from waiting customers, almost like vultures waiting to swoop down on their prey. Second, somewhere decently quiet/I don’t have to compete with others to let myself be heard. Yes, I get it that it’s meant to be a happy affair and people should be able to talk and laugh as loud as they want to because TGISaturday, but really? At 11am in the morning after a hectic work week? And lastly, a place (assuming the cafe isn’t in town) I can walk to in say, in t-shirt and denim shorts, and I wouldn’t feel the pressure to dress up. I’m all for dressing up for occasions, but back to my second point, “TGISaturday, but really? At 11am in the morning after a hectic work week?”
#1 Lots Gourmet Stop
This goes to the top of my list – because it has everything I mentioned in my criteria for a good brunch place. It’s right across Changi Prison, and because it’s so far away from civilisation, people who frequent the place are often the ones who stay in the neighbourhood, or in the East, at least. Prices are decent, and when I mean decent, I think I paid about maximum $13-$15 for the full breakfast set. I hate how cafes are capitalising on the brunch craze and they start charging $18-$20 for a simple Eggs Benedict (trust me, I’ve been to a few). And because I live in the East, I give myself the excuse that I can walk in here like how I look now, and I would totally feel okay doing so. plus point. It’s a pretty small place, and their staff are pretty attentive, so yay plus points x 10.
If I had all the money in the world, I would set up restaurants and cafes like Artichoke. It’s unique, given that it’s a Middle Eastern restaurant and I simply loved the vibe of the place – easygoing, casual. It’s also somewhere I could sit for a decent amount of time but then I’d leave, not because I feel pressured to go, but because I remember sitting outdoors, and I almost melted in the heat. Artichoke is located at Sculpture Square, which is a little off the main stretch of road near Singapore Management University and the museums, so convenience +1. I had this dish called Pie Floater and Chips which is essentially a bacon and mushroom pie in Tiger Beer & cheese soup. It was SO GOOD, just remember to throw out your diet plans for the weekend. I remember they had something along the lines of a maple bacon chop, and as George Takei would say, “oh my” – I think I’ll save that for another round, it’s one of those YOLO meals to have. Overall, the items are slightly pricier compared to the others listed here, but I really think it’s worth going once in a while, especially since they only open for brunch on the weekends. Yes, once again, if I had all the money in the world, I would dine here every week.
161 Middle Road, Sculpture Square
Tel: 6336 6949
#3 Chye Seng Huat Hardware
I’ve been to Chye Seng Huat on at least 4 to 5 occasions, and given that my dining experience that has been fairly good and consistent, this makes the list too. I remember everyone getting really excited about CSHH when it first opened. Although it was located off Aljunied, it was some place new and not predictable. It was housed behind these thick, steel gates, and unless you knew where you were headed to, you wouldn’t even know this cafe existed. It’s almost as if one is on a treasure hunt. Sexy location +2 points. I felt CSHH also represented this emergence of young Singaporeans who really cared about their food and the coffee culture here, and with sexy interiors to boost, and I was really excited to see that. Oh and if I may end, My love affair with salmon and cream cheese sandwiches started here. The last I visited, and that was last Christmas when Andrew’s family was visiting Singapore and I brought them here, the food was still consistently good. However, I would stick with the savouries and probably head somewhere else for the sweets. The only downside to CSHH – it’s getting really crowded even in the afternoons on weekdays but they’ve since brought more chairs and tables outdoors, and second, it’s getting too hipster thus one may feel the need to dress up, if you know what I mean.
Chye Seng Huat Hardware
150 Tyrwhitt Road
Tel: 6396 0609
I’m still going to put this in the list even though my previous visit didn’t leave much of an impression on me. I’ve been to Group Therapy on many occasions, too many too remember. And I think to be safe, always order the Eggs Benedict on Toast. The pies weren’t always that consistent, and the prices seem to be on the rise. I still love the interiors though, it’s homely – almost as if you were at your best friend’s housewarming party. The bosses are friendly, and you’ll always catch them there which is a nice thing to see. You’d probably have to compete to be heard here, sigh, but nevertheless, this still makes the list for being one of the first brunch places I’ve ever visited. It was less crowded then and the food was better back then. But you know what they say, first impression lasts.
49 Duxton Road #02-01
Tel: 6222 2554