Food News, Lifestyle

Brunch Spots To Check Out This Weekend – Vanessa Tai

When it comes to brunch spots in Singapore, you’re absolutely spoiled for choice. There seems to be a new one opening every other weekend, but restaurants here are also upping their ante by offering dedicated brunch menus on top of their existing menus. We check out three. 

For something casual, try Pies & Coffee

Like the gourmet pies they’ve been dishing out for the past two years, the brunch items you’ll get at Pies & Coffee are simple, unpretentious fare. Enjoy familiar brunch favourites such as its signature breakfast set, the Hearty Brekkie, which comes with lightly toasted Belgian waffles, a juicy piece of cheesy chicken sausage, and a generous serving of scrambled eggs.

Sunriser, $11.90

Sunriser, $11.90

Probably because they are better known for their pies, I still preferred the Sunriser, which is a dish of truffle mash and cheesy chicken sausage poured into crispy pastry cups before being topped with a whole egg. This baked treat gives you a delightful medley of flavours – from the soft, velvety texture of the eggs to the savoury chewiness of the sausage.

For a full listings of Pies & Coffee outlets, click here.  Brunch is available daily, from 8.30am to 3pm.

For a big bang for your buck, try Balzac Brasserie 

Balzac Brasserie’s Executive Chef, Jean-Charles Dubois is a man of many talents. Apart from whipping up hearty, delicious French nosh, the affable father of two also found time to co-author a cookbook for children. The book, “Around the World with Sophie and Remy” was modelled after his two young children, and tells the tale of two kids who travel around the world, learning to cook national dishes from 12 different countries. The next time you pop by Balzac Brasserie, be sure to pick up a copy of the book! Proceeds from the book go to Open Book, a non-governmental organisation behind a library in Phnom Penh that provides a safe place for all to read, including children who live on the city’s streets.

When he’s not busy penning cookbooks, Chef Dubois has his hands full creating inventive new dishes. His brunch menu is a nod to traditional French cooking, sprinkled with a couple of exotic indulgences. For example, Dubois’ Lobster’s Bisque comes with a serving of sautéed organic mini black Qwehli prawns, which are premium shrimp from Mozambique. You would think having a bunch of shrimps in your soup would make it unbearably salty, but they actually add a nice crunch to the creamy bisque. For mains, Balzac offers several communal dishes, one of them being the Sautéed Free Range Yellow French Chicken served with Potato, Lardons and Onion. Imported from southwest France (just below the wine region of Bordeaux), the chicken is plump and juicy, with tender meat that soaks up the flavours from the lardons and onions.

Sautéed Free Range Yellow French Chicken served with Potato, Lardons and Onion

Sautéed Free Range Yellow French Chicken served with Potato, Lardons and Onion

Braised Spanish Pork with French Lentils and Natural Jus

Braised Spanish Pork with French Lentils and Natural Jus

Another communal dish that I absolutely loved was the Braised Spanish Pork with French Lentils and Natural Jus. Think of the best char siew you’ve ever had, and multiply that flavour by ten. That’s how flavourful this dish is, and the subtlety of the lentils is a genius accompaniment to the robust flavours of the pork. Mmm … my mouth is watering even as I type this.

For dessert, I would recommend the Lemon Tart with French Meringue. The lemon tarts that I’ve tried at other places tend to cop out and add too much sugar, which defeats the purpose because it overpowers the natural tartness of the lemon. I love the sharp and tangy flavours of Balzac’s Lemon Tart; it’s the perfect ending to a filling and satisfying meal.

Balzac Brasserie & Bar is located at #01-01 Rendezvous Gallery, 9 Bras Basah Road, Tel: 6336 0797. The brunch menu is available at $58++, on Saturdays and Sundays, from
11am to 3pm. 

For an all-out indulgence, try KU DÉ TA

At first glance, the brunch menu at KU DÉ TA appears to be terribly overpriced, but if you consider the amount of food you’re getting, it’s actually great value for money. And no, you won’t be getting the done-to-death Eggs Benedict here. Executive Chef Frederic Faucheux is determined to go beyond the usual brunch suspects like bacon and eggs, and create brunch food that retain a distinctively Asian flavour. Kick off your meal with a platter of freshly shucked oysters, salmon sashimi, and tuna tataki. The seafood is fresh and succulent, without any of that briny aftertaste.

Oysters, Salmon Sashimi, and Tuna Tataki

Oysters, Salmon Sashimi, and Tuna Tataki

 

Asian Omelette

Asian Omelette

One of the new brunch items to try is the Asian omelette with tuna. Inspired by the Japanese Okonomiyaki (a type of grilled savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients), this stuffed omelette is comfort food at its best. Another new item worth trying is the Prawn Salad with Glass Noodles, which comes with a lavish serving of fresh prawns heaped atop a bed of glass noodles and topped with seaweed flakes. For dessert, go wild at the all-you-can-eat buffet spread! The mouthwatering array of sweet treats all come in tantalising bite-sized portions, so you can try as many as you want.

KU DÉ TA is located at 1 Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay Sands SkyPark, Tel: 6688 7688. The brunch menu is available at $98++ or $178++ (with Champagne) on Saturdays and Sundays, from 11am to 3.30pm. 

Material World was invited for a tasting at the abovementioned restaurants and was not paid for this review. All opinions are the author’s own.

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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Drinks & Parties, Food News, Lifestyle

Indulge Yourself At Tiong Bahru Bar

Tiong Bahru, known for its yummy food and quaint architecture, is definitely a place to chill out on a lazy Sunday. And giving you the chance to do it for free, with Material World and Paco Rabanne, is Tiong Bahru Bar!

That’s right! The gastrobar is providing our 20 participants to our Sunday Sizzle with a delectable brunch. The menu looks like this:

Starter
Choice of Soup or House Salad

Main Course
Choice of Fish and Chips or Prawn Aglio Olio

Fish & Chips

Fish & Chips

Prawn Aglio Olio

Prawn Aglio Olio

Dessert
Churros

End your brunch with Churros!

End your brunch with Churros!

And you know you won’t be disappointed with the food because TBB (as it’s fondly called) is owned by Chris Chong, the guy behind The Disgruntled Chef, and his cousin Bernard Seah. The mastermind behind the food is none other than The Disgruntled Chef’s Executive Chef Daniel Sia, whose culinary skills have earned him a following amongst foodies in Singapore.

TBB opens for lunch and dinner. For the office crowd who wants to chill out after work, TBB provides an eye-watering selection of wine, beer, and whisky. So if you want to stay behind for a tipple after our Sunday Sizzle, feel free to do so … just make sure the bootcamp trainer leaves first!

TBB Interior

If you want to sample TBB’s food with Material World and Paco Rabanne, be sure to sign up for our Sunday Sizzle now!

Tiong Bahru Bar is located at 3 Seng Poh Road. Tel: 6438 4360. Tiong Bahru Bar is the official food partner for Material World’s Sunday Sizzle on November 17 2013. This event is held in conjunction with Paco Rabanne, the official fragrance partner.

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Contests, Food News, Lifestyle

[A Sweet Pair] Enjoy Dessert And Artisan Tea From Anthesis

To commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness month (click here for some need-to-know breast cancer facts), Material World has teamed up with restaurants across the island to bring you the A Sweet Pair promotion, where you get the chance to win a pair of desserts from a different establishment every couple of days.

Today’s giveaway is from newly-opened boulangerie-bistro, Anthesis. We were recently there for a media tasting, and was blown away by their wide selection of breads and desserts. Located along the Singapore River, this cosy 70-seater makes for a great brunch hangout. Plus, its alfresco area is pet-friendly as well so feel free to bring your pooches along!

In addition to freshly-baked bread, Anthesis also serves up scrumptious homemade desserts such as orange chocolate cake and sea salt chocolate caramel tart. The latter is an indulgent swirl of flavours lathered atop a crumbly tart base. The orange chocolate cake comes with hints of citrus for a zesty spin on your usual chocolate cake. These desserts are best paired with Anthesis’ well-curated range of artisan teas. Hailing from California, this range of premium organic tea comes in several unique flavours, but a house favourite is the White Acai. It is an uplifting white tea blend with refreshing fruity high notes of apple, blackcurrant and pineapple with acai powder, hibiscus and rosehip.

We’re giving away one slice of Sea Salt Caramel Tart (worth $6.50), one slice of Orange Chocolate Cake (worth $7.20) and a pot of Premium Tea blend (worth $9)!

Orange Chocolate Cake

Orange Chocolate Cake

Art of Tea available at Anthesis

Art of Tea available at Anthesis

To win this pair of sweet treats, simply follow the steps below:

1. Click on the Facebook button below and SHARE this post with your friends. Remember to TAG Material World’s Facebook Page on your post, and make sure your post is set to PUBLIC so we may verify that you have completed this step.

3. Click on this link to Like our Facebook Page. Only Material World’s followers qualify for this contest.

4. Private message us your details – name, age, gender, NRIC, mailing address and email address. State the name of the restaurant in your message.

Contest ends October 15, 2013, Tuesday.

Good luck!

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Food News, Lifestyle

Food Review: Anthesis – Vanessa Tai

Tired of the same ol’ brunch offerings and looking for a new spot for weekend brunches? Anthesis is a newly opened boulangerie-bistro at Robertson Quay, facing the Singapore River. Here, you’ll get an international variety of breads and pastries freshly baked every day on site. Carb lovers will have a field day choosing from the wide variety of breads available, from pumpkin seed, dark rye, multi-grain, walnut and olive.

You'll be spoiled for choice with Anthesis' extensive bread selection.

You’ll be spoiled for choice with Anthesis’ extensive bread selection.

I knew I would be loading up on carbs at Anthesis, so I made sure to go with an empty stomach, which turned out to be a good idea. My meal kicked off with a Bread Platter, $14, which comes with three varieties of bread of your choice as well as thinly-sliced Cheddar cheese, hummus, orange marmalade and strawberry preserves. By the way, even the orange marmalade and strawberry preserves are freshly made by the Anthesis chefs, so it doesn’t have that cloying sweetness some off-the-shelf brands tend to have. As part of my media tasting, I got to try five varieties of bread – dark rye, baguette, walnut, ciabatta and light rye. The bread tasted delightfully fresh, and had a nice, chewy texture complemented by a slightly crispy crust. My favourites were the walnut as it had a distinctively nutty flavour – which I love – as well as the light rye, which had hints of sourdough flavours. The homemade hummus, made with a blend of chickpeas, salt, pepper, lemon juice and onion, was very addictive … I would have kept stuffing my face if the next dish didn’t arrive just in time.

Tuna Tataki topped with avocado salsa on freshly baked bread

Tuna Tataki, $18, is one of Anthesis’ signature sandwiches. It’s seared tuna topped with avocado salsa set on top freshly baked olive focaccia. While the chefs recommend using focaccia for the sandwich, you can actually pair it with any bread of your choice. What I like about the Tuna Tataki is how it comes with different layers of flavours – from the chewiness of lightly seared tuna, to the abundant freshness of avocado and the spice of cracked pepper.

Banana Split Brioche French Toast Stack

Banana Split Brioche French Toast Stack

For something sweet, the Banana Split Brioche French Toast Stack, $16, comes highly recommended. A generous serving of strawberries, blackberries and caramelised bananas are stacked atop pillowy soft brioche toast, and layered with maple syrup and mascarpone cheese. The sweetness can get a little overwhelming for one person, so it might be a better idea to share it with a friend, or pair it with one of their many artisanal teas.

Premium tea blends from California

Premium tea blends from California

The teas at Anthesis are specially sourced from a organic specialty tea purveyor based in California. I tried the house favourite, White Acai, $9, which is a refreshing white tea blend that’s light on the palate. Another interesting blend is the Velvet Tea, $9, which has subtle caramel undertones. The coffee here is made with an exclusive blend of Brazilian Yellow Bourbon, Guatemala and Sumatra LinTong. I tried the Piccolo Latte, and found it a tad too acidic for my liking, but that’s possibly because I prefer my coffee with much more milk.

The stretch of restaurants along Robertson Quay fills up fast on weekends, so if you’re thinking of popping by Anthesis this weekend, be sure to go early. Oh, and the outdoor dining area is pet-friendly too so feel free to bring your dogs!

Anthesis is located at 86 Robertson Quay, #01-01 Robertson Blue, Tel: 6737 9873

Material World was invited to a tasting at Anthesis and was not paid for this review. All opinions are the author’s own. 

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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