Photo: Charlie & Co
Australian food isn’t just coffee and brunch plates (although we would be perfectly happy with those strong cuppas and eggs). Australia has some of the best produce in the world, and the freshest, most modern plates around.
Fortunately for foodies in Singapore, they may skip out on the (minimum) five-hour flight for an immediate slice of Down Under: in the good hands of Luke to Toby, you may enjoy Australian fine dining, casual eats and Italian-style Australian sweets in your backyards.
Boomarang Bistro & Bar
For brunch with the family and live telecasts
Walk into Boomarang’s Robertson Quay outlet on the weekends at noon, when it is packed to the rafters with families tucking into a hearty brunch, and you could mistake it for a cafe in Melbourne. Come evenings, groups of Aussie sports fans cluster around the many televisions that live telecast rugby, football and cricket matches. Boomarang is always busy and lively, and the food doesn’t disappoint either. Breakfast plates include the Coolangata – bacon, beef sausages, hash browns and fried eggs with toast ($17) and the Bondi (poached eggs, baby spinach, roma tomatoes, and mushrooms with multi seed toast, $15). Night-time bites are pizzas, salads, burgers and share plates.
Boomarang Bistro & Bar | Address: 60 Robertson Quay and one other location | Tel: 67381077 | Opening hours: Daily 7am-11.30pm
For relaxed post-work drink and dine
For an Australian dining experience that is relaxed and fuss-free (perfect for a post-work drink and dine) head to Barossa for a meal prepared with fresh Australian seafood and premium grade beef. Signature dishes include the grilled stockyard prime ribeye steak (650g with a choice of two sides, $90) and the Archipelago-beer-battered fish and chips ($24). For dessert, try the sinful strawberry lava cake ($13). The bar serves Archipelago beer on tap and a good selection of Australian wines.
Book a table here | Barossa | Address: 22 Lorong Mambong and one other location | Tel: 67381077 | Opening hours: Daily 7am-11.30pm
Photo: Cafe Brunetti at Tanglin Mall
Italian-style Aussie standard cafe
This iconic Melbournian cafe is an Italian-style pasticceria and coffee bar specialising in European-style cakes, desserts, and coffee. Enjoy the freshly-made (and sold on the same day) treats on site, reclining on the al fresco seats of this Milanese-vibed 140-seater. We are always partial to the cannolis, but also try the pear and cheese crumble ($10) and Italian hot chocolate ($6). There’s also a savoury menu of all-day breakfast items, and a menu for the kids.
Cafe Brunetti | Address: 163 Tanglin Road, #01-35/36, Tanglin Mall | Tel: 67339088 | Opening hours: Fri, Sat & eve of public holidays 8am-10pm; Sun-Thu 8am-9pm
Charlie & Co
Aussie-style burgers, straight out of Sydney
The first overseas outlet of this Sydney-based burger heavyweight is located in the revamped food hall at basement four of Ion Orchard. The outfit is semi-casual, but the food is decidedly gourmet: Australian wagyu beef patties sandwiched between freshly-baked artisanal burger buns, accompanied with parmesan truffle fries (plus $8). The signature burger is the Classic Charlie burger ($15), which comes with a choice of aged cheddar, brie or blue cheese. Non-beef options include the Roadside chicken burger ($15) and New Yorker burger ($17), otherwise known as chargrilled sirloin steak sandwich. Portions are on the large side, which makes them great for sharing.
Charlie & Co | Address: 2 Orchard Turn, B4-56 Ion Orchard | Tel: 65099511 | Opening hours: Daily 10am-10pm
The crocodile curry | Photo: House of Robert Timms
House of Robert Timms
Household-name coffee and fusion brunch plates
Longstanding coffee-makers from Australia, Robert Timms made their entry into Singapore in 2010 and have since been serving casual, Aussie fare, signature coffee and affordable brunch plates at their three outlets. We are partial to their Wheelock outlet for the al fresco seating (a great spot for a not-crowded weekend meal on Orchard Road). While the usual eggs benedict and breakfast fry-ups are top draws one their menu, do give its fusion offerings a try – the kangaroo rendang ($26.90) and the crocodile curry ($24) are both served with steamed rice and crisp papadum.
House of Robert Timms | Address: #01-02/03, Wheelock Place, 501 Orchard Road | Tel: 67359201 | Opening hours: Fri & Sat 8am-3am; Sun-Thu 8am-1am
AUSTRALIA DAY 2014 SPECIAL Intrepid Gastro Bar
For Aussie-inspired share plates
Inspired by the laidback hangouts in Sydney and Melbourne (menu, decor, et al), Intrepid Gastro bar has been open since January 2013 and is an Aussie-style eatery with hearty, sharing plates, craft beers and good coffee. Exotic meats are among the signatures on their menu: do try the kangaroo sliders (moist and game-y and wrapped in parma ham, topped with a hint of truffle aioli and a complementary onion-chilli relish, $18.50) or play it safe with outback-style pork ribs for two. The ribs are marinated overnight in Feral Smoked Porter beer and then barbecued, resulting in tender meat with a smoky-sweet flavoured sauce (served on a bed of onion chips, $35). Intrepid also serves a weekend brunch and a Sunday roats on the first Sunday of the month ($29.95 per person). For Australia Day celebrations, Intrepid is offering free-flow Aussie beers, wines and finger food for $58 between 6pm and 8pm on 24 January.
Intrepid Gastro Bar | Address: #01-01, Far East Square, 40 Pekin Street | Tel: 90688297 | Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8am-9.30pm, Sat & Sun 9.30am-4pm
Photo: Jones the Grocer
Jones The Grocer
Gourmet food emporium with all-day dining options
One of the most recognised and established Australian food brands here, gourmet food emporium Jones The Grocer, currently has three outlets in Singapore. Despite the relative lack of sunshine (comparing it to its Dempsey location), we like their latest – a 140-seater cafe-cum-food store at Ion Orchard which was modeled after the international chain’s flagship (Sydney) store. Jones is the place to go to for hearty breakfast items, although lunch and dinner options are available too: popular items to order include the Jones English Breakfast ($20), coconut pancakes ($13.50), wagyu burger ($27) and mushroom risotto ($26), on top of the freshly-baked artisan breads, pastries and cheese, of course.
Jones The Grocer | Address: 2 Orchard Turn, #04-14 Ion Orchard | Tel: 68845597 | Opening hours: Daily 10am-10pm
The Kangasaurus | Photo: Rokeby
Casual all-day dining with the little ones
Serangoon's Jalan Riang foodie enclave is home to this Australian gourmet bistro serving artisanal coffee and brunch nosh. Named after a street in Western Australia, Rokeby is a casual eatery, where you can dine with kids in tow. They have their own play area and toys to keep them busy. For eats, the menu is a mixed bag of pasta dishes, fish and chips and mains like a kangaroo loin burger called The Kangasaurus (120g of grilled kangaroo loin, topped with spicy cranberry relish and a side of chips, $22).
Rokeby | Address: 1509 Jalan Riang | Tel: 91060437 | Tue-Sun 9am-10pm
Salt Grill & Sky Bar
Modern Australian with a high bar
Australian chef Luke Mangan’s grill and bar is perched on the 55th floor of Ion Orchard (yes, again) so you get clear views (on a good day, off-haze season) of the Lion City – a world away from his Surfers’ Paradise branch. This contemporary Australian restaurant gets mixed reviews however, although we feel they do pretty well pairing their New World wines with their signature dishes: like the Western Australia king prawns and mango salsa ($30) pairs well with the Invivo Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2012's floral lime zest qualities (avail by the glass, $20), while the Rangers Valley sirloin from New South Wales (300 days grain fed, $71) is paired with the sultry, spicy Rockford Basket Press Shiraz 2006 Barossa Valley ($39 per glass), adding character to the smoky steak.
Book a table | Salt Grill & Sky Bar | Address: 2 Orchard Turn, Level 55 & 56, Ion Sky | Tel: 65925118 | Opening hours: Daily 11.30am-2pm, 6-10pm
Photo: Toby's Estate
Toby’s Estate Cafe
Australian coffee specialist
Founded by Australian coffee roaster and barista Toby Smith, Toby’s Estate Cafe is a gourmet coffee specialist and cafe. Sip on coffee pressed (cold, if you wish) through single origin beans from Sumatra and Ethiopia here, as well as signature blends sourced from high altitude Arabica beans. A latte starts at $5. The spacious cafe with a communal table and al fresco seats is a lovely spot for brunch on the weekends, when young families step out with their dogs in tow. The food menu may be small, but we like the hearty Toby’s Breakfast ($16), and it’s one of HungryGoWhere's Critics’ Picks for 52 best brunch places in Singapore.
Toby’s Estate | Address: 8 Rodyk Street, #01-03/04 | Tel: 66367629 | Opening hours: Daily 7.30am-6pm
Priyanka Chand Agarwal has worked in PR and marketing in start-ups of all sizes, while secretly harbouring dreams of becoming a chef and a writer. An avid reader, foodie and fashion eavesdropper, she will travel for a good cup of coffee but these days, she draws the line at mooncakes.
Celine Asril is guilty of taking pictures before tucking in to all her meals. It’s a (good) hazard of the job. This editor of HungryGoWhere never sits down to two of the same meals in a week. Need proof? Follow her work twitter feed at @HungryGoWhere.