Photo: Charlie & Co.
Australian food isn’t just coffee and brunch plates (although we’d 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 us in Singapore, we can skip out on the (minimum) five-hour flight for an immediate slice of Down Under: in the good hands of Luke to Toby, we can enjoy Australian fine dining, casual eats and Italian-style Australian sweets in our backyards:
| Photo: Cafe Brunetti|
Italian-style Aussie standard café
This iconic Melbournian café is an Italian-style pasticceria and coffee bar specializing 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 4 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: 6509 9511 | Opening hours: Daily 10am-10pm
| Photo: Jones the Grocer|
Jones The Grocer
Gourmet food emporium with all-day dining options
One of the most recognized 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 café-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
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, 6pm-10pm
| Photo: Toby's Estate|
Toby’s Estate Café
Australian coffee specialist
Founded by Australian coffee roaster and barista Toby Smith, Toby’s Estate Café is a gourmet coffee specialist and café. 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 café 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 our Critics’ Picks for our 52 best brunch places in Singapore.
Toby’s Estate | Address: 8 Rodyk Street, #01-03/04 | Tel: 66367629 | Opening hours: Daily 7.30am-6pm
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.