Whether your choice is Eggs Benedict (of which there are plenty) or a greasy English fry-up, Singapore’s got it, and she’s got it pretty good. Here’s a list of all the best brunch spots in the Lion City for you to get your weekend’s first meals to a roaring start. If we’ve missed out any (hotel buffet brunches notwithstanding – that’s for another story), pardon us – we had to get to the yolks while they were still runny.
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FOR GOOD FRENCH TOAST AND SWEET TREATS | Some love Antoinette’s light, cracker-like baguette. We prefer the pain perdu (French toast served with Chantilly crème, $11.50) and all day breakfasts ($12-$22) – both possess more body and character than the hollow baguette. The pain perdu is made with brioche bread (eggs and butter overload!), giving it a more decadent character, while all-day breakfasts range from eggs with smoked duck breast to Serrano ham. The Lavender outlet (Opening hours: Mon-Thu 11am-10pm; Fri 11am-11pm; Sat 10am-11pm; Sun 10am-10pm) is our preferred – a little out of the way but not really, tucked into a shophouse with a quaint, pastel-schemed frontage reminiscent of Parisian macaron bakeries. The indoor ceiling is low, but at least you’re not stuck in the bowels of a mall.
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FOR A BRIGHTLY-SAUCED EGGS BENEDICT | Arbite’s (Opening hours: Tue-Fri 11.30am-3pm, 6-10.30pm; Sat & Sun: 11am-10.30pm) Eggs Benedict ($11.90) are good – citrus hollandaise over poached eggs on honey-baked ham, and brioche, served with a side of greens. When you are done licking the plate clean, finish with a slice of dense goodness: the My Wife’s Chocolate Cake ($8); if you’re going to sit in this top-of-the-Ikea-range 36-seater to watch the neighbourhood go by, you might as well indulge all around.
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CRITICS’ PICK | FOR MIDDLE EASTERN BY LOCAL, DONE GOOD | Artichoke Café & Bar’s (Opening hours: Tue-Thu 6-10pm; Fri 6-11pm; Sat 11am-11am; Sun 11am-4pm) lamb shakshouka ($25) is a sizzler: a cast iron pan of roast lamb, homemade labneh (yoghurt cheese), yummy pistachio dukka (Egyptian dip made of herbs, nuts and spices), za’atar (Middle Eastern spice mixture) toast and two local eggs cracked over. We love Artichoke’s cradle of a location in Sculpture Square, and the L-shaped space that has cosy nooks as well as outdoor seats (the long outdoor space doubles up as a private room when the sliding doors are pulled together). Did we mention Artichoke has a kitchen garden too? Swoon.
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A TART-Y ALL-DAY BRUNCH VENUE | If you can’t snag a seat at the big table indoors at Baker & Cook's Hillcrest location (Opening hours; Daily 7am-10pm) you’ll be given a takeaway box, even though you are still able to sit outside. Not that it affects the taste of the tartines ($13) and eight brunch dishes much: the toasted bagel ($5) would still be the same, with cream cheese and ham; Nutella panini ($6) would still be warm and oozy; and the pancakes stack ($17) is still served with a caramelised apples compote with Greek yoghurt and homemade toffee sauce. But don’t get too sidetracked, it’s Dean Brettschneider’s breads you’re after. There is another outlet at Martin Road, with more outdoor seats.
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MODERNISED GLOBAL BRUNCH FOR ALL IN THE FAMILY | The four-page brunch menu at Barracks Cafe (Brunch hours: Sat: 11am-4pm and Sun: 9am-4pm) gets broken down by appetite: big (‘Bigger Brunch Bites’) and small (‘Brunch Bites’) eaters, kids (‘Kids Bratty Brunch’), and the sweet-toothed (‘For sweet mornings’). The dishes themselves are equally vast-ranging: from grilled figs with goat’s cheese ($19) – we like – and Spanish donuts (churros, $14), to a tempeh and Cajun chicken sandwich served with their shoestring truffle fries ($18) and the signature Bay prawn capellini ($26), given a kick of dried chilli.
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FOR THE INDECISIVE BRUNCHERS | You’d like the Green Eggs and Ham (eggs scrambled with pesto and prosciutto, $14), or maybe a poached eggs dish – don’t know which to order? At Café Epicurious ( Brunch hours: Sat & Sun 9am-4pm) and Epicurious at the Quayside (Brunch hours: Sat & Sun 9am-5pm), the problem is solved – you can have half and half on one plate ($16). For the really hungover ones, there’s a Breakfast burrito ($12) that’ll ease the queasy stomach.
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FOR EGGS IN A NATURALLY KID-FRIENDLY GREEN SPACE | Cafe Melba (Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-10pm; Sat, Sun & public holidays 8.30am-10pm) has wide open green spaces perfect for the little ones to run around, but this isn’t the only reason we come here: they use free-range eggs in their dishes so you know it’s good for you and the tykes. The popular Eggs Benedict ($16) is served with house-smoked bacon and smothered with a light lemon hollandaise. Cafe Melba’s culinary team takes pride in making things from scratch, and what a difference that makes.
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FOR A FRENCH COUNTRY BRUNCH | The Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine sets (with fruit juice or any hot drink, $22 each) are the most popular at Choupinette (Opening hours: Tue-Thu 9am-8pm; Fri 9am-10pm; Sat 8am-10pm; Sun 8am-6pm), and rightfully so – not much can go wrong when you order poached eggs here. Those with egg allergies will be more than happy with the signature Croque Monsieur (grilled ham and cheese sandwich, $18), don’t sniff at the eggplant version, it’s good.
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FOR AN OMELETTE AND A COLD BREW | Chye Seng Huat Hardware (Opening hours: Tue-Thu 9am-7pm; Fri-Sun 9am-10pm) is mainly a coffee-nerd’s (some bonafide, some wannabe) haven, but it’s got a simple until-5pm menu that includes scrambled eggs ($11), French toast ($5) and ham omelette ($8.50). You won’t go wrong with the creamy-inside cheese-and-supermarket-ham omelette, served with toasted baguette slices, half a grilled tomato and tartly-dressed salad leaves. The baked goods (made in-house) and bright Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Sidamo cold brew ($7) does not disappoint either.
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A QUIET BRUNCH ON SENTOSA | Didn’t think it was possible? Coastes (Brunch hours: 9am-11pm) is the quiet, chill, affordable brunch venue on Pulau Blakang Mati. We love that it has everything a beachfront eatery should – chilled atmosphere; white (imported) sand; half-weathered, half-new-coat-of-paint furniture; and an all-day breakfast menu (another one-up on Tanjong Beach Club). While the breakfast selection isn’t vast, it satisfies: fresh scones served with jam, cream and strawberries ($10), croissant with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, avocadoes and tomatoes ($14) and an American/English breakfast that has the works ($20). Please keep this one quiet.
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CRITICS’ PICK | A CHEAP, OLD SCHOOL, COLONIAL BRUNCH | Once the unofficial army mess for British troops, Colbar – or Colonial Bar ( Brunch hours: Daily 11am-8.30pm) – still seems stuck in a time-warp of sorts. Formica tables, faded framed photographs, no-air-conditioning and the lush Wessex Estate digs give this age-old brunch spot a laidback vibe. While the food isn’t sophisticated, it is cheap. The poached eggs ($6), sausages with fries ($6) and fish and chips ($9) are known to have cured many a hangover. This is also the kind of place you pair your breakfast with one of their many beers and ciders.
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FOR LIMITED ALL-DAY BREKKY, AND CAKES | Cups N Canvas (Opening hours: Tue-Thu 10.30am-10pm; Fri & Sat 10.30am-11pm; Sun 10am-6pm) is a part-café part-art space, so don’t expect it to go full dip into brunch. Located in an art deco building near Singapore’s art district, the all-day breakfast selection consists of only a traditional fry-up (Breakfast Canvas – bratwurst sausage, eggs, sautéed mushrooms, roast potatoes, grilled tomato, greens, toast and juice; $16.90) and the Eggs Ben-Addict ($14.90). Their homemade specialty cakes are something else though – we recommend the French vanilla apple slice ($6.50 when served with ice-cream) with the generous slices of the fruit.
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CRITICS’ PICK | FOR ALL-DAY BREAKFASTS, PANINIS AND CHARCUTERIE | While Croute (Opening hours: Daily 9am-8pm) has an all-day Eggs Benny (with hollandaise and pastrami on an English muffin, $10) option, it’s the paninis and charcuterie that will really get your tongue, good. The paninis are not simply well-distributed with fillings, they are also generous in size; try the beef pastrami panini ($11). And if you’re really into your meats, the H platter ($14) delivers a spread of cured meats, cheese, cornichons, whole grain mustard, lavash (Middle Eastern flatbread) and house bread. Hummerstons’ little sister has done good.
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FOR A BIG HANGOVER CURE | The Dempsey Brasserie’s (Opening hours: Mon-Fri 5pm-1am; Sat & Sun 10.30am-1am) The Big Hangover ($35) consists of a traditional English fry-up (eggs any style, back bacon, forest mushrooms, a grilled Cumberland sausage, roasted vine tomatoes, and grilled brioche with butter and jam), a Bloody Mary, and a (very thoughtful) glass of Berocca. It’s nice to have a little extra something to give you some pep – provided you crawl out of bed before 3.30pm.
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KIDS GET THIS WELL-KEPT BRUNCH SECRET, TOO | As much as we love the protective green surrounds of Eco Gourmet Café (Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11am-11pm), make sure you spray on some mosquito repellent when you come for the weekend- and public holidays-only brunch. The Eco Special (a poached egg, bacon, rosti and salad, $25) is the main offering, although other options like a Wagyu sirloin steak sandwich ($45) are also on the menu. Kids have their own options here, too - six to be exact ($10-$15); from a ham and cheese sandwich to a satisfying plate of fish and chips.
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AFFORDABLE ALL-DAY BREAKFAST | Easties needn’t get out of bed too early, or hurt their pockets much – Eggs & Berries (Opening hours: 8am-10pm) has an all-day menu that features affordable breakfast items. The sweet brioche French toast with sausage and scrambled eggs ($13.50) is an all-in-one – French toast, sausages, scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon and salad; steak and eggs is the most expensive item at $15.80.
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THE STANDARD RIVERSIDE BRUNCH | Eggs Florentine ($15), Eggs Royale ($17), American ($20) or Continental breakfast, pancakes – whatever your standard breakfast craving is, Em by the River (Opening hours: Mon–Thu 9am–2am; Fri 9am–3am; Sat 8am–3am; Sun 8am–2am) has it. Except service – though that’s because there is no service charge. It pays to not be lazy.
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SUNDAY BRUNCH AT THE BAKER’S | At the nostalgic former-swimming-pool digs of The Fabulous Baker Boy (Brunch hours: Sun 10.30am-5pm), pancakes ($6-$10) and Towkay Ng’s Eggs Benedict (two poached eggs on a toasted brioche, sautéed spinach, roasted potatoes and Italian hollandaise, $10.50) are the only breakfast offerings on the menu (and available only on Sundays). Off the menu, however, it’s Sunday roast, served with all the trimmings (call one week ahead, and ask for the price, if you dare – we couldn’t get it out of the chef). Don’t forget the array of cakes and baked goods.
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MEDITERRANEAN BRUNCH FLAVOURS | The brunch selection at Fine Palate Café (Brunch hours: Sat & Sun 10am-4pm) isn’t massive, but we like the flavours: yoghurt pancake with fresh berries, warm maple syrup and fresh whipped cream ($12), a Provençal omelette (spinach, mushrooms, olives, vine cherry tomatoes and feta cheese, $16), and a Spanish-style omelette (chorizo, smoked cheddar cheese, spring onions and tomato relish, $18) all cook up to be such sun-kissed dishes.
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CRITICS’ PICK | FOR A SOCIALLY GOOD BRUNCH | Whether you’re at Food for Thought’s 8QSAM (Opening hours: Mon-Sat 9am-10pm; Sun 9am-9pm) or Singapore Botanic Gardens (Opening hours: Daily 8am-9pm) you can get the Basic (scrambled eggs, bacon and toasted brioche, $7), House (Basic plus hash browns and a thyme tomato salad, $12) and the Full Works (House plus garlic mushrooms and chunky chicken sausage, $18). Some of the proceeds from Food for Thought go to one of four missions: to make the world a clean-water, starvation-free, poverty-free and better educated world.
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A COLONIAL BRUNCH SETTING | The idyllic black-and-white colonial house setting of Graze (Brunch hours: Sat, Sun & public holidays 9.30am-3pm) might be enough to blow you away, but it gets better: try the signature Cast Iron Pan ($25) – HungryGoWhere users’ top voted dish. A beautifully-laid platter of comfort: fried egg, Cumberland sausage, bacon, potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes and baked beans. Bonus points for a vegetarian version, and for putting together five worthy items for the kids ($10-$13). Wait for 11am to hit – that’s when the freshly-shucked oysters ($32) and 200-day grain-fed ribeye ($49) become available.
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FOR NICELY-POACHED EGGS | The limited all-day breakfast menu should not be indicative of Group Therapy's (Opening hours: Mon-Thu 11am-6pm; Fri-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun 11am-5pm) quality. Don’t be taken aback by the thick toast – the hollandaise-blanketed poached eggs ($15) break beautifully into the smoked salmon and Gruyere, resulting in sturdy, well-rounded bites.
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FOR BRUNCH WITH SINGAPOREAN TOUCHES | Located in the ultra-hip Tiong Bahru area, 40 Hands Café (Opening hours: Tue-Thu 8am–7pm; Fri-Sat: 8am–10pm; Sun 8am-7pm) does gets a bit crowded during the weekends. Serving, first and foremost, ethically-traded coffee, the Big Boy breakfast ($18) is the default choice if you want a greasy start to your day – scrambled eggs, a chipolata sausage, mushrooms, watercress and sambal sauce. While you’re here, the tau sar pau ($2.50) is quite the star – well fluffy from the steam, each bite is an even, well-distributed ratio of bun and red bean paste. And none of that thick, must-peel-off-to-eat, outer layer of dough – that’s for the last generation.
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CRITICS’ PICK | FOR EGGS, EGGS AND MORE EGGS | Poached, scrambled, sunny-side-up – whichever way you want it, Hatched (Opening hours: Tue-Thu 8am-10pm; Fri-Sun 8am-11pm) does it. So don’t stick to the standard eggs Benedict – replace the bacon with corned beef and Mornay sauce instead of hollandaise. Both versions cost $18, and come with two eggs – see, no loss there.
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A HUMMER FULL OF BRUNCH ITEMS | It’s no wonder Hummerstons (Brunch hours: noon-3.30pm) is always packed for brunch – there is no weak dish on their menu: from boxes of fries ($14) and poutine ($15-18) to 12 mains including a health-conscious maple granola ($17), Hummerstons Brunch Burger ($27) and California-style fish tacos ($24). Desserts and drink offerings are also full-fledged here – the Tarte a Roon ($12) is a deft pile of caramelised apples, cinnamon raisins and butter pecan ice cream on a warm macaron; while the drinks span wines from all over, to spirits and beers. Don’t bother calling, get there early – they’re notorious for not picking up their phone.
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MELBOURNIAN CAFÉ/BRUNCH EXPERIENCE | Set up by a displaced Melbournian (to Singapore), Jimmy Monkey Café & Bar (Opening hours: Sat & Sun: 8.30am- 8.30pm) expectedly has a raw and deconstructed casual vibe in its decor. Coffees are made in a Slayer espresso machine, and clean, sometimes strong-flavoured, brunch items hold pride of place on the menu. Take, for instance, the Vegemite and cheese Turkish bread toast with a half-boiled egg ($13).
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FOR A STOCKY ENGLISH FRY-UP | It’s ironic that it is a friendly Australian gourmet grocer and café, Jones the Grocer that turns out a hefty Jones English fry-up ($20). Also located on the fourth floor of Mandarin Gallery, we prefer the Dempsey address (Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-noon; Sat & Sun 9am-3pm) because well, you’re out in the open. While not stellar, it ticks all the typical boxes for a fry-up: crisp bacon, eggs, pork sausages and breads. Take comfort in the setting and being able to splurge on the specialty grocery section post-meal, won’t you?
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SIMPLE BRUNCH DISHES, RELAXING ATMOSPHERE | Whether you’re at Kith Café on Robertson Quay (Opening hours: Daily 7am-7pm) or at its Park Mall branch (Brunch hours: Daily 8am-3pm), the philosophy is the same, although the menu is bigger at the latter: good coffee and fuss-free fare for everyone to come together to enjoy. The coffee is therefore medium-strong, done deliberately to cater to Singaporean tastes, and the dishes simple yet good, like muesli and fresh strawberries ($6) and Park Mall branch-only corn frittata ($14).
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BUFFET BRUNCH AT MACRITCHIE | Let’s not monkey around; Lavaedge at MacRitchie (Brunch hours: Sat & Sun 11am-4pm) is not your typical café-in-the-park offering, and its full-out buffet brunch should be an indication: the selection is decent, especially for the prices ($28 per adult; $16 per child) – dory fillet with mango salsa, baked cream leek New Zealand mussels, tom yum bee hoon, laksa, chicken rice and Irish beef stew, plus a satay station. Don’t judge a glass-walled wooden structure by its, uh, structure.
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FOR A HEALTHY, RAW, AND RAW-FUSION BRUNCH | The Living Café (Opening hours: Sun-Wed 8.30am-7pm; Thu-Sat 8.30am-10pm) believes in using no red meat, no cow dairy, no white sugar, no preservatives, no additives, no artificial colourings and gluten-free alternatives in its kitchen, so expect a healthy breakfast of wholemeal pancakes ($8-$10), and organic eggs from New Zealand done three ways – scrambled ($13), poached ($11) or as an omelette ($13). Breakfast is served until noon every day.
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FOR KICKING BACK WITH A GOOD CUPPA | Loysel’s Toy (Opening hours: Tue-Fri 9am-6pm; Sat & Sun 9am-7.30pm) is by the same people who brought us Papa Palheta, so expect the coffee to be pretty darn good (we always have the well-balanced latte, $4.50). But it’s the full brunch experience you should be aiming for, if you can get a seat. Tuck into Big L’s breakfast (scrambled or poached eggs with bacon, sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic pork sausage and toast, $15) and if you still have room, finish with a nicely tangy, runny-curd-ed lemon tart ($6).
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BRUNCH WITH FROU-FROU | The weekend is when to pop into Maison Ikkoku (Opening hours: Mon-Thu 9am-7pm; Fri & Sat 9am-10pm; Sun 9am-6pm) – where breakfast is all day, as opposed to 9am to 11am on weekdays. This cafe is targeted at the forward-leaning – Eggs Benedict ($18) with a touch of curry powder in its hollandaise sauce; the croque Madame (honey-glazed ham, gruyere, homemade béchamel, and fried egg on toasted pain de campagne – ‘country bread’ – $15) has toasted almonds; and the French toast ($14) is made with sourdough and Grand Marnier-infused maple syrup.
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WEEKEND BRUNCH IN HORSEBACK COUNTRY | The Marmalade Pantry at the Stables (Brunch hours: Sat, Sun & public holidays 10am-6pm) has another outlet at ION Orchard (Brunch hours: Sat & Sun 10am-10pm), but once again, we prefer this location because it means that we are out in the fresh air. Life feels carefree, and countrified, when you’re sitting among greenery, tucking into a skillet of steak and eggs ($38) served with smashed peas, peeking at horses striding by. Brunch is on weekends and public holidays only.
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CRITICS’ PICK | FOR BRUNCH SERVED WITH ARTISAN BEER BREAD | Nassim Hill Bakery (Brunch hours: Tue-Sun 8am-6pm) knows that good bread is the key to a memorable brunch. With a bakery section helmed by Audrey Tan of Freshly Baked by Le Bijoux, its selection of breads – everything from the simple almond brioche ($8), the more complex coarse-grain Grimbergen Amree (made with Grimbergen beer, a loaf for $8) to the not overly sweet cranberry and walnut bread (2 for $5) – is a carb-lover’s idea of heaven. Not that bread is its only draw, they do a mean eggs Benedict ($20) served on a hunk of ciabatta, and their simple ham and Emmental cheese sandwich on sliced raisin and walnut bread ($14) is proof that when you have quality ingredients, little else needs to be.
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LITTLE THAT’S BLACK-AND-WHITE ABOUT THIS BRUNCH | Apart from the two-storey colonial bungalow (with an outdoor canopy space) it is set in, there is nothing stringent about Nosh Restaurant & Bar’s brunch (Brunch hours: Sat & Sun 10.30am-2.30pm): the menu hawks items like the crabcake Benedict ($18) which is served with a coconut curry hollandaise; buttermilk pancakes ($14) are served with cardamom-maple syrup; and fish tacos ($18) are done two ways – dory fish is fried and marinated, one with chipotle aioli and the other with banana-ginger chutney.
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AN EDUCATIONAL BRUNCH | The Eastside’s artisanal café, Penny University (Opening hours: Tue-Thu 8.30am-6pm; Fri 8.30am-9.30pm; Sat & Sun 8.30am-10.30pm) is also an all-day breakfast joint. In addition to the three-, five- and seven-ounce cuppas ($3.50, $4.50 and $5.50 respectively), there are four breakfast items, three sandwiches, and an assortment of pastries to munch on. The selection is sprightly simple: cheese toasties with Marmite and poached eggs (small $4.50; big $6), Turkish eggs (two poached eggs with whipped yoghurt and hot chilli butter on sourdough bread, $8), croissants ($3), cranberry rock cake ($2.50), and Windowsill Pies’ goods to name a few. It’s the sort of place for you to go forth, and be curious. After all, the cakes are baked and changed daily.
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BRUNCH, MELBOURNE STYLE | Needless to say, Vegemite is a feature at Melbourne-inspired The Plain (Opening hours: Daily 7.30am-7.30pm). But it’s the Darling’s eggs ($12) that you should order: perfectly-poached eggs with ham, cheese and Roma tomatoes on sourdough toast. The Melbourne-imported Genovese coffee ($3.80) is compulsory, in any form you like.
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BRUNCH IS AN INDOOR PICNIC SPREAD | At Pique Nique, breakfast could be a Philly steak ($13), French toast ($7.50), croque Madame (grilled ham and cheese sandwich topped with fried egg, $14), or buttermilk pancakes ($7.50). And it could be had any time of the day, whether you’re at Orchard (Opening hours: Daily 10am-9.30pm), or JCube (Opening hours: Sun-Thu 11am-10pm; Fri & Sat 11am-10.30pm).
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BRUNCH ON A PRIVATE ISLAND | Settle into an al fresco seat overlooking Keppel Marina at Privé Café (Opening hours: 9.30am-5pm) and tuck into one of nine all-day breakfast options. Perhaps the most appropriate choices are Prive’s Ultimate Brekkie (two eggs any style, English breakfast pork sausage, maple-roasted bacon, Roma tomato, sautéed button mushroom, hashbrowns and wholemeal toast, $20) or the unusual Black beans and Eggs (two sunny-side-up eggs on black bean ragout with jalapeno and crisp baby squid, $18). Kids have their own menu here.
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FOR OVERPRICED BRUNCH, WITHOUT KIDS | All five branches of P.S. Café (including PS Café Petit) serve overpriced brunches, with far from stellar service (except at the last, where it is excellent), but somehow this is one chain that seems to sustain itself. The Ann Siang Hill branch (Brunch hours: Sat, Sun & public holidays 9.30am-4pm) caused an uproar for its no-kids policy when it first opened, but that furore has settled in the dust. Perhaps it’s the predictability of the 15 brunch options (from strawberry pancakes, $28, to chorizo and eggs, $32.70), and the more than generous portions of layer cakes that has paved the way for P.S. Café’s longevity.
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CRITICS’ PICK | FOR BRUNCH & SEEING A MAN ABOUT A HORSE | Riders Café (Brunch hours: Sat & Sun 11am-3pm) remains one of our favourite brunch spots, and judging by the packed dining room each weekend, we’re not alone. Located next to the Saddle Club, its appeal is triple-fold: leafy green surroundings, the more-than-occasional horse sighting, but ultimately, the extensive brunch menu. You’ll be eating happy whether you order up the brioche French toast served with caramelised bananas, strips of crisp bacon and maple butter ($14), the Blackstone Benedict served on hearty sourdough ($15) or the simpler smoked salmon and light, creamed eggs ($14). Post brunch, we recommend walking down to pat the horses, if only to walk off the food coma.
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FOR A MODERN AMERICAN BREAKFAST | Roadhouse (Brunch hours: Sat & Sun 9am-4pm) is a café designed with the good old (modern) American diner in mind. Make your brunch a Mexican-themed one with their breakfast burrito ($13) of scrambled eggs, grilled pork sausages, grilled tomatoes topped with guacamole and Monterey Jack; jump onto a crispy bacon log ($15) – thick brioche layered with bacon and drizzled with garlic maple syrup, strawberries and cream; or a blue swimmer crab and cheese omelette ($18).
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LEISURELY OUTDOOR BRUNCHES | We feel Spruce’s Phoenix Park location (Brunch hours: weekends and public holidays: 9am-3.45pm) is more conducive to leisurely brunches than the Old Firestation (Brunch hours: weekends and public holidays: 9:30am-3.45pm) space. Perhaps it’s the abundance of open-air tables at the former. Regardless, the banana hotcakes ($14) are a sturdy yet fluffy, well-stacked choice, served with honeycomb butter and blueberry syrup; while the signature Steak Benny ($31) with a black pepper hollandaise impresses. We’ll take eggs Benedict with steak any day.
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BRUNCHES THAT RISE AND SHINE ALL WEEK | On 2 McCallum Street is SPR MRKT (Brunch hours: Mon-Fri 8am-11am; Sat 9am-4pm), a food, retail and art space that has a healthy (read: good) selection of all-day breakfasts. On Saturdays, the sausages and mash (garlic beef or kurobuta pork, $16); a breakfast croissant filled with egg, tuna, or chicken mayo, honey-baked ham and Emmental cheese ($7); and a yoghurt berries trifle ($10) become available. On weekdays, only two generic, but still good, breakfast sets ($8-$10) that include croissant or brioche, with eggs, ham and juice, coffee, or tea are available.
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BRUNCH REUNION WITH A BARISTA CHAMPION | Strangers’ Reunion (Brunch hours: Mon, Wed-Fri 9am-3pm; Sat & Sun 9am-6pm) is two-time (2011 and 2012) Singapore National Barista Champion Ryan Tan’s home turf so you should expect the coffees ($3.50-$7.50) behind the weather-stripped front doors to be of a high standard. But there is more he’s got going with this venture: skillful latte art, waitresses in high heels (ouch!) smartly-dressed waiters and baristas, and conventional and unconventional brunch items, the latter mainly in the sandwiches selection – the roast pork baguette ($9.90) looks more like a banh mi to us with its pickled daikon and cucumber salad, fresh chilli and coriander; croissant is stuffed with otah, cheese and tomato ($6.50) or kaya and butter ($4). The eggs Benedict ($15) and Royale ($15), however, tick the standard boxes.
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A HOTEL BRUNCH AFFAIR | Brunch, or breakfast, is a daily affair at Suprette (Brunch hours; Mon-Fri 7-11am; Sat & Sun 7am-2.30pm), and it looks to be a spiced up affair: from corned beef hash ($16.30) to The Besar Breakfast (eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, mushrooms, roasted potatoes and homemade baked beans, $24.50). There is also the spiced French toast (brioche with berry compote and golden syrup) and the shakshuka (poached eggs in spicy tomato sauce with feta cheese, lamb sausages and crusty bread, $22.20). When you’re done, you can check in to one of Kam Leng Hotel’s rooms upstairs to snuggle up to your food coma.
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FOR SWEET AND SAVOURY PANCAKES | On weekends, only breakfast sets are served. The four breakfast sets ($13-$15) on the menus at the Strictly Pancakes' Prinsep Street branch (Weekend opening hours: Sat 10am-midnight; Sun 6-10pm; closed from 4-6pm on both days) and Siglap outlets come with chilled or hot coffee. The All-American ($15) offering takes the form of flat, round cakes served with strips of crisp bacon, sausages, quail eggs and grilled tomatoes.
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BRUNCH FOR THOSE WHO SLEEP-IN | If, like many a former student of this converted school canteen, early to rise is not your style, Skyve Elementary Bistro & Bar (Brunch hours: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm; Sat & Sun 10am till late) could be your go-to place. The former Monk’s Hill Secondary School’s now got stacks of ricotta hotcakes with maple syrup, passion-fruit butter, almond flakes and bananas ($16); a wholesome Skyvers breakfast (eggs any style and choice of bread with wild mushroom fricassee, English pork sausage, confit of cherry tomatoes and roasted baby potatoes, $22); and for the weekends only, their menu expands to include pizzas as well. If only canteen food was ever this indulgent.
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BRUNCH’S A BEACH | Were it not for the hot cinnamon sugar doughnuts with warm Nutella fondue ($14), we would have been thoroughly disappointed with our Tanjong Beach Club (Brunch hours: Sat, Sun & public holidays 10am-4.30pm) brunch. These warm, light but sinful balls of dough is just what you need for that jolt of energy to frolick around in the clear-watered pool/run into the sea. You are, after all, here for the atmosphere. Embrace it. But if it’s brunch you lust after (and not the hot bods on show), don’t sit at the sunbeds or the bar – the brunch menus are limited to the Dining Room.
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FOR A CUPPA & THAT SCRUMPTIOUS SALTED BUTTER BUN | We know that the signature bun at Tiong Bahru Bakery (Opening hours Wed-Sun 8am-8pm) has a name (kouignn-aman, $3.50) but we can never remember it. What we do remember is its moreish goodness: crisp and flakey with contrasting salt and caramel flavours. In TBB’s early days, we’re sure this creation was the cause of people snaking around the block. Now into its eight month (and second outlet) of operation, its loyal fans find themselves returning to sample more of French baker Gontran Cherrier’s 200 creations that span the range of tarts, croissants, sandwiches, breads. When we do tear our mouths away from the kouignn-aman, we find ourselves privy to the specialty squid ink bun ($8.50), almond croissant ($3.20) and the zingy round lemon tart ($6).
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CRITICS’ PICK | BRUNCH HANGOUT FOR FAMILIES WITH YOUNG KIDS AND DOGS | Despite attracting the young-families-who-brunch crowd, Toby’s Estate (Brunch hours: Sun-Wed 7.30am-5pm; Thu-Sat 7.30am-9pm) is a very pleasant spot for late breakfasts. It helps that the coffees are one of the best along these parts of the river, and that the brunch options are at par, in that respect. Toby’s Breakfast ($16) is a worthy platter of barn-laid eggs, bacon, roasted cherry tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms and thickly-sliced brioche toast, while the paninis aren’t actually overpriced at $12. While there isn’t a menu for the doggies (the children do get one), the kind folks of Toby’s Estate has laid out a water bowl for furry friends to sip and share.
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BRUNCHES OF THE WORLD, UNITED | Wild Honey is all about a massive international selection of brunch dishes. The vegetarian Santa Fe ($20), for example, is a sort of huevos rancheros – tortilla parcels filled with cheddar, tomatoes and jalapeno salsa, topped with a fried egg, sour cream, char-grilled corn kernels, avocado and red onion, while the I Love New York is scrambled eggs, with caramelised onions, smoked sturgeon with a sesame seed bagel and cream cheese ($24). Although they have an outlet at Mandarin Gallery (Opening hours: Sun-Thu 9am-9pm; Fri & Sat 9am-10pm) as well, the one at Scotts Square (Opening hours: Daily 9am-9pm) wins in terms of food and ambience.