Rarely do I give full marks for a restaurant, let alone a buffet one, but Hilton's Checkers Brasserie's newly launched Sunday Champagne Brunch is just THAT mindblowingly awesome.
The buffet selection here may be considered limited, but just about everything was delicious and above-par.
While the first brunch here as based on an invited tasting, I returned for an incognito revisit, as per S.O.P. of all invited tastings, and found brunch ($80++ without alcohol but inclusive of smoothies, juices and coffee and tea) to be consistent, excellent and thoroughly satisfying. We ate extremely well and were so stuffed, we were still full the next day. In a way, Sunday brunch at the Hilton can be considered extremely value-for-money, because it invariably ends up being 3-meals-in-1!
The star of the brunch has got to be the Egg Specialties, a curated selection of eggs done 6 uniquely different ways, spanning the world from the east to the west, and through the ages from the classics to the modern. These are all prepared ala minute for maximum freshness and perfect textures. Best of all, these are unlimited so you can eat until your shirt buttons pop.
My favourite, if I had to pick (and trust me, this is a hard one), is the Modern, a free range egg cooked at 45 degrees and served atop a velvety chanterelle mushroom gravy.
A close second is the French, a poached egg set in a hollowed out toasted muffin with a foie gras and truffle laced hollandaise.
Rounding off the top 3 is the American which pairs applewood-smoked bacon with eggs sizzling on a hot plate with melted cheese. Simple but delicious.
The rest are the Italian, with juicy tangy pomodoro baked in a skillet pan with an egg; Japanese: rice-centric, with a perfectly grilled unagi and slow-cooked soft-boiled egg; and English, with eggs overeasy in a Wagyu corned beef hash.
There's also a small selection of main dishes here, also cooked only upon order and served right to you, The best of the lot at the tasting was the Beef Bourguignon, a couple of cheeks braised till fork-tender in red wine sauce and served with truffle polenta, bacon, mushrooms and onions.
A close runner up was the Foie Gras Dumplings with shimeiji mushrooms and asparagus was a surprise hit, because it was so light.
Another big hit was the Beef Burger, with a thick slab of juicy minced beef tongue and coulommier cheese.
If you're a fan of Mod-Sin cuisine, don't miss the Lobster Singapore, a luxed up version of our local chilli crab, where the sweetness of the eggy sauce belied how spicy it actually was.
For sweets, there are 3 desserts cooked ala minute, and the rest are for your picking at the buffet table. We couldn't quite decide which was the best, the Crepes with nutella, the Blueberry Pancakes with blueberry compote lined inside the chewy cakes, or the Belgian Waffles, with berries and a drizzling of chocolate sauce.
For the full review because the original is too long, please see http://thehungrybunnie.blogspot.sg/2013/12/invited-tasting-revisit-checkers.html
For the full review + photos, please visit my blog! http://foodmakespeoplehappy.blogspot.sg/2014/05/international-sunday-brunch-hilton.html
the new & improved sunday brunch! how did it fare? I felt that the sunday brunch my friends and I tried did not live up to the hype and the food was sub-par. the desserts mainly focussed on chocolate + cheesecakes hence really limited and got boring. the spread isn't what i've seen in other blogs/websites.
The pillow menu at the Hilton hotels isn’t the only menu we’d plant our faces into. Though Checkers Brasserie still keeps its dated green and coral parquet floors, and its buffet menu continues to evolve: no buffet spread is the same on any day of the week - from Thai- to Mediterranean-themed weekday lunch buffets, to the Fridays-only seafood buffet and the a la carte Sunday champagne (Lois Roederer) brunch - it’s always an adventure for the palates. On weekdays, it’s a small variety of quality but fresh seafood, a medium-sized cold cuts selection, and nicely cooked roast meats. Egg lovers will want to save up for the Sunday brunch and have the eggs with wagyu corned beef hash, or the slow-cooked soft boiled egg with unagi, or both. For more buffet reviews, click here http://www.hungrygowhere.com/gallery/52-best-buffets-2014-*gid-033e3101/photos/#b0c60100
For the complete review with uploaded pictures and quoted prices, please view:
The culinary team at Checkers Brasserie has come up with an extensive menu of ala- carte dishes that are freshly prepared upon order; this on top of the wide spread one can find on the buffet tables. A selection of Egg Specialities and Gourmet Bites that all customers can order as many rounds as they want (that is if they have ample stomach space), all so that they can spend more time mingling with their family and friends and just wait to be served.
The two Egg specialities that made a stronger impression, were namely the Poached Eggs and Foie Gras laced with Truffle Hollandaise and the Slow Cooked Soft Boiled Egg with Unagi and Rice. One of us actually ordered two servings of the latter and I would have probably done the same if I was not so bloated; the Japanese Eel was very well- marinated and the rice was gratifyingly paired with the deliciously runny yolk. Like how one would put it, the other French specialty comprise two of the most favourite dishes around- a wobbly perfectly done Poached egg settled on a meltingly pleasurable piece of Foie Gras, made even better with the Truffle Hollandaise sauce as a finishing touch.
Even more exquisite delicacies prepared ala- minute, there are a total of eight different Gourmet Bites to select from. The Lamb Loin served with Baba Ghanoush and Mint Sauce was cooked to tender perfection, while the slight gaminess was accented with the delightful flavours of the accompanying elements. On the other hand, the Dim Sum East West, Foie Gras with Pork Char Siew was rather lacking since I could only distinguish most of the pork; almost akin to the ordinary Siew Mai one could get elsewhere. Many of us nodded our heads in agreement when we tucked into the Lobster served with Chilli- flavoured Rice and Coriander, the sauce was packed with a sweet- spicy punch that did take me by surprise.
The key ingredients of the Foie Gras Dumplings with Shimeji Mushrooms and Asparagus were flawlessly cooked, the aromatic fragrance of the Foie Gras and the Shimeji Mushrooms (both infused together) was very distinct. The Wagyu Beef Tongue Burger with Coulommiers Cheese was just show- stopping and in my opinion, won every other dish and dessert hands- down. Squished between grilled golden- brown buns, the beef patty squirted with its meaty juices with every bite and it was further elevated by the tender well- marbled Wagyu Beef Tongue. TheBraised Beef Cheeks in Red Wine served with Truffle Polenta, Bacon, Mushrooms and Onions was another item of cutting edge, a myriad of flavours from the varying elements that came out stunningly with every mouthful.
For more dishes reviewed, please view the link above.
Full Checkers Brasserie review here: http://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.sg/2013/12/checkers-brasserie-tasting-session.html
Located at the lobby of Hilton Hotel Singapore, Checkers Brasserie hosts a weekly Sunday Brunch Buffet designed around freshly prepared-to-order dishes at live cooking stations. With a revamped menu revolving around a selection of Eggs Specialties and Gourmet Bites, which can be ordered an unlimited number of times, Checkers Brasserie hopes to allow diners more time to mingle and socialise instead of waiting for food from the buffet line.
Ambience at Checkers Brasserie evokes the rustic, countryside feel, with wooden panelling and summer colours. Layout is spacious, with the glass panels at the side letting in natural light and framing the greenery of the garden outside. While ambient light is sufficient, I noticed the corners of Checkers Brasserie tends to be darker. The main showpiece is the well thought out display of the buffet spread, laid out in logical sequence.
Service at Checkers Brasserie is efficient, friendly, and professional. Staff seem more than happy to assist, and orders don't take too long to fulfill. Finished plates are cleared quickly. I noticed that most of the senior staff are very familiar with the food and drinks available, though not everyone in the rank and file is able to answer queries.
The Eggs Specialties are the highlight on the Sunday Brunch Buffet menu at Checkers Brasserie, with a choice of 6 different styles of eggs, prepared in international styles. You don't have to wait at the counter, just place your order and staff will serve it to your table when ready. You can order as many rounds of the Eggs Specialities as you wish.
The Modern style eggs are served in a mini cauldron, with a free range egg precisely cooked at 45 degrees celsius, on a bed of savoury chanterelle mushrooms and mushroom gravy. This was quite a stand out dish for me, really excellent combinaion of flavours. Pair this with crisp bread for maximum satisfaction.
The Beef Bourguignon consists of tender, slow braised beef cheeks on a bed of bacon, mushrooms, onions, and truffle oil infused polenta, with a red wine sauce. I felt this was probably the best of the Gourmet Bites, just loved the tender meat and aromatic flavour profile of the dish.
Checkers Brasserie Sunday Brunch Buffet is only available on Sunday from 11.45am - 3pm. Items on this menu can be specially ordered ala-carte on other days. Prices start at SGD $80 per person, for a free flow of the regular buffet, Eggs Specialities, Gourmet Bites and smoothies / water / juices / coffee / tea. For free flow of wines or cocktails, add additional SGD $18. The luxurious Champagne Brunch starts at SGD $128.