PUBLISHED October 24th, 2020 05:00 am
Is there any finer pleasure in life than brunch, bay views, and all the bubbly you can drink? Sitting in the sunlit, high-ceilinged space of La Brasserie – The Fullerton Bay Hotel’s all-day French dining venue – we’re hard-pressed to think of higher indulgence. But then, we have more pressing things to think about – like the welcome Aperol spritz that’s just landed on our table.
Freshly revamped for our post-COVID times, Le Brunch by the Bay features free-flow wines and French classics served straight to your table during the weekend. With no less than five boozy and non-boozy packages, we like that non-drinkers aren’t just left to sip juice – there’re alcohol-free red, white, and sparkling wines available. Of course, chances are that you’re here for the bubbly – opt for the rich, fruity Veuve Clicquot NV (S$168++), or splash out on smooth flutes of Ruinart Blanc de Blanc Champagne (S$238++).
Those seem like pricey bubbles, until you take into account the Bloody Marys that are La Brasserie’s specialty. Once a make-your-own Bloody Mary station with every sort of sauce and garnish imaginable, you can now pick from four extravagant versions of this hangover cure. Our Queen Mary packed a punch with home-smoked Smirnoff vodka, topped with a baby carrot and a skewer loaded with umami goodies – prawns, bacon, cornichons, olives.
Along comes a fragrant amuse-bouche of cold capellini with sakura ebi to savour as you ponder the menu – and there’s much to ponder, from ocean gems and eggs done three ways to steak dishes and Asian flavours. For starters, there’s no missing out on a fresh platter of Ocean Catch, laden with juicy Maine lobster and snow crab claws, four plump tiger prawns, a pair of bouchot mussels, and wonderfully tender scallops.
There’s a small but satisfying board of Butcher Block Charcuterie, with saucisson, Parma ham, bresaola, and duck rillettes to enjoy on a crusty mini-baguette. And as far as French feasting goes, it doesn’t get more traditional than a thick, comforting Onion Soup with gratinated cheese croutons floating atop, or butter-baked Escargots on crisp garlic bread.
The petit plat principal section features daintier versions of mains you’ll find on the weekday à la carte menu, from meats and fish to risotto. Our Steak & Frites is a well-marbled entrecôte cut with a juicy red center and a dollop of Café de Paris butter (the accompanying truffle fries, sadly, had barely a hint of truffle). Skip the Confit de Canard, which tends toward dryness, and opt for the Carré d’Agneau Rôti, a flavourful herb-crusted lamb rack amped up with rosemary jus.
For fish lovers, there’s a moreish serving of Filet de Loup en Papillote with chardonnay sauce – think Temasek seabass baked in parchment paper to sweet, moist perfection. With our dangerously dwindling stomach space, we were planning on giving the Asian section a miss, but our servers assured us that The Pier’s Prawn Laksa was a must-try signature. While this local favourite was nowhere near spicy enough for our tastes, those who like their laksa lemak should go for this coconut milk-heavy rendition.
If you have room for just one dessert, make it count with the 64% Mousse au Chocolat – a rich scoop of Madagascar vanilla ice-cream atop a glorious mess of Morello sour cherries, chocolate mousse, and chocolate crumble. Still, we have no regrets washing it all down with Le ‘Apple’ – a tart palate-cleanser of apple lime compote alongside refreshingly sharp yuzu sorbet.
La Brasserie is located at The Fullerton Bay Hotel, 80 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049326, p. +65 6597 5288. Le Brunch by the Bay is available on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 3pm.
Photos courtesy of The Fullerton Bay Hotel and Alexis Yang