Sunday, November 04, 2007

I live for brunches

I never understood breakfast. Why in the world, would I, on my own free will, wake up in the break of dawn to eat food when I can have the same food at 11:30am? Or 2pm? Don't get me wrong, I loooove breakfast - the food, not the time of day when I have to consume the food. I love my eggs benedict, my freshly squeezed orange juice, side of bacon, waffles with strawberries and fresh cream and every now and then, a tall glass of mimosa or lychee bellini to wash it all down., just thinking of it is making me hungry.

Zhuang and I were planning to have brunch on Sunday at Brown Sugar, this restaurant that had some pretty good reviews, for good foie gras burgers that's reasonably priced. So here we are at 2pm, deciding to leave the house, since afterall, according to the web site, Brown Sugar closes at 4:30pm. So we called them to make a reservation and guess what? They had the balls to tell us that last order is at 2:30pm! We were like, huh?! WTF. Your web site says you close at 4:30pm, why in the world are taking last orders at 2:30pm? Talk about incompetent. Tsk tsk. Doubt any of the Brown Sugar owners are reading my blog, but if you are - you should either seriously update your web site OR their your cooks they aren't allowed to leave till 4:30pm. Ridiculous.

What I take to mean as closing time is the time of the last order, which means, if I walked in at 4:30pm, I expect to be served food and drinks and everything on your menu. Service in Singapore is pretty appalling. We were at Jaan at Raffles The Plaza for a Hans' birthday dinner (Happy 30!) and this was supposed to be a nice, semi-fine dining French restaurant (they had kids at another table, no fine dining restaurant should allow kids below the age of 12) and the waiter just made mistake after mistake! He didn't even know who was having what courses! Had the audacity to stand next to Annie with a receipt listing our dinner and asked her who was having what so he could place the cutlery! OMG. Insane. This is why they never leave comment cards anywhere. And, one of the managers even poured still water into one of the glasses that had sparkling water in it! On top of that, the ridiculously untrained waiter opened another bottle of sparkling water without asking us if we wanted another - and, it's not a matter of price - it's a matter of whether we wanted more or not. Christ. And by the way, although the food was better than Saint Pierre at Central Mall (at Havelock Rd, not the one at Clarke Quay) - it was still way below average. Granted that their pan-seared duck liver was decent (unlike the foie gras from Saint Pierre that tasted like it came out of a can), I wouldn't go back to Jaan nor would I recommend it to anyone. Should have known considering that they had reservations available on a Friday night for 6 at the last minute. Sigh.

Anyway, enough of my ranting about Jaan. Back to brunch. So with Brown Sugar out and me starving my eyes out, we decided to head over to Marmalade Pantry, which by the way, is at Palais Renaissance on Orchard Road. Note to heed - don't try to tell your cab driver to go to Palais Renaissance coz all you're going to get is a big, "Huh? What ah? What you say? Palay? Where? Dunno la. Want to go by ECP or PIE?" Seriously. Try Forum on Orchard or Delfi, or Thai Embassy. Walk a little, it's right next door.

Marmalade Pantry was decent - again, with the silly "our last order is at 3:30pm" when their web site says they close at 4:30pm and on top of that, I called to make a reservation and when I got there, they said that they didn't have the reservation down. Idiots. Place was well lit and I really liked the circular feel of the place but too bad that it's in the basement coz I hate eating in basements, makes me feel like a minion. Zhuang wasn't happy with his meal but I was satisfied with mine, would go back there but not immediately though, probably when I get bored and happen to be in Orchard on Sunday. Zhuang had corned beef hash with tomato coulis and fried egg - corned beef was underdone and on the dry side and portion was tiny. There was no sides, just corned beef, sunny side egg on top and some arugula on top. His flat white was a surprisingly generous serving at $5.50. I had a scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and creme fraiche and a glass of Pert Juice (freshly squeezed apple, orange and ginger). My eggs came with a side of salad (mmm, arugula!) and a handful of chips (sweet potato and russet I think), so it was a hearty meal, I was pretty full. And I have to say, the grilled cherry tomatoes were delicious. Sad part was that our drinks came after our food - which in my opinion, is simply unacceptable. At a restaurant, things should always come in this order - seating, menus, water, order, drinks, food, dessert menu, coffee. My Pert Juice was good, the orange juice balance the tartness of a green apple juice and the ginger gave a nice zing at the end. And poor Zhuang with this tiny corned beef portion had to order a french toast with figs, caramelized apples and honey ice cream. Again, huge portion. Can't really taste the figs in the french toast and the apples were caramelized enough but the honey and fig ice cream was yummy. I asked the server if they made their own ice cream, but she told me that they get it from Kapiti , googled it and apparently Kapiti's from New Zealand. Singapore, by the way, has some awesome ice cream places -- Island Creamery, Venezia, Haato. Total for 2 dishes, 1 dessert, 1 coffee, 1 juice and 2 cupcakes (yes - I had to get them to go, I can't say no to cupcakes) was $72.80. Not bad, considering that the portions were way bigger than Corduroy Cafe in Vivocity. Service was bearable and food came promptly.

At least I had a good brunch to round up the weekend, coz it started with a bizarre dinner at Angus Steak House in Ngee Ann City, which honestly felt like I fell down the rabbit hole and ate bad mushrooms. The restaurant looked like a colonial house with completely unattractive girls dressed up in maid costumes (with socks mind you! and now, it's not a Halloween thing) as servers and a piano that plays by itself. Steak was ok juicy but tiny as hell. Definitely not my kind of place - it's soooo Asian it's painful. Ugh. Should have stayed with my good ol' Black Angus. I think it's kinda sad to end a post about brunch with a photo of an ugly girl in a gawd awful maid costume, but nothing says it better than this photo.



Blogger Veet Fan said...

wah, you memang complain alot ah.

adapting well to singapore i see ;)


10:22 AM  
Blogger audreytmv said...

Have to complain la. Third world on the inside, pretending to be first world on the outside.

Singapore's so not my scene. I miss KL!

8:11 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Any bistro/restaurant that wants to have a website but can't be bothered to do it well... Well let's just say it doesn't reflect well on the actual business. Could be just me.

5:06 PM  

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