I think I have completely mastered the art of indulgence. It involves zero baking of my own, merely getting up at a fairly late hour mid-morning, throwing some roomy clothes on, slapping on a decent amount of concealer and makeup, a taxi ride and voila. It is the Life of Brunching. Maybe it’s the change of lifestyle ever since I moved which is a little more hectic and fast-paced now, but such indulgences (trust me they don’t happen that often) feel utterly well-deserved and I’d equate the relaxing qualities of good brunches and quality time spent with girlfriends to that of a holiday. The works. Enough said.
Just last weekend, I discovered something so glorious it had to be shared. Or rather, everyone had to have a mug each because it was ironically too good to share. Graze mocha – refer to photo above. Thick, creamy and rich; more chocolatey than most, this was so decadently good an opening to brunch. It was hard to stop after 3 gulps and put this mug down. I know I shall be craving mugs of these on cold rainy nights.
As soon as conversation started flowing (no doubt lubricated by mocha), the dishes started arriving. I loved that they all looked so simple, honest and homemade, exactly how breakfast food should be! Clean, fresh and sort of understated on medium-sized white plates.
This was by far my favourite dish of the day. The Spanish omelette was delicious with bits of chorizo and mushrooms, topped with fresh rocket and seasoned new potatoes that gave a little sweet citrusy tinge to it all. Those little spuds really made my day, whatever they were seasoned with!
Signature Cast Iron Pan – two scrambled free-range eggs, hash browns, bacon, chipolata, baked beans, roast vine tomatoes and mushrooms
A beautiful dish to behold with that rustic feel to it. I think we girls were a sucker for the cast iron dish anyhow, considering one of us had a little cocotte (imported from France) in her handbag. I hate to admit that this resembled dirty fry-ups with my housemates on Sunday morn. It wouldn’t be fair (to Graze) to do a comparison because I mean the latter had a real variety of ingredients, better execution of the dish, baked beans that did not come out of a can and it tasted delicious. But there were similarities for sure – the whole concept of a fry-up. Graze had just upped their game, polished their shoes you know.
Eggs Benedict – two poached eggs served on brioche toast with hollandaise and two slices of mortadella
This probably wasn’t as good as the eggs I had in a recent brunch trip. The eggs were slightly over-poached and it lacked that impressive oozing waterfall of molten yolk when attacked with a knife though the mortadella was quite scrummy. It didn’t have that swollen body poached eggs tend to have, a slight wobbliness and inability to contain its insides not unlike a huge badass blister under your skin, angrily threatening to explode (wow that’s a gross analogy but you get the idea right that sort of precarious balance between a whole egg and a poached egg come undone). I wasn’t sure why the hollandaise had been browned on the top as though it had been set under a grill for a few seconds.
Scottish Smoked Salmon Bagel with Cream Cheese, Dill and Rocket
Toasted seeded bagel – now that’s something hard to find in Singapore. This was lovely and the smoked salmon has to be mentioned. WONDERFUL! Very flavourful and not at all bland like some smoked salmon can be.
Savoury aside, we come to what we saved our tastebuds for.
Old Fashioned Pancakes Stack – with berries, honeycomb ice cream and maple syrup
The pancakes were as expected, fluffy and delicious although a little thinner than we’d hoped for. But they were delightful and well paired with berries and maple syrup (hard to go wrong with such a classic combination). What we really liked was that fat ball of melting honeycomb ice cream. If we didn’t have quite so many girls around the table and I was mindful of etiquette, I’d have grabbed that soup spoon of ice cream and dunked it into my mug of Graze mocha. Bet that would’ve tasted sublime.
Orange and Vanilla Waffles – with chocolate sauce and cut strawberries
Mmmm. Need I say more? And ahm, REALLY GOOD vanillla ice cream. My heart melted just a little at the sight of those specks of vanilla seeds. The ice cream was so rich I wouldn’t have been surprised if they’d snuck some clotted cream into the mix.
And to end it all on a rosey-hued note, a glass of Libalis Rose Maetierrawine which was of a lovely shade I wanted it as a nail polish colour. Happy smiles all around, food bellies nicely concealed under roomy dresses or blouses and a slight reluctance to leave this beautifully light restaurant. As we stepped out into the street and hailed more taxis to take us to our next destination (yea a crew of fat ladies who lunch), I couldn’t help noticing this slightly lethargic but warm feeling in my belly. I realised that that was the sensation of peaceful contentment and a stomach goblin finally satiated.
No. 38 Martin Road