Friday, July 13, 2007

Sunday Brunch at Four Seasons Singapore - One-Ninety Restaurant

Champagne brunches - the very phrase brings to mind a decadent spread of scrumptious food and a never-ending supply of fine champagne. I have not been going for buffets in a while, be it brunches, lunches, dinners or teas, as the stomach just could not do justice to it. I like to try food, but I can never finish them all. Darn.

I was invited for Sunday brunch at One-Ninety Restaurant at The Four Seasons Singapore recently. I have heard of it, though not much, but I was never really motivated to want to try it. Other brunches which were always at the top of the list include the Hyatt, Ritz Carlton and Shangri-La.

One turn-off of the brunch at Four Seasons is the 2 sittings practice (11:15am - 1:15pm and 1:30pm - 3:30pm). There is something about having a brunch which makes you want to linger and stay on even though you may not eat during the entire period. After all, it is supposed to be a leisurely social event where you catch up on gossip and latest news with your friends or family.
One word to sum up the Sunday Brunch at Four Seasons - WOW!

And I am not just saying that because I was invited. I was pleasantly surprised by how the stations were spilled out onto the walkway and near the elevator lobby, and the seating area has expanded to include the Lobby Bar and al-fresco dining, besides the main restaurant. In total, it can seat 200 people for each sitting. Please do call in advance for reservations, recommended 1 week in advance as it is always full for both sittings, especially the later one.

There is a wide selection, not as mind-numbingly huge like The Line at Shangri-La, but it is a comfortable range with enough choices to please everyone. There is the breakfast area serving hot food such as pancakes, waffles, eggs (anyway you want it), sausages, bacon. The pancakes, waffles and eggs are cooked only when you ordered it. Nice!

Grill section: whatever you want is here - fish, veggies, meat (I only tried the fish as it was recommended by the Executive Sous Chef Catan otherwise I would not really touch it as I was already full by the other stuff). Everything is prepared fresh, and you can see the chefs at work behind the counter.

Bread, cheese and soup section: huge selection of bread and stuff - I didn't really pay attention to what was there.

Foie Gras Section: I didn't try this but this was also recommended by Chef Catan.

Cold Seafood Bar: I saw 2 types of oyster (Canadian and Australian or French) there and you can see a chef shucking it on the spot. The chef wore a steel glove to protect his hand from both the knife and the oyster shell. (This bit of info was provided by Chef Catan). There were also the usual suspects - mussels, scallops and prawns. Another tip by Chef Catan was to put a dash of Chipotle Tabasco sauce on the oyster instead of the usual tabasco as the smokiness brings out the freshness of the oyster better. I like that they provided real miniature bottles of tabasco sauce too.

Appetizer and Salad counter: I totally skipped this section but the dishes looked real good, and there was a chef on hand to prepare the salad if you want. At least I think he was manning that, just can't remember the items at his station.

Japanese counter: Fresh sushi and sashimi which could be made on the spot. There was a chef behind the counter.

Chinese food counter: Selection of dim sums, peking duck, roasted meat and noodles made right there and then.

Carbs station: Another chef stationed there to prepare risotto and pasta on the spot.

Laksa station: A One-Ninety Signature dish. Another chef stationed there to make it for you according to what you want.

Juice Bar: Fresh juices available and made on the spot for you.

Martini Ice Bar: Another One-Ninety (or Four Seasons) specialty - martinis made on the spot. After the bartender mixed the drink, it was poured into the ice sculpture to chill it, and you put a glass at the end to catch the liquid. Interesting concept. Great idea for a function. Please contact Four Seasons for a quote on having it during your event.

Dessert Section: A huge table in the middle serving all kinds of goodies. Another table at the side for the souffles (3 types), and another table with the chocolate fountain and "home-made" ice cream.

I think that is what I remember of what was available. I could have missed out on some stuff. So many food, but only 1 stomach (unfortunately).
So what did I have? I had a peach martini. It was really fun to try catching the liquid. Some spilled out cos I held the glass too close to the end. You could tell I never took physics at all - the law of gravity and angle of pouring never occured to me. I also had a carrot-orange juice.

Food wise: I started off with egg benedict (very good) and a pancake with maple syrup and a sausage and bacon. Then I tried the oysters and scallop - very fresh and no fishy taste to it at all. I like it with the chipotle tabasco sauce. Wonder where that can be found.

Moving on, I hopped over to the Chinese food station and tried some dim sum pieces (peking duck, siew mai, crabmeat dumpling, and 2 other items) and also tried 3 pieces of sushi (some salmon thing).

That was followed by a bowl of laksa. I like that there were so many ingredients - tau pok, prawn, cockles, beansprouts, fishcake slices, chicken and even quail egg. The gravy is very lemak and savory.

By now I was totally stuffed, but I still wanted to have a taste of the risotto with mushroom and white truffle sauce. It was heaven, al dente and infused with the flavor. I didn't finish that and I tried a few bites of the grilled fish too. No sauce, the flesh was sweet enough.

Desserts: I had creme brulee, berries jello (very refreshing), hazelnut cake thing and strawberry dipped in the chocolate fountain plus a piece of praline.

I certainly didn't do justice to the spread of food at all. Simply too much to sample all. The selection does change regularly so that you won't be bored dining there all the time.

It is quite worth it for its price tag. The cost of champagne brunches has gone up now and is usually around $100 or more. For Four Seasons, there are 3 prices: $85++ (no champagne, but includes the martini bar and fresh juices), $135++ (champagne Moet & Chandon), $155++ (rose champagne Moet & Chandon).
One-Ninety Restaurant
Four Seasons Singapore
Tel: 6734-1110

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