by Manveen Maan
Brunch may not be such a widely regarded concept in Asia but it’s catching on fast, and Singapore’s Bacchanalia is one establishment that’s ahead of the curve.
Initially starting out as a pop-up champagne brunch series, Bacchanalia now has a set address, making it the place to be for the hip and well-heeled. Housed in the historic Masonic Club building, the restaurant oozes a quiet intrigue, emanating a 60s Rat Pack vibe with plush red armchairs, dark wood panelling, hand-blown glass bubbles hanging from the ceiling, and sleek interiors.
Founded by directors Alex Chew and Raj Datwani, Bacchanalia’s ‘Modern European’ menu is just as outstanding as its décor. Featuring a regular menu, a brunch menu, a lunch menu and a snack menu, Bacchanalia is the sort of place where you start your meal with some bubbly at midday and end on the tabletops at midnight (In a particularly ingenious move, the clever folk at Bacchanalia have included in-seat compartments for ladies to stash their heels in).
Despite the urge to make its namesake, the Roman wine god Bacchus proud, yours truly decided on a much more subdued but nonetheless sophisticated affair, settling on a selection of Bacchanalia’s most popular brunch options – whipped up by resident chefs who cut their teeth at Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck.
Eggs Benedict commonly features across most brunch menus, so it’s not surprising it’s the first item on Bacchanalia’s menu. With perfectly poached eggs, ham, and spinach swathed in hollandaise sauce, sitting atop homemade English muffins, the serving is generous and filling. At $18 a pop, you can’t go wrong with this brunch favourite.
The Bacchanalia Burger ($25) is a definite highlight. True form is measured in the succulence of the burger meat and this delicious patty packs a juicy punch. Lettuce, tomato, pickle and cheddar cheese round up the flavours sitting between the homemade bun, with some French fries thrown on the side for good measure.
Being a lover of all things spicy, I couldn’t resist the Chili Con Carne ($28) and it didn’t disappoint. Made with pinto beans and piquillo peppers, this dish was served with hearty corn muffins, cheese, sour cream and hot sauce – for that extra spice kick. Despite its Mexican name, the dish had a surprising curry-like flavour to it… I suppose we were in Singapore after all.
|Side Dishes for Chili con Carne|
Those after a more decadent affair should settle for the French Toast ($18), which is a heavenly mix of homemade brioche, creamy yogurt and granola, and homemade jam. The layers of the rich brioche combined with the lighter jam proved to be a winning recipe, alongside the crunchy granola.
Besides the outstanding cuisine, Bacchanalia’s bar is achieving somewhat legendary status, with in-house mixologists and bartenders whipping up a jaw-dropping selection of new and improved cocktails. If the purist in you shudders at the very thought of the amalgamation of liquers, Bacchanalia also has an impressive selection of wines, champagnes, craft spirits and sake.
The Bacchanalia Brunch is priced at $38++ and $48++ (for two courses), and comes with a choice of juice, tea or coffee. An extra $50 gets you free flow of Aix Rose, making this one of the best deals for a quality, boozy brunch in this notoriously pricey town. Sadly, as I had a flight to catch, I had to forego the bubbly revelry Bacchanalia is fast becoming synonymous with. But you can bet your bottom dollar that on my next trip to the island city, I’ll be back to try the other delectable dishes on the menu. And this time, I won’t hold back on the bubbles.
*all prices quote are in Singapore dollars
23A Coleman Street,
+65 6509 1453
Opening Hours: Tue to Sat: 6:00pm – 1:00am, Sun: 11:00am – 3:00pm