Since champagne brunches were introduced to Singapore, they have gained a firm following. This seems to be unique: Nowhere else in the region has champagne brunch caught on in the same way. Diners here just love starting their Sundays with a massive spread of food and a luxurious drink. Restaurants (mainly in the big hotels) offering champagne brunches face stiffer competition as more players join—and step up—the game. The champagnes are getting fancier, the prices higher, and diners savvier. We tasted some of the bubbly on offer at brunches, and present you with our take.
Moët and Chandon Brut Imperial is slinky, sexy and hot. This non-vintage has a distinct taste that is tart but not heavy, and lingers on the palate. Definitely drinkable on a Sunday afternoon, though Moët’s brand image might conjure up scenes of late night clubbing more than scrambled eggs on toast. We liked the filigree fizz of tiny bubbles that uplifts the champagne and counterbalances its round flavor. Strictly for the initiated.
Moët and Chandon Brut Imperial label is served at these brunches:
- Greenhouse, The Ritz Carlton, Millenia Singapore, 7 Raffles Ave., 6434-5288/5285. Sundays 11:30am-3:30pm. $108 per person.
- Town Restaurant, The Fullerton Hotel, 1 Fullerton Sq., 6877-8128. Sundays noon-3pm. $108 per person.
Fun and Friendly
This is how we describe popular champagne Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label. Our first impression of this non-vintage champagne was that it is light, fresh and fruity—and very easy to drink (in fact, all too easy). Tiny bubbles whiz up the champagne flute, and give off a fine fizz that makes this drink very sociable indeed. There is also a lovely fragrance that comes through very nicely. Because Yellow Label is not too heavy, it goes well with almost any type of cuisine and can be drunk any time of day. We could envisage getting through lots of this on a late Sunday morning, with good friends and good food.
According to the folks at Veuve Clicquot, an average of one bottle of its champagne is drunk per person at a Sunday brunch—which means some people are drinking more than a bottle (hee, hee), while others are drinking less (who?). The guys at VC are obviously doing something right.
Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label is served at these brunches:
- One Ninety, Four Seasons, 190 Orchard Rd., 6831-7250. Sundays 11am-3pm. $112 per person.
- Top of the M, Meritus Mandarin Singapore, 333 Orchard Rd., 6831-6258. Sundays and public holidays noon-3pm. $108 per person.
Our first sip of Duval-Leroy NV Brut made us think of the hot sultry south European climate. Deep gold in color, this champagne was less fizzy than the others we sampled, and sweeter despite being a Brut. Initially, we felt it was too sweet for a Brut, but as we drank more and had it with food, its taste really grew on us. In the end, we decided that of all the champagnes we tried, this was the most suited for drinking during the day, although we might think twice about serving this at dinner. It is best paired with food rather than drunk on its own, and in that sense is like a good wine.
Duval-Leroy NV Brut is served at these brunches:
- Café Brio, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, 392 Havelock Rd., 6233-1100. Sundays noon-3pm, $78 per person.
- Club Chinois, #02-18 Orchard Parade Hotel, 1 Tanglin Rd., 6834-0660. Sundays noon-2:30pm, $78-88
- per person.
- The Terrace, The Sentosa Resort and Spa, 2 Bukit Manis Rd., 6371-1414. Sundays noon-3pm, $98 per person.
Little needs to be said about Grand Cuvee Krug. This powerful non-vintage lives up to Krug’s reputation of being the king of champagnes. Dry and rich with several layers of flavors—fruity, nutty and yeasty—this bubbly deserves to be savored and appreciated. So luxurious is it that we almost felt its place was more at an elegant dinner than a Sunday brunch. Nevertheless, we’d be happy to drink it any time of day. Premium champagne comes at a premium price of course (about $240 per bottle at a wine merchant) and there is only one Sunday brunch that carries it. Go on, treat yourself.
Grand Cuvee Krug is served at:
- One Ninety, Four Seasons, 190 Orchard Rd., 6831-7250. Sundays 11am-3pm. $282 per person.
We can’t say much about these because—we didn’t get to try them. But we’ll tell you where they are poured.
Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve is served at:
- The Dining Room, Sheraton Towers, 39 Scotts Rd., 6839-5621. Sundays noon-3pm. $48 per person; champagne is ordered separately at $48 per bottle.
Piper-Heidsieck Brut NV is served at:
- Aquamarine, 4/F, Marina Mandarin, 6 Raffles Blvd., 6845-1111. Sundays noon-3:30pm. $98 per person.
- Checkers Brasserie, Hilton Singapore, 581 Orchard Rd., 6730-3390. Sundays noon-3pm. $68 per person.
Tattinger Brut NV Reserve is served at:
- Capers, 2/F, The Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Rd., 6725-3205. Sunday breakfast-brunch 7am-3pm. $68 per person. You get a choice of free-flow champagne, wine or martini.
- Long Bar Steakhouse, Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Rd., 6331-1612. Sundays 11am-3pm. $98 per person.
Can’t tell your bubbles from your Brut? Here’s a quick lowdown on basic champagne terms.
Brut: Dry. The most popular type of champagne.
Demi sec: Semi-sweet.
Non-vintage: A champagne that is made from multiple years of grape harvests. The prevailing opinion is that vintages are superior to non-vintages, but increasingly this is being challenged and non-vintages are gaining more respect.
Vintage: A champagne that is made from a single year’s harvest of grapes. Generally considered premium champagne.