Raffles hotel has always struck me as one of Singapore’s pioneer exquisite hotels. The birthplace of the now world renown Singapore Sling Cocktail, Raffles Hotel has sunk deep into the roots of Singapore culture.
Lots of open space and a high ceiling, wooden teak furniture with provincial designs, no restaurant other than Bar and Billiard Room fully expresses the premium colonial Raffles brand better.
Finding the restaurant was a bit of a pain though, located deep within Raffles Hotel with not much signs to this secret paradise. Ask the hotel staff, they’ll gladly point you towards the holy grail of brunches.
Upon entering, you’ll immediately feel the grand yet laid-back vibe, then proceed to go into a drooling seizure at the buffet spread. The food spread is quite inexhaustive to list completely, so I’ll just highlight some of the items that deserved praise.
Bar and Billiard’s Sunday brunch buffet can be categorized into several stations, first up at the entrance being the Salad Compose station, as well as the Antipasti and Cheese selection.
Portioned in little glass cups, you definitely don’t want to miss the ‘Maine Lobster, Ratte Potato and Truffle Vinaigrette’ with its generous chunks of lobster. The ‘Ratte Potato with Shaved Foie Gras, Smoked Duck Breast and Mâche Salad’, as well as ‘Peppered Tenderloin Carpaccio, Rocket Leafs, Shaved Parmesan’ were very good and well-balanced too, but avoid the Smoked Salmon which didn’t taste as fresh and had a slightly mushy texture.
Oh yes, if you love tomatoes you will love their antipasto ‘Wine Ripened Tomato with Caramelized Onion and Slice Garlic’, which was exquisitely sweet and just bursts with flavor.
The Bread Station also serves amazing homemade bread baked in the hotel. The Chocolate Danish and French croissants are superbly fluffy and creamy, which you want to lather with generous amounts of Echire Butter, the gold standard of French Butter which has a higher butterfat content than normal.
After appetizers, you want to hit the Meat Carving Station. BBQ Iberico Pork ribs are a must try which had a tinge of smokiness and that distinctive soft, juicy Iberico meat. The ‘Omaha Beef Tenderloin “Bordelaise” Sauce, Potato Fondant’ was also very delectable with the classic Bordelaise French red wine sauce that added sweetness to take away some of the heavy beefy flavor. Skip the potato as you want to save space for the good stuff.
You know what I recommend after having loads of carved and roasted meat? More meat.
Here we have the Cold Cuts Station with mad amounts of ham. You can see on the left panel the chef slicing this whole leg of ham called the Cinco Jotas “5J” Jamón ibérico. You have to be CERTIFIED via a Iberico slicing course to even place a knife on this premium ham, which is prized as the best ham in the world.
On the very top is the sliced “5J” Jamón ibérico, which is a lot more flavorful and oily than the other hams available like Parma, Lomo, Bayonne ham, which tend to be relatively quite dry after you’ve relished the “5J”.
Next we head to the Seafood Display Station for our fix of fresh seafood. If you’re an oyster fan, you’re in for a treat. On display was the Belon wild oysters, a very powerful French oyster that is one of the rarest in the world. High in zinc and umami, you’ll either love it or hate it. They also had Canadian Oysters and the more common but no doubt tasty Fine De Claire. Mix in some raspberry vinaigrette and lemon if taking it raw is too much for your palate, as the combined taste can also be quite pleasing.
The Maine Lobsters and Tiger Prawns are also fresh and savored for their sweet seafood flesh.
Hands down my favorite station of the day; the Live Seared Foie Gras Station. I lost count but I think I ordered at least 6 plates. Approach the station or ask any of the waiters to help you order this seared delicacy, and the chef will prepare it a la minute then served to your table. Comes with a bit of Celery cream butter. If you can’t take too much awesome in one bite, you might want to utilize this accompanying condiment.
Pastry Chef Desserts station. Get the Poached Apple in Aged Banyuls, Mascarpone and Black Tea, as well as the Catalan Cream, Pineapple and Vanilla Chantilly. Both extremely decadent and creamy desserts bound to impress.
Before we left, I couldn’t resist but order the famed Singapore Sling. Although invented in Long Bar upstairs, the original recipe is known well throughout the bars in Raffles Hotel and are of equal quality. Although I’m more particular about my cocktails, this version has an excellent tropical flavor with that aftertaste of Bénédictine Dom and cherries. The original Singapore Sling definitely lives up to its standard as an international cocktail.
We also never had a moment without an empty glass of Billecarte-Salmon bubbly, as if our champagne glasses had an auto-refill function.
Stunning service with attentive staff that ask about your day more times than your own mom, Bar and Billiard waiters also recommend wines with each dish, as well as change your dirty plates faster than you can say ‘I would love another plate of Foie Gras’.
I was thoroughly impressed. It’s a steep price, but you will no doubt get what you paid for at Bar and Billiard Room, Raffles hotel. Arguably the best overall Sunday Champagne Brunch I’ve had.
Expected Damage: $188++/pax with freeflow Billecarte-Salmon Brut Champagne | $158++/pax without champagne.
Brunch hours: Sundays 12pm – 3pm
*Check out the Bar and Billiard Sunday Brunch menu.