Brunch is a big deal for many of us, and most times, when we think of hotel brunches, we think of OTT feasts and the need to ensure a cleared-out tummy to maximise one’s appetite.
Unbeknownst to many, Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa is home to Singapore’s first and only all-organic brunch every last Saturday of the month.
Situated on the same grounds as the So SPA building, The Garden is a cosy place that focuses on ‘conscious dining’. This concept aims to serve food made with produce that’s been sustainably-sourced and organic (including the wine!).
Diners can choose to have the menu without wine for $78++ per person (inclusive of free-flow organic juices and soft drinks) or with some free-flow vino (Marius Blanc and Marius Rouge Grenache Syrah by M. Chapoutie) for $98++ per person.
Surrounded by lush greenery, a nice touch to your dining experience could be the possible surprise visit of friendly and majestic peacocks that wander the compound!
Back at the table, we were first served Organic Sourdough Bread with Seaweed Bordier Butter that’s from New Zealand. We were a tad disappointed that the bread isn’t made in-house, but it was good enough to make us empty the basket. The butter was rather umami, being salty, savoury and fatty all at the same time.
The brunch is quite unique in that everything is served as sharing plates (so the portion will be adjusted according to how many diners are at the table), except for the main courses. Each diner is entitled to pick one from a selection of three.
Here we have a trio platter of Australian Organic Beef Carpaccio, Tomato Vinaigrette & Shaved Parmesan, Organic Salmon Tartare With Beetroot Pickles and Whole-wheat Asian Wrap With Organic Kale, Barbecue Tofu, Mango Chutney.
As we’re used to the traditional beef carpaccio usually drizzled simply with olive oil, this version didn’t impress us much. We found little balance and depth of flavour. The tofu wrap was better, albeit cumbersome to eat as it fell apart the minute we bit into it.
The Organic Salmon Tartare was a refreshing change, and we loved the inclusion of beetroot. It sure helped to add some brightness (not just in terms of colour) to the platter overall.
To share, we had the Organic And Pesticide-Free Mix Of Salad Grown Locally With Quinoa & Pomegranate Dressing. We wish we could say we loved it, given how much we love pomegranate. However, there was very little in the salad to make up for the lack of flavour and resulted in us barely finishing half the bowl.
Who doesn’t love a good oyster platter, especially when we know these are organic? The Sustainable Irish Fine De Claire Oysters On Ice are refillable (yay!), which we’re thankful for, considering their small size. They come with a side of lemon marinade sauce, shallot vinaigrette and chives.
These were alright, but we’ve definitely had better. Given their small size, we’d say you’d have to grab yourself a good handful to be satisfied with these morsels.
Next, we were served New Zealand Free-Range Organic Eggs With Smoked Green Asparagus, Hay, Hollandaise Foam. It’s very reminiscent of a famous dish we once enjoyed in a more established fine dining place, but we do applaud The Garden Restaurant’s efforts in creating their own version (whether or not this dish was inspired by the higher-end place, we don’t know).
It was hard to truly enjoy this dish, especially when it was already lukewarm when served. Also, it was rather bland in our opinion, and didn’t justify its inclusion to the menu as a whole.
We hoped things would pick up with the mains, and were delighted to be able to try all three on the brunch menu.
First up, the Wasabi Miso Glaze Organic Salmon, With Organic Pesticide-Free Japanese Shiso With Edamame Salad. The first thing we tend to look out for on salmon is crispy skin, but we could totally excuse this one for not having it.
The aroma of the shiso broth was divine, and the flavours blended beautifully with the fatty salmon. It was for sure, a broth you’d want to sip slowly from a cup, especially on a rainy day.
The salmon itself was pale pink in the middle and very well-cooked. Out of all three mains, this one won us over.
Next, we cut into the Organic Australian Braised Short Rib Of Beef, Truffle Parsnip Puree. The beef was very tender and pulled apart easily, but we were let down by the lack of aroma that one would expect from the truffle parsnip puree.
Apart from the marinade, there was little on the plate that gave this dish adequate balance, and didn’t really leave a lasting impression on us.
For pasta, they served a Conchiglioni Giganti Stuffed With Ricotta, Organic, Pesticide-Free Japanese Nai Bai and Tomato Sauce. Ahh, where to start with this major let-down?
The ricotta was overwhelming in both taste and texture, with little help from the tomato sauce’s acidity to cut through it. The sauce itself wasn’t flavourful, and the addition of the nai bai was just confusing to us. Make sure you order the salmon!
Hoping to save the meal, we looked to their promising dessert offering. Presented on a huge plate, we had Crazy Berries Gluten-Free Pancakes With A Choice Of Mango Or Strawberries, Vegan Ice Cream, Fudgy Pumpkin And Chocolate Brownies, Lemon Icebox With New Zealand Free-Range Organic Meringue and Verinne Of Soya Bean Panna Cotta.
We can tell you, out of all these, the pancakes were the safest bet, along with the lemon iceboxes. The vegan ice creams were mediocre at best, but didn’t strike us as anything stellar.
We reckon the biggest disappointment was the Verinne Of Soya Bean Panna Cotta. The soya curd was utterly tasteless and as a result, was very hard to swallow; we couldn’t make it past two spoonfuls. Perhaps, they hoped the fruits on top were sufficient enough to sweeten the dessert, but clearly, it didn’t do much, if at all.
Lastly, we had the Organic Aloe Vera With Mint Jelly, Served In Whole Siam Coconut. This was another meh dish, apart from serving as a great thirst-quencher.
We were left with a rather despondent reaction to what seemed like a promising Saturday afternoon, enjoying a relaxing brunch surrounded by nature. The food had its hits and misses, but nothing amazing that we’d return for. The concept is promising, and hopefully, with this feedback, some improvements can be made.
If anything, the location is unrivalled, and in many ways, makes up for the lacklustre menu. But we cannot be too sure; for all we know, their a la carte menu could knock our socks off.
Dates: The All-Organic Brunch is served every last Saturday of the month
Expected damage: $78++ (without alcohol), $98++ (with alcohol)