Let's face it, whoever came up with the idea of "brunch" was a genius. A weekend brunch where you can lazily start your day and merge two meals, brekkie and lunch, into one mega-meal is pretty awesome. Weekend brunches were a big thing when I lived in NYC, and I can see the brunch culture picking up here in Singapore as well. Each restaurant offers a different type of brunching experience and navigating through the dizzying array of brunch spots is overwhelming! To avoid the potential pitfalls, I've got some basic tips to help you narrow down on the number of options available and to ensure a pleasant brunch experience. Whether it's in Singapore or anywhere you are, allow me to enlighten you with this action plan:
1. Identify what kind of brunch you're looking for. This is a crucial first step. You might say, "What? I thought brunch is brunch!". You're mistaken, my friend. There's a boozy brunch, "let's catch up" girlfriends brunch, a date brunch, brunch with a huge group of friends, and a kid-friendly brunch for those who really want to torture themselves and bring their kids out with them for a meal.
The selection criteria for brunch spots is entirely different depending on the type of brunch identified. Why? Because the focus points are different. For example, for kid-friendly brunches, you want a place which will cater to keeping kids entertained. This can be in the form of some outdoor garden or playarea with slides and perhaps provision of crayons and coloring sheets at the dining table. If it's a boozy brunch, you'll seek restaurants which offer deals on drinks, such as bottomless champagne or "2 for 1", etc. If it's a big group of friends meeting up, then you have to find a place that can take reservations in advance otherwise be prepared for long waiting times. And if it's a date or close girlfriends catching up over brunch, then a pretty ambience, a unique location, or stylish decor makes the experience more enjoyable. This isn't rocket science. I'm not stating something you haven't considered before. But so many people ruin what could have been a great brunching experience by not even isolating their needs and requirements at the outset.
2. Do your research. Assess the menu online in advance if possible. Does it have coffee? Does it have cocktails like mimosas? Does it have pancakes? If yes, you don't really need anything else. (Note: This could be a problem if you don't like coffee, mimosas, or pancakes, in which case you really shouldn't be brunching at all).
3. Go for a "test drive". When it comes to brunch, only three factors really matter - how great the food is, how well the servers treat you and your party, and how badly you want to go there. Essentially, taste, service, and location. If you find a place that pleases you sufficiently across all 3 fronts, then you're set. Voila, you've found the brunch spot that's right for you!
Here's me at Dempsey Hill, which used to be old army barracks converted into what is now an area teeming with amazing restaurants. Some of my favorite restaurants in Singapore are located here (Open Farm Community, Blu Kouzina, Chop Suey). Recently, I had brunch at House at Dempsey and just loved the funky interior decor against a lush green backdrop. Food was great too! Definitely recommend it as a kid-friendly, big group, or girlfriend brunch spot - how versatile, no?
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