We may have a favourite new brunch in Singapore: the free-flow Prosecco brunch at the oh-so elegant (and kid-friendly) Alkaff Mansion!
It’s that time of the year again! Friends and family visiting, expecting you to show them the highlights this great little island has to offer. And of course you want to impress! This season automatically commands lavish feasting and indulgent weekends – and being in Singapore, what better way to do that than over a boozy brunch? Rather than following the crowds to any of the usual hotel suspects, why not go for a smaller, more intimate brunch alternative?
My family and I recently enjoyed the exclusive Sunday Prosecco Brunch at Alkaff Mansion Ristorante, where the focus is on relaxing and bonding with your loved ones, whilst being surrounded by a sensational buffet of gourmet Italian classics along with free-flow Prosecco, white and red Italian wines.
Located in a historic 1918 black and white mansion on a hillside near Mount Faber, the restaurant opens up to a cosy colonial room with additional upstairs dining, separated by a glass floor. It’s a very child-friendly ambiance: the kids will love running about outside, leaving you to blithely enjoy another glass of wine, guilt-free.
The main room features a beautiful and elegant Antipasti and Salad buffet, while a smaller room flaunts decadent offerings of desserts, cold cuts and cheese. Mains await you outside, thoughtfully separating the ‘flow of traffic’ and keeping things moving smoothly. Smaller platters and portion sizes mean that food isn’t sitting out for too long and is constantly refreshed.
While you won’t get crayons here to keep the kids occupied, the wonderful staff are great with children and deftly get them settled down with a glass of juice and pizza (the faster you eat, the more time you have to play) – that’s all my twins needed to be enticed!
As for the adults, while the menu changes on a weekly basis, enjoy classic antipasti offerings such as veal loin with tuna sauce and capers, quintessential Parma ham and melon, fresh seafood on ice (Coffin Bay Oysters anyone?), octopus carpaccio, insalata caprese and a selection of homemade thin crust pizzas. Expect hearty mains such as the decadent homemade beef ravioli in truffle porcini mushroom sauce; (FYI – the delicious mushroom soup also boasts generous lashings of truffles, so make sure you grab a spoon or two of it); traditional beef lasagna; roasted sea bass with olives and capers, succulent oven baked beef sirloin with mustard sauce, roasted potatoes and grilled vegetables! This smaller selection of food means that you get to sample everything on offer. But consider yourself warned: I can’t think of a single thing I didn’t like!
Make sure to pace yourself, mama (you have from 11:30am all the way til 3pm!), and leave enough room for cheese and dessert. Cheese aficionados will find an impressive range of hard and soft cheeses along with jams and breads. But if you have a sweet tooth to satisfy, park yourself at the dessert buffet and nibble your way through gorgeous afters like bite sized brownies, crème brulee, panna cotta and the chocolate fountain with fresh fruits and marshmallows (note that this isn’t available every weekend). I highly recommend the classic sfogliatelle (crunchy Italian flaky pastry rounds with a lemon ricotta filling) and the divine chocolate cake. Too rich for you? There’s plenty of fresh fruit, too!
I also love that there’s a whole lot more to Alkaff Mansion than just brunch and bubbles! It was built in 1918 primarily as a retreat for the Alkaff family (who moved to Singapore from Yemen) to entertain guests, and quickly became the address to host high society parties. Left empty since 2003, the once derelict Alkaff Mansion has been painstakingly restored into today’s grande dame — a conservation building complete with a gorgeous garden, sweeping stairways, gazebos, colonial architecture and a pair of European-style fountains sitting at its main entrance. Happily it is once again the place for topnotch events like weddings, private dinners, birthday parties and more.
Alkaff Mansion is a chance to indulge in gourmet Italian favourites in an elegant setting without being rushed for time. Dining here won’t break the bank, either, with brunch priced at just $98++ per adult and $35++ per child from age 5-12 years. Perhaps you can hike up Mount Faber afterwards, and then it’ll be completely guilt-free!
Alkaff Mansion Ristorante, 10 Telok Blangah Green, Singapore 109178, Tel: (+65) 6510 3068, www.alkaff.com.sg