Chica, you’ve probably been to all the boozy Sunday brunches in town by now, but we’ve managed to sniff out yet another gem for a relaxed Sunday brunch. Nestled between One Fullerton and Fullerton Bay Hotel lies Catalunya at The Fullerton Pavilion. Directly facing Marina Bay Sands, you almost feel like you’re aboard a cruise ship, what with the water’s edge practically coming right up to the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows, complete with several river cruise boats crossing from time to time. Throw in a bright sunny day, good music (brought to you by an in-house DJ!) and delectable bites and drinks, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a gorgeous Spanish-themed Sunday brunch unlike any other in Singapore.
You know you’re on to something good when the hostess is expecting you, and better yet, is armed with colouring pencils and activity sheets to keep the younger ones entertained while you relax and unwind. So why Catalunya, you ask? Well for starters, their buffet layout is unique and intriguing, closely resembling a roundabout. While all seating is on the lower deck, the main attractions are laid out around the bar area one floor up (which means that you are literally, and rather conveniently, surrounded by 360 degrees of food, rather than having to walk to different stations to check out what’s on offer).
Secondly, this is perhaps the only address in town that offers authentic Spanish bites: think seafood paella, infinite amounts of premium Iberico ham, and signature Esqueixada sardines. In fact, Catalunya’s Sunday Brunch features more than 40 varieties of Catalan breakfast items, proudly displayed over the different buffet counters.
Personally, I was very happy paying multiple visits to the salad, bakery, charcuterie and cheese sections. There were quiches and thick slices of fresh bread, a wide array of Spanish hams, salami and mortadella cuts, and a small selection of cheeses. In the mood for smoked salmon and something fishy? No problem. The buffet also features an impressive selection of raw, marinated and pickled seafood, straight from Spain.
What’s more, you can tuck into endless servings of specially-created sandwiches and eggs, brought directly to your table. In the mood for a grilled ham & cheese? Do it Catalunya-style with their signature Bikini sandwich, featuring Iberico ham, cheese and a generous lashing of black truffles (be warned, this goes down extremely well with glasses of red wine!). Or go for the vegetarian option with zucchini, cheese and pesto, which is equally delicious.
Perhaps you’re a fry up sort of person? Estrellados is what you want! With a choice of either fried or scrambled eggs on a bed of roasted potatoes, and served with a choice of ham, chorizo or mushrooms, you can’t go wrong here. I had scrambled eggs with chorizo, and quickly realised it was not a dish to be shared. It’s seriously good! Another must-do is the Spanish Omelette with a modern twist. Gone is the griddle-style omelette; instead you are served a luscious combination of silken potato foam, egg yolks and caramelised onion sitting in a martini glass – cool, right? I thought so!
And what about the liquid options? The brunch ($98++ for adults and $49 for children 6 and above) includes free flow juices. But if you’d like to make things a bit spicier, go for the free flow cocktail and wine option for an additional $48++.
But wait! There’s more! About an hour into your brunch experience, expect the music to start pumping loudly – herein begins ‘The Show”. As if to trumpet the chefs’ achievements (and reflect your own gastronomic euphoria), the music heralds the chefs and waiters parading out with special signature dishes such as the Catch of the Day, Paella and Catalunya’s infamous Suckling Pig, ‘Segovian Style’. And true to their roots, expect plates to be smashed! Needless to say, my kids would go back just for that!
Dessert also arrives in the same flamboyant fashion an hour or so later. And if you thought you couldn’t stomach another bite by then, one look at the decadent chocolate cake, pastries, tarts and a scrumptious fruit salad bowl will soon have you challenging your limits (P.S. – did I mention the chocolate cake?).
So while you might be underwhelmed by the buffet offerings at first glance, take heart, mamacita. A lot of the dishes you’re about to sink your teeth into never even make it to the buffet line, but come directly to your table from the kitchen, so that you can enjoy the drinking and the merrymaking without interruption.
And it’s not my fault if you ate too much to move after it’s all over!
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 12pm-2am. Please note that for brunch reservations, Catalunya highly recommends arriving between 12:30-1:00pm in order to best enjoy the buffet, mama!
Catalunya, The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049327, (+65) 6534 0886, www.catalunya.sg