The weekend brunch concept is still going strong in Singapore. We love waking up on a lazy Sunday and digging into a sumptuous meal.
Naturally, our favourite comfort food is best paired with a refreshing drink. A simple meal in t-shirt and shorts seems best matched with a beverage. Pity that there’s no place where we can drink pretty much whatever we want while digging into eggs, toast and ham.
Or perhaps we speak too hastily.
Flying off the shelf
Drinks & Co recently opened a third outlet in Holland Village. Those familiar with its Club Street outlet will no doubt know that it offers an extensive range of craft beers, boutique wines, and artisanal spirits. The new outlet is no different.
Instead of putting them on the menu directly, Drinks & Co displays them on a shelf that brings to mind a boutique liquor store (or perhaps a really delicious library).
The range, as mentioned, is extensive and should fulfil the needs of all but the most demanding boozehounds. From wines to whiskies, to rums, cognacs, gin and vodka, the shelf provides. Bottles can be bought for consumption at home, but also at the restaurant itself. If one simply cannot finish the entire bottle, the restaurant helps you to store it for your next visit.
We were told that particular care was taken in curating the wine list. Many boutique labels on the list were directly sourced by the owners. We were quite excited about wines such as the Alpha Domus AD The Aviator 2013 and the Penfolds Bin 407.
That is not to say that only boutique or craft spirits are on the shelf, nor only entry level products. We found some familiar favourites such as the Lagavulin 16 Year Olds, Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Casks and Monkey 47s on it. We also spotted the higher range Talisker 18 Year Olds, Singleton 18 year Olds and Balvenie 17 Year Old Doublewoods.
What was particularly impressive was the prices. We are used to significant markups on our booze at restaurants and bars, and we consider that unavoidable (rent and service isn’t free). The spirits and wine here are barely above supermarket prices- extremely affordable by comparison. The wines start at around 40 bucks.
Why are they so affordable? According to the owners, all products are purchased directly from brand owners, and the cost savings are passed on to guests. Whatever the reason, the low cost is welcome.
A hearty repast
Drinks & Co Kitchen Holland Village also serves a full brunch menu, available on Saturdays & Sundays from 11.30am to 3pm.
To start with, a bubbly is always appropriate. We had a refreshing Spanish cava, the Anna de Codorniu Blanc de Blancs ($50). The sparkling wine was crisp and full of refreshing green apple, lemon and grapefruit flavours, and it did a splendid job of opening up the palate.
With lips moistened, we tucked in to the obligatory Eggs Benedict ($15). We found the bread a little too hard for our liking, but redemption was found in the poached eggs themselves. Creamy and smooth, but not runny. Not bad- but not a standout.
While beer is not our typical brunch libation, we found good cause to change our mind in Heverlee, a Belgian lager that we’ve not had on tap anywhere else in Singapore. It turned out to be a rounded, pleasant brew with flavours and aromas of elderflower, oranges, lemon and spices. Its medium dryness was a great complement to the tanginess of the hollandaise in the Eggs Benedict.
For those who wish to take a jaunt off the beaten path, the Huevos Rancheros ($15) offers a good change of pace. Tomato paste is spread liberally on a tortilla, and given a little dose of magic with two golden egg yolks. This is not your typical saccharine, overprocessed puree-on-bread; the flavours emerging from the Huevos Rancheros are those of fresh tomatoes ripened on the vine. It’s not fancy, but we found something likeable about its rustic simplicity.
The Astrolabe Marlborough Chardonnay 2014 ($46) is a fine choice to pair with any of the egg dishes. The medium bodied white teems with green apples, lemon rind and elderflower aromas. We tasted lemongrass, peppercorn and an explosion of citrus. Complex, refreshing, and at only 46 bucks, great value for money.
For those looking for something light, then the Artisanal Cheese Platter ($30 for 2, $50 for 4) might be appropriate. It will satisfy any cravings for curdled dairy, but we actually thought this was a mite expensive for what basically amounts to cheese and olives.
The Co Wagyu Burger ($17) stood out as the highlight of our brunch. Tangy mayonnaise, cheese and a brobdingnagian wagyu patty were sandwiched between two halves of a light, fluffy bun. Sumptuous, juicy and absolutely bursting with flavour. Delicious.
Feeling the need for further liquid fortification, we partook of Rogue Society Dry Gin ($118 per bottle). Exclusive to Drinks & Co, this Kiwi gin is spicy, with cardamom, juniper, orange and lemon peel making for a dusky, spicy spirit. It works great in a gin and tonic, if one tips the proportions in favour of the gin.
Summing it all up
If you live in the west of Singapore and don’t fancy travelling all the way to town for a hearty Saturday Sunday brunch, then the new Drinks & Co Holland Village is the place for you. Decent comfort food, a veritable emporium of drinks and bargain prices make for a killer combination.
Drinks & Co Holland Village