I’ve spoken to a few people, and the trend is such that Sunday is the most popular day of the week for a lazy brunch. I don’t know, but I was slightly taken aback; I thought Saturday would have won the race. Regardless, possibly in view of that, Stellar @ 1-Altitude has worked relentlessly lately to bring to hardcore brunch lovers, like myself, an atas brunch treat every Sunday, starting December 2013. Thus far, the Wine Lust Sunday Brunch has only been firmed for the month of December. But by the looks of the response even for the first month of launch, and from a reliable source, the level 62 establishment has decided to carry forward and continue offering the pampering meal in the months to come in 2014.
I’ve been to 1-Altitude for 3 – 4 times alone this past year, but each time prior to the attendance, my heart would still jump in joy and excitement, eagerly anticipating the absorbent of the magnificent panoramic view. And each time I was present at the restaurant itself, I would still take a relatively long period of time to take it in and digest the scene. It might sound exaggerating, but hey, I’m a sucker for a breathtaking view. The stretch of panel of glass at the main dining area would generally offer what you see above. Sometimes I wonder if I took more time looking at the food or what is outside of the glass.
There is a reason why it’s dubbed the Wine Lust Sunday Brunch. For the week that I was at the brunch, it’s an Italian Brunch affair paired with Giorgio Ferrari Wine. Oh, if you have yet to realize, it’s a brunch buffet; alcohol included. Sitting on the Sparkling Wine Table includes Bottega Millesimato, Masi Bonacosta Valpolicella and Masi Modello Bianco, while on the Tasting Table stands Bottega Gold + Limoncino (Bubbles), Vesevo Greco Di Tufo (White) and Reds comprising Scarbolo Campo Vitto Merlot, Frescobaldi Morellino Di Scansano and Masi Brolo Campoforin. The remaining two weeks of December features Enoteca & The Straits Wine Company Wine respectively.
Playing with words and categorized under ‘Eggscetera‘ are items like French Toast and Omelette. These are prepared ala-minute, live in
your face front of you. The former comes with either earl grey jam or maple syrup. Trust me, ditch the usual, be daring and be rewarded. The earl grey jam was an interesting twist to the evenly toasted toast, adding a different kind of flavored sweetness to the bread. The Omelette allows you to add toppings like mushroom, cheese, tomato, and the likes. As a starved kid, I approached the Counter without looking at the label and ordered a “Scrambled’. The Chef was polite enough not to laugh at me, and instead pointed that they do Omelette, although if I were to insist, he could do me a ‘Scrambled’ too. As pleased as I was, I switched to their Omelette. I thought it was a tad too salty too. Ask for less salt on your visit, maybe.
Smoked Salmon Benedict is an item tagged ‘butler pass’, where it means it’s not visible to you. It’s an ala-carte item that you can order from the waitstaff and it’ll be brought to your table. The poached eggs were executed perfectly, bursting into life with a gentle slice through. I wasn’t the biggest fan of their hollandaise sauce though; not sure whether it was vinegar that I tasted or some other ingredient that tasted to that effect, although it wasn’t that heavy.
Sushi :: As always, the selection of sushi and nirigi is always of premium fresh produce, deservingly termed as ‘Stellar Sushi’. I once heard that how a sushi should be served is that both ends of the raw fish / seafood should be long enough to surpass the rice and touch the surface of the table / plate. The evident freshness of the Japanese fare makes one want to return for more even though it’s just a classic, simple dish.
Salami & Salad Bar :: Frankly, I’ll always head straight for the salami section, even though I’m not a learned foodie in terms of that, but it just tastes so good in general. This time round, I was heavily distracted by the sushi and the live station that sandwiched this section, that I completely forgot about it. I hate myself. There were bowls of ingredients including classic caprese, green mango and prawn, rocket and parmesan shavings. A Chef will be there to mix it up for you upon request; freshly tossed salad.
Truffle Pasta :: Before heading for the brunch and while looking at the menu, one of the dishes that caught my attention was this. Truffle is addictive, don’t blame me. It was no surprise that we had both of the options available – creamy carbonara style and olive oil aglio olio style. The latter came out to be a little dry and lumpy, though still passable thanks to the generous flavor of truffle and fresh black truffle shaving (done at your very table right before your eyes; orgasmic). On the other hand, the creamy carbonara was the hot favorite amongst us. Not overly creamy and cloying, smartly served in a reasonable portion; just right to taste and suffice.
One thing’s for sure, this is one Claypot Chicken Rice I’ve ever had with the most ingredients, so much so that they might even have outnumbered the rice (by the portion, I don’t mean grains, of course!). A refreshing take on it as it’s served on a bowl of lettuce. I plucked a little off it and had it with the rice, and found that it actually helped water down the heaviness of the course (that you’ll feel after a while into it). Fragrant and decent as it is, I still think that the hawker uncle does it better.
Meat Carvings :: The Slow-roasted Wagyu Rump is also marked a butler pass item. Ask for (tons of) it, it’s worth stuffing your face with it. For once, I thought the mushroom sauce complemented the meat better than the red wine sauce. The latter was a rather light in flavor, not as I’d expected though it wasn’t bad. The meat was tender no doubt, and reasonably chewy, perfectly prepared to my liking. If by then your storage space of 1 TB has diminished to 100 MB, go primarily for the Rosemary Roast Leg of Lamb and Roast Duck. The Traditional Roast Turkey with Truffle and Pistachio Stuffing wasn’t too bad either. It was moist and broken down enough to not have an overly fibrous end product. I was disappointed with the Honey & Mustard-glazed Bone in Ham. I felt it wasn’t sufficiently tenderized.
Desserts :: The Counter makes up a total of 8 dessert items. You can already imagine the wide greedy grin I have on my face. My favorites are the Cranberry & Blood Orange Chocolate Tart and the Panetone Bread & Butter Pudding with Brandy Sauce. The former was unanimous. It was funny because we first had the Red Plum Gingerbread Trifle and thought it was pretty good. Then we had the Chocolate Praline Mousse Cake and confirmed that it was better than the previous. Thereafter, we moved on to the Chocolate Tart, and were completely sold. Opposites attract; the crumbly tart when matched with the fillings was a good bite in the mouth. When we got back home and took a look at the photos, we nearly jumped off the building when we realized we, once again, missed out on something. This time round, the gingerbread cookies. It felt like a kid just dropped his scoop of ice cream.
Cheese Trolley :: With about 4 – 5 different cheeses on the cheese trolley, you are free to pick, mix and match whichever you want and it’ll be sliced up for you. We had a little of everything (this is what Singaporeans do best, save sitting on the fence on everything). I’m no cheese expert, but it was thorough enjoyment with raisins, pear slices, and crackers. And oh of course, wine.
I think this is one noteworthy and worthy luxury brunch to splurge on, especially if you are a wine lover. It’s free flow of food, bubbles, red, and white. Comparing the quantity and variety food items, it is apparent that Stellar @ 1-Altitude loses out to many other brunch buffets. However, it’s made a winning meal thanks to its quality. Ultimately for me, it’s quality > quantity. I don’t know about you. I’m already looking for interested parties to head up there again possibly next month.
It only costs $110++ per person, and an additional $10 on Christmas Day (an exception to a Sunday-only brunch).
Special gratitude to Immelia and the One Rochester team for the hospitality.
Photos by Kathleen.
Address: 1 Raffles Place, Former OUB Building, Level 62
Telephone: 6438 0410 (Takes Reservations)
Opening Hours (Sunday Brunch): 12pm – 2.30pm