Michel Roux of the Waterside Inn at the Brunch 78 of the Ritz-Carlton Singapore


Michel Roux was at the Ritz-Carlton Brunch 78 and the whole of Singapore turned up. Well, at least the bits of society that considers itself gourmands. The creme, as it were, were seated in the fine Chihuly Lounge while the rest of us dregs sat elsewhere.

These days, I greet each invite with ennui and thus study the menu and beverage list carefully before agreeing to a Champagne brunch. Another consideration is the maturity of the PR managers; after all, we wouldn’t want what was private to become public affairs.

Fortunately, the M&C 2003 Grand Vintage Champagne offered made an adequate quaffing beverage and, after all, Michel Roux was helming part of the brunch menu; so OK.


Always check what Champagne is being served

Actually, there were two menus in parallel, one was Chef Arnaud Thulliez’s magnificent buffet spread, the other was Chef Roux’s degustation menu served over the course of the afternoon.

These days I have a reduced appetite for food so a certain strategy is required for maximum enjoyment within available capacity, i.e. quality over quantity.

Having said that, did you know the Ritz-Carlton does their own Charcuterie? Oh my, there is nothing like bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, pâtés, and confit for a easy-going, lazy luncheon with Champagne.


While I concentrated on the Charcuterie, everyone else went to the Japanese station for tuna Sashimi. Tony was rather put-out when they forgot to remove the plastic wrapping on the seaweed of his handroll but cheered up when the lady at the station passed him a huge prawn (which was rumored to be worth $50 at the Japanese restaurant). It was, according to him, delicious.


Chef Roux prepared a small degustation menu of 5 items. These were served at intervals which were inconvenient as often I would find the hot item cooling slightly at my table as I returned with a plate of Charcuterie.

I found the Terrine course to be very clean and fresh tasting, almost refreshing despite the rich layers flavors counterpointed by a delicate port jelly.

The Cornish Hen Crab Bisque was a printing error which Chef Roux had to correct from time to time, however, the Cornish Crab bisque was superb with the Japanese rice providing a clean foam that balanced the rich bisque very well. It more than made up for my disappointment at the missing Lobster Bisque that’s usually featured in the Champagne brunch menu.


Terrine of pressed foie gras and supreme of guinea fowl with truffle, young red chard salad leaves

I was gratified to see that the pigeon breast stuffed with quail wasn’t the sort where I had to fiddle around with the bones. Usually, like an ortolan, I would just stuff the whole bird in my mouth and crunch it up. Chef Roux’s moistly-cooked pigeon breast was indeed moist and very tender and the richness balanced with a puree of pear (and a vinaigrette I am guessing).


Cornish Hen Crab bisque with Japanese rice.

Someone once wrote that the purest way to experience caviar was Thomas Keller’s Oyster & Pearls. You’ll have to excuse us as we laugh until Champagne spurts out of our nostrils; young people these days have more dollars than sense.

The best way is to place a non-metallic spoonful of the caviar into your mouth and experience the complexity of flavors as you slowly crush them against the ceiling of your mouth. With a sip of Champagne to cleanse the palate, rinse and repeat.

And there was no better way to get reacquainted with caviar than the caviar station. I was stunned to discover that they actually served (incognito) the increasingly hard to obtain Beluga.


Exceptional Champagne – a very fine way to enjoy Caviar

Beluga caviar is not difficult to spot, it is by far the largest egg and is dark grayish, never completely black. If you try other fish eggs such as Salmon Roe (Ikura), the taste is straight-forward, juicy and salty; however with the Beluga (or even the cheaper black Ossetra), there is a complexity that is almost indescribable. Like the difference between Fleur de Sel, Sel Gris and Kosher.

Needless to say, those who knew queued patiently to eat to their hearts content. I think it would be a while before we see Beluga caviar served again, if ever.


Moistly-cooked breast of young pigeon from the Royal Maine-Anjou and quail

Walking around the cheese board, I was mildly surprised to be recognized by strangers. Actually I was embarrassed because I don’t think I’ve done much to promote this blog (quite the opposite, some might say).

I’m not saying that this blog is as big a celebrity as, say, Johnny Depp but if you look at the following chart of a side-by-side comparison of Johnny Depp and this blog, you’ll see that there’s not really such a big difference:

Celebrity Indicator Johnny Depp   This blog  
Gets recognized in public? Yes Sort of
Object of carnal desire? Yes No
Writes a food blog? No Yes


The Rosé – the alternate Champagne that went well with the Crab Bisque

The price of entry to the Brunch 78 is not for everyone. However, if you consider the quality of the free-flowing Champagne and the opportunity to sample cuisine from 3-Michelin-star chef, you quickly come to understand why this particular brunch was sold out very quickly.

Chef Michel Roux’s courses were very clean-tasting with rich layered flavors cleverly balanced out with a counterpointing ingredient or sauce. It’s no wonder he’s held on to the 3 Michelin stars for a quarter of a century.

I rarely attend buffets these days but I consider Ritz-Carlton’s Champagne Brunch at the Greenhouse one of the finest spreads open to public. It’s my go-to when I need a glass of Champagne, a piece of Foie or Caviar and to be away from it all.

The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore is at 7 Raffles Avenue, Singapore 039799 Singapore Phone: (65) 6 337 8888. Greenhouse Sunday vintage champagne brunch is from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Reservations strongly recommended.

Psychedelic Saturation





Pork Rillette

Pork Rillette


A slice of the Wagyu Leg


Cheeses! All 80 different types!

Duck Rillette

Exceptionally fine Duck Rillette

Pork Rillette

Pate du Foie Gras

Charcuterie - Confit of Chicken Leg

Confit of chicken leg


Slicing the leg of Wagyu beef – this may be the closest some people actually come to a cow


Port and cheese – very civilized way to end the meal



Posted on 26th Oct 2010 in Food and Drink, French, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Old School, Singapore


There Are 6 Comments


stargirl commented on October 30, 2010 at 5:41 pm

for some reason or other, my web browser hasn’t been able to load your blog until today. i had the opportunity to try cornish crab when i visited cornwall earlier this year, and i must say that it was really good!


Su-Lin commented on November 1, 2010 at 1:00 am

I need that buffet. Plus, loved that comparison table!


Mat commented on November 2, 2010 at 3:47 am

Is this buffet ongoing? How much does it cost?


ivan commented on November 2, 2010 at 10:09 am

@Stargirl: Are you using Google Chrome? I’ve had some problems accessing it. It worked after clearing my cache.

Yup. The Cornish Crab bisque was awesome.


ivan commented on November 2, 2010 at 10:10 am

@Su-Lin: I was bored writing a la “a visit to the zoo” style. 🙂


ivan commented on November 2, 2010 at 10:11 am

@Mat: It’s available once every quarter. They just had it again last Sunday. Details are on their web site.

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