Celebrate Sundays with passion at Catalunya’s latest Sunday Brunch Buffet! Possibly making this one of Singapore’s best Spanish brunch buffet experience, Catalunya is pulling out all the works for a fantabulous Sunday afternoon experience. After a successful run of the Sunday Brunch Buffet with Passion in Hong Kong, Catalunya is bringing that experience to Singapore, redefining the brunch service with a little celebration. To fully enjoy the performative dining experience, all guests are encouraged to stay for the entire service from its start at 12.30pm to its sweet ending at 4pm. From 12.30 to 1.30, indulge in a wide selection of delectable Spanish starters and appetizers, and tease your tastebuds with the a la minute breakfast items. Then party as the kitchen staff bring out the Suckling Pig, Veal Shank and Salt Baked Fish in great brouhaha for the next hour. And just when you thought you had enough, 2.30 comes along and then the music drops a beat to introduce the sweets freshly prepared from the kitchen. With the party like atmosphere, quality dishes in almost every sitting, and the beautiful backdrop of Marina Bay all around, this is possibly Singapore’s best Spanish brunch buffet experience!
Catalunya is housed exotically at The Fullerton Pavilion. The dome structure overlooks the entire Marina Bay area and is prime spot for those wishing to catch the snazzy light show at Marina Bay Sands every evening or the fireworks from the floating platform whilst enjoying dinner.
The atmosphere at Catalunya is lively, charming and filled with a certain buzz of excitement in the air. When I first entered the restaurant, the bar counter is magically transformed into a buffet set up, and dishes of Spanish and Catalonian origin is set up to whet appetites. The team at Catalunya comprises of experienced culinary experts and staff from the likes of elBulli, Santi, Drolma and Sketch – almost setting a certain expectation to the rest of the day!
Every Sunday, the DJ will liven the afternoon with his own selection of mixes and tracks. Watch out for the change in music as an anticipatory signal for the party to come from the kitchen.
Catalunya’s setting is gorgeous. Wall high glass windows give an almost unobstructed view of the Marina Bay area. During the Sunday brunch buffet, expect beautiful light to stream in, lightening the entire atmosphere into a cherry, casual and relaxing environment. The Sunday Brunch Buffet starts from $98++ and for just an additional $48++, enjoy the whole spread of Champagne, Wines and a selection of cocktails from the menu!
The range of starters at Catalunya promises a little something for everybody. Ok, maybe a little something for everybody who love savoury foods of different variations in a single sitting. Start off brunch with a selection of Spanish cured meats, breads, cheeses, seafood, stews, and fruits.
For this section, I’ll probably do a little less writing and let the pictures whet your appetite. =D
The selection is definitely not excessively extensive from the more traditional buffet line ups in other restaurants. However, the great thing about the spread is that almost each and every dish is unique or specifically from Spain. Those who wish to indulge in a part of the Spanish and Catalonian dining experience will find this a beautiful way to start. My personal favourites were the anchovies, iberico ham, simple cheese selection, beef tartare, and pickles.
At the table, all guests are presented with a serving of Pa Amb Tomaquet to begin the meal. Who knew that simple crusty bread rubbed with tomatoes and olive oil all over could taste so exceptionally delicious. Nothing fancy, but just a good crisp crunch that will surprise the senses, followed by the warm umami tomato flavour sparkled with a touch of fragrant olive oil. The bread basket can be enjoyed with the garlic herb butter by the side.
My 1st plate from the buffet line up.
As mentioned earlier, those seeking a full Sunday brunch buffet experience should go for the top up of $48++ as it includes free flow Cava, wines and selected cocktails. I am always on the lookout for unique cocktail creations or even classics which are given their own touches. However, when I looked at their extended cocktail menu, things got really exciting. Start off with the Lola ($14, additional), a surprising creation of Catalunya Blue Cheese syrup and Amontillado Sherry. Sweet and nutty, with the slight aromatic blue cheese fragrance, this is one drink that left a memorable impression on me. Best enjoyed fresh and not left to sit out for too long.
From the menu, I ordered the Deconstructed Omellete. Three layers of potato foam, egg sabayon and onion confit make up this dish. Take a spoon and dig through the layers to get portioned mix and enjoy an omellete that is just different from the usual pan fry. The potato foam is airy with the distinct grounded earthy flavour matched very nicely with the egg in the middle. The onion confit sweetens the experience a little, and giving a slight textural difference to the dish. Excellent.
I thoroughly enjoyed this dish of Scrambled Eggs, Potato and Cured meats. Made from slices of ham, chunky potato, scrambled eggs, onions, and a base of egg yolk running all about the dish, this is possibly decadence in its most blissful form. It is a dish I can imagine a grandma preparing for the family every Sunday. The flavours are homely, a touch salty, yet with the full bodied flavours distinct from each ingredient. Highly recommended.
Another dish to call is definitely the Tortilla de Trampo. Stuffed with sliced potatoes, chorizo and onions, this smooth and creamy filling in a Spanish omellete is just tempting to the sight. The flavour, a burst of savoury, onion sweet, cheesy, and wonderfully fragrant in a compact and tight package, make this dish lovely to share or as pure indulgence on its own.
The Bikini sandwich is Catalunya’s simple creation with layers of iberico, cheese and black truffle stuffed between two slices of toast. Nothing overly complicated yet with full focus to the ingredient’s flavour. Enjoy the salty sweet iberico charmed by the gooey cheese and scented with the aromatic earthy black truffle. Have that experience well complemented with the crisp toast that leaves a gentle crunch upon each bite. Beautiful.
Another cocktail to try is the Reversed Gin and Tonic ($28, additional). Only 50 are prepared each week as the process for making each batch requires quite a bit of effort and time, and with the array of ingredients, quite complicated. Gin and Tonic is given a refreshing, bubbly twist that is lightly scented with citrus notes in crisp clarity that will freshen the palate with each sip.
Special for the day, the kitchen presented pans of Black Paella with Squid. The pans are brought around to each table to leave a visual appeal within each diner. I must admit that there is something strangely exotic of black squid ink paella that make me want to enjoy the portion.
The pans of paella are then portioned out for each table to share, with more to come from the kitchen. The black ink paella is paired with aioli by the side. Nutty, seafood sweet paella is therefore given a touch of flavour complexity with the aioli sauce made from egg, olive oil, garlic and herbs – almost like a gentler mayonnaise that is refined, savoury and with flavours lasting in the mouth. The paella was a good portion but I still dream of the late Santi’s presentation when he served up the dish in Singapore. His aioli livened the dish to a remarkable level, leaving breaths of lasting tenderness as the sea sweetness of the paella is intensified.
And then the music changed. Bursting forth from the kitchen was the entire crew with servings of Suckling Pig in their hands. Suddenly, everyone was clapping along to the music and the entire atmosphere became almost carnival like. Some diners were even joining the crew, dancing to the music!
The Suckling Pig
As per Catalunya’s tradition, the Suckling Pig is joyfully sliced up with a plate. The plates are then smashed onto the ground simultaneously by the staff across each presentation station. Everyone claps, and then the portions of suckling pig are dished out for all to share.
The suckling pig is beautifully tender. Its crisp, golden brown skin gleams in the light, with a light aromatic scent slowly floating up. Pair the meat with some ‘pig jus’ for a slightly moister serving. Beautiful flavours, entertaining and an almost festive like entrance, this was a dining experience redefined.
The next drink I had was the Jack Sparrow’s Mojito ($23, additional) made with a passion fruit puree in a Captain Morgan Spiced Rum base, topped with mint leaves, vanilla syrup and Butter Washed Plantation 5 Years Rum. Playfully described as the “delightful nectar” chosen by “the lord of the Seven Seas”, this serving of Mojito is a classy interpretation!
My 2nd plate from the buffet line up!
The Salt Baked Fish was served next.
Look at the amount of salt required to coat the fish and bake it.
A good serving of Salt Baked Fish to me is having each portion wonderfully tasty on the outside, while the flesh remains juicy and moist to the bite. I thoroughly enjoyed the portion at Catalunya. Ask for a bigger portion to share. While you are at it, maybe you would like my other favourite Salt Baked Fish at Kha? Beautiful, whole seabass stuffed with lemongrass, pandan leaves, basil then salt crusted and slow cooked over a fire. Mmmm.
My 3rd plate from the buffet line up!
Roasted Stuffed Chicken, presented in all its glory.
Onion confit topped onto the chicken.
Personally, I found the onion confit to be the star of this dish. The chicken was a little dry and ordinary. But have that with the sweet onions, and what you get is a harmony of sweet savoury in a single serving. The deep flavours of chicken stand out more. Have it with some of the house pour to further the experience.
The Roasted Veal Shank was a sight to behold. The glaze on it was remarkable under the light, tempting appetites into for succulent and flavourful bite.
The cutting process was even more glorious. Look at the fat, and watch the outer layer break to reveal snippets of the inner flesh. I was thoroughly impressed by its start. However, the portion that I got subsequently was not to my expectation. The meat was dry, with almost none of that silky smooth fat, which meant the meat could do with more flavours within. A consequence when the whole beautiful piece is portioned out and you may not get the cut that truly reflects the beauty of the dish.
Suddenly, the music changed again. This time round a “Sweet End” placard led the raucous kitchen crowd, with each staff carrying a plate of bowl full of sweets and cakes. It was a moment that many were waiting for, and had no way to start desserts because there was simply no space to place all the desserts on the buffet line up earlier. With a section of the buffet table now cleared for the sweet entrance, this was also an innovative way to freshly present the desserts and making a spectacle of the entire process. It is moments like this, nothing extraordinarily excessive but well thought through as part of the entire dining experience that makes the Sunday Brunch Buffet at Catalunya one of the best I’ve had as yet!
A glimpse at the sweets. I didn’t manage to get pictures of all of them. Everyone was cheering loudly, and happily.
Possibly a great way to start the dessert experience is to order a serving of Stairway to Heaven ($19, additional). Inspired by Led Zeppelin’s legendary song, this award winning cocktail is made from bacardi superior, lime juice, celery, dash of egg white, coriander, vanilla and pineapple. Its serve invited glances from surrounding tables as the ‘smoke’ and ‘clouds’ from the dry ice recreated an imaginative semblance of cocktails just arriving fresh from the pearly gates.
If you are lucky, you might even get portions of freshly prepared Churros and chocolate served for the day.
The warm, sugar coated churros go very well with the caramel butter. Sweet, cinnamon rich, with the wonderful fragrance of fried dough sticks is paired with velvety chocolate or/and light, aromatic butter flavoured with smoky and sweet caramel.
Outside the glass encased dome.
View from above the dome.
The Sunday Brunch Buffet with Passion is possibly the best Sunday Spanish Brunch Buffet in Singapore. The experience is not just the food alone, as the entire team strives to create a lively and charming atmosphere throughout the entire service. One folly is that by reading this article, you will already know what to expect. Still, it is an entirely different experience being there and witnessing the festivity for yourself. The food is generally good, bordering strongly on the savoury and salty side. Though the chicken and lamb can go a little way more, certain highlights like the suckling pig and, trampo, bikini sandwich and deconstructed omellete are must haves. In overall, with a good location, beautiful view, delectable Spanish and Catalonian dishes and a kitchen team and service staff that know how to live it up, this is the Sunday Brunch Buffet redefined. The only issue? You have to be there from its start at 12.30pm, to its end at 4pm for the full performative experience. Anything less, will be probably result in a limited dining adventure.
Thank you Catalunya for the invitation.
The Fullerton Pavilion (Next to The Fullerton Bay Hotel)
82 Collyer Quay
Enquiries: 6534 0188
Reservations: 6534 0886
The Sunday Brunch Buffet with Passion starts from $98++ and includes juices, tea and coffee. Top up an additional $48++ per person for Cava, wines and selected cocktails
Sunday Brunch Service : 12.30pm – 4pm