Ash & Elm Sunday Champagne Brunch: The British Edition

If you're looking for an orthodox hotel buffet brunch with the likes of laksa, roast meats, naan and curries; turn around, there's nothing for you here. Instead, Ash and Elm in Intercontinental Singapore have decided to go full fledged English, celebrating the United Kingdoms' milestones this year (*high five* if you, like me, were glued to your screens during the royal wedding) and if you're asking me (the girl who has been dating an English bloke for the last year), nothing says 'Sunday lunch' more than a roast with all the trimmings.

In fact, the Modern European restaurant has gone the whole nine yards with à la minute petit plates representing some of the most significant British dishes, complimented with a buffet spread that includes salmon and leek pie, luscious caviar, English stilton, fresh seafood on ice and the beloved shepherd's pie. Intimidating? We can't agree more. Start with a glass of champagne. Bob's your uncle - you're on your way.

For just $138 per adult, the staff pour Taittinger Brut Champagne freely. It's the perfect fizzy accessory to beluga caviar on blinis, succulent New Zealand oysters and fire-engine red Boston lobsters on ice. Feel free to mix up your very own feisty Bloody Mary at the cocktail trolley if that's your bag. The quintessential British summertime cocktail makes its appearance as well on the choice of buffet perks.

There's a really good Pan-seared Scallop petit plate from the à la minute menu which you proceed to order half a dozen prior to navigating the buffet. But I may be getting ahead of myself. Fillers include the a stellar Salmon and Leek Pie, Roast Beef with Yorkshire pudding (horseradish cream included) and a clear but deeply profound Chicken Consomme.

Traversing across the dining room to the entrance of the restaurant, flank right to enter the cheese and charcuterie room. Here, an immaculate, illustrious tiered spread of salami, duck rillettes, homemade pâté, gravlax and accompanying pickles greet the eye. Steer a little to the right to uncover an abundance of cheeses that had me abandoning my lactose-intolerant shortcomings. Stilton blue? Get in my mouth.

Just as soon as you've taken an enthusiastic round of the buffet, gathering bits and bobs along the way. The platters of British small plates (or cast iron pots in most cases) make their grand entrance at the table. Great smells will waft from the Pork and Cider Casserole, the silky sauce below still carrying a slight tang from crème fraîche stirred in at the very last bit. The glistening Lamb Chop lacquered in bejewelled hues has a tender quality that speaks soundly about its adolescence and picky grazing habits.

From the sea, the Pan-Seared Scallops are a real class-act. Gorgeous seared pucks perched above tender savoy cabbage imbued with the wretched 'wholesomeness' of lardons. Spare bread will come in useful for dabbing. Needless to say, Fish and Chips are mandatory entries. I must admit its challenging to portray this classic British dish in petite sizes (many joints have tried and created quite the mockery of themselves before); Ash and Elm's version was serviceable; if not incredibly accurate in it's proportionate fish to chips ratio. I would have loved for a more substantial portion of fish, though.

Gordon Ramsay' fixation with the wellington rears its ugly head in the 'From the Garden' section with a full on mushroom duxelle invasion between butter pastry. The Mushroom Chestnut Wellington like the Cauliflower cheddar gratin that precedes it are in desperate need of seasoning. 

Wood-fired Flatbread should you need to fill up on carbs!

Round up your meal with a visit to the dessert corner where an entourage of classic British desserts is reason enough for glimmering wide-eyed stares. I was suitable impressed by the Sticky Toffee pudding and the Bakewell Tart which had a resonating tartness soothed only by an interjection of nuts from the sheath of frangipane. It's all comes together nicely to fill in the gaps of this gut busting meal.

Ash and Elm's Champagne Brunch is served ever Sunday from 12 noon to 3pm and is priced at S$138 per adult inclusive of unlimited Taittinger Brut Champagne, house wines, Pimm's cup cockail, soft drinks, juices, coffee and tea. Bloody good deal, if you ask me.

The House White wine, Kressmann Solo Sauvignon Blanc is great paired with the Stilton Blue

Ash and Elm
Level 1
Intercontinental Singapore
80 Middle Road
t: +65 6825 1061
Reservations: here

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