Whether you’re a Brit or an Aussie or anywhere in between, there is something wonderfully comforting about eating a home-cooked roast. But even if you’re lucky enough to own a joint-sized oven, the bill from cranking up the air con to cool will leave you in more tears than chopping the onions did. So we’ve scouted the island for restaurants that serve up a mean roast (with all the trimmings), from Alsatian grills to British-style pubs. Grab your forks, get ready, go!
165 Tanjong Pagar Road #01-00, Amara Hotel
Roasts served: Daily à la carte, while the Butcher’s Sunday Feast is on Sundays from 12pm to 8.30pm.
Trimmings: Emulating a brunch in style, but with less gluttony involved than a buffet spread, is Bar-Roque’s one-price Sunday menu. It includes a charcuterie platter, tartes flambées, and an opulent platter of meat roasted in the gleaming rotisserie. The chef’s selection includes free-range chicken, foie gras-stuffed quail, suckling pig, leg of lamb and sides (the best mash in the world, and Alsatian sauerkraut) – plus dessert! Cost: $78
Review: Alsatian chef Stephane Istel, former executive chef of DB Bistro, and partner Kori Millar, former GM of Sky on 57, make quite a team at their recently opened Bar-Roque Grill. When you eat here, you feel like you’re part of a family dinner, with chef Stephane jovially bringing sharing feast platters to the table himself. The “made with love” feel of the mostly Alsatian dishes is evident from the care Stephane takes with his ingredients and preparation – all meat is brined first for moist succulence.
There is talk of offering a wine pairing and we imagine this will be a hit, especially as the wines are unusual and many are from Alsace; they include the Hugel et Fils Gentil AOC 2011 ($13 a glass) and Hugel et Fils Gewurztraminer 2011 ($15 a glass), which pair perfectly with the creamy tarte flambées and one of our favourite a la carte appetisers, NZ little neck clams ($22) with homemade sausage and sourdough bread for mopping.
Bank Bar & Bistro
1 Shenton Way
Roasts served: Two to choose from: roast striploin of tender beef with confit of vine tomato and red wine sauce, or a tasty half spring chicken with a confit of vine tomato and thyme jus. Served from 11am to 6pm, Saturdays and Sundays.
Trimmings: Small chunks of roast potato, buttered corn, carrots, broccoli, and an individual Yorkshire pudding. Cost: The $25 price includes the weekly dessert special. Ours was a New York-style cheesecake.
Review: Good kerb appeal, and nice décor! High ceilings and dark panelling are charmingly reminiscent of those City of London pubs, located in converted banking halls in Leadenhall Street. The drinks list is long on beers, spirits and cocktails and rather short on wines – but who cares when the Guinness is cold and on tap? On weekdays, Bank Bar & Bistro is perfectly positioned to cater for thirsty suits from the financial sector. Come weekends, it’s doing its best to attract families – both from the condo upstairs, from nearby hotels and from outlying residential neighbourhoods – with a kids’ menu and playroom.
8 Marina Boulevard #33-01,Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1
Roasts served: There’s a choice of beef, pork, lamb, chicken or fish every Sunday, 12pm to 5pm.
Trimmings: Roasts come piled with good potatoes, carrots and roasted pumpkin, plus just-done green savoy cabbage with the lamb and a beauty of a Yorkshire pudding with the beef. Plus you can order sides such as cheesy cauliflower or béchamel leeks for $10 each. Cost: $38
Review: The roasts here are so good they give the view a real run for its money. Order one of the craft beers brewed on site and savour the panorama while waiting for your roast. The lamb is packed with flavour, the beef meaty and tender. Portions are admirable, too. The gravy has to get a special mention – probably one of the best we’ve had. Desserts are beautifully presented; go for the warm chocolate fondant with orange mascarpone ($16), or my very British husband’s favourite, sticky date pudding with fig and honey ice-cream ($14).
442 Orchard Road
A roast is available every Sunday from 11.30am until 2.30pm. $20 for two courses, $25 for three. Roast leg of lamb comes with garlic and sage sauce, roast potato, asparagus, cauliflower and corn.
Lawry’s, The Prime Rib
#04-01/31 Mandarin Gallery
Roasts served: Beef, beef and more beef. From the standing rib roast, they’ll serve you either the California cut for lighter appetites (160 grams; $68), the English cut (three thin slices, $200g; $78, the Lawry’s cut (285g; $88) or the gargantuan Diamond Jim Brady cut for hearty appetites (450g; $118).
Trimmings: Included in all of the above is the “famous original spinning-bowl salad”; theatrically tossed tableside, it’s the perfect precursor to a carnivorous main course. Also included are creamy Idaho mashed potatoes with gravy, and a delicious Yorkshire pud baked in a small skillet. Cost: From $68.
Review: Lawry’s prime is the best roast beef I’ve eaten ever, anywhere. It’s also a great place for special (non-vegan) occasions, as attested to by the number of times “Happy Birthday” is sung during the course of our 90-minute meal. Though they offer other steak and seafood dishes, we’d only ever have the prime rib. Sliced off a massive joint from an impressive silvery cart that’s wheeled to your table, it’s perfectly pink, succulent and tender, and the jus is to die for. From start to end, the charming service from traditionally be-aproned servers is attentive almost to a fault. Ten out of ten.
The Royal Mail Restaurant & Bar
Ascott Raffles Place, 2 Finlayson Green
Roasts Served: There are three variations: The English Cut (200g at $48), The Classic Cut (340g at $58) and The Royal Mail Cut (340g at $68) for big eaters. All are served at medium-rare perfection unless requested otherwise. Lunch (12pm till 3pm) and dinner (6.30pm till 11pm), Mondays to Saturdays.
Trimmings : Velvety garlic mash, buttered peas, creamed corn and a Yorkshire pudding that, dare I say it, rivals my Nan’s culinary genius (and she’s a true Ilkley lass, mind you!). The rich gravy and fresh horseradish shavings tie it together just right. Cost: From $48.
Review : Where better to enjoy prime rib than in the colonial glory of Ascott Raffles Place? Seamless service and CBD views are bonuses that make The Royal Mail ideal for business lunches and romantic dinners alike. From its heritage architecture down to its classic desserts, here’s a place where Brits can enjoy a slice of home. We recommend the Eton Mess ($13) for a light finish or The Knickerbocker Glory ($13) for a sticky walk down Memory Lane.
The Old Brown Shoe
619F Bukit Timah Road
Roast served: Sunday roast buffet, 12pm to 2.30pm
Trimmings : With self-served trimmings – mashed and roast potatoes, fresh vegetables, a cauliflower cheese that is tough to rival – and with lashings of meaty gravy, you can rest assured that even the healthiest of appetites will be satisfied here. Cost: Incredible value for money at $22.50 ($18.50 per child).
Review: The Old Brown Shoe delivers an authentic Sunday roast, with the footy on the telly if you’re lucky. Your three-course set meal begins with a choice of starter: a hearty homemade soup or glazed ham and Branston pickle. The semi-buffet-style roast provides diners with a choice of two meats, like roast lamb with Yorkshire pudding or chicken roast with tarragon butter. For those who are still able to muster up some room, a choice between chocolate brownies or a cheese and fruit platter awaits.
Tip: Brunch Roasts
Most of the good hotels will have a roast or two on their Sunday brunch spread. One of our favourites is the Bar & Billiard Room at Raffles Hotel, from 11am to 3pm.
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