If brunch with a view is your idea of a perfect weekend, have we got a new spot for you. Caffe Fernet, the latest addition to the Jigger & Pony Group that opened at end of February this year, has it all. Think floor to ceiling windows that let plenty of natural light in during the day, a spectacular view of Marina Bay, delicious food, and of course, cocktails made for daytime drinking. We returned to this waterfront restaurant-bar recently to try their a la carte brunch menu and their bottomless cocktails package.
Priced at $55++ for a three-hour period, diners can imbibe in free flow Watermelon Frose ($15++ per glass, $68++ per pitcher), Strawberry Frose ($15++ per glass, $68++ per pitcher), and Classic Aperol Spritz ($17++ per glass, $78 per pitcher). Don’t be fooled by fruity, slushie like cocktails, they’re great to start off with – not too sweet and pack enough of a punch with rose wine and dry vermouth.
The classic Aperol Spritz is a simple mix of Aperol, prosecco, and soda water; all three cocktails go down almost all too easily over the course of our brunch. In fact, we heard the most number of cocktails drunk during the three-hour free flow period is eight Aperol Spritzes (no, we didn’t beat the record).
For a 130-seater restaurant, the food menu is by no means large with 20 plus items, consisting of dishes also available on the dinner menu as well as brunch exclusives, in particular the eggs category. The vegetarian Pomodoro Baked Eggs ($20++) is certainly not basic.
The spicy tomato sauce with Calabrian chili, caramelised garlic, and basil has been cooked out so the acidity doesn’t sting the palate while the chickpeas, besides being the main protein here, add a contrasting texture after being slow cooked with herbs and aromatics for four to five hours.
The texture of Scrambled Eggs ($23++) didn’t disappoint, but folks who love their sausages should know that the pork and fennel sausage is a fresh sausage and is packed a lot more loosely in its casing, so don’t be alarmed at the lack of bite or if it falls apart as soon as you cut into it. Flavour wise, we have no complains – Executive Chef David Tang’s combination of pork belly, pork shoulder, pork fatback, and other “secret” ingredients tick all the right boxes.
As tempted as we were to go for the Cacio e Pepe or the Spicy Rigatoni again, we ordered a portion of the Breakfast Spaghetti ($25++) and the Cauliflower Risotto Style ($22++) for the rest of our savouries. The latter was the most surprisingly, and perhaps the most outstanding dish. Not only are there no carbs – the risotto is really cauliflower florets broken down – it’s far from being one dimensional with the addition of toasted pine nuts, chargrilled cauliflower, and sundried tomatoes (that oddly reminded us of preserved sour plums), and an aromatic sauce perfumed with saffron and thickened with pecorino romano.
The Breakfast Spaghetti is heavy as the Cauliflower Risotto is light, and we don’t mean that in a bad way, because we all crave something warm, familiar and super hearty some days. Strewn with guanciale and wild mushrooms, and topped with an organic sous vide egg, it’s a good-sized portion for $25. There’s nothing over-the-top special about it, but it’s also a dish we can see ourselves ordering again.
The Housemade Ricotta & Jam ($15) might not be in the sweets section of the brunch menu, though we reckon it’ll work well for a dessert to be shared between two to three people. Think warm brioche with homemade ricotta cheese and wild berry jam, topped off with a drizzle of olive oil, honey and bits of rosemary, which gives it a touch of grassiness that keeps it from being too heavy.
Overall, brunch at Caffe Fernet was a positive experience, if a bit noisy since the doors were mostly shut to keep the scorching heat now. We can, however, imagine sitting outside on a cloudy day and making the most of the bottomless cocktails (last order is at 4.30pm). And even if you were planning to indulge in the booze a lot less, there are tipples such as the Garibaldi ($20, Campari and fluffy orange juice) and the Espresso Martini ($22, rum, espresso, Kahlua, and sherry) to keep you happy!
Caffe Fernet is located at Customs House #01-05, 70 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049323. Brunch is available on Saturday 12pm-4pm (last order), and Sunday 11am-4pm (last order). Last order of drinks at 4.30pm.