Ah, the imposing Singapore skyline, a truly inspiring sight on a Sunday afternoon. My mother and I had Sunday brunch at the Equinox, a restaurant situated on the 70th floor of Raffles City, offering stunning panoramas of our entire city-state.
We were fortunate enough to obtain a window seat overlooking the marina and the Esplanade, and I think it cannot be denied that with stunning views like these, the ambience factor of the dining experience is greatly enhanced.
The actual restaurant is rather oriental, with a lot of vermillion and wooden trellises. Brunch is served in the form of an international buffet, and there is a very impressive spread encompassing the usual pasta and roast stations, as well as the more exotic saute stations for foie gras and seafood salad.
Lots of bread, but somehow none of them looked very appetising to me. The rolls, in particular, seemed extremely hard, so I decided to have my French onion soup without bread. It would have filled me up too much anyway. The French onion soup was pretty good though.
The highlight of the buffet probably has to be the foie gras station, with numerous pieces of liver laid out to dry, just begging to be eaten.
The livers are pan-fried and served with a croute and a slice of caramelised peach. I was fairly impressed by the chef's ability to handle such miniature slices of foie, without completely disintegrating them into puddles of oil. The foie gras is excellent - slippery, rich and oily, and I could probably have polished off the entire station, but I wanted to try the rest of the buffet too.
There was another saute station serving seafood salad; here you can see fresh prawns and scallops waiting to be cooked and slathered with mayonnaise. Decided to give this a miss, in favour of the Japanese appetisers on offer.
I'm not a great fan of Japanese food, but I do think they make for excellent appetisers. Clockwise from top left: soba served with tobiko and spring onions, tofu cube with shrimp served with a mirin-shoyu sauce, tomato salad, roast duck salad, beet root salad and california maki. I've an idea budding of incorporating some of these into my next dinner.
The main buffet is an assortment of meats and vegetables, cooked in various ways. There were braised beef shanks, roasted lamb legs, teriyaki chickens, roasted potato wedges and kebabs.
Clockwise from top left: Duck breast, braised beef shank, roast lamb leg, roasted potatoes. Nothing to write home about, as some of the meats were a bit dry, but I did like the roasted potatoes, which were flaky on the inside but have a bit of texture without.
I headed back to the saute station, not for more foie gras (though I was sorely tempted), but for the roast beef next to it. The roast beef wasn't particularly awe-inspiring, being somewhat on the small side, but by that time I was feeling rather filled up.
A nice helping of dark sauce and more of those roasted potatoes are just what this beef needs.
The dessert spread at the Equinox is pretty good, including panna cotta, bread puddings, and most importantly, a chocolate fountain. Unfortunately, it's not as good as it looks - the panna cotta wasn't set at all, and just puddled into unappetising creaminess. No complaints with the chocolate fountain though. As extensive as the dessert buffet was, I didn't get the chance to try most of it, since I was feeling rather full.
Equinox is located in the heart of Raffles City, so getting there is a piece of cake. Ambience, as I've said, is pretty phenomenal, though I suppose on a rainy day there isn't much of a view to talk about. Being a buffet, service isn't fantastic, but I suppose it's adequate. The biggest drawback though, is undoubtedly the price. For Sunday brunch, it's $75 per person, without alcohol. With alcohol, it's $90. Rough doesn't even begin to describe it; criminal is more appropriate. Thankfully, my mother had a Feed at Raffles card that let us dine at half the price. Apparently, during weekdays, the price goes down to $40, but the amount of food isn't as generous.
Equinox (International Buffet)
2 Stamford Road
Tel: 6837 3322
Overall: Only if you've got money to burn and the Feed at Raffles card