In October 2018, I checked out Mezza9’s quintessential Sunday champagne brunch, not just because of my quivering-knees anticipation to investigate the age-old urban legend that your flute here is never more than a quarter empty before it is instantly replenished with more liquid gold, but also because I was intrigued by the recent media buzz about Grand Hyatt Singapore and Mezza9’s respective commitments to thoughtful sourcing, organic ingredients and sustainability and hen freedom, and curious as to how these commitments would translate in terms of the Sunday champagne brunch experience. (In the restaurant, I would eventually find a board next to a basket of freedom range eggs patiently explains just how free from fear, pain, hunger and discomfort the cage-free hens were during it all.)
Located on the mezzanine level of Grand Hyatt Singapore, the 400-seater Mezza9 offers nine dining and wining concepts – including Thai, Japanese, Chinese, grill and sustainable seafood stations – within a single space. Upon my first step into the premises, I sensed something quite different in the air about Mezza9, in stark contrast to other definitive Sunday brunch places like Edge (Pan Pacific Singapore) or Colony (The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore). Whilst spirits are generally high (hurhur) in such settings, the orange-cosy vibes at Mezza9 are especially convivial and vibrant, with the average – and very international – guest typically being in a relatively big group and in some form of celebratory function. (The Mezza9 team performs “That’s The Way (I Like It)” by KC & The Sunshine Band for birthday guests with the requisite joie de vivre.
My first stop was the sustainably-sourced seafood station, and the selection – think Spring Bay mussels, Brown Crab from Fionnphort, Maine lobsters, Spencer Gulf wild king prawns and French fine de claire oysters, matched with your choice of marie rose sauce, sauce mignonette, mayonnaise or lemon & tabasco – were impressively fresh and with an oceanic exuberance of flavour. My favourite was interestingly not the lobster (which is normally the case) but the prawns, which is something I normally eschew at buffets to avoid the underneath of my fingernails smelling like that road next to Ngee Ann City. The lovely crustaceans possessed a memorable, Dakota Johnson-esque natural sweetness which (probably like her character in Fifty Shades of Grey which I most certainly never watched) enraptured me and kept me coming back again and again.
After a quick skirmish with the salad station, I promptly moved on to the Japanese station, which was very satisfying with a good selection of maki rolls and sashimi. The yellow fin tuna and Norwegian atlantic salmon sashimi were shiveringly fresh and delicate, and I positively plundered the tray of crunchy hokkigai sashimi (surf clam) like a vicious buccaneer. Elsewhere, the mini tsukune don was tender balls of fun, while the mini bara chirashi don was a fairly curious inclusion (would people go for this when there is sashimi?). Self-serve, free-flow dry junmai sake was available at the station to help you cut through all the fishy oiliness.
Speaking of free-flow sake, there were more fountains of wealth here than at Suntec City. If you opt for the full-on alcohol package, apart from the free-flow Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut champagne – and yes, I can confirm the veracity of the – and the aforementioned junmai sake, you can choose from various sustainable red and white wines and a selection of beer choices. More crucially, you can also have unlimited martinis from their brunch Martini Bar menu – my session offered cosmopolitan, lychee and gummy bear martinis – as well as no less than nine different gin and tonics with various garnishes and artisanal tonics from the Party Room. Talk about bottomless indeed – if I drank like how I used to back when I was twenty-three and foolish, I might have been bottomless as well by the time last pour came.
The Chinese station offered a selection of roast meats as well as Chinese dishes such as wok-fried barramundi fillet with fragrant salt and Chinese wine, Angus beef shin in black pepper sauce, chicken thigh with lemongrass and curry leaf as well as black tiger prawns with leek in XO sauce. On the dim sum front, options such as scallop dumpling, char siew pau and prawn dumpling were available for one’s basket gathering.
The grill station featured various slabs of carnivorous goodness, all ripe and ready for a right carving spectacle. During my session, the station showcased oven roasted apricot stuffed dingley dell pork rack; slow roasted Angus sirloin with mustard, tarragon crust and yorkshire pudding; “roemer topf” roasted rolled lamb shoulder with herbs and onions; and roasted yellow free range chicken on the rotisserie with mustard and herbs.
Whilst the former two stations I mentioned were positively Wilsurn-esque in their protein worship qualities (google “Wilsurn” only when you are not at work, please – Modesty Editor), the one slab of meat that got me really hot under the collar was from the Thai station, which showcased Thai grilled items such as fish balls in tamarind sauce, honey and tamarind-marinated chicken as well as tiger prawns with spicy chilli sauce alongside claypot dishes such as Thai green curry with organic vegetables and bean curd. The pork belly skewer was a revelation, playing it all fragrant, smoky and sticky-sweet despite its very modest exterior. Another memorable highlight was the Thai green curry tofu, which had a sass in its spice quite unexpected when you consider the buffet’s internationally friendly taste profile.
If you still have stomach space, the finishing line of the buffet spread is laden with cakes, puddings, tarts, crumble, a chocolate fondue and a selection of cheeses. One of the recommended desserts is the fair-trade chocolate beetroot vegan brownie, which is notable for its feature as part of Mezza9’s much-hyped Beyond Burger set meal (comprising Beyond Meat, which is essentially a 100% plant-based, gluten-free and soy-free burger patty making splashy waves within the plant-based cuisine movement). I probably took more pieces than I should have, but they went down so beautifully with the champagne.
Mezza9 has been a Sunday champagne brunch institution for years, and now that I have experienced it in all its gold-boozy and (sustainably) delicious glory, it is immediately one of my favourite champagne brunches in Singapore. Oh, the luxury.
10 Scotts Road
Grand Hyatt Singapore
This post was written at the invitation of Grand Hyatt Singapore, but all thoughts, calories and degenerate drunkenness are solely mine.