First, many apologies for my absence of late. I have been enjoying my first proper holiday abroad (and first full week off) since June last year, so have been somewhat incommunicado.
A great friend of mine, with whom I trained professionally, moved out to Singapore about six months ago. Never one to miss the opportunity of a free sofa-crash, I headed out to see what the buzz was all about just as soon as I could.
Like all good Singapore tourists, we elected to abandon the city and head out to the Thai island of Phuket for the first weekend. Singapore is wonderfully positioned in that there is masses to do around it – Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand all within a few hours plane ride... and even further afield, if you like.
But before we jetted off it was essential that we indulge in Singapore's favourite way of starting the weekend: Brunch. The venue of choice: Level 33, the highest brewery in the world.
You read that right, and it's an odd concept, I won’t deny it. Basically, someone has built a microbrewery into an skyscraper. The upside of this (and there appears to be no downside, although how you get the malted barley up there is a mystery to me) is the absolutely stunning views.
Now, I'm not sure, if I'm honest, that I have a great amount of faith in the brews. Beer is pretty easy to make, it turns out, so there was little risk that they'd be bad – I just didn’t think that they'd be great. After all, this is a brewery in an office block in the business district of a city not famous for its beer. It's a marketing gimmick, surely?
No, not at all. Quite the contrary in fact. The beer making process is one that is clearly taken pretty damned seriously. Having brought a master brewer over from Germany, the results were impressive.
To enjoy the early morning views I kicked off proceedings with a glass of their porter, a slightly lighter version of the Irish stout they produce, and a very refreshing, if hearty, drink.
We headed inside and sat down at our tables, preparing for a robust breakfast. We were not disappointed. My friend had the scrambled eggs and gravadlax. Beautifully done, and well presented, with cured, seared salmon so tender it melts in your mouth.
Being a stout Englishman, I went for the full English breakfast. Because there's nothing like fried bacon and eggs to keep you from missing home. What came was beautiful – as aesthetically pleasing as it was tasty. Homemade beans, bloody mary ketchup, real bacon and sausage (rarities outside the UK) and a perfectly done egg in its own wee frying pan. A real win.
And to wash it all down? Beer, of course – that's the beauty of brunch: drinking with breakfast is totally OK. The beer I went for was Level 33's weissbier, a wheat beer. And damned good it was too.
If you're hanging about in Singapore, looking for a decent breakfast with fantastic views, you can do a whole lot worse than Level 33.
- GrubsterBoy -