This is one of the hottest places in Singapore for a weekend brunch,
apparently being booked up months in advance for an event that ends at
3.15 p.m. after which the staff seem to feel entitled to coast through
the rest of the day if my experience last week was anything to go by.
We received a 3.15 p.m. slot with no warning that the brunch ended
then and after that the restaurant would serve only five starters and
a sparse selection of desserts under the sobriquet "High Tea". Nor do
their online PDF menus point this out, listing mains as being
available from 11 a.m. until last orders. Anyway when we got there we
decided it was too much bother to go looking for another place, so we
made the best of it. Which wasn't much.
First of all my (supposedly hot) capuccino arrived cold -- I put my
finger in it to demonstrate to the staff how lacking in heat it was.
Things went downhill from there. The scones were just bready enough
and not too biscuity that they lived up to their billing. The
bruschetta was fresh and flavourful but a bit too simple to justify
all the raving about this place I heard from my friends. The chicken
skewer thingy was satisfactorily charred, but the softshell crab was
too oily for words.
Even the pots of tea were able to offend, somehow contriving to yield
up just one-and-a-half cups each rather than the two it has been my
experience to receive at most places. Throughout the meal the staff
congregated at the servery table and chatted desultorily. Still it was
pleasant to sit there and read the papers and watch the horses being
put through their paces, so that by the time we left we had a
pleasantly lazy weekend feeling. Overall I suppose this place is all
right if you're one of those ladies who lunch (we saw and heard
several squealing and giggling intemperately at each other) but for
the rest of us I wonder if Riders' Cafe hasn't begun to coast on its
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