Update (September 2016) – After a multi-million dollar makeover, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel has unveiled its revamped lobby with new food and beverage outlets; and the popular all-day buffet restaurant Cafe Brio is re-named Food Capital. See our post Food Capital Buffet at Grand Copthorne Waterfront.
Cafe Brio’s is located on the ground level of the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel. The hotel has a riverfront but is not particularly grand. The Cafe Brio’s is what you would expect of a cafe in a reasonably good hotel in Singapore but nothing remarkable. However, it is popular for its buffet. We went there for a dinner buffet on a weekday evening. The buffet spread was not very extensive but we found the food to be better than we had expected.
Cafe Brio’s is simply decorated – neat and functional. The food display, though nothing fancy or spectacular, was quite attractive, especially the colourful dessert counters. On the whole, we think Cafe Brio’s has taken a very Singaporean approach – provide the basic in terms of ambience and food decorations and just focus on serving good food.
Cafe Brio’s is an all day dining cafe where you can get satay, steak, pasta and other local and Western dishes (see menu below). The cafe is however popular with buffet lovers. On weekdays the buffet lunch is $48. The buffet dinner is priced at $58 from Monday to Thursday; and $68 Friday to Sunday. There is also a High Tea Barbecue Buffet at $38 on Saturday from 2pm to 5pm.
Unlike some other hotels where the buffet food stations are spread out over a wide area, Cafe Brio’s kept all the food stations in a compact space. There is a central food island where the salad, sushi and fruits can be found. The rest of the food stations form a rim round the central island. There is no need to go on a quest or treasure hunt to find out what else is on offer.
The dinner buffet at Cafe Brio’s has all the usual items – salad, soups, local, Asian and Western mains and a good selection of desserts. The salad selections deserve special mention. In addition to the usual salad station where you can toss your own salad, there is a good variety of salad prepared by the chefs such as Greek style salad, duck salad and Korean kimchi salad.
It is almost mandatory nowadays for buffets in Singapore to include sushi and sashimi and Cafe Brio’s does not deviate from convention in that regard. There is a sashimi station where the chef will prepare the sashimi to order. That ensures that you get your sashimi fresh as well as prevent the more gluttonous Singaporeans cleaning out the sashimi platter as soon as it is refilled.
Cafe Brio’s did not disappoint with the fresh shellfish section. The prawns were really fresh – sweet and juicy. For many diners, the sashimi, oysters and prawns alone would have justified the price of the dinner buffet at Cafe Brio’s.
The spread included Assam Fish, Sayur Lodeh, Fried Prawns, Braised Oxtail and Roast Beef with Red Wine Sauce. There were many seafood items. The New Zealand Mussels in Cream Sauce and the Clams in Chilli Crab sauce were very good. The Teriyaki Saba Fish would be another item that we would recommend. Another outstanding item would be the Ha Jeong Kai or Deep Friend Prawn Paste Chicken. There was a station where local laksa would be prepared to order. The laksa was delicious; but be warned – we found it quite spicy even without adding the extra chilli provided.
We also like the desserts. There was of course the usual ice-cream, fondue, cakes, tarts and mousse. In addition, there was a good selection of nyonya kuehs. Save room for the kueh ko swee – it had great texture and was really enjoyable. We also liked the cheng tng and green bean soup. They were full of ingredients and prepared home-cooked style. They were both delicious and we were tempted to have more than one bowl of each.
There were many items at the dinner buffet which tasted better than we had expected. The spread and variety were adequate. The service was efficient and courteous. We enjoyed the dinner at Cafe Brio’s. We would certainly return to have the buffet at Cafe Brio’s but we must first work off all the extra extra calories which we could not resist consuming during the one hour or so of gluttony.
Food : 4
Service : 3
Value : 3
Atmosphere : 3
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
392 Havelock Road
Tel : +65 6733 0880
Breakfast: 6:30AM – 10:30AM
Lunch: 12:00PM – 3:00PM
Dinner: 6:00PM – 10:00PM
Saturday High Tea Barbecue Buffet: 2:00PM – 5:00PM
All Day Dining: 11:00AM – 11:00PM