There is something absolutely lovely about sitting down to an unhurried Sunday brunch, and doubly nice when you have great company, in a breezy spot like Publico Ristorante at the InterContinental Robertson Quay. The reason we we’re here is also because the contemporary Italian restaurant has introduced Capri Sundays, bringing the best flavours and vibes of the isle of Capri to Singapore.
The first things to arrive on our table are glasses of the padparadscha-hued Italian classic Aperol Spritz, a concoction of Aperol, prosecco and soda water, and a basket of herb flavoured breads taken straight out of the wood fired oven. It’s the sort of bread that puts you in a conundrum: you can’t stop yourself from eating it but you know that you must if you want to space in your tummy for the rest of brunch.
The combination of Mediterranean flavours with the breezy terrazza setting certainly makes for a delightful brunch. The menu is curated by executive chef Marco Turatti, and includes classics with an Italian twist. We decided to go forthe Scrambled Eggs with Freshly Grated Black Truffle and Sourdough Bread ($19) and Spicy Avocado Toast with Burrata Cheese and Chilli Bruschetta ($21). Wholesome and flavourful.
In addition to the yummy brunch dishes, Publico Ristorante also serves a selection of its signature wood-fired pizzas and homemade pastas. We choose the Tartufata, which has porcini mushrooms and smoked scamorza covered in mozzarella cheese laced with truffle oil ($24). Wonderful. For pasta, we try the Fregola Sarda, a light (by pasta standards) dish of prawns, lemon zest, cherry tomatoes, garlic cream and broccoli ($26).
Even when we can’t stop ourselves from indulging in the third slice of pizza, we know we have to save space for dessert. We decide on the classic Tiramisu ($16), but are totally surprised by the form it arrived in: as a potted seedling. Just as well, since Tiramisu is our ‘pot’ and we like getting to the bottom of all that alcohol-infused espresso, mascarpone, bitter chocolate, sponge fingers, and wash it down with satisfying cups of coffee.
The distinctive, breezy riverside location and strong Mediterranean design details of Publico Ristorante contribute to the relaxed atmosphere felt throughout the Quayside neighbourhood. Even though it started to rain while we are digging into the Tiramisu, there is something soothing watching the rain flow down with a backdrop of verdant foliage.
Inside, bold geometric granite floors from Italy, concrete planters and customised lounge furniture with palm tree upholstery perfectly complement the expansive, lush green al fresco area overlooking the Singapore River – a vibrant setting to unwind on Sundays if only it didn’t rain. Well we’re certainly looking forward to coming back on a sunnier day.