If you haven’t planned your weekend brunch already, here’s something that might be an exciting option. How would you like to enjoy a leisurely alfresco brunch at a colonial mansion on a hill, surrounded by a dense green landscape and classy décor? Well… that’s Alkaff Mansion for you.
History of the Place:
A few weeks ago, while surfing through some of my favourite blog sites, I came across Alkaff Mansion, located on a hill at 10 Telok Blangah. The name itself intrigued me, and rightly so… for the place has a long, long history. As per Singapore Infomedia, Alkaff Mansion is a 19th-century colonial bungalow. Built in 1918 (some sources claim it to be 1926), by the Arab family of Alkaffs who came to Singapore from Yemen as food trader, the mansion served the family as a weekend house. It soon became a well-known hosting spot for high society gathering before world war II. Interestingly, this two-storey property that sat atop was also known as Mount Washington as the Alkaffs enjoyed a close relation with the American community in Singapore then. After World War II, the Alkaffs suffered business losses and sold off a number of their properties.
The mansion served as the headquarters of the World Buddhist Society, which built two temples nearby. It was vacated in 1984 after the land was acquired by the government for the development of a 33-hectare park as part of the Mount Faber Park Extension project. With no occupants, the mansion fell into a decay…
There have been two restorations since then, and in 2011, LES, a food and beverage company opened Italian Restaurant Alkaff Mansion Ristorante.
The history alone was enough to push me to try out the place… And when I saw some of its photographs, I was reaching for the phone to make a reservation for brunch.
Alkaff Mansion has a weekend brunch, alfresco, served on terrace of this mansion which houses the actual restaurant. Serene, that’s the word that comes to your mind when you look at the perfectly laid out tables.
They have some interestingly rustic décor out there. The huge, wrought iron rocking chairs, which can easily seat 2, maybe even three persons…
A number of really beautiful fountains surround the terrace.
The entire décor takes you to a perfect European or British Country style setting.
In fact, it is quite a popular place for conferences, as they have a huge aircon canopy permanently in place.
It is equally famous for holding weddings… infact in the few hours we were there, we saw the place transform into an intimate wedding venue.
The Brunch:They ave a limited, but gourmet brunch menu… with a spread of eggs, some sweet pancakes and waffles spreads and pizzas. This is what we tried:
 Appletini: We tried the Alkaff Mansions signature cocktail… The drink is specially concocted and made with Granny Smith fresh apples. What was amazing was how beautiful the drink looked. It was nice refreshing cocktail that went perfectly well with rest of our brunch.
 Beef Sausage with Roasted Tomato & Salad (S$ 12.80): The dish is served with Brioche & Butter and choice of eggs, scrambled, poached or sunny side up. I of course opted for the scrambled eggs. The eggs were beautifully blended and creamy… with just the right amount of seasoning. The beef sausage was cooked to perfection and the salad was crunchy and fresh. Quite satisfied with the dish.
 Homemade ‘Italian Omelette’ (S$ 8.80): Here you have the option of Prawn & Zucchini or Braised Onion & Bacon. Well my husband the egg-tarian actually customized it to zucchini and braised onions… The plating itself looked so delectable. The omelette was soft and nicely made, with fresh crunchy salad for company. The herbs atop the omelette added a nice flavour to the overall seasoning.
 Scottish Smoked Salmon with Fresh Avocado, Roasted Tomato & Salad (S$ 12.80): Just like the beef sausage, this dish is also served with Brioche & Butter and choice of eggs, scrambled, poached or sunny side up. The salmon is nicely cooked, the perfect amount of smoky and beautifully flavoured, without overwhelming the actual taste of the fresh fish. The avacado’s were creamy and soft and fused well with the salmon.
 Waffle with A Scoop of Ice Cream & Wild Berries Sauce (Chocolate Icecream) (S$ 8.80): The waffle they serve is not the crunchy variety, but it was quite well-made all the same. The wild berries sauce had just the right amount of acidity to it, complimenting quite beautifully with the chocolate icecream. I somehow prefer the crunch and so this dish wasn’t so much to my taste. But others at the table seem to have no problems finishing it off.
 Banana Hotcakes with Mixed Berries & Crumble (S$ 8.80): I do not remember having a pancake with a crumble before… or even if I have, it was too little to notice. Here, generous serving of 3 hotcakes, with a sprinkle of mixed berries and crumble made for a unique dish. The sweetness of the bananas and the slight tangy acidity of the berries, with a crumble for change in texture just blended in making it a distinctive dish to try out. Having said that, the pancakes themselves aren’t anything noteworthy. It’s the combination that probably works.
 Coffee: The coffee was nice and simple… nothing noteworthy or distinctive about it…
 Hot Chocolate: The hot chocolate was made nice and creamy, with just the right measure of bitterness added to it.
How much will it cost me: For such an exclusive place (which the Alkaff Mansion Ristorante is), their brunch was surprisingly affordable. The portions were sizable too… A brunch for 2 would cost anywhere between S$ 25 to S$ 40 depending upon what all you choose…
The Verdict: Oh go there for the location, no doubt about it… It’s such a beautiful, serene place with loads of space for children to play around, or for you to sit and chat. There’s a running trail and the Hendersen Bridge right next to it… a perfect way to end your brunch, a walk around the delightful Telok Blangah green! The ambiance is classy and tasteful… plus while you wait for your food, no one stops you for looking around the place or going for a walk. The food is good, and even though I wouldn’t call it the best brunch I have had, there really is nothing I can complain about, not the quality, not the price (given the location) or the portion size. It’s a perfect place to take visitors to… elegant, upscale, impressive and yet doesn’t burn a hole in the pocket like some others do… (strictly talking about brunch here)…
There’s a caveat though. One, there is really very little for vegetarians, except maybe the pizza options and desserts. And two, we were really lucky to be there in the most ideal (i.e. cloudy) weather. Given that it is alfresco, it can get quite hot… although I did see some huge outdoor cooling systems around. Having said that, I give this place a double thumbs up! Needless to say, difficult to get a table without reservation…
Address: 10 Telok Blangah Green 109178
For reservations: 6510 3068