For those who have been to Melbourne, the name Brunetti would ring a bell. With its first store located along Faraday Street in 1985, they were popularized by their specialty in Italian desserts – cakes, gelatos, etc. When Brunetti decided to patronize our tiny little island, they should have just stuck to their winning strategy.
Brunetti in Singapore has branded themselves to be a restaurant that “brings together a luscious array of everything we treasure in Italian cooking.” From the outside, one can draw that reference from the myriad colourful assortment of desserts displayed. Very alluring indeed. But upon dining in Brunetti, you would realize that the only thing that holds up to its Italian reputation would be the desserts. (And even that is on shaky ground)
The ordering system can get a tad messy, given that there is no actual queue line. One simply needs to walk along the mesmerizing desserts display and await the staff to attend to you.
Payment wise could get a little tricky. Should you decide to pay via credit card, you would have to tiptoe to sign the receipt on the countertop. I know I fare on the lower end of the height spectrum, but 1.70m is not exactly a midget’s height either. Note to franchise owners: please adjust height of furniture when bringing in from tall-people-country.
My sandwich was not too bad, though I wish the bread would be softer and the arugula could look a little fresher. Wait, scratch that; my sandwich could have been much better.
My friend’s pizza was nothing spectacular either. With its thick crust, I began to wonder which part of “Italian cooking” did I treasure this from. Between the sandwich and pizza, I could not decide which was better. Perhaps I should have just gone with the pasta – at least that would have been prepared fresh.
I applaud Brunetti for taking into account my sugar level. The iced tea I had had absolutely no syrup in it (no, they did not offer it separately either). However, the scoop of ice cream (presumably in substitution of syrup) could have done more damage to my daily fat intake level.
Thankfully, some of their Italian dessert lived up to their name. I was told the Pear and cheese crumble was one of their signature dishes. Unfortunately, signature being signature, it sold out.
We settled instead for the Rum & raisin cheesecake. I absolutely loved the cheesecake, and I could only imagine the Pear and cheese crumble to be even more decadent than this. The texture of the baked cheesecake was silky smooth, and the sprinkled icing sugar at the top really hits you as an after taste. My only setback was that there was no taste of rum (perhaps it all evaporated away when they baked it), and they should have opted not to have the biscuit-base surround the sides of the cake – the taste got a little overwhelming.
The Tre Gutti, a supposed 3 layer of mousse dessert, tasted more like 3 layers of cake. Firstly, the wrapping around the dessert was super-glued together. Then the mousse was so stiff it was like eating cake. The dark chocolate mousse was a chocolate cake, while the white chocolate mousse was a sponge cake.
I also had a Lemon Tart. The curd had been sweetened too much to the extent it tasted like your ‘Khong Guan’ Lemon biscuits. The tart shell, while tasty, was impossible to cut through with a mere fork; even a tag team of Mr. Hyde and the Hulk would have difficulties eating the tart.
There were a couple of mixed up orders for our dessert, and this could be largely avoided if the dessert labels were printed on the back too. There are too many desserts to have the staff memorize the names of all.
With its well-dressed staff and its interior decorations, Brunetti Singapore does pay a close homage to its Melbourne outlets. Not the most ideal place for a main course, but their desserts are interesting enough. While there may have been a few bad apples, and most of their popular desserts were not available at that time, I would definitely go back again to try their other more reputable desserts.
Did it turn us on?
The light was flickering, but I’m willing to change the light bulb.
Brunetti @ Tanglin Mall
163 Tanglin Road
#01-35, Singapore 237993
Tel: +65 6733 9088
Mon – Sun: 9am to 10pm