Grissini, Food Capital, Tempo Tasting Session 2016

Grissini, Food Capital, Tempo Tasting Session 2016
392 Havelock Road
Level 1 Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel

Opening Hours:
Mon - Sat: 12pm - 2:30pm (Lunch), 6:30pm - 11pm (Dinner)
Sunday: 12:30pm - 3:30pm (Brunch), 6:30pm - 11pm (Dinner)

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session.
Attended with representatives from HungryGoWhere, The Arctic Star, Purple Taste, Epicurious Caniggia, Chubby Botak Koala, Madame Chewy, Hazel Diary, The Ranting Panda, Honey Bee Sweets, Eat Dream Love, The Food Chapter, Jennifer Yeo's Lifestyle Blog, and Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow.

Grissini / Breadstick, Sun-Dried Tomato Mayonnaise

Extravagant Borderless Sunday Brunch Buffet

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 9
Value for Money: 9
Budget about SGD $98++ / $138++ per person.


A mixed dining concept in the lobby of Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Grissini, Food Capital, Tempo together are the in-house restaurants and bar for the hotel. Grissini, named after the Italian word for 'breadstick', is naturally an Italian restaurant specialising in pasta and pizza. Food Capital is the hotel's buffet line, offering International cuisine, and are particularly known for the josper grilled meats and seafood. Tempo is the hotel's bar, with a wide range of drinks. Together, Grissini, Food Capital, Tempo has launched a Borderless Sunday Brunch Buffet.

Grissini Signage
Grissini Signage

Food Capital Signage
Food Capital Signage

Tempo (Bar) Drinks
Tempo (Bar) Drinks

Ambience at Grissini, Food Capital, Tempo is open-concept, yet cozy and inviting, with modern contemporary decor around the place. Food Capital has the largest floor area, cleverly making use of decor, partitions, and the curvature of the building to section off areas, making it seem more intimate. Ample natural lighting and a high ceiling lend a sense of space, while light wooden furnishings with comfortable cushions are contrasted by vibrant blue backed booths. Over at Grissini, the atmosphere takes on a more sophisticated class, warm lighting with dark wooden furnishings on plush carpets, with heavy curtains against the windows. Tempo bar benefits from being in the center of both restaurants, functioning as a sort of divider. There is also al-fresco outdoor seating, though it's not suitable on warm or wet days.

Grissini, Food Capital, Tempo Exterior

Grissini, Food Capital, Tempo Interior

Children's Play Area


Main Buffet Area

Private Dining Room


Table Setting

Service at Grissini, Food Capital, Tempo is fantastic, worthy of fine dining status. Staff are professional, engaging, and efficient. They offer greetings upon entry, and are quick to seat guests. Staff will brief you on the various sections, and helpfully make recommendations if asked. While they're able to broadly describe what is available, their product knowledge does not have depth. I like that staff come around to check on your dining experience, as well as clear away empty / dirty plates quickly, which is important in a buffet. Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel has also engaged performers for their Borderless Sunday Brunch Buffet, a disc jockey spins lively music, while artists interact with guests, such as a balloon sculpture artist, or a face and hand painter.

Face And Hand Painter / Artist At Work

Disc Jockey At Work

Josper Grill Chef At Work


Food at Grissini, Food Capital, Tempo is International cuisine, and includes American, British, Italian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, with a range of rotisserie / grilled meats, fresh seafood, salads, main courses, stir-frys, desserts, cold cuts, and more. The range for their Borderless Sunday Brunch Buffet is extensive, we weren't able to try everything! The highlight here would be the josper grilled meats and seafood. Generally, I would say the dishes here are executed to an above average standard, made with fresh ingredients, and are tasty. While not as wallet-friendly as other buffets, the free-flow of premium items here, such as foie gras, oysters, or wagyu beef, make the Borderless Sunday Brunch Buffet good value for money. Budget about SGD $98++ per person for the buffet with non-alcoholic drinks, and $138++ per person for their Champagne brunch.

Grissini, Food Capital, Tempo - Borderless Sunday Brunch
Every Sunday 12:30pm - 3:30pm
SGD $98 ++ with free-flow juices & soft drinks
SGD $138 ++ with free-flow champagne

Cheese Wheel

Bread Basket

Salad Section

Stir-Fry Section

Chinese Rotisserie Section

Indian Curries Section

Fresh Seafood Section

Western Desserts Section

Asian Desserts Section

The champagne for their champagne brunch changes seasonally, we had the Champagne Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut during our visit. This has a pale lemon colour; an aroma of green apple and brioche bread that is fresh, clean, and vibrant; with notes of lively citrus, peach, and light spice on the palate. Well-balanced, good depth, nice lingering finish.

Champagne Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut

Of the Cured Salmon Trio, my favourite was the Thai Cured Salmon With Quail Egg, with its unusual spicy taste that complemented the smoky savoury salty flavour of the fish. The Salmon Pastrami With Pearl Onion has a more intense smoky savoury flavour than the others, deep and robust. In contrast, the Salmon Gravlax With Frisee has a lighter, more delicate flavour, sweet and clean.

Cured Salmon Trio - Thai Cured Salmon With Quail Egg, Salmon Pastrami With Pearl Onion, Salmon Gravlax With Frisee

Of the Italian salads, the standout for me was the Roasted Pumpkin Wedges With Raisins, Parsley, Pecorino Cheese, And Paprika, a complex combination with layers of salty sweet. So good! The Grilled Capsicum, Zucchini, And Artichoke is decent, you can still taste the sweet fresh flavours of the vegetables, overlaid with a nice smoky grilled aroma. The Mixed Olives have a nice contrast of earthy salty sour sharp, though I find it intense if you eat too many.

Grilled Capsicum, Zucchini, And Artichoke

Mixed Olives

Roasted Pumpkin Wedges With Raisins, Parsley, Pecorino Cheese, And Paprika

What I like about the Boston Lobster Linguine is the fresh, deshelled chunks of boston lobster. Bouncy and sweet, a big burst of satisfiying flavour. The pasta itself is underwhelming though, the tomato sauce lacks that bright, sweet flavour, and the linguine pasta noodles was not al-dente. I hear it's better when ordered as a stand-alone dish at the restaurant, but seems lower in quality for the buffet.

Boston Lobster Linguine

Both the Sausage & Broccolini Pizza and the Regina Margherita Pizza was lacklustre, largely due to the limp, thick pizza crust, though the toppings were decent. The Grissini / Breadstick is a signature item here, and very good, crisp and satisfiying, more so when dipped into the house creation of Sun-Dried Tomato Mayonnaise, which has a lovely sour sweet sharp floral taste. Highly recommended!

Sausage & Broccolini Pizza, Regina Margherita Pizza, Grissini / Breadstick

The Charcuterie Platter - Coppa, Salame Al Tartufo, Salame Casalingo, Prosciutto Cotto, Prosciutto Di Parma, Lonzino is a very good plate of cold cuts. I particularly liked the robust flavoured Salame Al Tartufo and the delicate Salame Casalingo. Can't go wrong with any of these though, all are of good quality.

Charcuterie Platter - Coppa, Salame Al Tartufo, Salame Casalingo, Prosciutto Cotto, Prosciutto Di Parma, Lonzino

Charcuterie Platter - Coppa, Salame Al Tartufo, Salame Casalingo, Prosciutto Cotto, Prosciutto Di Parma, Lonzino

The highlight of the cold cuts is the Iberico De Bellota. Has a smooth texture, rich savoury salty taste that has a hint of nutty. Incredibly good!

Iberico De Bellota

Iberico De Bellota

The Sashimi is not the best I've had, but still of above average quality, and most importantly, is fresh. The Sake / Salmon and Maguro / Tuna are sliced thickly, sweet savoury and clean tasting. Good!

Sashimi - Sake / Salmon, Maguro / Tuna

Of the 2 noodles, I preferred the Laksa, which is properly savoury spicy, and the soup / broth nicely milky without being cloying. A very good rendition, and well worth the stomach space. The Prawn And Pork Rib Noodles however, misses the mark. While the soup / broth is deep and robust in flavour, it is more strongly pork flavoured, as opposed to prawn flavoured. Ends up tasting like a pork rib soup instead.


Prawn And Pork Rib Noodles

The signature Whole Tandoori Lamb features the entire lamb, tandoor roasted. Extravagant, perhaps overly so, as I think a lot of it is wasted. The lamb meat is nicely tender, with a good flavour of the spices, nicely savoury without being gamey. Texture borders between moist and dry, but the resfreshing mint sauce helps in this regard. Worth a try.

Whole Tandoori Lamb

Tandoori Lamb

They offer free-flow foie gras here. The Foie Gras On Toast, With Fig Jam And Raspberry Jam features a small, but decadent slice of foie gras, with a creamy rich texture. The toast is slightly dry though.

Foie Gras On Toast, With Fig Jam And Raspberry Jam

The 3 rotisserie items of Honey Glazed Pork Ribs, Prime Beef Ribeye Steak, Barbecue Veal Ribs are executed to a decent standard. The Honey Glazed Pork Ribs are very tasty, with tender meat that comes easily off the bone, and good savoury sweet flavour. The Prime Beef Ribeye Steak is done till a nice medium rare, and is tender and moist, good but is overshadowed by the meats from the josper grill. The Barbecue Veal Ribs is tough, though the smoky taste of barbecue lingers on the meat.

Honey Glazed Pork Ribs, Prime Beef Ribeye Steak, Barbecue Veal Ribs

Every single item from the Josper Grill is fantastic. The Lamb Chops are nicely tender, juicy, without being gamey, with bold savoury salty flavour. The Octopus is bouncy and chewy in texture, fresh and sweet, so clean-tasting, with a hint of smoky aroma. The Tiger Prawn is large and meaty, sweet with a hint of smoky.

Josper Grill - Lamb Chops, Octopus, Tiger Prawn, Cherry Tomatoes

Josper Grill - Lamb Chops, Octopus, Tiger Prawn, Cherry Tomatoes

More from the Josper Grill. The Wagyu Beef is incredibly meaty, moist, and savoury with a hint of salty, bold and intense in flavour. The Chicken is tender and moist, with a savoury sweet flavour and a nicely crisp skin. Highly recommended!

Josper Grill - Wagyu Beef, Chicken, Octopus

Josper Grill - Wagyu Beef, Chicken, Octopus

Of the Cheese Plate - Fruit & Nut Cheese, Cranberry Cheese, Goat Cheese, Herb Cheese, the cheese I liked best was the unique Cranberry Cheese, you get the smooth texture of cheese, combined with the fruity sweet sour red fruit taste of cranberries.

Cheese Plate - Fruit & Nut Cheese, Cranberry Cheese, Goat Cheese, Herb Cheese

Of the 3 pastry desserts, the Cheesecake has a light, creamy smooth texture, with nice sweet flavour. The Creme Brulee is decent, with a delicate sugar crust and a creamy smooth custard that has good vanilla flavour. What I liked best was the Chocolate Ganache Tart, with its rich, deep chocolate flavour, semi-solid ganache center, and crumbly tart crust.


Creme Brulee

Chocolate Ganache Tart

Some creative, unique ice cream flavours here. The Yam Ice Cream is straight forward, pure comfort childhood flavour with solid yam taste. The Sun-Dried Tomato Ice Cream has that deep intense sweet tomato flavour, rather vegetal. Loved the grassy, minty Basil Ice Cream. Hated the weird tasting cheesy Parmesan Cheese Ice Cream. The Balsamic Vinegar Ice Cream was a divider, I liked the sour sharp flavours contasted by the milky texture, but others disliked it. The Black Truffle Ice Cream has a rich earthy taste.

Yam Ice Cream

Sun-Dried Tomato Ice Cream, Basil Ice Cream, Parmesan Cheese Ice Cream, Balsamic Vinegar Ice Cream, Black Truffle Ice Cream


Overall, the Borderless Sunday Brunch Buffet at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, in Grissini, Food Capital, Tempo, is good value for money as a premium offering, and well worth visiting. The vast, extensive selection of food seems never-ending, and they have many tasty, outstanding dishes. Good!