I don’t actually eat out as often as you might think, but as 90% of my Facebook activity is food-related (sadly the other 10% involves crushing candies, what a loser), I’ve had people coming to ask for recommended brunch places. There are two places that instinctively come to mind, namely Symmetry and, more recently, Hummerstons.

Disclaimer: The food featured in this post was consumed over a few visits over the course of one year. Unless you’re aiming to fit into that designer sack you impulse bought at an outlet sale, I wouldn’t encourage trying all these dishes at one go.

Poutine – The Italian Job, $13.00.

It was because of Hummerstons that I was introduced to the concept of poutine. Originating from Quebec in Canada, a traditional dish of poutine is made by pouring warm meat gravy onto a mound of fries topped with cheese curds. Because it’s impossible to get cheese curds in Singapore for some reason, Hummerstons states on their menu that quesillo oaxaca, a type of semi-soft white Mexican string cheese, is used as a substitute. Doesn’t matter to me since I’ve never tasted the real thing. Count me in for anything au fromage.

They’ve got a few versions of poutine across a lushness-of-toppings spectrum, ranging from the no-frills Classic (comprising just beef gravy and quesillo oaxaca) to the epic Montreal (foie gras and jus, which is just the fancy French term for cow juice). The first version we tried was The Italian Job, explained comprehensively on the menu as “homemade beef & bacon ragout, mushrooms and caramelized onions”. I don’t know if menu writers realise that qualifying one dish as “homemade” carries the implication that the other dishes aren’t. Oh well, whatever floats with them.

The Hangover, $15.00.

On one of my subsequent visits, I tried The Hangover – this variation consists of Irish sausage slices, oak smoked cheddar and a poached egg.

The fries used in Hummerstons‘ poutine have their skins on, just the type I prefer. Sadly, however, for some reason the dish is never served piping hot, like all fries ought to be. The gravy’s hot and flavorful all right, but there’s a conspicuous lack of it. They could definitely be more generous with the quesillo oaxaca as well. The Italian Job fared slightly worse than The Hangover – the beef and mushroom ragout taste like substandard bolognese sauce and just doesn’t gel with the fries and gravy. The Hangover’s saving grace is that the runny yolk of the poached egg increases the volume and viscosity of the gravy.

I order the poutine repeatedly because the different groups of people I’ve visited Hummerstons with are just so excited by the idea of cheese, meat and fries. It does look like an infallible concept. Unfortunately I’ve never been impressed.

Box of Hummerstons Fries, $14.00

It was only on my most recent visit last week that I had the chance to try their house fries, seasoned with rosemary-sea salt and truffle essence, served with tomato-chilli aioli and chimichurri dips on the side. These were nothing to shout about, but I thought they fared considerably better than their poutine brethren (crisp fries ftw), and will stick with them on future visits.

Eggs Sardou, $24.00. No longer on the menu.

Thankfully, Hummerstons does brunch really well.

The Eggs Sardou pictured here has its roots in Louisiana Creole cuisine, a field both novel and exciting to me – who doesn’t love soul food? Made up of a fluffy biscuit, two poached eggs drenched liberally in hollandaise sauce and served with creamed spinach and artichoke, I fell instantly in love with Hummerstons‘ rendition of this dish. It’s both hearty and soulful, and it greatly pained me to find out that they had stopped serving it.

Truffle Scrambled Eggs, $25.

The scrambled eggs served here used to be divine. Creamy, fluffy, and deeply infused with the earthy scent of truffle, my first taste of this dish brought me to heaven and back. On a recent visit, however, the taste of butter overwhelmed everything else after a couple of bites. Maybe its my aging palette, but the richness of the eggs was off-putting and I barely finished half the serving. I hope this is something the chef fine-tunes.

To make matters worse, the grilled sourdough beneath the pile of scrambled eggs is inedible unless one has jaws of steel. I don’t know why the heck you would include something your guest would have to saw through to eat, and I was not pleased about having to hold my knife in serial killer fashion, stabbing at the softer parts of the bread to try and break it up.

As this picture was taken last year, you’d be happy to know that their serving of spinach and sausage has nearly doubled. The mound of greens and meat help to slightly offset the creamy eggs, though its a little too salty. Also the sausage looks exactly like ba chor (minced meat) to me, but homegirl’s a Teochew moi at heart la huh.

Breakfast Tostada, $16.00. No longer on the menu.

Another dish I loved which is no longer on the menu. A Mexican dish comprising grilled smoke pork and garlic sausage and asparagus atop herb scrambled eggs, all served on a crispy tortilla bed, the crunchiness of the tortilla added a nice twist to what would otherwise have been a regular English breakfast option. The spiced tomato sauce was tangy and made the dish feisty.

While Hummerstons‘ old breakfast menu was clearly influenced by multiple ethnicities, it’s lamentable that they’ve limited current breakfast options to the more pedestrian. I thought they executed the international breakfast concept much better than Wild Honey. They’ve got this new Spanish Pork Tortilla dish on the menu, though it’s markedly different from the Tostada, consisting of pulled pork and guacamole instead. Will defo be back to try that.

Eggs Gloria, $20.00

One of their many dishes that sounded fascinating on paper was the Eggs Gloria. The egg is baked into the brioche leh!! This swaku approves.

I’m on the fence for this dish though. While the brioche was EXCELLENT (like omg can cry level of fluffiness), the thing about baking eggs is that the yolk tends always to be overcooked, and again the flavours didn’t meld. I only ate one egg out of the two, but I cut around the egg to get at the toast because the brioche was irresistible. Again, while the house tomato sauce was fine, the excess of parmesan overpowered any hint of herbs in the sauce. Yet the mushrooms were great. This paragraph sounds bipolar.

They should take some of that cheese and place it on the poutine. Just saying.

Shaved Cuban Pork on Toast, something ridiculous like $18.00. No longer on the menu.

On one of my trips to Hummerstons we happened to be caught in the lull period between weekend brunch and dinner, and had to settle for one of the all-day options on the menu. I ordered the Shaved Cuban Pork on Toast, which was priced around $20.00 after taxes, and my jaw fell when I was served an open-faced sandwich which consisted of only one slice of toasted sourdough.

Was too unhappy with the paltry serving to care about how the dish tasted, though I remember the combination of shaved pork, melted cheese and pickles wasn’t half-bad. In any case, this dish is off the menu. Bye, you won’t be missed.

Tarte A Roon, $11.80. No longer on menu – why????

Hummerstons may serve a mean brunch, but its desserts are quite outstanding as well.

This was one of the more memorable desserts I consumed throughout the whole of last year, and I was quite devastated to find that it was no longer being offered. Here’s how heavenly it sounds: Caramelized apples, cinnamon, raisins and walnuts served warm on an almond macaroon with homemade butterscotch pecan ice-cream.

IT TASTED EVERY BIT AS GOOD AS IT SOUNDS. The macaron shell held its own, wasn’t too sweet and complemented the milky butterscotch and caramel flavors so well. The caramelized apples and cinammon added a homely feel to the dish, and reminded me of Christmas. Boohoohoo bring this back, Hummerstons!

Dulce de Leche Creme Brulee, $12.00. No longer on menu.

I loved this. After cutting into the thin coating of caramelized sugar at the top, you’ll hit a body of creamy, smooth custard. The slightly bitter dulce de leche creates a rich and milky taste that lingers in your mouth after every spoonful. Definitely one of the better creme brulees I’ve had.

Raspberry Chocolate Cheese Tart, $10.80. No longer on menu.

Creamed raspberries and cheese on a chocolate-cookie base, topped with fresh berries. It’s hard to go wrong with this combination, and this tart tasted great, if a little too sour for me. The cookie base was crunchy, exactly how tart shells should be.

Roasted Pumpkin Cheesecake, $11.90.

This is one fantastic cheesecake, if you like pumpkin. Served with a dollop of vanilla cream and a streak of caramel sauce, the pumpkin lends the cheesecake a distinctly sweet taste and a coarser texture than most cheesecakes would have.

As you might have noticed, this is the only dessert I’ve tried (apart from a plain ol’ cheesecake that tastes average) that’s still available on the menu. I can’t imagine why Hummerstons would remove such great desserts to replace them with an unimaginative selection of cakes – “Chocolate Fudge Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake”, I kid you not, go check out their menu. I wish they would bring their fun desserts back.

Latte, $5.50, and Mocha, $5.50.

Hummerstons gets its coffee brews from the highly raved about Papa Palheta. I honestly can’t appreciate the difference between one cup of coffee and the next, so unless it’s that black pool of acid served by Burger King or Dunkin’ Donuts, you won’t find me complaining about bad coffee. The only thing I really enjoy about coffee is when it comes with art. And my default order? Mocha – the more chocolatey the better. Am definitely no coffee connoisseur haha.

Though the food at Hummerstons can hardly be regarded as uniformly excellent, they do have some very good brunch dishes. I love the ambiance and its location in a quiet corner of Robertson Walk as well. It’s a perfect stop to do some filling up before spending a lazy afternoon lounging at one of the picturesque cafes in the area. I suppose that’s why I’ve developed a fondness for the place, and why I keep returning in spite of the steep prices.

11 Unity Street
#02-14, Robertson Walk
Singapore 237995

Opening hours: 12p.m. – 10p.m. on Mondays to Thursdays, 12p.m. – 12a.m. on Fridays, 10a.m. – 12a.m. on Saturdays, 10a.m. – 6p.m. on Sundays.
Tel. No.: 8428 1620 (for reservations)

One Response to “Hummerstons”
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  1. […] Sultan Road, Spathe Public House is a mere stone’s throw away from Robertson Quay, where Hummerstons is. I like it when my favourite restaurants clump together. It helps me narrow down potential real […]

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