I’m not a big fan of ordering local food whenever I visit a hotel restaurant. I just cannot comprehend the rationale of paying for a plate of chicken rice at $20 when you can get something similar (sometime, even better) at a faction of the price in a hawker centre. Hence, unless it’s a business lunch or I’m entertaining some overseas visitors, I would stay away from getting my chicken rice or char kuay teow fix in a hotel.
But I was wrong. Just last Sunday, I was at The Clifford Pier ordering local delights. Having ran of ideas what I want to eat on a Sunday, I decided to head to The Fullerton Bay Hotel to try the 2-month old, The Clifford Pier.
The Clifford Pier
The Clifford Pier, was still a functioning pier as recent as year 2005, has undergone a major makeover by famed Hong Kong architect-designer Andre Fu. It was only over the last seven years that this old pier was transformed into a luxurious and spacious dining hall. The cane furniture and rickshaw at the outdoor bar reminds me of Singapore’s colonial past. And the huge chandeliers and lush furnishing just up the whole restaurant with a notch of grandeur.
The menu at The Clifford Pier offers a wide range of local and classic western delights such as laksa, and fish and chips. While the restaurant is not known for its western classics, it is rather popular with its interpretation of the local favourites.
The dining table setting at The Clifford Pier
The Popiah is disappointing. Although it’s not expensive ($12 for two rolls), I thought it could be better. The paper thin crepes were rolled with shredded turnips, bean sprouts, eggs and prawns. But I find it lacks the crunchiness of those you get at the hawker centres. Obviously, it’s missing bits of crushed peanuts which gives the popiah extra texture.
The Clifford Pier Laksa ($19) didn’t impress me too. Again, the spicy noodle dish is tasty, but the laksa gravy lacks punch. It’s rather light and diluted. Personally, I prefer a thicker gravy and more dried laksa leaves. The only consolation is that the prawns are bigger than what you get at the hawker centre.
The Clifford Pier Laksa
But I was blown away by the Two Generations of Rickshaw Noodles ($18). There are two portions to this noodle dish. One of which is the handmade noodles served with simmered pork belly and soft boiled egg. The pork belly is so tender and delectable. It’s best to eat it when it’s still hot! This is because the noodles will turn hard once it’s cold. The other smaller portion is the stewed yellow Hokkien noodles served in a flavourful pork broth.
Two Generations of Rickshaw Noodles
Of course, I must try the desserts. The Clifford Pier has the usual local desserts such as BuBur Cha Cha and Ice Kachang. However, it was their unique ice cream flavours that captured my attention. Kopi O, Pandan and Teh Tarik ice cream, how unusual. For those who love pandan, the Pandan Ice Cream is simply gorgeous. It is full of pandan flavour and the texture is rather creamy.
Pandan Ice Cream
On the whole, The Clifford Pier has done a relatively good job in showcasing local hawker food. The prices are reasonable especially when you are dining in a comfortable and lush environment. It’s definitely a place that I will return… but not alone. I will definitely bring my friends and overseas guests with me the next time round.
The Clifford Pier
The Fullerton Bay Hotel
80 Collyer Quay
Tel: 65 6597-5266