One of the most beautiful dining spots in Singapore must be the Clifford Pier, the beautifully-refurbished early 20th-century ferry terminus - almost unrecognizable from its previous incarnation as a busy, albeit grimy pier for small crafts going to Kusu and St John Islands. These days, gone were the old "mamak" stalls selling stale "samosas" & sundry snacks. The ferries to the outer islands now embark from the new piers at Marina Bay South. Instead, Clifford Pier is now part of the upscale Fullerton Bay Hotel.
I started off with a Kusu Island cocktail - it's a nod to Clifford Pier's past life as a jumping off point for boats headibg for Kusu Island, especially carrying pilgrims going to worship the shrine of Tua Pek Kong, a local deity popular among the Hokkiens of Singapore and Penang. The Kusu Island cocktail consisted of vodka, honey syrup, calamansi lime juice, lemongrass, and ginseng, and was very refreshing. Went well with the bowl of crackers ("emping belinjo" & fish crackers)
My appetiser was "Kong Bak Bao": soy-braised Iberico pork belly, served sandwiched in steamed "mantou" buns, and garnished with chilli and cilantro. The pork turned out to be overcooked and was dry-ish, instead of the melt-in-the-mouth texture one would look for.
Main course was the Clifford Pier Laksa: rice vermicelli in spicy coconut gravy, garnished with very fresh prawns, quail eggs, beancurd puffs & bean sprouts. This was singularly the tastiest bowl of Katong-style laksa I'd had in a while. It more than made up for the disappointing appetiser.
The Clifford Pier
The Fullerton Bay Hotel
80 Collyer Quay
Tel: +65 6333 8388