Visitors to Singapore are most often directed to the obvious attractions while overlooking what is both a historic and modern iconic part of the city. More importantly three quays, Robertson, Clarke and Boat Quay constitute an entertainment district that has a lot to offer. This is a fun place to be, and during the Festive Season even more so.
"The Singapore River has developed into a thriving location frequented by locals and tourists who enjoy the hustle and bustle of Singapore nightlife," stated Ms Michelle Koh, Executive Director of Singapore River One. "This Festive Season visitors can look forward to many special events, food offerings and fun filled programme at the many F&B outlets along the river."
Michelle and Christopher Soon, Place Manager, Singapore River One along with Wesley Gunter and Irene Soh from Right Hook Communications lead a group of writers on Food Safari stopping only at seven of the many many places they could have visited.
We met at the recently renovated restaurant of the Holiday Inn Atrium. The bright, colourful and airy space has an excellent culinary team who served us Cream of Spring Bay Mussel with Fennel and Roasted Rack of Lamb with Apricot and Thyme Jus. (pictured above) This was specially prepared by Executive Chef Chua Yew Hock and his team of master chefs. The Roast Rack of Lamb with Apricot and Thyme Jus was excellent - so when you visit - don't miss it!
Wearing Santa hats and reindeer antlers we crossed the road the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel where Executive Chef, David Toh and his dedicated culinary team can captivate your palate with a plethora of gastronomic delights. You can do more than eat at the Grand Copthorne by immersing yourself in the exciting lineup of activities including a fun bouncy castle, game room specially designed for kids and teenagers, balloon making session, Christmas carols, a kids’ buffet corner and more to celebrate the season!
Highly recommended is the Christmas ballotine stuffed with foie gras, chestnut, bacon and spinach pâté served with baby vegetables, roasted potato accompanied with cranberry sauce, port wine jus. This delicately crafted dish is a skilful combination of savoury, crunchy and sweet flavours. The seasoned greens and sauce at the side complement the flavourful meat. The signature dish is the most often ordered at Café Brios and we certainly could understand why.
Still walking, we exited the Grand Copthorne onto the Quay having a brief stroll we crossed a small bridge to Limoncello Pizza & Grill on Robertson Quay. Here we enjoyed the presentation of the Swordfish & Octopus carpaccio in Italian sauce. This was a combination of a thin slice of swordfish carpaccio and octopus carpaccio in olive oil garlic lemon sauce. If your tastebuds are twitching they certainly should be. Everyone wanted more of the Belini cocktail made of Prosecco and peach juice.
We boarded a bum boat and cruised passed Clarke Quay passed the office highrises of the Central Business District and on to Boat Quay where disembarked. Tucked in amongst the bustling restaurant scene of Boat Quay is My Little Spanish Place, which you might have difficulty finding, but shouldn't over look. On the menu was the very delicious Tabla de Salchichas Artesanales (Hand-made Sausage Platter), served with Sangria - of course. The Butifarra is a Balearic staple made from minced pork and an assortment of spices and sherry vinegar. It was traditionally prepared as part of the festive rites in Majorca to mark the coming of the autumn and spring seasons. The hand-made sausages are accompanied with a Sobrasada terrine, "Mojo Rojo" spicy sauce, and "Mojo Verde" herbs sauce. A "Little" place with big flavours.
We definitely went up town after a brief stroll along the waterfront, past art work of large sculptures defining the space to the Town Restaurant at the Fullerton Hotel. We were served succulent Beef Wellington with Mushroom Duxelle and a Merlion Cocktail. For family or group gatherings the 1kg wellington serves a party of five. In conjunction with SG50 The Fullerton Hotel has introduced its new signature Merlion Coctain in a customed designed glass with a mini Merlion encased within. The bright red tipple of tequila, grenadine syrup, line juice, ginger and egg white proudly sports Singapore's national colours.
It was back in the boat to board another boat at Hot Stones Steak and Seafood Restaurant in Clarke Quay which features a unique dining concept that involves cooking fresh meats and seafood on serpentine volcanic stone slabs. This method seals in the natural juices of the food, providing extraordinary flavour and taste. The restaurant prides itself for giving diners an unforgettable experience by letting the freshness of its produce do the talking. The volcanic stones are really hot as they are heated for at least 12 hours before they are passed to the diners where they cook premium Surf and Turf. Australian tenderloin, fresh Tiger Prawns and salmon which sizzle on your personal hot stone. Served with sea salt, bearnaise, salasa and red wine jus, if it is not cooked to your liking you only have yourself to blame.
We finished the evening at Harry's, Clarke Quay, one of the newer outlets of the chain. Here, it was appropriately a dessert offering of Sticky Date Pudding with Harry's Old Fashioned drink. The Sticky Date Toffee Pudding is Harry's rendition of the classic Sticky Date Pudding. It was excellent as people who thought they might pass on the dessert found themselves wolfing down the ample serving.
Harry's Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail with a refreshing twist, a cinnamon sugar cube is dissolved in fine whisky before adding a splash of angostura bitters and orange slices. A refreshing drink to define and wrap up an excellent evening.
These are just seven out of many outlets along the River. You may not want to visit all of them in one night, but however long you are in Singapore you will not run out of exciting places to dine and drink.