Saturday, December 20, 2014

Singapore's CLIFFORD PIER proves perfect for Peranakan Cuisine (12-20-14)

While staying here in Singapore for a couple of days before our cruise we are having the opportunity to taste many types of amazing Asian cuisine. Our first night, we were exhausted from the long flights, so we dined in our hotel at the Clifford Pier which is a huge 1933 pier over the water on Marina Bay which has been lovingly restored to great colonial grandeur with modern décor. The huge arched steel ceiling is awesome as are the massive chandeliers. The chairs are lushly upholstered in silver and there are banquettes curved with tons of pillows that give "casbah" feel. Sam settled into his corner of the banquette and quickly drifted off to sleep missing dinner completely!
We loved the fact that the sparkling water was our favorite, Badoit from France. A bottle of Yalumbia "The Y Series" 2013 Viognier was extremely rich and a wonderful match to our rich and spicy seafood dishes.
At first the service was slow; we had to turn around multiple times to get someone to bring a wine list and take our order, despite the fact that the room was swarming with servers with earpieces, looking very Asian CIA.
First came a starter of UNI GLASS NOODLE, a true modern take on Pernakan (the mélange of Malay/Singapore and other local cultures) noodle dish served cold with Sea Urchin, Salted Egg, Salmon Roe, a tiny black fish roe (smaller than most caviars) in a truffle sauce with shaved truffles. Decadent, yes, but awesome flavors that exploded in your mouth.
We shared two very traditional Pernakan main courses. I ordered the CHAR KWAY TEON, fried mixed noodles (there were several different sizes), prawns, squid, Chinese sausage, chives, egg in a sweet chilli soy sauce. There is also pork in the dish and it is traditionally fried in lard for extra flavor. This one was excitement in the mouth and my favorite dish of the night. Will loved his dish more which was LAKSA, a soup of prawn, rice, vermicelli, quail eggs, fried bean curd puffs, and bean sprouts in a spicy coconut broth.
A side of KANGKONG BELACHAN (not related to King Kong:-)), but a stir fried green veggie akin to a bok choy/string bean/spinach cross but called Morning Glory here in a spicy chilli sauce with dried shrimp Belachan. The belachan is the shrimp chilli paste used here for everything which I adore and the dried shrimp are like bacon bits in it.
Speaking of dried...there were fish toasts on the table when we sat with four sauces(no one ever told us what they were), and one sported dried softened peanuts and small dried anchovy like fish which was yummy as could be.
Will ordered the Feh Tariq Ice cream which was like a coffee/honey flavor and served with gooey yummy Honey Comb Crunch....even though Samuel had just woken up, his braces could never have gotten through this delicious treat.
We rolled back to our room to head to sleep, looking forward to another day of new food discoveries.