The Clifford Pier
80 Collyer Quay
There’s no chope-ing tables and definitely no lining up for food at new, hawker-inspired restaurant The Clifford Pier, and no plastic chairs either. Think the exact opposite: monogrammed cloth placemats, cushioned lounge chairs, courteous staff, soft lighting and the quiet efficiency of a five-star hotel. A part of Singapore maritime history, the 1930s jetty was once as well known for its vibrant hawker culture as it was as a transport hub.
Harking back to this food heritage is a menu focused on hawker favourites. A standout is the fresh popiah ($12), paper-thin crepes encasing shredded turnip, prawns, egg and sprouts. The kong bak bao ($18), a slice of soy-braised Iberico pork belly on steamed white buns, is not to be missed. Classics are done to perfection, including carrot cake (wok-fried turnip cake in sweet and spicy soy sauce with prawns, $16), and an oh-so-fresh oyster omelette ($16). Traditional flavours are re-interpreted with a contemporary twist in the wagyu rendang hanger steak ($28) and the lobster roll ($29). Ice cream lovers won’t want to miss the pandan ($9) offering.
Drinks range from Tiger beer ($17) to unusual non-alcoholic creations like Virgin Red Lantern ($14), a refreshing cucumber, lime, watermelon and sugar cane juice, so named after the lanterns that guided ships to port. This is not a cheap hawker, but with quality ingredients and a talented chef serving food in glorious surroundings it is worth every cent.
Must-try dish: Heritage rolls, a mixed platter of six crisp, fresh rolls with dipping sauce