The grand foyer of The Clifford Pier with its unmistakable trusses still evokes a sense of grandeur.
“You know Dana, your Mummy’s Ah Gong used to ride a trishaw like this one long time ago.”
“Really Ah Ma? Tell me more, I want to hear your stories…”
“Sure, Ah Ma have lots of stories to tell you…”
Grandma and Granddaughter reminiscing the past on the trishaw…
This was the conversation I overheard Dana having with her maternal Grandma while both of them were sitting on one of the two old decommissioned trishaws parked at the façade of The Clifford Pier (facing Marina Bay). If only these walls could speak and these red lanterns could talk, what tales would they tell?
One thing for sure, my Mum was inspired to tell the tales of her growing up years back when The Clifford Pier was known as the Red Lantern Harbour (Chinese: 红灯码头). All these as we strolled back leisurely to our table and continued taking our time, savouring The Clifford’s Heritage Dim Sum Brunch. It’s hard to imagine that where we are sitting now, amidst the luxurious furnishings, this used to be the very hall where early immigrants and labourers thronged, from the far reaches of China, India to the nearby Indonesian Archipelago back in the 1930s. This was where much of early Singapore’s history was made.
The Clifford Pier with its retro-modern interior exudes class and sophistication.
This is the very hall that greeted visitors from every race, language and religion. Today, The Clifford Pier upholds that heritage.
It is therefore befitting that this is the very place where we can relive the best of Singapore’s early multicultural past, right under the very concrete trusses which used to welcome the eclectic mix of races. At The Clifford Pier’s Heritage Dim Sum Brunch, not only can we savour the best of Singapore’s unique multicultural cuisines, we are also inspired to share stories of our past.
The Heritage Dim Sum Brunch features a wide selection of cuisines which Singaporeans and tourists alike love. There are popular Chinese Dim Sum items, a tantalizing spread of Nonya Kuehs, cakes and desserts, fragrant Satays and rich curries as well as exquisite sushi and garden salad. We were truly spoilt for choice! Here are some highlights:
The Heritage Dim Sum Brunch is available every weekend from 1130am to 230pm.
Dim Sums are served fresh and piping hot from specially designed push-cart trolleys with attached steamers – just like the good old days. We sank our teeth into the Siew Mais and Har Kaus (Prawn Dumpling) and were pleasantly surprised by the big, fresh, succulent whole prawns within. The fried dim sums were perfectly crisp and flavourful. It’s a treat to enjoy good quality dim sums on a weekend!
Specially designed steamer trolleys serving piping hot Dim Sums right to your table…just like in the good ol’ days.
The photos don’t do the Dim Sums justice….you must try it yourself!
Staff serve their food with warmth and pride.
The Satays were grilled just right and not burnt; the meat succulent and tender. Accompanied by thick satay sauce laced with grated crunchy peanuts, one serving was definitely not enough! What is Singapore cuisine without Chilli Crab? The famed crustacean dish is represented here by the Chilli Crab gravy (with chunks of crab meat) and fried buns – you know, the very last bits of the gravy soaking the soft interior of the fried bun? Yes, that was absolutely sublime. We all had multiple servings of that, without getting our hands dirtied. The sushi selection was one of Dana’s favourite at the Brunch, having developed an international palate from our travels!
Satays done just nice – succulent, flavourful, meaty and the sauce…just brings it to another level! The Chili Crab gravy with the fried bun…we seriously couldn’t get enough of it!
For those craving for some Japanese… you won’t be disappointed.
Chicken Rice: No Singapore-based cuisine can go without this local favourite. Thick chunks of steamed chicken is served with the fragrant rice. Rojak: Indulge in some local salad with this all-time favourite where fresh selection of veggies and condiments can be self-tossed with their home-made rojak paste. Mix one that suits your taste! We especially enjoy the crunchy beans and peanuts.
Local sweets and desserts: These deserve special mention. There is a generous selection of local delicacies. From Kueh Dada to Kueh Tutu, Pulut Hitam, Ondeh Ondeh to Ang Ku Kueh, ‘Rainbow’ Kueh Lapis to Pineapple Buns. They are certainly most delightful to savour and seriously hard to resist! In fact, the kuehs are in ‘eraser’ size (in Dana’s words) so that it is not too ‘jelak’ (overbearing) to eat a few more. Dana spotted local flavoured ice-cream in Pandan and ‘Teh Tarik’ (Milk Tea) flavours and helped herself to a serving each. It was truly a sweet end to the delectable brunch.
Lots of delicious hand-made local sweets and desserts to choose from…we were spoilt for choice!
We can’t talk about our heritage without reference to our food! Here at The Clifford Pier, they’ve done Singapore’s heritage proud.
Yam Cakes and Ang Ku Kuehs…seriously good.
Behind all these wonderful cuisines is a team of dedicated staff preparing and serving the food. Two young men carefully prepared the Poh Piahs (Springrolls) and the Kueh Pie Tis while another proudly serves me the Laksa which he cooked freshly, complete with fresh succulent prawn in creamy Laksa gravy. Superb!
The highlight of our visit is not only the food but also the pride and professionalism of their staff.
You shouldn’t leave without trying this – Laksa served in thick cream gravy and right at the bottom…a nice big tiger prawn.
The Clifford Pier’s Heritage Dim Sum Brunch relives the glory of the ‘good old days’ in more ways than one. With iconic heritage food served against the chic, modern-retro furnishings (accompanied by live 3-piece band no less), this is a gem of a place is perfect for enjoying a leisurely weekend brunch with your families and loved ones. Tarry a little, let the conversations flow and reminisce the yester-years as you dine on the best of Singapore’s heritage cuisines.
The live jazz trio delivered light smooth jazzy tunes, including Chinese ones which made my Mum hum along. Nice.
The facade that welcomed our early settlers many decades back pay homage today to that heritage with a delectable brunch buffet.
Heritage Dim Sum Brunch at The Clifford Pier, The Fullerton Bay Hotel
Saturdays and Sundays, 11.30am to 2.30pm
Starting from 16 May 2015
The brunch is available from S$48* per adult and S$24* per child.
For reservations, please call (65) 6597 5266 or make an instant reservation now.
Disclaimer: We were invited to the brunch for the purposes of this review. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and photos are, as usual, ours.
Ai Sakura says
So sumptous!! I was just reading up on it last night and am hoping to go after I finish my current fitness program 😛
Ai @ Sakura Haruka
David S says
Hi Ai…good idea to ‘reward’ yourself with this wide array of local delights and do bring the rest of the family for some rich conversations over excellent food.
I’ve dined there before but I’ve not had brunch there before. They always deliver on quality and service 🙂
David S says
Yes Susan…and we were impressed.
Lyn Lee says
This post did remind me of a slightly controversial article I read recently… can’t seem to paste the link here but it’s from “themalaymailonline.com” titled “Is Singapore being taken away from Singaporeans?” Whilst there’s an element of truth in it, I think it’s a bit too sweeping…
David S says
Yes I’ve read the article and in fact, I’ve told my wife that it’s a pity some of these heritage places are privatised. I can’t comment on policy matters that seek to balance these out but we are happy that Clifford Pier is not totally closed off. The area around the pier is still accessible and done up quite nicely and this brunch is actually quite value for money in terms of its quality and range.
Excuse me while I lick my phone screen!!
You’re funny. Go and have a good meal there…proper.