A key highlight of the Singapore River Festival, the SR Signatures 2017 celebrates the best cuisine along the three quays – Clarke Quay, Boat Quay and Robertson Quay. This year’s SR Signatures features a list of bestselling dishes from various restaurants lining the Singapore River, chosen by a panel of judges, and I got to go on a food trail to try these dishes.
I started off on the trail with popular ramen chain Ramen Keisuke Lobster King. I tried the much-coveted Lobster Broth Ramen Special (Rich Soup) and it is truly a rich and indulgent bowl of ramen. Chef Keisuke has roots in French cooking hence in this branch, he draws inspiration from the French lobster bisque and fuses it with the traditional Japanese ramen to produce this ingenious creation. The broth is simmered for up to 11 hours, resulting in its characteristic rich and abundant roe flavour.
Each bowl comes served with charshu, chicken fillet, prawn wanton, ajitama flavoured egg, bamboo shoots and seaweed. If not for the fact that we had four other restaurants to go to, I would have finished one whole bowl by myself!
The second stop was at Violet Oon’s Satay Bar and Grill. Known for her local food and roots in the Peranakan culture, Violet Oon sure didn’t disappoint in this outpost specialising in satay and grilled meat. The Pork Satay that I tried was very nicely marinated and grilled to perfection over charcoal. It had a good balance of fat and meat as well. Dip it in the satay peanut sauce for extra satisfaction!
Continuing on the trail, I went to Tong Kang River Boat Dining where I got to dine on a tong kang (something like a boat) on the Singapore River! Their signature dish was the Wagyu and Seafood Platter, and they are cooked on a hot stone.
It is quite exciting to cook your own food, hear the sizzling sounds and watch the M8 Wagyu Ribeye change colour within just a few seconds of contact with the hot stone. I particularly enjoyed the salmon and juicy scallops! The prawns had a fresh, springy bite too.
Bar Bar Black Sheep was the fourth stop of the night. This restaurant has a wide menu – ranging from Western cuisine to Indian cuisine to Japanese even! The winning dish here is the Tandoori Platter, comprising large succulent prawns, fresh fish, tender chicken and lamb kebabs.
All these are cooked in Tandoor with a blend of aromatic spices, and served with raita and greens. The meat was seasoned well and very flavourful. Props to the variety of food on this plate too! Choose from an array of beer and alcoholic beverages to pair your meats with.
Last but not least, the fifth and final restaurant of the trail is Beast and Butterflies. It is renowned for its Lobster Porridge – Chinese Teochew style porridge with half a lobster and abalone slices topped with shreds of dried scallop and bonito flakes. This is a comforting bowl of porridge and the flavours blended well together.
The mud crab broth elevated the sweetness of the fresh and juicy lobster, and the toppings of dried scallop and bonito flakes added a clever touch to the presentation and taste of the dish.
These are some of the 20 restaurants selected in total for the SR Signatures 2017. This accolade aims to bring greater exposure to the F&B establishments that dish out good food and a unique dining experience to the river’s visitors.
So now you know where to head to for your next chill-out dinner! For more information on Singapore River Festival and SR Signatures, visit www.srf.sg.