The Clifford Pier Heritage Menu by Shermay Lee
The Jubilee Weekend in Singapore may be over but and it doesn't take an occassion to celebrate Singapore and IMO there's no better way than eating up a storm! I would recommend that you guys head on over to The Clifford Pier for a taste of Shermay Lee's ‘Singapore’s Culinary Grande Dames Menu’, which features a curated selection of dishes from three grande dames of Singaporean and Peranakan cooking – Mrs. Lee Chin Koon, Mrs. Leong Yee Soo and Mrs. Ellice Handy.
One can expect a mixture of Peranakan, Cantonese, and Indian-influenced dishes on the Clifford Pier SG50 Menu. These dishes are kind of lost in today's 'eat-out culture' in Singapore and I'm glad that there are people like Shermay who are passionate about keeping our rich food history alive.
Babi Chin, Nyonya Achar, and Peranakan Popiah are among the items available for the SG50 menu. These comfort food are sure to stir up fond memories of the good ol days.
Mrs Lee's Popiah ($26/set for 2) is presented DIY style. Chewy egg skin and salty rice crepes are used to encase the slow-cooked turnip (cooked with pork and fermented brown bean paste), julienned cucumber, lap cheong (wind dried sausages), bits of hard-boiled egg, coriander leaves, crab meat and prawns with tim cheong (sweet sauce) and Shermay’s signature tangy Cilicuka. Boy that chili sauce packs a punch.
A Eurasian leftover breakfast is Mrs. Handy’s Fish Kedgeree with Three Condiments (House-Made Tomato Chutney, Cilicuka & Nonya Achar). This fried rice dish with flesh of fried ikan kurau or thread fin is comfort food and i loved the fruity Nyonya Archar with this one!
Mrs. Handy’s Itek Sio or braised duck ($26) showcased the earthy meat with a lightly spiced pineapple chutney (almost a savory pineapple tart filling). This classic Nyonya dish is usually served during special celebrations and the duck thigh is braised for two hours in a thick caramel-like sauce seasoned with cinnamon and brandy.
Mrs Leong's Cantonese Beef Cheek Stew (left) ($26) is a gelatinous and saucy dish. All we need is a bucket of rice to go with the aromatic sauce spiced with cinnamon, star anise and peppercorn. This tastes like home and i loved how the daikon soaks up all that goodness. Mrs Lee's Babi Chin (right) ($23) is a tougher pork shoulder braised in dark soya sauce with thick wedges of bamboo shoots. This dish is more woody due to the shoots and there was also a light bitterness to it. Definitely more of an acquired taste.
Mrs Leong's Chicken Almond Cashew Curry ($23) was certainly my favorite dish of the night. The tender chicken is first marinated in turmeric and coconut milk and then simmered in a blended paste of cashew nuts and almonds for that extra creaminess. I couldn't stop dipping the pepper papadam into the gravy. Of course, nasi kuning is always a good idea with this curry.
In comparison, Mrs Leong's Fish Curry ($23) paled in comparison (not that it's not good but it's mild when sampled together with the Chicken curry. This lightly spiced red curry is a little diluted for my liking (it's a bit like the fish curry from your regular roti prata stall).
Singapore Heritage Desserts ($13) failed to end dinner on a high. Of the platter of Marie biscuit cake, coconut fruit and nut bar, Kaya roll and Rose Bandung macaron, my favorite was the smooth and dense Kaya Roll. The Bandung macaron had the right flavors but it was waaaay sticky. The other 2 are your regular mama shop sweets.
It doesn't matter if you're local or tourist. If you're around this month, pop by The Clifford Pier. Shermay Lee’s SG50 Menu is available from 1 to 31 August 2015 for lunch and dinner. Remember, Popiah, beef cheek, chicken curry. The Fullerton Bay Hotel will be retailing cookbooks written by the three ladies for your recreation at home! You may also want to check out Shermay's heritage menu at Culina at Dempsey which is available till 16 Aug 2015.
The Clifford Pier
80 Collyer Quay Singapore 049326, The Fullerton Bay Hotel.
Lunch: 12.00pm to 2.30pm (Mondays to Fridays)
Daily: 12 - 2.30pm, 6.30 - 10pm