Singapore's best seafood bars

Singapore's best seafood bars

Singapore's best seafood bars come glass-wrapped with sweeping views of the Marina Bay or tucked in a charming shophouse in a residential enclave

Seafood bars have been the in thing in cosmopolitan hubs such as London, New York and Sydney. Now the trend is catching on in Singapore.

Offering shellfish and piscatorial treats -- oysters, caviar, lobsters -- and an array of wine, champagne and caviar, here are Singapore’s best seafood bars.

Oyster Bar

 Oyster Bar

“There are oyster bars in almost every world-class city, but none in Singapore,” laments Cindy Chng, one of the owners of The Oyster Bar, which opened in July 2010 at the glass-clad Customs House.

What to expect: Oysters, oysters and more oysters, freshly shucked, baked and served as shooters. The Oyster Bar carries three standard French oysters -- Gillardeau, Tsarskaya and Fine de Claire -- and a New Zealand oyster -- the Pacific -- at any one time.

Apart from these, you may occasionally find molluscs from Australia and Canada stocked. The menu also features a selection of salmon and oscietra caviar.

The drinks: The Oyster Bar serves three types of champagne by the glass, and for clients ordering fresh oysters, they almost always recommend the Ruinart Blanc de Blanc.

“The crisp and clean taste brings out the best in oysters by not confusing the palate too much with different tastes," says Chng.

“We definitely discourage pairing oysters with stronger tastes like red wine."

Nautilus

Nautilus

“There are so many seafood restaurants popular with Singaporeans, but there weren’t any Western options,” says Ingrid Prasatya, owner of Nautilus. Prasatya closed the gap in December 2009 when she found a light-filled space at ION Orchard to plant Nautilus seafood bar, a stable mate of the Society group of restaurants.

What to expect: The menu features an array of imported seafood: lobsters from Boston, langoustines from Norway, oysters from Australia and the United States, prawns from Australia and octopus from Japan.

But the most requested items are Southern blue fin tuna collar and Kome Mugi (whole wheat and barley) miso cod. Try the petite plateau (for two to three persons) for a highlight of Nautilus Project’s array of seafood: oysters on the shell, award-winning crystal bay prawns, marinated mussels, chilled mud crab and soft shell crabs.

The drinks: Your beverage of choice depends on the type of seafood and how it’s prepared. But as a general rule of thumb, Prasatya recommends chardonnay, riesling, sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio as great complements. 

 

Fauchon

Fauchon

Asia’s first Fauchon Paris Le Bar a Caviars debuted at Terminal One at Changi Airport in September 2010. Targeted specifically at gourmet travelers, the outlet is situated within the transit terminal grounds and only accessible to travelers-in-transit. In 2011, there will be other Fauchon outlets at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Terminal 3 Changi Airport.

What to expect: A seafood menu oozing with luxurious pearls of osetra, beluga, sevruga and French osetra caviar alongside boutargua (mullet roe), lobsters, Norwegian smoked salmon, oysters, king crabs, as well as a dining menu with breakfast and dessert items.

The drinks: “Pair wine with food that equals its intensity,” says Saji Bumi, owner of the Fauchon franchise in Singapore and Malaysia. “There’s a grand sauvignon fauchon that goes with smoked salmon and grand chablis fauchon that is perfect with shellfish and lobster. When in doubt, go with champagne as it pairs well with all food.”

Greenwood Bistro

Greenwood Bistro

Greenwood Bistro is owned by the folks behind Greenwood Fish Market (conveniently located next door) so the produce is as fresh as it gets.

What to expect: Only the freshest seafood prepared to your specification. Freshly shucked oysters served with a twist of lemon, creamy mary point oysters from British Columbia and the Barron Point oysters measuring four to five inches. Feast on luscious black mussels sautéed with wine and garlic as well as a pan-seared lemon sole served with lemon butter. 

The drinks: Upon entry, you will see that the bistro stocks a variety of old and new world wines as well as champagnes. According to Alan Lee, chef de cuisine, a nice bottle of chardonnay or sauvignon blanc, a nice lime mojito or even a beer will pair well with the seafood.

Evelyn Chen traded her frequent flyer miles from her jet-setting corporate days for a critic's pen, and has been eating and drinking on the job ever since. She is a former Time Out food critic and current editor of Zagat Guide; her food and travel features have published in Destin Asian, Travel + Leisure SEA and Conde Nast Traveller. For a collection of her gourmet jaunts, visit www.bibikgourmand.com.

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