Monday, August 07, 2006
Fishermen's Wharf, New Bridge Road
A recent comment about Fishermen's Wharf (27 New Bridge Road, 6532-6468) must have planted a thought in my head to come here again. I also made such a big fuss of this place last time that I wonder if I had just gotten carried away with myself with all that exuberance; was it really as good as I had made it out to be back then? (It was over a year ago that I was last here.) I came here tonight to find out.
As with before, this place offered a wide selection of fish at varying prices, starting with the S$6.50 (US$3.80) Cream Dory Filet (I presume that they simply meant John Dory?) and going up to the most expensive S$15.60 (US$9.20) North Atlantic Cod Loin (as opposed to the North Atlantic Cod Filet, which went for a cheaper S$12.50 or US$7.35). Seeing that I seemed to feel so strongly about the John Dory last time, I wanted to see what this place could really be capable of if I went to the other end of the spectrum and picked the most expensive item instead: the North Atlantic Cod Loin.
It came out in three thick strips (I suppose that's why it's the "loin"?) rather than one big flat contiguous piece. It was piping hot and tasted fine, but not to the point where it was worth the nearly three times the price of the cheapest John Dory (plus the chips were a bit cold). Still, it was relieving to have some down-to-earth fish & chips without any lame frills like a salad on the side. This was just a straightforward bunch of fish & chips, complete with vinegar, a rich tartar sauce, a fat lemon wedge, and a big bottle of salt.
Actually, the portions were a bit small, and I was still hungry, so I figured that I'd try another one. This time, I asked for a recommendation, and the cashier suggested the Snow Fish for S$14.00 (US$8.25). What's a Snow Fish? (especially in warm Singapore, of all places) The menu said that it was some rare local specialty with snow-white flesh. Well, I decided to take her word for it and try it. As it turned out, I didn't care too much for this one, not only since the meat was strangely stringy, but more importantly because the fish didn't taste very fresh. It only dawned on me afterwards that today was Monday (I hit myself on the face as Mr. Bourdain's voice repeated itself through my head). Indeed, the cashier offered her recommendation so quickly that it seemed like she had practiced it in advance. Well, at least the chips were hotter this time.
So these two experiences weren't as great as last time, but it made sense; I should have simply gotten the high-volume moving (and cheapest) S$6.50 John Dory instead. I'll still come back without any doubt though. They had some fish that they apparently meuniere, which sounded interesting. They also offered some lunch special at S$9.50 (US$5.60) that comes with Saithe Loin (I think that's pollack), cole slaw and a soda. In the worst case, I know that I can fall back on the John Dory. In the end, I didn't quite get to verify if my effusive comments from last time for the John Dory were really valid, but I know that I'll get plenty of chances again in the future.
Digested at 7:39 PM
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