Monday, August 07, 2006

Fishermen's Wharf, New Bridge Road

Snow Fish n Chips

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.

North Atlantic Cod Loin Fish n ChipsIt 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.


Anonymous said...

If you are hungry, you need not order two portions of fish and chips.

Simply order the cheapest Dory + chips and add another piece of dory with your meal.

Yes. You can just add pieces of fish. Just deduct $2 (price of the chips) off the price of the set .

Anonymous said...

is this nicer than the fish n chips frm big fish seafood and grill?

Anonymous said...

i think the cream dory is not john dorry, it should be teh Sutchi fish or so called pacific dory from vietnam.

Anonymous said...

erm..snowfish is actually a codfish..

Tym said...

I've only had the Saithe Loin set lunch thingie, and it's really not that impressive. Someone told me that their more expensive fish options were better, but sounds like it's a mixed bag from your experience.

bma said...

Good question about Fishermen's Wharf vs Big Fish. My memory of Big Fish was quite good with its batter and all. And while this recent visit to Fishermen's Wharf wasn't perfect, my memory of the cheap Cream Dory from a year ago was quite rosy too. Assuming that the Cream Dory hasn't changed too much, then I'd probably have to give the upper hand to Fishermen's Wharf (they also get bonus points for not screwing around with needless frills like a salad and keeping things real with a huge salt shaker and bottles of vinegar on every table).

But it has been so long since I've had it that I can't confidently say for sure. I'll probably need to do a "Pepsi Challenge" by revisiting both of them as close to head-to-head as possible. Well, I don't know when I'll get the time to do so, but for now, both of them were good, so it will be sure to be a close race.