had a most enjoyable lunch at clifford, fullerton bay hotel, on 27.3.2014, in the company of good friends – hugo, a close dutch friend was visiting singapore, & PL, who had helped me a lot in my earlier ventures, and who insisted on buying lunch.
we were served bread – baguette & multi-grain roll. both were good, and especially so as they were served with duck rillettes in addition to the usual butter.
i had lunch at clifford maybe 1.5 years ago with my dining quartet which has now discontinued. food & ambience were truly excellent, especially as we had the uob 1 for 1 at S$68 (so S$34pax) 3-course lunch then.
the price is a lot more now, 2-course for S$48, and 3-course for S$58, coffee included. we took the 2-course. the appetizer choices included a salmon tartar, a mushroom veloute & i think a salad (cannot quite recall). the mains choices included a herb crusted lamb loin, a dory fillet, and a pasta (can’t recall what). there were a lot more appetizer & mains choices but they came with supplements.
PL ordered the lobster salad (top photo – looked just fabulous) – S$12 supplement, and the 220g beef entrecot (a ribeye or scotch fillet steak) – S$25 supplement. i ordered the salmon tartar & lamb loin & hugo ordered same salmon & the dory. the salmon tartar was a good-size helping.
the suave, efficient & polite restaurant manager prakash came by to ask about the food, so i gave him some feedback. i thought the salmon tartar was very fresh & sweet but the sour cream distracted & did not quite enhance the flavour (this part of course is subjective taste…). personally i like it with just sea salt & pepper & olive oil. those might already have been incorporated so perhaps just some additional fresh ground black peppers.
i thought the prices were really too high, though fortunately the regular appetiser & mains (i.e. w/o supplements) were quite excellent. compare this with les amis’ 4-course S$45pax set lunch, which included choice of patagonia toothfish (the excellent chilean seabass my favourite fish) or quail. to be fair, i have not tried the les amis set lunch yet (will do soon enough!), but you know it’s les amis!
likewise the excellent S$45pax set lunch we had at au jar din! & au jardin’s plating was also somewhat more artisan by comparison! or indeed the exquisite & simply fabulous S$48 3-course lunch at gordon grill at goodwood park, with 3 mini appetisers & 3 mini soups.
prakash was very receptive & accommodating. he offered us a complementary citrus lychee drink. PL declined so we had 2 glasses.
my herb crusted lamb loin was excellent, nicely medium rare & flavourful with hardly any gamey taste. my friends were asking what was the crust (breadcrumbs with spinach, basil etc) as c/w my own pistachio crusted rack of lamb. the dory looked great.
the beef entrecot looked perfectly charred. PL like it well done. somehow it did not quite look like 220g, not sure if it was dry aged for more intense flavours & so had some weight loss.
we had coffee & petit fours (which means small oven & not 4 items!). macarons were too sweet. nutty chocolates were ok. i did not try the cake but it should be good.
overall, the service was efficient & responsive, the ambience was just super, and the food quality quite excellent. i can’t say food was better than au jardin though (in fact i thought au jardin’s was better) & of course the price was not just marginally but significantly higher than les amis (S$48 2-course vs S$45 4-course set lunch) or au jar din or gordon grill. i will come here for its great ambience, service & food, but sparingly.