I was recently invited to a dinner tasting at The Pelican, a fairly new establishment that took over the space previously occupied by Pierside at One Fullerton. We chilled in our comfortable leather booth seats over a refreshing glass of Mojito while Carlyn from Sixth Sense took us through the concept and background of the restaurant.The Pelican’s Outdoor Veranda
Opened by the same people behind Kinki, Fat Cow, Marmalade Pantry and Bedrock Bar & Grill, The Pelican Seafood Bar & Grill is their latest dining concept focusing on fresh seafood and wood-grilled dishes. The restaurant is named after a bird commonly spotted in coastal regions, a symbol of homecoming for seafarers of yore. The Pelican’s decor is reflective of a luxury mariner’s lifestyle with interesting touches such as tear-drop vintage globes suspended on thin wires to resemble the Anglerfish (remember the fish that used a light to attract Nemo before trying to eat him?).
Organic Sourdough & Seaweed Bread
We had some warm Organic Sourdough & Seaweed Bread while waiting for the food to be served. Baked daily by a local baker, the flavour reminded me of Wakame (an edible seaweed) which went quite well with the slightly sourish flavour of the sourdough. Crusty on the outside and moist on the inside, I wonder if they will serve regular Sourdough bread as I really liked the one I bought from Boudin when I was in San Francisco the year before.The Pelican Platter @ S$99 (serves 2 – 3 pax) Raw oysters, clams, Dungeness crab, poached prawns, steamed whole Maine lobster, marinated conch salad & swordfish ceviche. Served with lemon, cocktail sauce & mignonette dressing.
Dinner kicked off with a platter of fresh, sustainably-sourced gems from the sea. Though the platter is meant to serve 2 to 3 diners, it was large enough for the 4 of us that evening. The source of the oysters changes periodically to avoiding mating seasons, so the ones we had were Fanny Bay Oysters from Canada. The plump and sweet oyster was excellent on its own, with its natural juice adding a salty touch of the sea. We were told that the menu was inspired by classic East Coast American cuisine, food that is close to Boston native Group Executive Chef Dan Segall’s heart. Not surprisingly, the platter features seafood such as Maine Lobster, Dungeness Crab and swordfish.
The Swordfish Ceviche was served in a beautiful duck egg blue ramekin. I love swordfish for its firm and crunchy texture so I enjoyed the tart yet sweet and slightly spicy chunks of line-caught swordfish in the ceviche. Behind the Swordfish Ceviche was a jar of poached prawns. Sweet and firm to the bite these prawns needed no additional flavour beyond their own natural juices. Nestled in a shell, the Marinated Conch Salad had a texture similar to abalone and a clam-like flavour. Though the platter came with condiments such as Lemon, Cocktail Sauce and tangy Mignonette Sauce, I preferred to savour the natural sweetness of the quality produce that sat on the platter, prepared using simple techniques designed to retain as much of their original flavour as possible. I love how crabs found in colder regions do not have the “muddy” taste that is characteristic of Sri Lankan crabs. I guess this is why they are often cooked in pepper or chili sauce in local restaurants as the strong flavours mask the muddy taste. Do enjoy the clean flavours of the Dungeness Crab and Lobsters on their own first before adding the condiments. This is a Must-Try and a great starter for sharing with friends.Lobster tomalley stuffed into the shell
Chef Segall puts almost every edible ingredient to good use and has taken the pains to extract the lobster tomalley (the soft, green substance found in the head of the lobster that act as the liver and pancreas) and enlivened the flavour with tangy lemon juice and aromatics such as onion. Not a huge fan of internal organs of any sort, I tried some out of curiosity but left room for the remaining dishes.The Pelican Chowder @ S$16 with seafood, brown butter & bacon (image shows a tasting portion)
Soup ranks highly in my list of comfort food. The Pelican Chowder was one of my favourite dishes of the evening because it was light yet flavoursome. Prepared Manhattan-style, this version features a clear seafood broth fortified with the rich flavour and colour of tomatoes. The soup is given additional depth with the umami-rich flavour of bacon and nutty, aromatic quality of browned butter. A nice change from the heavy and creamy New England-style chowder. This is definitely a Must-Try!Black Peppered Candied Bacon with brown sugar & lime @ S$18
Are you a fan of bacon? Even though I’m generally not a huge fan of pork, I cannot resist bacon, sausages or ham. Caramelized with earthy brown sugar and topped with some dried chili flakes, add a spritz of lime juice to enjoy the melody of sweet, citrusy and savoury flavours. When we ate this, Derrick and I joked that since it tasted like Bak Kwa (Chinese-style pork jerky) it should be sold as a takeaway item as well. We enjoyed this dish immensely along with the crisp shoestring fries. This is a Must-Try!Cod’s Tongue Casserole @ S$26 with roast garlic & pork scratchings
Unlike any casseroles I’ve had, this was essentially deep-fried battered Cod’s Tongue with roasted garlic and pork scratchings. Deemed a delicacy, the muscle beneath the cod fish’s mouth is prized for its supple texture. Perhaps the kitchen seasoned it a little too lightly that evening but I thought that the Cod’s Tongue was a little bland although the nutty, roasted garlic and crisp bits of pork scratchings somewhat made up for it.NZ Skate Wing Chop @ S$32 with burnt lemon butter & fries with old bay seasoning
The first time I had Skate Wing was ages ago in a small restaurant called Le Provençal in Aups, France which served it pan-fried and topped with capers. Since then, I’ve had less tasty versions at many places though I must qualify that I rarely order skate since many places tend to churn out rubbery ones. I was starting to feel full so I tried a small piece of the farmed skate. The skin was crisp, the flesh moist and tender with the burnt lemon butter sauce adding a lovely nutty and citrusy accent to the flavour. This is definitely worth a try!Side: Wood-grilled Corn @ S$12 with sheep’s milk cheese & chili
We tried a side of Wood-grilled corn mixed with Pecorino Cheese and Chili. I’m not a huge fan of corn but the corn kernels had a smoky flavour from the grill which combined with the cheese and chili, made it more palatable for me.
Baked Snapper Pie @ S$36 Snapper, asparagus & mushroom covered with puff pastry
I’ve come to realise that the portion sizes here are hearty! Beneath the golden brown, buttery and flaky puff pastry lay tender chunks of snapper, asparagus and mushrooms simmered in a cream sauce. Very tasty and substantial, this is yet another dish that should be shared. This is apparently a very popular dish here as almost every table seemed to order one. I reckon simple, comfort food is a great way to unwind after a stressful day at work in the financial district. A Must-Try!Pina Colada Sherbet @ S$14 with pineapple jam & toasted coconut
After such a heavy meal, I wondered how I was going to sample any of the desserts that were served. I started with the lightest of the 3. The tangy and mildly alcoholic pina colada sherbet was refreshing but I didn’t like the cloyingly sweet pineapple jam that accompanied it.Lemon Meringue “Mess” @ S$14 with homebaked graham crackers & freeze-dried raspberries
Moving onto the next dessert, I tried the light Lemon Meringue “Mess” served in a Kilner Jar (I love these jars and have a small collection of them at home for my dry ingredients). A modern interpretation of a traditional English dessert, the Eton Mess, this version uses freeze-dried raspberries instead of fresh strawberries. I thought it was interesting because the way freeze-dried raspberries moisten and release their flavours in the mouth is very similar to how meringue seems to melt on the tongue. Though a little on the sweet side, this is worth a try.Double Chocolate Whoopie Pie @ S$16
I’m a big fan of dark chocolate so I completely forgot how full I was feeling when I took a bite of this dessert. Decadence on a platter, the delectably moist chocolate sandwich was filled with rich chocolate mousse, coated with a glossy chocolate ganache that was in turn topped with dark chocolate shavings and dusted with edible gold. My favourite dessert for the evening, the Double Chocolate Whoopie Pie is not too sweet making it a Must-Try! If you like it a little sweeter, add some of the pink icing sugar on the plate to the dessert.
The Pelican’s Bar
In addition to hearty meals, The Pelican proudly showcases 20 unique house cocktails, prepped with fresh herbs and fruits, that were created by Richard Gilliam, Group Beverage Manager, to complement the menu. The bar whips up large crystal bowls of Pelican Punches for sharing as well as 10 different types of Mojitos. If cocktails are not your thing, there’s a selection of wine and beer available to keep you happy.
Love your tipple? The Pelican bar is currently running a “Jolly Roger! Happy Hour” promotion offering 1-for-1 deals on house wines, spirits and Hoegaarden draft beer between 5 to 8 pm on weekdays.The Pelican Seafood Bar & Grill #01-01 One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road, Singapore 049213. Telephone: +65 6438-0400 Email: email@example.com Website: www.thepelican.com.sg Online Reservations: http://thepelican.com.sg/reservations/
PS: Thank you, The Pelican and Carlyn Law from Sixth Sense Communications & PR Consultancy for the hospitality.