Because my family had two rooms at Singapore’s famous Fullerton Hotel from 29 December till 1 January, we decided to have our New Year’s Eve dinner around the Marina Bay area for convenience. Initially, we wanted to reserve a table at one of the restaurants within the hotel itself, but it was booked full. So was almost every other restaurant. We resorted to Palm Beach Seafood, located at One Fullerton, a two-story waterfront development across the street from the hotel that houses a row of bars, cafés and restaurants.
Palm Beach Seafood was founded back in 1956 and has a long history of serving their popular Singaporean favourite: the chilli crab. Relocating several times to increasingly spacious and luxurious venues, the restaurant finally made its home at One Fullerton. Blessed with stunning, picturesque views of Marina Bay that can be enjoyed through al fresco dining, it also offers air-conditioned indoor dining for patrons on a rainy day.
Fitted with gorgeous lighting, the expansive restaurant has ample room to accommodate all of its large, round tables. The six of us, including James, sat towards the front of the room and were immediately served two starter dishes: Nyonya achar (spicy pickled vegetables) and deep fried fish skin with sweet chilli sauce. They seemed complimentary but beware, we were charged a small fee for each dish.
We had a free flow of Chinese tea that went along with our chosen 7-course SGD$428++ meal. The set was tailored for 6 diners and boasted a stunning array of dishes mostly consisting of some type of seafood.
First Course: Seafood Combination
(Grilled Alaska Crab, Shark Fin Roll, Chilled Scotland Bamboo Clams & Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab)
I think the first course offers a lot in terms of variety. The serving plate is a visual feast that consists of a bunch of different tastes and textures. Crunchy, soft, chewy, spongy. Definitely a good way to initiate the seafood banquet.
Second Course: Stir Fried Kai Lan, Crunchy Fried Seaweed & Roasted Garlic
A quaint dish made up of a serving of bright green kai lan (Chinese broccoli), a generous portion of crispy fried seaweed (sprinkled with some deep fried anchovies), and a side of roasted garlic cloves. I found this to be quite a fantastic dish. The seaweed had an indescribable crunch that bordered on addictive. My chopsticks frequently found their way back to the serving plate to pinch more.
Third Course: King Prawns with Shark’s Fin in Superior Stock
Tangy and somewhat sweet, the soup was one of the highlights of the meal. Served in satisfyingly large bowls with a huge king prawn artistically resting in the warm liquid, the soup exuded both culinary finesse and delightful flavour. Not too fishy in taste, but not at all bland!
Fourth Course: Deep Fried Sea Bass with Honey Tangy Sauce
This was perhaps the one dish that didn’t impress me. The fish was bony and quite a feat to eat. A lot of it was just hard crunch and no meat. In fact, it was so crunchy that it seemed overcooked. The inside was dry and not at all tender. If you’re a fan of crispy deep fried bits, the dish would probably satisfy you. But I’m more a fan of soft, tender fish flesh.
Fifth Course: Homemade Fragrant Tofu with Chinese Cabbage & Gingko Nuts
Another favourite of mine. Deliciously silky melt-in-your-mouth tofu, lightly fried so the exterior is a soft golden brown, served with Chinese cabbage and sparingly adorned with some subtly bittersweet gingko nuts… there is nothing wrong with this dish.
Sixth Course: Sri Lankan Chilli Crab & Deep Fried Chinese Steamed Buns (Mantou)
The chilli sauce wasn’t as spicy as I was anticipating. It was actually quite sweet. They gave us a basket of deep fried buns (oh god, deep fried mantou are my absolute favourite!) to dip into the thick, tangy sauce. I think I enjoyed the buns way more than I enjoyed the crab. Then again, I never liked getting my fingers dirty. I always end up making a mess when trying to crack open a crab to get to the meat. Also, I prefer black pepper crab over chilli crab any day. But despite my partiality, I did find the dish to be very good to my taste buds.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the Seventh Course, which was the Sweet Yam Dessert with Gingko Nuts. It was warm, starchy and gorgeously sweet. Perhaps something a bit too heavy to cap off such a filling dinner, but still undoubtedly delicious.
On a side note, a number of softly-lit aerated tanks housing live seafood were located at the back of the restaurant, giving nearby diners some free entertainment. I found it quite amusing that they placed families with kids next to these tanks. They know what kids love.
All in all, lovely ambiance and quality seafood. Can’t go wrong with that. If you’re looking to have a nice family dinner around the Raffles Place and Boat Quay area, visit the enticing Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant for a great seafood fix!
PALM BEACH SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
1 Fullerton Road #01-09
One Fullerton Singapore 049213
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 2:30pm (lunch) & 5:30pm – 11:00pm (dinner)