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18 Sep 2019

Reviews: The Clifford Pier High Tea at Fullerton Bay

Reviews: The Clifford Pier High Tea at Fullerton Bay

The Clifford Pier was somewhere I always wanted to bring my father out to celebrate special occasions. For his birthday last year, I tried making reservations a day earlier but was told that they were fully booked! Fortunately, my bad habit of last minute reservations this year did not stop me from taking him out for a sweet treat and by a stroke of luck, I successfully made a reservation on Chope the night before.

Interior of The Clifford Pier

Large glass chandeliers add to the glitz and glamour of the Victorian styled interior. 

High tea at the Clifford Pier is an exquisite treat for the young and old alike. The prime location with bayside views of Marina Bay coupled with its old Victorian themed decor, comprising soft and spacious sofas you sink into, is perfect for relaxing and indulging in a special afternoon out.

I thought that the most interesting thing about the Afternoon Tea selection was the use of uniquely Singaporean flavours in most of the items in the set. I really enjoyed the harmonious array of food and I thought they were very well thought out. It was a nice salute to Singaporean culture and diversity and the savoury to sweet options painted a cohesive picture of Singapore’s racial and religious diversity.

For the afternoon tea set, you are allowed to choose between the ala carté menu or the buffet menu, but I would suggest going for ala carté menu as these items are enough to try just once. If you go ahead with the buffet menu, you can have a tea or drink of your choice.

There are 2 main categories on the menu - the Savouries and the Sweets selection. You will also be served a free flow of complimentary drinks comprising tea or other drinks, whichever you fancy.

 Anti:Dote at Fairmont’s sweets high tea selection.

While most high teas out there would probably have more sweets than savouries, I found the Heritage Afternoon Tea Buffet special because their focus appears to be on savouries and at the same time, the theme features Singaporean tastes rather than the usual dessert creations.

Often, when it comes to afternoon tea, we have different preferences. I would highly recommend Clifford Pier to those who are more interested in savoury treats and finishing off those savouries on a great note with something small and sweet. However, if you are still interested in trying the Afternoon Tea selection, the buffet offers you the choice to top up with whatever item your heart so desires.

I started off the afternoon tea with an assortment of savoury bites, each with their own charm and creative twist.


The selection of savoury items such as the Nonya Chicken and Prata wrap fastened with the skewers on the right. 


1. Kueh Pie Tee

This Kueh Pie Tee is no ordinary Kueh Pie Tee you would normally find elsewhere. The sprinkling of the crab meat elevated the Kueh Pie Tee to a greater height, giving it a refreshing twist. A quick tip would be to pop this into your mouth first before the outer layer gets soggy! 

2. Nonya Chicken Curry and Prata Wrap

This is by far my favourite out of all the savoury dishes. Made up of nonya-Style Chicken curry wrapped in soft, lacy prata and served in a bite sized portion, the harmonious mix of Peranakan and Indian flavours are successfully brought out all in one mouthful. This is a unique and innovative combination of flavours and textures which I really enjoyed. 

3. Chilli Crab Crispy Bun

I ordered at least three rounds of this because it was simply delicious - the crab was cooked to sweet perfection and the chilli had just enough kick without overpowering all the other flavours. On top of this, they stuff the chilli crab in the mantou, which means no messy hands or fingers! However, I felt that there was too much fried mantou. I would have appreciated a larger proportion of chilli crab to mantou ratio to make this savoury dish even more satisfying.

  Lobster and Seafood Egg Tart, Kueh Pie Tee and Chilli Crab Crispy Bun.

Lobster and Seafood Egg Tart, Kueh Pie Tee and Chilli Crab Crispy Bun.


4. Lobster and Seafood Egg Tart

This was my first time having lobster bisque mixed with seafood mayo served atop an ‘egg tart’. This dish is unique and being a seafood lover, I had at least 2 lobster bisque egg tarts, though I was secretly hoping that the second one would outdo the first. 

Perhaps I could not really appreciate this dish due to the previous stronger flavours of the other dishes, therefore it’s flavour profile was significantly dulled. The taste is very light and I would highly recommend going for this before tasting the others with stronger flavours like curry or chilli crab. At the same time, I suppose the lightness of the flavour is to bring out the subtle sweetness of the fresh lobster flesh but after having tasted the other strong flavours before this made it a little underwhelming for me. Nonetheless, it is an interesting innovation that you definitely shouldn’t miss out on!

5. Cruffin with Masala Potato and Curry Leaves

Featuring a fusion of Indian cuisine with Western elements, I thought the pastry was done really well and was nice and flaky. The puff was the Western element whereas the Turmeric Sautéed Potato Flavoured with Curry Leaves and Mustard was like a cherry to an already well made cake. While the flavour profile sounds strong and intense, on the contrary, this was something that was light enough for me to appreciate. 

6. Baked Spicy Mackerel Fish Otah

The sweetness of the homemade buns complemented the saltiness of the otah wonderfully and it also made the spice from the otah slightly more bearable. For spicy food enthusiasts, I believe this packs enough of a punch to satisfy (and awaken) your taste buds! 

7. Kurobuta Pork Kong Bak Bao with Mantou

The "Kong Bak Bao" consists originally of herbal braised pork belly stuffed in a pillowy "Bao", also known as sweet chinese soft bun. Here at The Clifford Pier, you get the chance to savour a garlic flavoured braised pork belly simmered in traditional dark soy sauce with just the right amount of fat to bring out the flavour of the dish. At the same time, you also get to enjoy the experience of gelatinous pork melting in your mouth with each bite. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of strong herbal flavours in traditional Kong Bak Bao so this dish hit just the right spot for me. 

Sweets Selection at the Clifford Pier

What’s an afternoon high tea without some sweet treats?


1. Scones

The zesty flavour of the passion fruit and mango jam served with the plain scones gave some balance to the otherwise wide array of sweet selections offered. We were also served some tropical fruit scones with homemade kaya. This scone on its own was perfect. I didn't really have to add kaya or the other jams. The scones were well baked, complete with a crumbly texture that melts in your mouth! This was one of my personal favourites. 

2. Pandan Swiss Roll

A light, soft and fluffy pandan sponge cake with a thin spread of Kaya was a nice treat after all the savoury items I tried. The pandan custard was a perfect compliment to the moist, aromatic pandan cake. Pandan on pandan? A great idea. 

3. Bandung Panna Cotta with Basil Seed

It's almost like slurping your favourite bandung at a hawker center and you can taste the milky rose syrup. I thought I would taste something similar to the flavour of the basil leaves because of the use of basil seeds, however, there was nothing of that sort! So to all those who cannot stand the taste or smell of basil leaves, fret not because the basil seeds were not in the spotlight. 

In fact, the basil seeds created a different texture in the Panna Cotta, similar to the texture of chia seeds in a chia seed pudding. With a nice contrast to the smooth consistency of the panna cotta by giving it an added crunch, this is definitely a unique dish that’ll introduce you to a whole new world of flavours and textures!

4. Mini Heritage Old School Cake Traffic Light

This was a vanilla sponge with butter cream and traffic light coloured jelly, the miniature version of those you buy at bakeries to celebrate special occasions back in early 2000s. It was a good attempt at making those traditional cakes look more aesthetically pleasing but I honestly still prefer the ones from traditional bakeries - maybe it’s because I'm more accustomed to how they taste. 

Tastewise, the sponge cake was soft and moist. While it wasn’t fantastic, it held sentimental value for me as I was reminded of the times my friends bought this cake to celebrate birthdays back in the days before Paris Baguette or Rive Gauche became a thing, and the sweet taste of nostalgia still lingers. 

5. Ondeh Ondeh

In my opinion, this is one of the Peranakan desserts that is the hardest to perfect, and The Clifford Pier makes a decent attempt. What one should expect of a great ondeh ondeh would be to have the gula melaka (also known as palm sugar) filling explode in your mouth the moment you bite into it. I personally thought that the skin of the ondeh ondeh was slightly too thick and uneven and the satisfaction of having melted gula melaka exploding on your taste buds could have been further enhanced. 

6. Peanut Butter & Raspberry Tart

This reminded me slightly of a reese's peanut butter cups but with an added twist of tangy raspberry jelly topping. The tartness of the raspberry was the perfect contrast to the rich and sweet peanut butter filling. While it may seem like an unlikely fit into the heritage theme of the afternoon tea, this is a definite must try for all peanut butter lovers out there!

7. Chendol Cake

Inspired by the shaved ice dessert that many of us enjoy, this cake combines the key ingredients you find in your chendol, creating a beautiful marriage of flavours featuring red bean, pandan and coconut mousse cake forming the top layer.

In conclusion, I think that all the dishes here were a small summary of most of the things that are uniquely Singaporean. For foreigners who are in Singapore for a day and would like to have a taste of some of these desserts, do drop by Clifford Pier for a memorable afternoon that you won’t regret!  

For Instagrammers looking for insta-worthy photos to wow your followers, I recommend arriving at around 3.30pm and you may also want to consider requesting for a window seat for the optimal lighting that will prove useful during your photo taking. 

Interested to find out more from their menu? Click here.

Salivating already? Make your reservation and snag a spot at Clifford Pier with Chope today!

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