27 December 2008

Clifford Pier returns

It was a grubby pier when we used it regularly for our Southern Island forays. Rather desolate and dirty, and very quiet except during the Kusu Island pilgrimage, when hordes of people would use it to get to tiny Kusu Island. There used to be a tacky open air karaoke bar there, and we would be regaled by late night drunken singing as we waited for our predawn transport out to the islands.
Closed in 2006 as the Marina Barrage was constructed, the Pier has returned as a posh restaurant.

Singapore Heritage Society president Dr Kevin Tan comments: 'The cavernous space would have been an ideal location for a maritime museum. It is a travesty that we, the busiest port in the world, do not have a world-class maritime museum. It is really quite ironic.'

Pier pleasure
The Art Deco-style Clifford Pier gets a stylish, Oriental update with new eatery One on the Bund
tay suan chiang, Straits Times 27 Dec 08;

It was a pier where immigrants in boats first arrived in Singapore. It is now a stylish restaurant serving contemporary Chinese cuisine called One on the Bund.

The owner of the restaurant at 80 Collyer Quay designed it himself - a task made easier by the fact that Clifford Pier was designated a conservation building last year by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

This meant that the pier's main architectural features, such as its concrete arched trusses, had to be retained.

For an old-world feel appropriate for the space, antique pieces such as opium daybeds and wooden cupboards fill the 346-seat restaurant. All the items were imported from Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

The Art Deco-style pier was built in the 1930s by the Public Works Department. It was also known as Ang Teng Beh Tao, which is Hokkien for Red Lamp Pier, because someone had hung a red lamp here to direct incoming sea vessels.

It was named after Sir Hugh Clifford, a colonial governor in Singapore. It later became a ferry terminal for visitors heading to the Southern Islands, which include Kusu and St John's islands.

Two years ago, URA shut it down to free up more coastline areas for public use. Visitors now take ferries from Marina South Pier to the Southern Islands.

Mr Calvin Yeung, a food and beverage entrepreneur from Hong Kong who is behind the new transformation, chose this location for his first eatery outside Hong Kong because he says he is a nostalgic person and 'likes old landmarks'.

'Clifford Pier is beautiful,' he says.

It took him a year and $6 million to transform the place into the 10,000 sq ft One on the Bund, which is not related to the Three On The Bund in Shanghai.

Mr Yeung, who is in his 40s, says the restaurant's name was inspired by The Bund in Shanghai and because it is close to the One Fullerton area.

One on the Bund, which opened on Dec 11, is divided into four areas: After entering the place, diners come upon the dessert bar which offers Western desserts with an Asian twist. Next to it is the noodle bar, which has an open kitchen.

Opposite the noodle bar is the main dining area, which offers signature dishes such as crispy lamb ribs. Beyond the dining area is a cocktail bar.

Enjoy Marina Bay views

Diners can also opt for alfresco dining on the deck, which looks out to the Marina Bay area.

Mr Yeung is the founder of Wang Workshop Group and also owns four popular restaurants in Hong Kong: Shui Hu Ju, which serves Northern Chinese cuisine; O Sip Hah, a contemporary Thai restaurant; Shu Zhai, known for its dim sum; and Pop Bites, a gourmet sandwich eatery.

He leased Clifford Pier from Hong Kong-based Sino Land, a sister company of Far East Organization.

In 2006, Sino Land paid $165.8million to buy the Fullerton Heritage area, which includes Clifford Pier, One Fullerton and a group of buildings comprising fine dining, shopping and entertainment venues.

While foodies may rejoice at yet another hip location, Singapore Heritage Society president Dr Kevin Tan says: 'The cavernous space would have been an ideal location for a maritime museum. It is a travesty that we, the busiest port in the world, do not have a world-class maritime museum.

'It is really quite ironic.'


More links
End of an era for boatman Today Online 6 Apr 06

3 comments:

  1. Turn Clifford Pier into a Maritime museum! Got to be kidding. We had one at Sentosa previously. It closed due to lack of attendance. I have been there once. It was so boring. What makes Dr Kevin Tan thinks enough people would be interested in a Maritime museum to justify the Clifford Pier location?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Totaly agree to :
    "Anonymous said...
    Turn Clifford Pier into a Maritime museum! Got to be kidding. We had one at Sentosa previously. It closed due to lack of attendance. I have been there once. It was so boring. What makes Dr Kevin Tan thinks enough people would be interested in a Maritime museum to justify the Clifford Pier location?"

    ReplyDelete
  3. SinoLand did a great job!

    ReplyDelete

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