What used to be the police customs building at Clifford Pier just received a multi-million dollars renovation to become the new Customs House, which boast several brand new restaurants along the now world famous Marina Bay.
Drivers who are going round and round to find the carpark to Customs House should note that there is really no car park here. The nearest car park is at NTUC Centre and we only discovered that after our second trip down to the Marina Bay area.
Although 3 restaurants have opened in Customs House, the entire place is pretty much still work-in-progress. Most of the walls have been knocked down and replaced with panoramic glasses overlooking the bay.
The first to open here is Oyster Bar. According to this week's 8 Days, the Italian and Singaporean owners of this bar were the previous owners of the now-defunct Ming Kia at the former China Square Food Court selling Italian food.
Keeping to its bay front theme, Oyster Bar looks more like a bar than a restaurant. And this is really what it is - It's a place to have drinks and also some oysters and light main dishes.
What is an oyster bar without... well, an oyster bar? Diners can sit along the bar counters or next to the windows, or at this oyster counter where the chefs freshly shuck open oysters from all over the world right in front of your eyes.
Those who need your carbo will be pleased to note that Oyster Bar serves a pretty good Bread Platter with Herb Cheese spread (Complimentary with every main course). My personal preference is the crispy toast, which went well with the creamy cheese spread.
Oyster freshly shucked by pair - Tsarskaya (S$18 for 2). As the name suggests, Tsarskaya oysters are premium French oysters served to the rich and power Tsars back during the pre-Soviet Union time. The oysters were one of the freshiest and best I had in Singapore, and it's not difficult to see (or rather taste) why they were a favourite on the dining tables of the Tsars.
Oysters Shooters Trio (S$22) - Bisque & Grand Marnier, Double Gin Nutmeg and Limoncello Balsamico. Real potent alcohol in these shooters each with one oyster. My fav was the Bisque and also the Limoncello.
Here come the mains. Oysters baked in eggs, and laced with Caviar made up the Emperor Caviar & Oysters (S$38) . The oysters baked in eggs were really addicitive, and by far the signature dish of Oyster Bar. The slabs of pancakes (more like Mee Chiang Kueh) were too thick and cold for my liking.
Not so nice was the Nordic Trio (S$32). I didn't like the Salmon Tartare and Salmon Heart which was a bit too raw and tasteless, and preferred the balls of Salmon Rosettes accompanied by Ikura All were served with small lobster bisque and greens together with a citrus dressing.
By then, we were already too full to enjoy this Duo of Champagne Foie Gras en terrine (S$32). Oyster Bar was very very generous and gave us 2 slabs of Foie Gras en terrine. We wasted half of it but it was of good quality. If you are feeling a bit "jelek" from the Foie Gras, spread some caramelized onions onto the toast.
So will Oyster Bar survive the intense F&B competition along the bay? Well, maybe. There are other items like Wagyu Oyster burger and Jamón Ibérico De Bellota which will please the carnivores, but perhaps the all oyster menu may not be able to attract more to this area. Hopefully when the other F&B restaurants open, they can bring more buzz to this area.