Container Bistros in Punggol: fad or trend?

Hola! Have you heard? The container bistros are causing quite a stir among residents in Punggol. If your idea of a satisfying meal after work is pipping hot fried fish fillet on the table with iced cold beer in hand, we have the experience you want.

The sun is down and the feast is on

SERVED OUT OF CONTAINERS

Stefan Lim & Zhang Wei Jin / 26 February 2017

A most novel dining experience. These eateries operate out of shipping containers sited along a river, serving an array of specialties from Korean fried chicken to craft beers. On a typical evening, hundreds of residents fill the breezy outdoor seating area to the brim for a night of revelry.

To find out if this is a fad or otherwise, we put our wallet on the line and the palate to the test.

The container bistros in Punggol are alive and buzzing, so we stopped by to give you a grand tour.
Punggol Container Bistros

Big Fish Small Fish

SALMON’S MY FISH

Big Fish Small Fish works within tight strictures (and spaces) to deliver variety to an otherwise uninspiring dish of fried fish fillets and potatoes. Your choice of fillet is dunked in light batter and fried freshly to order. While the chips are ordinary, the dips are noteworthy – XO Mayo stands out from tartar and is preferred over a muted salted egg sauce. Our combo of delicate salmon fillet ($12.90), crispy chips and citrusy dip certainly adds an appealing twist to standard Fish & Chips.

Expect to wait at least 30 minutes for your food, due less to overwhelming demand than to confined spaces and miscellaneous glitches.

The container bistros in Punggol are alive and buzzing, so we stopped by Big Fish Small Fish and put Salmon & Chips on the table.
D'Grill - A Container Bistro in Punggol

D’Grill

FLAVOURS OF THE SEA

Here, diners get stuck in to pastas and grilled seafood, done tze char style. We are most impressed by the zuppa di pesce ($8.90) – a stew of fresh prawns, mussels, clams and fish in briny tomato-based broth. Our remaining picks are, at best, average. Fried bamboo clams ($12.90) that are devoid of the promising garlic sauce and linguine ($9.90) with lackluster eggplant certainly let us down a bit.

Food might not be top-notched here, but for its friendly service and relatively reasonable prices, D’Grill is a viable option for the occasional meet-up with the pals.

The container park in Punggol are alive and buzzing, so we stopped by D'Grill and put familiar tze char dishes with a twist on the table.
Leung Kee at Punggol Container Park

Leung Kee

DURIAN, WHAT

At Leung Kee, addicts for the king of fruits get their fix with the durian sherbet ($7.30): durian flavoured ice cream, from Magnolia or similar, blended with ice that is shaved to feathery consistency. Each bowl is served with a slab of durian purée by the side and lychee pops (fondly known as boba) on top.

Excuse the underwhelming (and artificial) flavours of the ice cream and you have a refreshing treat that will cool you down on a humid day. If you are not a fan of the thorny fruit, alternative flavours such as mango, blueberry, matcha and coffee are also available

The container bistros in Punggol are alive and buzzing, so we stopped by Leung Kee and put desserts that attracted our attention on the table.

Will your dinner be good?

MORE FAD THAN TREND

We’ve done the legwork. Now why is this worth your while.

Have a sundowner by the river.

Nothing close to home gets as picturesque as this: dining by a beeezy promenade, while the sun sets gracefully on the river. Trend.

Wait for seats or wait for food?

Expect a long wait for food and seats. In fact, it takes longer for food to be served than seats to be available. We put it down to limited space in the congested container kitchen and relatively inexperienced operators. Fad.

Mediocre food. Competitive prices. Enthusiastic service.

You get grub that you wouldn’t wait an hour for. Your dinner for 2 will set you back by $30 or more. You won’t receive the worst, neither are you going to get the best. Fad.

Here’s everything you need to reach the container bistros of Punggol

LIFE BY THE RIVERSIDE

The setting sun on a winding river. A beer in hand. The loved one by the side. This is life.

$12.90 for Salmon & Chips at Big Fish Small Fish.

$8.90 for Seafood Stew at D’Drill.
$9.90 for Linguine with Grilled Eggplant at D’Drill.
$12.90 for Fried Bamboo Clams in Garlic Sauce at D’Drill.

$4.50 for Strawberry Latte at Leung Kee.
$4.80 for Grass Jelly with Mixed Fruits at Leung Kee.
$7.30 for Durian Sherbet at Leung Kee.

5.00pm till late daily

50, Punggol East (Along Tebing Lane and facing Punggol Promenade Riverside Walk).

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