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.
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.
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.
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
Will your dinner be good?
MORE FAD THAN TREND
We’ve done the legwork. Now why is this worth your while.
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.