One of the best perks of living in Singapore is truly the range of food options. You could easily dine on quality Japanese fare on one night and Spanish tapas on another.

Besides fast food versions of the classic clam chowder, Boston-style “New England” cuisine however, still is under-represented here. Happily, at elegant The Pelican restaurant, we were introduced to this particular strand of American cuisine.

So what exactly is Boston-style seafood? Think comfort food like baked pies, followed by fresh plates of seafood, flavoured with New England touches. For instance, the restaurant uses Old Bay seasoning, a New England favourite, on its skate wing chop (more on that later).

The Pelican Seafood Bar Grill review
The Pelican Seafood Bar & Grill at One Fullerton

Name of restaurant: The Pelican Seafood Bar & Grill

Type of cuisine: American seafood dishes, in the New England style

Ambience: Located right next to the Singapore river, it’s no surprise that The Pelican’s al fresco section is especially popular in the evenings.

Indoors however, the restaurant takes on some spunkier design features. It’s hard to miss the hot pink seahorses, mounted on the wall. Amping up on the restaurant’s seafaring theme, are its glass displays of ancient maps and sea artefacts.

At the same time, it’s still a classy site for romantic dates. Coupled with its warm wood furnishings and plush red leather booths, The Pelican looks perfect for a cosy meal.

Must-tries:
For your seafood fix, the star dish is undoubtedly The Pelican platter ($99). It’s a fresh and decadent seafood platter of clams, crabs, prawns, oysters, lobster and swordfish ceviche; the ceviche is salad-like serving of raw swordfish slices. Drip the fresh catch in lemon, cocktail sauce and mignonette dressing for some extra zest.

The Pelican Seafood Bar Grill review
The Pelican Platter

Instead of the New England classic clam chowder, The Pelican has opted for a bisque-like soup for its The Pelican chowder ($16). Made with seafood, brown butter and crispy bacon, we found the soup to be a flavourful and heartwarming treat.

The skate wing chop ($32) is a lighter alternative to the fiery barbecue stingray popular here. A “cousin” of the stingray (minus the poisonous barb), the skate has the same texture; and like the stingray, there are no tiny bones to fuss about. The Pelican marinates its skate wing chop with burnt lemon butter and pairs it with crispy fries that are dusted with Old Bay seasoning — the latter’s a spicy-salty mix of paprika, celery salt and other spices.

For those who love their bak kwa, the black peppered candied bacon ($18) will be the standout dish. Similar to the Singapore favourite, this dish is crunchy, with just the right mix of the sweet and the salty.

The Pelican Seafood Bar Grill review
The Pelican Candied Bacon with black pepper

While The Pelican is a seafood stop, the restaurant is discerning with its dessert plating. Classics are reconstructed into sweet treats that look particularly pretty on the plate. Not that we mind, since most of us savour dishes by sight almost as much as by its taste.

The Pelican Seafood Bar Grill review The Pelican Seafood Bar Grill review
The Pelican’s desserts: Lemon meringue mess ($14) and Double chocolate whoopie pie ($16)

A must-try dessert is the double chocolate whoopie pie ($16). While the whoopie pie may be better known as a lunchbox treat for American kids, The Pelican’s rendition certainly looks more gourmet than homemade; it’s sprinkled liberally with gold dust on top and pretty pink icing on the side. You won’t get an overdose of sweetness with it either. Executive chef Dan Segall updates the classic recipe by replacing the traditional mousse centre with a marshmallow, sandwiched between layers of chocolate sponge and mousse.

If you would rather a more tangy treat, pick the lemon meringue mess ($14), which goes big on the “deconstructed” dessert plating. We much prefer the textures of this dessert than the traditional meringue. Just scoop up pieces of lemon meringue and mousse with freeze-dried raspberries from the lovely dessert jar.

Verdict: 
Food review rating: 4 out of 5
For a seafood meal at an elegant riverside setting, this is the restaurant to pick.

The Pelican is located at #01-01, One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road, Singapore 049214, Tel: 6438 0400. Go to www.thepelican.com.sg for more information.