Mon - Thu: 12:00 - 15:00
Mon - Thu: 18:00 - 23:00
Fri - Sat: 12:00 - 15:00
Fri - Sat: 18:00 - 02:00
Sun: 12:00 - 15:00
Sun: 18:00 - 23:00
The last surviving pair of tongkangs (light boats for ferrying goods) have found a new purpose by housing the TongKang Riverboat Dining at Clarke Quay. The TongKang Gin Bar features an array of gin based drinks and the restaurant offers an delectable range of nostalgic colonial dishes.
Must Tries: Old English lamb and kidney pie, oxtail stew with potato and carrots, granny smith apple tart
You may have eaten on a cruise or ship but how about on a tongkang (bumboat)? Imagine the excitement when we found this surviving pair of tongkangs berthed on the banks of the Singapore River serving food and drinks.
Tongkangs are vessels used in the early 19th century to ship goods along the Singapore River. So as to retain this part of our history, more than a million dollars have been spent on refurbishing these two tongkangs along the river, transforming them into an F&B outlet known as TongKang Colonial Bar & Restaurant.
One of the boats houses a gin bar, while the other is a restaurant offering exquisite colonial cuisine. The offerings here are a mix of old English and Indian cuisines, which reflects Singapore’s colonial past.
We started with the mulligatawny soup ($12), a creamy orange broth bursting with piquant curry flavours with crispy poppadum (Indian crackers) served on the side. This soup is not for everyone as the spices can be quite overpowering, particularly if you’re not a curry fan.
The old English lamb and kidney pie ($18), on the other hand, was a crowd pleaser. Beneath its flaky pastry crust was a slice of tender kidney stewed in an addictive sauce. This dish makes for a very hearty dish. If you love your stews, the oxtail stew with carrots ($18) is another option.
Leave some space for the classic desserts such as bread and butter pudding ($12) and granny smith apple tart ($14). Paired with vanilla ice cream, the warm and crumbly apple tart worked to excite our palate with its hot and cold combination.
Overall the dishes here are quite distinct and well executed. But the most enjoyable part of dining at TongKang Colonial Bar & Resaturant has to be the ambience and the feel of the cool evening breeze by the serene river.
Food was surprisingly good. The tongkang was pretty run down and will definitely be more pleasing if it can be given a new makeover. Was surprised with the complimentary birthday cake for my wife. Overall, a nice experience considering our last patronage was like 18 years ago.
the location and pictures speak for themselves. the ambience of this restaurant is great.
but it all ends there. service was unacceptable!
there was no staff to greet you at the door and guide you on what to do.
i had to approach two of the staff to tell them i have a reservation. The first staff directed me to a section of the restaurant where i had to find another staff and tell him that i have a reservation. when the staff checked my reservation he told me they didn't find it and i had to show him the booking confirmation email.
after ordering food, i had to wait for more than hour for the food to arrive. before the food arrived, i followed up my order with one of the staff who said she'll check but actually did nothing else but man her station. i followed up my order again with another staff, who said to give them 5 minutes; 15 minutes later my soup arrived then after another 10 minutes the rest of the food arrived. the main course they delivered was the wrong one. after informing the staff they delivered the correct main course except that one of the side dishes is wrong.
only after informing the staff about the wrong side dish did he tell me that they ran out of the side dish i wanted, so they replaced it with another.
by the way the 1 1/2 hours of waiting was for raw food that i had to cook myself on hot stones that came with the food.
last but not the least, our bill included one extra item that i didn't order.