Last Updated: June 18, 2018
Looking to satisfy the wanderlust spirit in you? Well, you can stop your search because Claypots Full Circle brings the flavours of Australia to Singapore.
Founded by local students who had experienced the food and culture at its origin in Melbourne, they’ve recreated their experience here at Amoy Street.
We chanced upon this quaint establishment that was just one of the numerous bars residing in that alley. The countertop that connected the interior and exterior left a lasting first impression — this ‘window’ had caught our attention before we had realised this was our destination.
Located near the Central Business District (CBD) area, Claypots Full Circle offers a cosy alternative for after-work drinks. From counter seats to secluded corners for a heart-to-heart, it is the go-to place after a long day at work. The variety of drinks they offer is merely an added bonus to this gem of a place.
While the drinks were enticing, we came with empty stomachs and thus, our attention was refocused to the food menu. It featured various seafood, but what caught our eye was the fish menu on the wall that will be changed daily to reflect the freshest catch-of-the-day.
The large variety stumped us and we simply could not decide on what to order, leaving it up to the chefs who served up their signature dishes of fish, mussels and prawns.
I like SEEing my SEAfood being cooked and the open kitchen concept grew on me.
We were delighted to know that every dish was made to order, and our anticipation grew as we watched the chef cook, from flambéing the mussels to meticulously garnishing the prawns.
I was hesitant to try the Full Circle Port Arlington Mussels ($25), as I am not a fan of the briny taste of mussels. However, the aroma that wafted up my nose gave no hint of any fishiness to the dish and the fragrance of the dish reminded me of my grandmother’s cooking.
As I bit into the plump, juicy flesh of the mussel, it burst into a symphony of flavours — the salty garlic-butter and sweet and spicy tinge of sambal was a perfect complement to the tender flesh.
The distinct taste of dried shrimp sambal reminded me of the sambal kang kong, which I ate on a nearly-weekly basis as a child. It was Claypots Full Circle’s attempt to incorporate colloquial flavours into their otherwise Mediterranean concept, and have perfected this unique union.
The Garlic Prawns (market price) were the size of my palm and is served with a side of Turkish pita bread. The simple dish appeared to be an elevated version of the garlic butter prawns with kangkong my grandmother used to make.
Think big, juicy and fresh prawns cooked to perfection; that just about sums up the chef’s exemplary mastery of his art. Being coated in olive oil helped retain most of its moisture during the cooking process.
My only gripe was that this tasted somewhat similar to the mussels, with the same flavours being replicated onto a different protein. However, the robust flesh of the prawns held up the intense garlic butter flavour better than the mussels did.
The last dish for the night was the Threadfin in Garlic Butter ($50). Grilled whole, it retains the moisture of the flesh while giving the skin a slight crisp.
It was served with a chermoula sauce (a mix of coriander, cumin, parsley and other herbs in extra virgin olive oil) and the overall simplicity of the dish made me doubt its monetary worth.
The fish was light and all but melt in my mouth. However, I found the chermoula sauce slightly overpowering as the coriander and cumin mixture masked the sweet taste of the fish. Sauce aside, the fish itself was cooked to perfection, and we soon devoured it, leaving only the bones.
Though extremely satisfying, the lingering taste of salt was not to be forgotten and the bar-top that spanned nearly the entire length of floor space tempted us into ending the night with a glass of ice-cold beer.
And that’s exactly what we did. There was only one beer in the house, the Pilsner Urquell ($9) from the Czech Republic, and we took the chance to order a glass each.
We were surprised to be served up a glass with nearly a quarter being foam. However, we soon learnt that this beer was best served with a one-to-three foam-to-beer ratio. The foam supposedly offered a distinct sweetness that would contrast the bitter aftertaste of the beer.
Our decision was soon validated. The lightness of this beer offered a stark contrast to the other flavours of the night. Overall, it was a pleasant change following the saltiness of the food.
“Small in stature but big in heart” is just about as apt as descriptions go for Claypots Full Circle. Though merely a small establishment, they serve up dishes that will make your taste buds do the happy dance.
Expected damage: $9 – $95 per pax