To be honest, when I first visited Jewel Changi Airport, I have mediocre impression about Pink Fish. My first take was, it’s just another restaurant. But when I later learned of their motto, I’m sold.
It’s about sustainability… and MORE!
Firstly, Pink Fish uses biodegradable packaging and utensils, including the disposable bowls used. From business point of view, they eliminated washing and save on manpower, quite similar to what major fast food restaurants are doing. After all, Pink Fish’s concept is modelled after fast food restaurants, and with all items on their menu central around Norwegian Salmon. Pink Fish’s sustainability also applies to the food on the table, they claim that their salmon are ASC-certified, and sourced from suppliers committed to responsible farming from within Norwegian fjords. It is also stated that the carbon footprint per kilo farmed salmon consumed is considerably lower than all comparable meats.
Pink Fish at Jewel Changi Airport is their first oversea venture, and their menu are designed by one of the founders cum award-winning Chef Geir Skeie (Bocuse d’Or World 2009 winner). Bocuse d’Or World is akin to the Olympics of culinary skill (mainly dedicated to French cuisines) for chefs, while Michelin awards are focus on restaurants.
Chef Skeie drew inspiration from his many oversea trips, and developed his menu into 4 major categories, namely Burgers, Salad & Wraps, Raw, and Soups. Each of them are further laid out into Asian, European, and American. In a way, this is very similar to their menu in Norway. And their pricing mainly relates to the quantity of salmon (by weight) you desire in your bowl.
I meant to share my meals with a dining partner, so as to try as many dishes as possible in one visit, so we do away with the burger which is difficult to share, and order one each from the other categories. Similar to fast food restaurants, you order your food via the counter, or otherwise, you can also scan their QR code to download an app to pre-order. I did it at the counter, but perhaps because they took quite long to prepare my order (despite relatively dense customers), the food are served to our table.
Salad & Wraps European, 50g, $10.90
Our food are served all at once, but let me begin with the European Salad, which comprises grilled salmon, Tzatziki, Feta cheese, olives, and Quinoa. The Tzatziki sauce is quite appetising, it goes well with the grilled salmon as well as the accompanying veggies. The salmon are quite thick though, so the internal are still semi-raw, giving a contrasting texture upon every bite. The Feta cheese is salty, so overall, the taste is rather salty and sour, which brings out a great balance with the grilled salmon.
Raw Asian, 50g, $10.90
This is akin to Japanese donburi, comprising Japanese sashimi salad with raw salmon, Yuzu, Miso, Edamame, and rice. Frankly speaking, this may struggle to compete among the best of Japanese donburi, but I can see the Edamame and salmon sparkling with glamour of freshness, overall it really gave me a very Japanese homely feeling.
Soups American, 50g, $10.90
Their American soup is made of chili bowl with salmon, beans, coriander, and tortilla chips. While I confess the chili soup is spicy, and I do like it, but I feel there are few underwhelming points. Firstly, the tortilla chips should not be dipped inside the soup upon serving, because the crispiness is long gone before we can finish them, and the rest of the chips really do not taste great being soaky. Though the salmon taste good, but the coriander leaf is reduced to mere decorative purpose, its aroma is overpowered by the strong chili presence. I have to admit I was somewhat influenced by other reviewers prior to our visit, and if I haven’t read those, I’ll probably go with the other versions, which really sound better just by looking at their ingredients. Don’t get me wrong, like I said, the chili soup still taste good, but other ingredients apart from the salmon are a bit mediocre, or at least, done the wrong way. I guess there are probably some constraint because the idea of the restaurant is for a fast turn around, so the food have to be pre-prepared in a compromised manner to ease efficiency.
As a parting shot, I find Pink Fish’s pricing reasonable given its overall quality, its premium location, and Chef Skeie’s accolades. While I personally feel there is room for improvement, I suspect some of those are limited by operational constraints that I cannot foresee. I will be back to try their other items on the menu.
I returned to Pink Fish in Jan 2020, barely one month after my first visit, and they had already changed their menu. Gone are the continental segregation, and now simply classified into Burgers, Poke Bowl, Salad & Wrap, Kids, and Sides. Price wise, likewise, depending on the quantity of the salmon you order, but this time, they do away with the weight, and simply classify them as small, medium, and large. As for the burgers, they are charged at $9.90 each, because the patty size is fixed.
I brought along old folks and kid this time, what I’m trying to say is, there’s a variety in age group, and some of them can be pretty fussy. We ordered a wide range of items, most of them combo deal, which cost $4 more and comes with standard soft drink or mineral water plus one of the listed sides (Chips, Soba noodles, Broccoli & Edamame Salad, Rice, Quinoa). My aunt wanted plain rice as side, which tempted me to ask, “You serious? I’m letting you try something unconventional, and you are asking for plain rice?” Anyway, she would insist with that, very well then.
Hot Massaman Curry
This is the Hot Massaman Curry that one of the old folks ordered, which comprises mushroom, potato, coriander, and cooked salmon. Actually, the term ‘hot’ does invite some discrepancy here, this is an European (chef) take on a Thai cuisine, how hot (spicy) can it get? Same thing, don’t expect the soup to be piping hot (here I mean temperature), it’s warm enough, better than lukewarm, and the fussy old folks ain’t complaining. I am not saying it’s excellent, but it certainly didn’t fail. I only managed to steal a gulp late into the meal, and I find it quite appetising, and the chunky salmon nowhere near raw as some diners described online. Ok, it may be a hit or miss, and there may be a different chef in-charge, fair enough.
Tangy Black Pepper Burger, $9.90
This was what my aunt ordered. I suspect she was just fancied by the name ‘black pepper’ (she probably loves black pepper crab, LOL!). Nonetheless, it comes with black pepper sauce, mango salsa, lettuce, and of course, salmon patty. She loves it! The salmon patty was grilled to a crisp exterior, while the interior retains its chewiness, and together with the other ingredients, the combination was rather flavourful for an otherwise bland-tasting salmon. And that’s coming from a fussy person, not me.
Rich Caesar Salad
This was what I ordered for myself. From their menu, I thought they have a wrap version, but I could be wrong. And why adding ‘Wrap’ in the header and showing a picture of it when it’s not available? Nevermind. The Caesar Salad is nice, with ample portion of sliced onions, Parmesan cheese and croutons to supply the savoury and crunchiness, although I personally feel the grilled salmon chunk comes better in the form of raw Salmon cube for a salad instead, but after all, they only use salmon fillet for their salad & wrap, whereas salmon cubes are use for their Poke Bowl and Stew.
I asked for Quinoa as my side, it’s the healthier choice, and I certainly feel it’s the best to complement most of the items on their menu. I let the old folks tried mine, and they sort of agree too. As for my niece, she had soba noodles with her parents’ Massaman Curry and said it was nice. It certainly looks tasty comparing to conventional Japanese soba, and although I couldn’t help suspecting she could have been courteous, if so, for a 10-years-old, she must be pretty mature.
I came to aware that some diners complained online Pink Fish is a tad too pricey, while I can’t deny that and the restaurant was meant to be some sort of fast food after all, but bear in mind the location, its rental, and the chef’s accolades, it’s unfair to peg the price with McDonald’s or Subway in Singapore. Notably, Pink Fish emphasise on responsible farming, it’s akin to comparison between organic and non-organic ingredients price tags, you will find massive difference in price even in supermarkets, one simply can’t expect restaurateurs to absorb the difference. Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t defending for the restaurant, and there may be cheaper and/or tastier ones out there, and criticism on the food quality is fair, but if one wants to compare, make sure it’s apple to apple.
78 Airport Boulevard #B1-261/262
Jewel Changi Airport
Opening Hours ~
Daily: 10:00 hr – 22:00 hr