Mariner’s Corner is an old school Hainanese western grill restaurant serving classic western grills in the heartlands. The establishment had been operating since the 1980s and recently moved to their new home in Clementi from the Maritime House at Cantonment, which closed for major refurbishment. Let’s check out Mariner’s Corner Clementi new joint with an evening dine-in.
A move with times
You might remember Mariner’s Corner operating from the Maritime House in the Cantonment district since 1984. The Hainanese western restaurant has its roots alike to that of Colbar at Ayer Rajah and even Jack’s place, possibly starting out in culinary scene serving the British Military back in the day.
Fast forward today, Mariner’s Corner moved to Clementi end November 2021. The restaurant is now tucked in the rustic neighbourhood in western Singapore. It sits at a popular night spot along sunset way in along Clementi street 12.
Same great steaks
I am glad to report that the food quality is still good. Favorites include Lobsters and steak, and their Oxtail soup are still restaurant staples, so you are well covered. Also your à la carte steaks are served on a sizzling hotplate the beef.
Also, I found their sirloin steak in medium-rare surprisingly tender, and better than I remembered the last dine at their Cantonment restaurant. I recommend your steaks best paired with their chunky mushroom sauce. It is a tasty joyful meal.
A notably newer addition would be their sausage combo meals. Probably taking a hint from heartland western store such as those offered by Wow Wow Wow at Bukit Merah. Still, it adds more variety to over traditional western grill offerings. You can have your sausage combo with choices of Chicken, Dory, Salmon, Lamb or Ribeye Steak main. Also, prices starts from $21.50 for the chicken chop and up to $24.50 for the Steak.
Add-on combos are great value
Moreover, your steaks comes with vegetable sides and a baked potato. Your baked potato is best paired with the full toppings of bacon and garnish.
Also, I recommend having the full works of a set meal add-on. The $5.80 add-on with pairs your à la carte main course with some extras to complete your meal.
Items include a soup of the day appetizer, garlic bread, and a salad bowl served at the start of your meal. Additionally, completing your set meal are tea and dessert served at the end of your meal.
In addition, speaking of salads, one gripe is the lack of the free-flow salad bar, probably a victim of Covid-19 measures. In place, you are served a chilled pre-arranged salad bowl made locally in-kitchen. Salad quality is decent and similar to that previously offered in the salad bar, only this time you can’t pick seconds of your favorite greens.
Building on a great recipe
Still, the restaurant menu offerings are well-priced for heart landers. A steak sets you back from $25.80 where paring it with a set meal bumps you up to $30 a pop, which puts you along the price range offered by iSteak’s premium steaks. Still you do get great value of the set meal items and dessert.
Also Mariner’s corner retains much their value lunch set meals. However, their ox tail stew is presently not available as a lunch set due to price increments. Interestingly, they also retained their old drinking glasses (which complimentary water is served), slightly misted with age. Notably, while competition like Jack’s place, Collins and Astons adopts a more modern brighter restaurant setting, Mariner’s Corner has kept to a dimly lit environment. It is reminiscent of old school steak houses like Jack’s place where they had candlelit tables with their trademark’s checked table cloth setting.
Interestingly, in contrast to their cantonment restaurant with a more formal setting, the Clementi restaurant is more laid back and seems to cater to more heart landers. Also, it is not uncommon to see more patrons dressed in casual slippers and T-shirts dining-in. It does cheapen the dining experience. Probably, a demographics thing, and consumer impressions from competing casual establishments like Astons and Collins bringing affordable western to the masses.
A restaurant too small
Commendably, you are seated under 10 minutes with a reservation, even during a peak weekend period. However, it is a different story with walk-in patrons, with queues on weekends going as long as 30 minutes. Seating a combination indoor air conditioned and outdoor sheltered seating.
However, the dining area is notably much smaller in capacity than their old Cantonment branch. With both the indoor and outdoor seating areas full, the new restaurant looks chaotic and tad bit too small for the weekend crowds.
Also, the dining space is largely downsized from their cantonment restaurant. Here, you can find 6 indoor seating tables and 10 tables at the outdoor seating area. In contrast their old cantonment restaurant had space for 30 tables spread over a large air-conditioned venue. It lost a fair bit of coziness.
Additionally, the new restaurant layout is at best cramped and chaotic. Also, staff can be seen frantically moving between an entrance choke point between the dining areas and the kitchen. Nonetheless, despite this, service is still excellent. The staff are attentive and friendly. Your empty dishes are promptly cleared and complimentary cups of water also quickly refilled by waitering staff.
A possible return to cantonment?
Moreover, the staff shared that every vintage poster and memorial you find on the restaurant walls had been painstaking transported through 7 delivery truck trips and redecorated in the new restaurant. I didn’t manage to find their old typewriter and ice kacang machine from the old restaurant. Also, the staff still have fond memories of the old restaurant, with a possibility of the restaurant moving back to the Maritime house after their 2-year refurbishment. There is however no confirmation of the decision to return.
All in all, Mariner’s Corner Clementi to date has survived the test of time. Serving up their tried and tested uniquely Singaporean Hainanese western grill yet retaining excellent service, less a fair bit of restaurant coziness. This is commendable considering the grill market is much crowded now, given in the likes of incumbents like Astons specialties and Collins Western Grille. Great for an affordable steak and family meal, just do avoid the busy weekend periods.
Must Go! | Actually pretty Good | Worth Trying | Shortlist Optionally | Should Avoid
Mariner’s Corner Clementi Locality Map
Blk 10 Clementi Street 12
Unit #1-40 to #1-42
Opening Hours: 11:30am–3pm, 6–10pm (Split shift)
Closed on Mondays.