I was invited for a tasting at Sana Fe Tex-Mex Grill and it was something special because (a) it was on a riverboat, (b) it was located in an area which I can safely say is seldom explored, and (c) the number of times I have had Tex-Mex can be counted on one hand. Needless to say, with such a combination, I was really looking forward to the tasting.
The boat is docked at Marina South Pier, along Marina Coastal Drive. It is definitely a grand sight and a rather familiar one if you can recognise the refurbished A&W riverboat from Sentosa long time ago.
Sante Fe celebrated its 15th anniversary earlier this month with $15 offers.
Before our dinner, we had a grand tour of the boat by the director himself, Eric. The riverboat does not use fuel so that the restaurant is able to use an open grill. It has 3 1/2 decks. The first, also known as the main deck, being Santa Fe and the second houses a function room which can hold up to 180 people.
The third deck is a tapas and grill area called Breaking Bread. The al fresco area with a roof over is only opened on Fridays and Saturdays.
The wheel house, which accounts for the 1/2 deck, can fit up to 25 people. All decks have their own private washrooms. We did not manage to see it that day as there was a party there.
And now for the yummy stuff! We started with a round of strawberry margaritas! They were really good and I really savoured mine.
I had the pumpkin soup (above), while the rest had clam chowder (not featured here). I found the soup different from the usual pumpkin soups as it had bits of potato in it and made the soup chunky. It was the same for the claim chowder.
We had the chicken chimichangas next. The diced chicken with the beans, vegetables and Jack cheese rolled in flour tortillas was so fragrant! It went really well with the avocado ranch dip.
The turkey quesadillas were my favourite that night. The flour tortilla was packed with smoked turkey slices and garnished with sauteed onions and melted cheese. The BBQ sauce and pico de galo were amazing!
Following that, we had cheese nachos. As you can see, it is not what we usually have in mind when we think of nachos. Do not expect the normal chips and a cheese dip here! Santa Fe melts their cheese over the corn tortillas before serving it. Not to forget the added spice of a jalapeno on top!
Moving on to the main courses, We had their signature BBQ ribs, which is one of their best sellers. The meat did drop off the bones as promised, but I expected it to be more tender. That said, the show stopper here was not the ribs, but the fries!
According to Eric, the fries are so good that they will still be tasty and crispy after half an hour. Hence, the four of us decided to do our own experiment by placing a fry each on a side plate and to eat it after half an hour.
However, because we were so engrossed with our meals, it was only after 50 minutes later that we realised our fries were still there. But, they still tasted delicious!
We tried two fish main courses that day. We had the blackened salmon and Rio Grande dory (special order for me because I do not fancy cooked salmon). The salmon was encrusted with black pepper and pan-fried.
My dory was a hit at the table! The spicy cream sauce coupled with the moist dory was heaven! Honestly, by then we were all so full we could hardly stuff down any more food. So it was a pity I could not finish it.
Our last main course was the chicken-beef fajitas served on a skillet.
We had fun wrapping our fajitas! Also, do not forget to put lots of caramelised onions in! The glaze and texture of the onions added a sweet and savoury note.
Prior to dessert, we had the Ghisolfi Moscato DOCG (Italy). Geraldine and Eleanor were so happy over the bubblies!
We ended dinner with a walnut brownie sundae and Grand Marnier brownie sundae.
We preferred the walnut brownie sundae because the Grand Marnier was a bit too heavy on the liquor. It was too potent. With that, we ended our dinner at Santa Fe.
I have to admit that getting there and going home were a hassle. The marina coast area is still under construction and even with GPS the taxi driver and I had trouble finding our way. Also, no cabs responded to our calls. Thankfully, Celest’s father was there to give her a lift and he drove us to a more central location.
Santa Fe’s lease at this location ends January and they are still finding another location. Eric also mentioned that they will be doing a face-lift first before moving. Hopefully it will be somewhere more accessible!
Once again, thank you Santa Fe for having us and Burpple for arranging the tasting!
Santa Fe Tex-Mex Grill
31 Marina Coastal Drive
Berth 1, Marina South Pier
Tel: 6278 5775
Tuesday to Sunday 1800-2200hrs