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February 2017

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Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Tired of cycling through a list of the same few restaurant-pubs serving the same selection of deep-fried snacks? Or having to travel to far flung places like Changi Village for a change of scenery?

Nickeldime Drafthouse

Nickeldime is not a new player in the growing craft beer scene in Singapore, but they have recently moved to another block,just next door. While the new premises is slightly smaller, it still feels spacious and given that it’s a corner unit, the alfresco area remains just as refreshing!

New interior aside, they still boast a wide range of craft beers on tap (at the last count it was 19!), and an even wider selection of bottles; from old favourites like Stone Brewing, Anderson Valley to newcomers like Tuatara Brewery and Mountain Goat Beers. Craft beer selections can change from season to season so you guys got to find out for yourselves!

Another feature of Nickeldime is their beer-infused cuisine. These novel and hearty eats, handcrafted by their own kitchen with various brew styles, are sure to tantalise your tastebuds!

It was (supposed to be; yeah right) a slow and simple lunch so I got myself the Stout Braised Beef Ragu, and the Stout (again!) Shepherd’s Pie at the side. Paired with a pint of saison on a warm dreary afternoon, it’s the life!

Nickeldime Nickeldime Nickeldime Nickeldime

After that we had more beer-infused goodness from their bar snacks and (more!) beer, like their popular stout (see a trend here?) meatballs, the mini Jalapeño IPA burgers (i.e. sliders) and garlic fries. Their buffalo wings, served with a generous slather of spicy marinade and dressed with blue cheese sauce, is a heavenly match with a refreshing american pale ale (also on tap)! Other dishes recommended here are their signature 510 burger, the pizzas, such as the Salami pizza, and beer-desserts (yes!) such as the beer-infused waffles. May I also mention that their pizzas have really cheesy (hehe) names, such as “I Wanna Hold Your Ham”, “The Fun Guys(mushroom pizza, geddit)” and several others?

Nickeldime

The Verdict

hole-in-the-wall-ness:
It’s a little bit out of the way, but this block of shops are known for being a F&B centre which lots of office workers will visit, so not that much of a hole-in-the-wall factor here.

Price:
I heard their pizzas are a steal at nothing more than $20 for a 11″ pizza, but there was so much 2 guys can eat that day that we didn’t order that. They do have weekday lunch specials (1 for 1) for more value too! For best value, try out their platter sets on their menu!

Quality:
Each of their dishes is well thought out and balanced in taste, even though they are largely beer-infused and meant to be washed down with copious amount of beer. Speaking which, beers on tap are fresh, which is imperative for any place selling decent beer.

Overall:
While it may not be the most convenient place for lunch unless you work in the Novena/Thomson Road area, it is a good getaway in the evenings thereafter where you can enjoy a good pint of craft beer and some really creative food!

More Information

Nickeldime Drafthouse
273 Thomson Road
#01-01
Novena Regency
Singapore 307644

p.s. It’s just the next building from where they were previously located!

Opening Hours
Sun-Thu – 11:00am to 11:00pm
Fri-Sat – 11:00am to 1:00am the following day
Phone: 62560261
Email: enquiries@hiddendoor.com.sg

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To be honest, the first time I heard of PocoLoco I immediately thought of a similar sounding video game I used to play:

PocoLoco

Situated in Ang Mo Kio, it wouldn’t naturally be the first on my list to go to as I live in the east (#eastsidebestside). As the SO had to work late on Valentine’s, I had to look for something in the vicinity that was still available for a comfortable meal that late (past 8PM). A quick search on Chope and there was PocoLoco, first on the list (I swear).

Being the only Italian place that I know of located in a HDB shop unit, PocoLoco puts the heart in heartlands by serving quality and affordable Italian food where “it is not necessary to dress up; your spaghetti, tagliatelle and maccheroni are served in a nice, informal environment where you feel immediately at ease” (from their website).

PocoLocoPocoLocoPocoLocoPocoLocoThe restaurant itself has a industrial and rather minimalistic finish, which is also prevalent in the linear kitchen design (given that space is a luxury in these shop units). The design helps both kitchen and service staff run like clockwork, as dishes get pushed out efficiently to hungry diners on a (from what I was told is a long, busy) weeknight.

For antipasto, we started out with some burrata cheese with parma ham (they had it on their daily special menu), and was presented with a generous dollop of cheese. Although at $16 I’d like a little more generosity with the ham, it was nothing out of the ordinary, being a staple dish in Italian cuisine.

PocoLoco

Main courses came right after, as we didn’t want any primo like soups: A porcini mushroom risotto for myself and zafferano (saffron) pasta with seafood for her. Portions were just about right (some people, including myself, sometimes tend to equate value with volume of food on the plate) and both rice and pasta were also cooked al dente (a little bit on the firmer side for those who are particular).

For my risotto, the starchiness of the rice blended well with the distinct nutty taste of the porcini mushroom. But IMO there was a tad too much truffle oil drizzled atop, and even after the meal I could still smell the truffle in my own breath.

The pasta was also rather delightful; seafood was fresh, cream was quite balanced with the saffron. All in all what you would expect in a casual Italian diner. Oh did i mention that both main courses did not cost more than $15 each?

PocoLoco PocoLoco

Of course, being Valentine’s and all, we (read: the girlfriend) decided to indulge in some dessert to finish off the night. They’re pretty much known for their tiramisu (served in a cocktail glass), but we decided to get the special menu dessert instead: a matcha lava cake.  Complimentary cute hearts!

PocoLoco PocoLoco

The Verdict

hole-in-the-wall-ness:
I really did not expect such a find in the depths of the heartlands!

Price:
With nothing costing more than $15-16 off the regular menu, and $20 from the special menu that night, it is definitely good value!

Quality:
The kitchen staff move tirelessly to make sure food is served quick and hot. Just a little bit rough on the edges but you can tell the food is made with good care and love! Definitely better than the PastaMania that’s set up just two units away #brightidea

Overall:
Please come here, it’s not difficult for a Changi guy to come here to Ang Mo Kio just for this. Unless you live in Jurong, I’ll think of something else. Oh wait, I already have (read on)!

PocoLoco

More Information

PocoLoco (Ang Mo Kio)
408 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10
#01-779
Singapore 560408
Operating Hours:
12pm – 3pm
6pm – 10pm
Last reservation for the day 5pm
Moblie: +65 8436 3363
Email: enquiry@pocoloco.com.sg
Facebook | Instagram | Website

Menu (there are daily specials that you will need to contact the restaurant about):

https://pocoloco.com.sg/pocoloco-menu/


**Jurong/Choa Chu Kang people, rejoice! You can now enjoy the same thing without crossing the border! They have opened another outlet in Snow City, which also boasts a microbrewery as well!**

PocoLoco (Jurong)
Snow City Level 2
21 Jurong Town Hall Road
Singapore 609433
Operating Hours
12pm – 3pm
6pm – 10pm
Last reservation for the day 5pm
Moblie: +65 8438 3833
Email: jurong@pocoloco.com.sg


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Picture this: you are enjoying a pint of your favourite beer after work, and like any beer lover you get the munchies 10 minutes into it. You’d wish for some light bites, but when you’re drinking craft beer at Smith Street Taps or The Good Beer Company (stories for another time!) in Chinatown Complex, it’s not easy getting something that isn’t too filling. Especially if you’re going to get dinner with the missus later!

Rudy’s Snack Bar

Open only in the evenings when the beer monster comes out to play, Rudy’s Snack Bar sets up shop just round the corner from where a handful of craft beer stalls are, all in a quiet corner of the Chinatown Complex Food Centre. Started just in November 2016, it serves an eclectic range of (well you guessed it) snacks that are both wallet-friendly and tasty!

Rudy's Snack BarRudy's Snack Bar Rudy's Snack Bar Rudy's Snack Bar

Apart from the more common fries and chicken wings/drumlets on the menu, they also serve some really addictive chewy fish crackers, which is actually based off the traditional malay fish cracker snack called Keropok Lekor. This variation is unlike the ones you usually find in pasar malams in Singapore and Malaysia as it is not crunchy, but instead has a fluffy texture. Served with a sweet and spicy chili dip, it’s a perfect pairing while you guzzle down pints of India Pale Ales (IPAs) on a humid evening!

Rudy's Snack Bar

One thing I didn’t get to try though, is their traditional nasi lemak. Wrapped in the ol’ school “bungkus” style goodness, it is only available on Thursdays (I passed by on a Tuesday. Check out their Instagram page for updates). I’ll be back, as there are plenty more snacks such as spring rolls, fried wanton dumplings and many others to try!

The Verdict

hole-in-the-wall-ness:
You wouldn’t expect such a snack stall to be in a hawker food centre, and it’s pretty much tucked in a corner of the place, which gives it this score.

Price:
A slight premium for a mix of difference commonness, but being situated within reach of the few craft beer stalls, it’s worth the convenience.

Quality:
Food is served freshly cooked and piping hot, with generous dressings (for the cheese fries). The owner shared with me that their chewy fish crackers are also freshly prepared as they are quite popular amongst the regulars.

Overall:
Never ever shy away from decently priced beer bites when you see it. Period.

More Information

Rudy’s Snack Bar
Blk 335 Smith Street
#02-066 Green Zone
Chinatown Complex Food Centre
Singapore 050335
Opens Tuesdays to Saturdays, 5:30pm to 10:00pm
Facebook | Instagram


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