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Freehouse

Right at the middle of downtown is Freehouse, a bar opened in 2016 that “was birthed from a thirst that could only be quenched by good beer and cider”. With up to 16 rotating taps of craft beer (they’re usually almost at full capacity), you can be sure that you’ll only be thirsty for that guy/girl down the bar 😉 Situated in a shophouse in the Telok Ayer area, its intimate settings ensures you that there’s definitely “no strangers here”.

Week of the Dog at Freehouse

Yo Dawg, so I heard it’s the Year of the Dog, so Freehouse’s got some (hot)dogs at the week of the dog, so you can dog while you dawg!

Just over the last week, while basically half of the bars you frequent were closed over the Chinese New Year week, Freehouse started the year of the dog with a week long event starring their very own bar manager, Christian!

The Week of the Dog featured a special event-only menu made of gourmet sausages, corn dogs and more importantly (to me), TATER TOTS “smothered in homemade meat/beach chilli! With Christian in the kitchen (no sandwiches today), we devoured most of the brutally-named menu, such as the Brat-tallica, a Bratwurst topped with home-made braised red cabbage, Sauerkraut, Bacon, Hefeweizen Cheese Sauce, Spicy Mustard and Devil’s Ketchup; or if you’re in camp Dave Mustaine, there’s The Megadeth Corn Dog, that’s dipped in a special honey-infused buttermilk batter and deep fried to golden glory!

We also checked out good ol’ Trogdor the Burninator, our favourite strong-armed winged beast represented with Tater Tots smothered in molten Cheddar Cheese (that’s enough to make Torbjorn breathe heavily), Home Made Stout Bean/Meat Chilli, Srircha, Sour Cream and Devil’s Ketchup. Beware of the fire-breathing dragon!

No Strangers Here

Beyond the special menu for the week, Freehouse also offers a pretty wide range of bar snacks and dinner items (they’re usually not open for lunch). Favourites include the Cereal Frog Legs, Grilled Eggplant and Japanese Curry Fries just to name a few. Food menu may also change time to time, so find out the latest while you’re there!

Of course being one of the increasingly popular craft beer bar in Singapore, Freehouse offers a rotating selection of delicious craft beer from around the world, as mentioned previously having a capacity of 16 taps in full view of their white tiled display wall. New and seasoned craft beer enthusiasts are more than welcome, as your friendly neighbourhood bar guy Christian will surely put the right beer in front of you. Events and tap takeovers from particular breweries (such as the recent Battle Royale of Vietnamese breweries Pasteur Street and Heart of Darkness) also happen regularly, so be sure to like their Facebook page to keep yourself updated. For a good deal, head down to their Pint & Grub Mondays, where any pint with a side from a selected list go for only $20++!

 

Verdict

hole-in-the-wall-ness:
Price:
Quality:
Overall:

More Information

Freehouse
21A Boon Tat Street
Singapore 069620
Email: info@freehouse.com.sg
Opening Hours: 5:00pm to 12:00am (Tuesdays to Saturdays), 3:00pm to 12:00am (Fridays only). CLOSED MONDAYS.
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Anyone who’s heard of Kah Hiang Restaurant (嘉香餐馆) at International Plaza would remember their homely Cantonese cuisine that kind of reminds you of the stuff that grandma makes during the big reunion dinner every Chinese New Year. Now, after more than 40 years of serving delectable signature dishes at their quaint little corner along Anson Road, they are ready to move this household name towards modern times.

Myo Restobar

To be honest, when I first received the email invitation for a hosted dinner, I thought it was another one of those Japanese-fusion restaurants that’s pretty trendy nowadays. Then I realised that the “Myo” in “Myo” Restobar has a couple of meanings to the owners; one being a play on the Chinese words “妙嚥” (miào yàn) which is to “swallow/consume wonder or delight”, and another as I learnt from 2nd generation owner Mr Ng Kia Jin, a reflection of their Buddhist beliefs. He quotes:

“Myo restobar aims to reach out to new audiences while supporting our International Plaza flagship. We realise that while the older generation may be very familiar with our brand, the newer generation is not. Myo plans to introduce Kia Hiang’s recipe of traditional Cantonese cuisine, values and our high standards to the 21st century.”

Mr Ng Kia Jin, 2nd generation owner of Kia Hiang Group

Just a stone’s throw away from their original place of service, Myo Restobar is similarly tucked away on the 19th floor of Oxley Tower, along Robinson Road. Unlike the boxy, retro interior of the first restaurant, Myo sports a chic modern look, complete with a decent city view and swanky furniture. They also serve a nice range of modern liquor, and even craft beer!

What’s not changed however is their dedication to bringing goodness of Kia Hiang’s signature dishes to the table. First in particular, the Kia Hiang Claypot Spring Chicken. Deep-marinated and braised in a claypot with their secret sauce for hours while being wrapped in exactly 5 full leaves of cabbage, what initially looks unappealing will convince even the harshest critics when you cut up the chicken. The tenderness of the meat is immediately felt as it melts in your mouth, not to mention the aroma of many hours of tender loving care during preparation.

To push the envelope, Myo has a “zhng-ed” (elevated/pimped up) variant. The Kia Hiang Claypot Organic Chicken uses premium organic chickens that grow up really comfortable and even listen to classical music (some of us don’t even get that treatment at work!) This variant is said to be even juicier and flavourful. Both versions come very limited daily as they are prepared in set quantities the night before, so call ahead if you want to ensure you don’t arrive disappointed!

Short story time: Mr Ng said his father initially cooked this exclusively for staff meals (which is a common perk for Chinese restaurants since back in the days, which many still perpetuate today), and when some regulars got to try it as well, they convinced him to put it on the menu. The rest is history!

Photo courtesy of Myo Restobar

Myo also chose to expand their menu to include modern restaurant fare, such as their Baked Hamachi Collar and Angus Tenderloin Cubes with Garlic and Broccoli. In fact do check out their full menu which also includes affordable yet luxurious lunch sets!

Another menu selection Kia Hiang is known for is their Dim Sum. We were treated to a wide range of Dim Sum with modern twists such as the Gold Foil Dumplings with Assorted MushroomsFlakey Angus Beef Pastry (basically same texture as a 叉烧酥 but with marinated beef; MUST TRY) and Healthy Walnut Buns.

As a Cantonese myself, I can tell you that no Cantonese meal can end WITHOUT any desserts. Without failing to weave tradition into modernity, Myo offers classics such as Double Boiled Peach Gum w/
Red Dates and a modern Young Coconut Stewed with Peach Gum & Egg White (which we tried), along with a Durian Mochi to end the evening.

Speaking of durian, short story no.2: Mr Ng explained that Kia Hiang is actually a big player in supplying mooncakes in Singapore, and is seen as the O.G. of durian mooncake, which is more synonymous with a particular hotel near Orchard Road to the younger crowd. So don’t be surprised that the mooncake you got as a gift or bought from the mooncake fair is actually supplied by Kia Hiang!Verdict

hole-in-the-wall-ness:
Despite being smack in the middle of the CBD, you will not find it easily. In fact I’ve met a group of invited media personalities at the building lobby and we all struggled to find the correct lift, as the lift panels have different floor buttons on each side! So when you’re there, go to Lift Lobby 1, and the button to level 19 is at the inner side of the lift.

Price:
While priced at a premium for sure, they are still considered quite value-for-money for the quality you’re getting, although it’s not what you might want to pay for every day.

Quality:
For the millennials, your parents would possibly have memory of this place (Mr Ng said they were a popular paktor venue for meals). You can be sure they will attest to the level of quality that the elder Mr Ng set out, which is dutifully continued by his son Kia Jin at their new venture.

Overall:
Now that Chinese New Year is round the corner, how about give your grandma/mum/whoever is in the kitchen a break, and give them a try for a change. They will thank you for it. Who knows, maybe the claypot chicken will bring back happy memories, or to make new ones!

More Information

Myo Restobar
138 Robinson Road
#19-01
Oxley Tower (access through Lobby 1)
Singapore 068906
Reservations: Website or Call +65 90260718 / +65 69311247
Opens Daily 11am – 9pm (Closed on Saturday & Public Holidays)

[GIVEAWAY] Read till the end of this article for a giveaway!

Morganfield’s Orchard Central

Morganfield’s, of Sticky Bones – American BBQ pork ribs, slow cooked to tender perfection – has just opened their 4th outlet at Orchard Central! Perched high up at level 11, you can expect the same delicious ribs in town, smokey, juicy and tender, slathered with your favorite sauce! Best washed down with a nice pint of beer, mmm.

Speaking about beer, a new feature at Morganfield’s Orchard Central is Bar MF, the highest craft beer bar in Orchard Road. This craft beer bar aims to make craft beer more approachable and accessible, and they serve up to 10 rotating beers on taps from all over the world. Don’t worry about being called a noob if you’re new. Simply approach the friendly bartender, and he will be more than happy to introduce you to the wonderful world of craft beer, and find one that suits you best! Expect crowd favorite brands, and crafted seasonal specials as well.

Morganfields Beerfarm Morganfields Beerfarm

We were invited to their launch event where some of their favourites were served, such as the Pulled Rib Sliders, Crispy Golden Pork (must try) and Candied Bacon (!!!). Being at the pinnacle of Orchard Road dining means that the restaurant is a great place to gather with friends for a hearty meal or colleagues for a round of after work drinks, away from the bustling city crowd. You can expect great quality food, and equally great beers here!

Morganfields Beerfarm Morganfields Beerfarm Morganfields Beerfarm Morganfields Beerfarm Morganfields Beerfarm Morganfields Beerfarm Morganfields Beerfarm

Check out their regular promotions too, like their Weekend Ribs Buffet where you get free flow ribs at $40++ every weekend and public holidays from 11am to 4pm. Did I also say that kids eat for free on weekends too (with every purchase of any mains, up to two kids’ meals per table). Check out their website (link below) for more information.

Beerfarm – Established For The Future

Breaking the duck for both Morganfield’s, as well as their own appearance in Singapore is Beerfarm brewery, from Metricup, Western Australia. Living by their mantra “Established For The Future“, Brewmasters Neal and Peter came to Singapore for the first time to tell about how Beerfarm prides itself as a brewery that makes award-winning beer in a sustainable fashion that grows with their local community.

We were treated to a wide selection of their beers, ranging from the light, crisp West Coast Lager to the punchy, hoppy India Pale Ale (IPA) and the milky Milk Stout. Each had a distinct character and taste; a hallmark of the dedication to stringent brewing practices and quality ingredients. My personal favourite was their Belgian Sour and all its tarty glory, and the Barrel Aged-Marmalade Saison, of which the Seville oranges were actually picked from a tree from their own farm.

New or seasoned craft beer enthusiasts, do check out their decorated India Pale Lager, or “the beer the brewers make for their own selfish pleasure”. Bagging the “Best International Lager” at the 2017 Australian International Beer Awards, it is a vibrant mix of tropical fruit flavours and the aroma of a few hop varieties (Magnum, Mosaic & Saaz for the nerds), matched with a light maltiness and fiinshed with a crisp bitterness.

Morganfields BeerfarmMorganfields Beerfarm

GIVEAWAY

Score some free chow at Morganfield’s Orchard Central! Stand a chance to be the one lucky winner to walk away from a $50 voucher*! To participate:

Instagram:

Follow @MorganfieldsSingapore and @holeinthewallsg on Instagram and comment on this post:

  • What do you look forward to seeing in Morganfield’s Orchard Central
  • Participants to tag someone you would like to visit Morganfield’s Orchard Central with!

Contest is open to all Singaporean/PR residents with a public Instagram account. Remember to set your profile to public! This contest ends by 22 December 2017 11:59PM.

More Information

Morganfield’s Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road
#11-03/04
Orchard Central
Singapore 238896
Reservations: 66341828
Facebook | Instagram | Website


Beerfarm
177 Gale Road
6280 Metricup, Western Australia
Australia
Email: orders@beerfarm.com.au
Facebook | Instagram | Website

p.s. Thanks Neal for the beer talk!

I’ll have another beer, I’m not driving – Father Theodore, Trappist Monk

Craft beer in Singapore is still a pretty new scene, so while there are quite a few bars in the Central Business District, it’s quite uncommon to have one beyond the city boundaries. So when I heard of one in the Macpherson/Potong Pasir area, I knew I had to go there one day.

My memory of Tai Thong Crescent is pretty fuzzy as it has been really long since I’ve really gone there. ever since the old Jackson Center with its delicious ngo hiang (that has moved to an adjacent coffeeshop) was torn down. So to arrive there to see the iconic jagged edge facade replaced with swanky new condominium blocks was kind of melancholic. Not to mention it was still drizzling when I was there.

Courtesy of streetdirectory.com
Courtesy of myimagesofsingapore.blogspot.sg

Growler’s Craft Beer & Bistro

Opened just a few months back in February 2017, the bar’s concept is eponymous: apart from taking a (cold) pint at the bar after work, you get to buy a full growler (basically a big glass/metal beer bottle; usually 1-2 litres but this one here is 2 litres) worth of golden goodness home if you want to. So just a couple weekends ago they just had their grand opening, and boy was it a blast! Placed along row of shophouse units across where Jackson Centre used to be, it’s a minutes stroll from Potong Pasir. Don’t bother driving here because of 1) lack of parking and 2) don’t drink and drive (important!!!)

I didn’t get to try their regular menu when I arrived as only bar bites (free throughout!) were available (only to be opened later into the night but I was already so stuffed). I did however get enough of beer to make my trip worthwhile though. In between platefuls of sweet potato fries and chicken wings (rather good!), a beer on a rainy evening doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all. Speaking which, they have a curation of beers on tap and in bottles; currently they serve beers from local brewery Circa 7 on tap, and I do recall they switch it up now and then. So check their Facebook page for updates! In the meantime, enjoy ice-cold favourites like the Working People’s Golden IPA and Pursuit of Hoppiness IPA; or if you’re not into heavy beers, the Bohemian Pilsner. Definitely refreshing and suitable for Singapore’s warm humid climate!

We did manage to order the salted egg yolk chicken burger at the end for a hungry latecomer and yes as seen on the photos, it’s pretty big and filling, yum!

Special mention: sick jell-o shots bruh!

More Information

Growlers Craft Beer & Bistro
37 Tai Thong Crescent
Singapore 347862
Reservations: 83539572
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 11.00pm (12:00am on Fri/Sat)

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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