Heart of House | Review

The buzz: The folks from Just Beer @ The Atrium and WitBier Café at Kandahar have upped sticks and brought their extensive ale list and super-friendly service to Tiong Bahru in form of new bar Heart of House.

The décor: Bit of a mish-mash, really. A shophouse-tiled floor, some high chairs and tables and a few spaces for kicking back next to 7-Eleven out front. They’ve still got the balloons up from their February opening. It’s not exactly cozy, but it sure is welcoming.

The food: A solid and wide-ranging mix of all-day Western classics, from the full breakfast ($15) and ham and cheese salad ($10) to pasta dishes, pork ribs, Guinness stew and lamb shank. Desserts include Oreo ice cream pie ($6) and chocolate mud cake ($6). If those prices aren’t evidence enough, there’s no service or GST.

The drinks: Beer is what these boys do, with around 50 varieties in stock at any one time. The menu is divided up by both style and country of origin, with Delirium Tremens ($12) and Schneider Blonde ($11) on tap, and an eclectic collection of bottles. New arrivals include the locally-brewed and rather delicious Jungle American IPA ($12), alongside some lesser-seen regional delights (honeydew and lychee beers from North Taiwan Brewery, Kinshachi red miso lager ($10) from Japan) and a host of Belgian, Bavarian, UK (go Wychwood!) and US classics.

The music: Barely noticeable, given how effusive and knowledgeable the front of house staff are. Get them talking about beer and you’ll be there all night.

The crowd: Local residents (it was the first port of call for the newly-formed Tiong Bahru Drinking Club) and weekend spillover from all the cafés and creative spaces.

Why you’ll be back: Because there’s only so many cappuccinos, artsy
books and twee flea markets you can take before you say “Goddamn it man, gimme a beer.”