This laidback gastrobar in Joo Chiat serves up mean Peranakan and Eurasian bites alongside a respectable list of whiskeys and craft beers. There are tipples like Barney’s Flats Oatmeal Stout for the beer fans, as well as a selection of single malts like Hakushu 12 Year Old.
Damian D’Silva (of Soul Kitchen and Big D’s Grill fame) runs this retro cool gastro bar dishing out what seems to be Eurasian-style tapas—you’ll need about three plates a person—off old-school metal dishes. It’s a decidedly macho spot: the servers could give the ladies at Hooters a run for their money in their low-cut tanks and short shorts. Plus, the menu includes enough offal and chili to put hairs on any chest.
But even with all the testosterone-pumped offerings, dinner here is not a slapdash affair. Each recipe is thoughtfully paired with its own special blend of chili sauce. The one which accompanies the aromatic seh bak ($18), braised pig innards, is exemplary with a strong hit of calamansi lime. Other standouts include the sambal goreng ($12), chicken livers, gizzards and prawn in a sweet yet tongue-numbing red sauce, as well as the squid bombs ($14), silky rings of just-cooked calamari bursting with chili paste. If the heat gets too intense, quell the flames with their mild creamy chilled tofu and mashed century egg ($9). Or shovel in spoonfuls of their addictive sambal buah keluak fried rice ($20); it’s counted among their specialties for good reason.
After having such heavy fare, you’re going to want a stiff drink. And they deliver with a comprehensive selection of whiskeys (from $14/shot, $180/bottle) including options from regions such as Speyside and Islay. Take full advantage of the drink list with their Happy Hour deal on daily from 5-9pm. You get 20 percent off bottles of beer, wine and spirits plus 10 percent off most whiskeys.
True to manly form, there’s no dessert menu—and with food this good, we didn’t miss it—but if you insist, there’s an Awfully Chocolate just a few doors down the street.
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