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Pub Grub

Pub Grub

Pub grub has evolved. It has gone from being a suspicious looking pile on your plate that you'd down with a pint and pray to God that you wouldn't die afterwards, to becoming tasty fare that wouldn't be out of place in a decent restaurant. Here's a list of the pubs with grub so good it convinced me to put my pint down and take a picture.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

But time and chance happen to them all. This is especially true when you’ve got a pandemic that comes straight outta nowhere and shuts down entire countries. It’s especially bad if you’ve just sunk an enormous amount of capital into starting up a swanky new place, such as in the case of @wearehopstationsg.⠀

When I visited last month, the Hop Fish & Chips ($18++) were screaming my name and it wouldn’t stop until I chose it. ‘Twas a commendable choice, as one rarely ever goes wrong with two flaky fish fillets coated with a crunchy beer batter and deep fried to glorious golden perfection. While I detest peas, the mashed peas on the side were sumptuous & zesty enough to make me tolerate it.

It definitely needs more of that tantalising tartar sauce, and both the fish & chips do need some salt and vinegar shaken (not stirred) over it. Still, it’s a fabulous fix of fish & chips, and if they manage to maintain their standards, I would definitely return for it once the lockdown is over.

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At $19.90 nett, @birdienumnumgastrobar pork knuckle is one of the cheapest, messiest and most delicious pork knuckles round town. The meat within is moist and flavourful, while the pork rind that’s been cut in pieces beforehand is ultra crispy & stunningly satisfying. Wash that down with a $11 pint of beer at happy hour, and all is well with the world for just a little while.⠀

Birdie’s got islandwide delivery going on right now, with a minimum order of $55 and a small $5 delivery fee. It’s a little trickier than usual to hit $55, as none of Birdie’s mains, pastas or even pizzas breach the $20 mark. So get in there and support these birds, ASAP. #savefnbsg isn’t just about supporting famous cafes & restaurants during this coronavirus shenanigan. It’s also about supporting your humble neighbourhood watering holes. Beat the beer virus with more beer. It works, trust me bro.

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Freehouse has been there for a few years now, but Taco Mantra’s invasion & occupation of their kitchen happened about a year or so ago. Taco Mantra updated their menu quite recently, which is why I was there. Besides the beer, of course.⠀

Run by Elijah & his fiancée Esh, Taco Mantra tout themselves as an Indian Mexican pub grub concept. Their Grilled Cheese Naanwich ($15++) is most definitely Indian inspired, as it’s really just a grilled cheese sanga with the bread substituted with some light, fluffy as fuck naan.⠀

It’s nigh impossible to go wrong with grilled cheese between two slices of carbs, and the Naanwich does hit the spot. I do wish that there was more cheese in those naan pockets, but it’s positively piquant. It’s a straightforwardly savoury sponge that soaks up all of those beers you’ve been chugging down from Freehouse’s big, beautiful wall quite excellently.⠀

I know we live in a society, and society’s pretty afraid to go out right now. Can’t blame ‘em, the ‘rona is back stronger than ever like the Undertaker. However, if you can brave it for a pint or two of liquid courage, please #savefnbsg, as pubs & bars in the CBD have been absolutely bodied by the virus.⠀

The bars & pubs were there for us when we needed ‘em, now it’s time to prove to these fountains of life that the streets don’t forget.

Thanks for generously hosting us Taco Mantra, and thanks for organising Burpple!

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Oh for shucks sakes why is it shucking Monday again? On the bright side, @theoysterbank is here to alleviate the shellacking your spirits have taken from Monday at $2++ per oyster during their Happy Shucking Hours (1700-2000 on weekdays). I have no idea if the oysters are Canadian or NZ mollusks, but all I know is that they’re fresher than the Prince of Bel-Air. Oh, and they’re larger than life as well.

With every alcoholic drink purchased, you get to order half a dozen yuge ocean fresh oysters. Theoretically speaking, you could just eat nothing but oysters if you keep the alcohol flowing. I see this as an absolute win! Yeah, you can take that to the bank.

It’s pretty out of the norm for a fish market to serve up smoky, stellar skewers of chicken, but Fish Mart Sakuraya does. Nobody expects it, just like how NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!

The chicken thigh fillets were superbly grilled to glorious perfection before being utterly drowned in a delicious deluge of teriyaki sauce. It may not look like much, but these cocks were plenty meaty.

Better yet, a pair of these delicious cocks comes with a half pint of Suntory Premium Malt for just $10.70 (GST included). Not a bad way to alleviate the Monday blues, really.

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I must say, the guy who dreamed up this dish needs to be given a raise, ASAP. This bowl of California Maki Dip is priced at $12++, but most of the ingredients that go into it is pretty cheap. That’s one helluva profit margin right there. So, why would anyone fork out $12++ for a dish that costs relatively little to make?

It’s quite possibly the most addictive snack to ever cross your lips, and once you start eating it, you can’t stop. Yes, it’s just crabstick, cucumber, tamago (egg) & possibly avocado tossed in mayonnaise, but it’s inexplicably addictive. It’s creamy yet light, and sweet yet sufficiently savoury at the same time. Just like revenge & sake, it’s best served cold. The rice crisps on the side are pure brilliance, as they add more saltiness & a very charming crunch to the whole affair.

Yeah, it’s $12++ for the filling in a California roll, but there’s no bullcrab going on here. It’s all legitimately delicious business.

Uni (sea urchin), so hot right now. Any halfway decent restaurant with any trace of Japanese influence on their menu is definitely gonna have it on there, and @lecoqsg is no exception.

Sure, it’s just uni on toast, but wait, there’s MOAR! The umami uni is creamy, redolent & rich, and the toast ain’t just toast, it’s GARLIC toast. Ohh yeah baby. Wash it all down with a shot of happy hour scotch, and this umami uni will have you going “ooh mommy”.

Big shoutout to @burpple for organising this Eatup, and @lecoqsg for the hospitality!


Miss, I noticed that you’re highly interested in seeing...Le Coq. And this cock is tender, juicy and pleasantly spicy thanks to the numbing mala paste slathered on the meat. The poached chicken is probably a cut of breast, but it’s still marvellously moist and sensually supple. Not much in the way of flavour, but that’s where you allow the mala mix to introduce itself and turn Le Coq into some scintillatingly spicy meat that’ll make you sweat.

Of course, this hot & spicy meat is best enjoyed with an alcoholic drink or two. Hot and spicy meat...hehe 🅱️oi.

Thanks a million for the invite to the Eatup, @burpple & @lecoqsg! Love y’all.


Freehouse x Taco Mantra did (and are still doing) some delish dogs for the most American day of the year (yep, July 4 if you couldn’t guess). They’ve all got a bomb.com burger that’s gotten the approval of fellow alcoholic and Tastemaker Jason, so it’s definitely worth wrapping your lips around too.

Their Proud Chili dog ($15++) lives up to the menu description, as a big ass chicken frank is quite literally drowned in chili con carne. The only annoyance I had with the hotdog was that the buns weren’t toasted. Seriously, it cant be that hard to toast some buns, can it?

Aside from that, the chili was stellar, being chunky and chock full of mouthwatering minced beef with a nice paprika powered punch. The chicken frank itself was one delicious dog, and the casing had a sensually satisfying snap with each bite that I took as I devoured the dog.

Of course, the Proud Chili wouldn’t have been nearly as outstanding without the breathtaking beers straight outta the Wall, and it all comes together to make a man a happy dog, dawg.


Offshore has been a low key pub in Kovan that’s been high key pumping up their SES status from a neighborhood watering hole to a more refined and upper class watering hole. With Hoegaarden (yee) and Stella Artois (yee yee) on tap, as well as meat skewers like this Hungry Platter 2 ($13.80 before 10% service charge), they’re definitely doing it right.

Seven sticks are better than 7 rings, and Offshore’s Hungry Platter is proof positive of that #fact. The seven skewers (not dwarfs) are a Thai spice infused spicy cured top shell, a barbecued spicy pork collar, bbq char chicken thigh, and a Moroccan styled bbq cumin garlic lamb. There’s also a fried crispy chicken thigh, and Caribbean style beef meatballs, as well as Asian Five Spice pork meatballs.

Each and every individual skewer was utterly unctuous, but special mention must be given to the smashingly succulent and particularly piquant pork collar, as well as the luscious lamb. The pork collar was felicitously fatty and full flavored thanks to the spice rub which penetrated deep into the flesh. The lamb was sensationally spiced, and when combined with a stellar sear on the meat, the natural gaminess of lamb was reduced to a mild, manageable level.

The beef and pork meatballs were most likely handmade in house, as mass machine manufactured ones are highly dense and don’t fall apart no matter what. The meatballs in the Hungry Platter 2 were more loosely packed and fell apart when bitten into. Plus, they were indisputably tasty. The chili dip on the side tasted a lot like the chili paste you’d get out of a pack of instant noodles, but it wasn’t all that bad.

The Hungry Platter could be shared between two, or you could easily smash it solo with no shame whatsoever. Come thirsty too, cause you’re definitely gonna want a nice cold pint or four of either Hoegaarden or Stella to wash it all down.


If you get that blatant song reference, congratulations, you old af. What’s not old, however, is alittle tashi’s unique take on Asian fusion tapas, which is distinctly new age.

Their charred miso Brussels sprouts ($12++, foreground plate) is a rendition of an almost universally reviled vegetable that manages to make it somewhat tolerable. When alittle tashi typed ‘charred’ into their menu, they really meant it. The sprouts are well and truly charred, masking the repulsive flavor that Brussels sprouts are infamous for and giving it some pleasantly charred flavors. It’s served with a dab of creme fraiche, which uplifts the texture of the sprouts and gives it a luscious creaminess, along with a hint of sourness.

We eagerly ordered crispy chicken skin with garlic salt ($8++, background bowl) but we weren’t expecting it to look like those dried cuttlefish snacks we all know and love. A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one as these chicken skins were astonishingly light unlike all other fried chicken skins out there. While the garlic salt seasoning was uneven and spotty in places, alittle tashi’s chicken skins were eminently enjoyable due to its low oil content and its lighter than air properties. It’s a picture perfect pairing with a good beer, and its an absolute shame that alittle tashi doesn’t have any beers on tap.

But wait, there’s more! These bar snacks were just the prelude to a stunningly sumptuous meal.

It might be titled as Bombay Chicken Burger on the menu, but it tastes a lot more like Glutton’s Bay Satay. That’s a compliment, mind you.

The juicy chicken thigh fillet is generously rubbed down with an alluringly aromatic spice mix and is grilled to sublimity. A moreish mango chutney is slathered atop the juicy fillet and is topped off by piccalilli before being smothered between two pillowy, stupendously toasted buns.

The spice mix is really reminiscent of the spice mix old school satay hawkers used to marinate their sumptuous satay in. The chicken thigh fillet is juicy and such a satisfying thing to bite into. The mildly sweet and tangy mango chutney, combined with the sour piccalilli, adds an acidic sharpness to the umami deliciousness of the chicken fillet. The burger is perfectly balanced, as all things should be.

The Bombay Chicken Burger is best washed down with a big, boozy beer straight from one of Freehouse’s taps of joy. And that’s made even better by Freehouse’s very worthwhile $20 Pint & Grub Tuesday’s, where the Bombay Burger and a refreshing pint of beer go hand in hand for just $20.


Alcohol may not be good for my body, but my body is good for alcohol.

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