Saturday Beer Club at Bar MF by Morganfield’s: Really, Why Not?

Saturday afternoons are rather strange bits of the week. On Friday night, you’re relieved the week is over. On Sunday, you’re relaxed, and then you scramble to make the most of the evening before the grind of Monday hits.

But ah, Saturday afternoon, the sweet spot of the wonderful weekend, is when you begin to feel rested. Fresh from a lovely lie-in, but not quite ready for the fun of Saturday night, we often look for somewhere to chill on a Saturday afternoon.

And that is precisely where the Saturday Beer Club at Bar MF by Morganfield’s comes in: free flow craft beers from the tap with beer bites from 4-7pm for $55++ a person, and nestled high above the roar of Orchard Road. What’s not to like?

First off, I’ll tell you what I don’t like about it: that it’s monthly. Aw come on, I could get used to this weekly. And I was a little annoyed when I was limited to having just one beer in hand each time. I’m a man who likes to take sips of two pints and compare (editor’s note: we do not condone the writer’s lifestyle ;)). But beyond that, it’s really quite a wonderful concept. I rocked up to the veranda at Orchard Central with a friend (sip your friend’s beer, that’s how you get around the limitation!), and we had a great time just chilling over the drinks and the food.

Morganfield’s inaugural Saturday Beer Club menu! Selection rotates every month!

Each month, there’s 10 types of craft beer and cider. During the inaugural launch of the Saturday Beer Club, flying the Aussie flag are beers from Beerfarm (Perth, Western Australia), Stone and Wood (New South Wales), and Bridge Road Brewers (Victoria). Beerfarm’s India Pale Lager was something that hit the spot for me, even though I don’t usually consider myself too much of a hophead in the flavours I like. Stone and Wood’s Pacific Ale was a good clean starter too: easy and fresh to open the session with. But what really pleased me was finding a good porter in Bridge Road’s Robust Porter: I definitely picked up a taste for the roasty flavour you get in porters while studying in the UK!

That man just wants to pour you a beer, and he’s not going to demand money for it.

American craft beers aren’t forgotten either: Stone Brewing Co. (Escondido, California) and SweetWater Brewing (Atlanta, Georgia) are on the menu too! As befits the current IPA craze on the American craft beer scene, there’s an IPA from each of them on offer. But what’s intriguing is really the SweetWater Blue: a fruit beer made with blueberries. Still fairly serious a beer, but oooh, the blueberry was a nice touch.

For something a little more unusual, there’s also Black Kite Brewery, a microbrewery in Hong Kong. The Saturday Beer Club features their wheat beer, which is rather banana-ey, with a tart taste reminiscent of sour mash. If it’s free flow, why not experiment with your taste buds, right?

But see, it’s not right to me to just drink beer. The Japanese have a concept that relates to alcohol: otsumami, or bar snacks. They believe that good alcohol must go with good snacks, to pair and bring out flavours complementary to each other.

I had no beef with these beef cubes. They were great.

I believe they are right. And the Saturday Beer Club takes good care of you in that department. There’s Coffee Beef Cubes (aahhhh so good), Grilled Prawns, Burnt-end Skewers with Satay Sauce, Smokey Bacon Bourbon Ribs, Salt and Pepper Squid, Candied Peach BBQ Ribs and Popcorn Pork.

Not your ordinary popcorn pork. Also disappears really quickly when you’re sipping beer, and you don’t realise it at all!

It’s not all meat and more meat: sometimes it’s pancakes and…meat.

Still hungry? Help yourself to Mini Blueberry Pancakes with Bacon, or some Potato Salad or Fruit Salad to ease off from the grease.

Just like that, I had a really relaxing afternoon sipping beers, tasting new things, and generally chilling with friends. Well worth it. See you at the next one.

Thank you Morganfield’s for the invitation.
This post was written by Lan Yingjie

Saturday Beer Club
Bar MF by Morganfields

181 Orchard Road
#11-03 Orchard Central
Singapore 238896

Next edition of the Saturday Beer Club will be held 28 July 2018
Priced at $55++ a person
Tickets available here

Pince & Pints Katong: Great Lobsters, Divine Mac & Cheese!

When it first opened in 2014, Pince & Pints Restaurant and Bar at Duxton  garnered a reputation for excellent lobsters fresh off the Atlantic Coast. Fans would therefore be glad to know that the brand has finally expanded with a second outlet in the midst of idyllic Katong.

As I walked down a charming stretch of shophouses on a drizzly Thursday evening, the restaurant’s classy, black-framed, parlour-like full length panels stood out from the rest of its neighbours. A well-stocked bar awaits you as you enter, and I was quickly ushered to the main dining area upstairs.

Its minimalistic and loft-like layout struck a chord in me immediately; there were huge long wooden tables for a big gathering, but the faux-marble tops for the small tables made the area inviting as well. Later did I know that the inspiration behind Pince & Pints was from the owner’s own experience in New York and Boston. As I sat down, I can’t help but notice the interesting grid-like cage ornament on their menu, much like the famed grid street system in New York City (or it may just be my vivid imagination).

Pince & Pints prides itself on serving the best and freshest lobsters in town. Twice weekly, fresh Atlantic lobsters are flown in from the US East Coast, and are transported and stored in in-house tanks before being served to their customers. Incidentally, its distributor also provides fresh seafood to other leading establishments, so you will be guaranteed of the authenticity and the freshness of the crustaceans that you get here.

The Lobster Roll with an exceptional Bun!

We started off with one of their in-house cocktails, Highway Run Into The Midnight Sun ($18++), a refreshing and somewhat overly tangy concoction of gin, vodka and fresh lime with a hint (or two) of cilantro. This is a drink best enjoyed after a brief walk in the summer heat.

The Mixed Platter ($32++; custom tasting portion) was served up next. A mound of perfectly fried fish skin, fried calamari and straight cut fries, what sold me was the incredibly light and refreshing tartar sauce. To be honest, I was never a fan of tartar sauce because of the overly briny versions that we normally get elsewhere. I, however, found myself going back for the restaurant’s tartar sauce more, and more.

The Live Oysters ($30++ for half a dozen) were fresh and decently plump with a pleasant brininess to it, and went really well with the light and tangy red wine vinaigrette.

The Lobster Roll ($58++) is the restaurant’s signature dish. Lobster chunks were laid on top of a toasted bun, and the portion was generous in a light coating of garlic aioli. I was completely thrown away by the bun: it was buttery, golden, and pillow-y. The lobster chunks were intensely savoury, and its salinity paired really well with the sweet and crispy bun. An In-house butter sauce was also provided, and when eaten with the roll gave a smooth round-up to the moreish flavours.

We also had the Steamed Live Whole Lobster ($58++) over the more common grilled version, and had no regrets. Steaming the lobster retained its moisture, and this resulted in a briny but sweet, and somewhat mineral-ly tasting juicy piece of meat. The same butter sauce was served alongside, which when paired with the meat gave it an excellent mouthfeel.

A Divine Lobster Mac & Cheese

Another great rendition of a classic dish would be the Lobster Mac & Cheese ($29++). Glistening in a golden hue, this version had elbow macaroni and large chunks of lobster meat tumbled in a cheesy yet light béchamel. The addition of the lobster lends the dish some salinity which cuts the creamy sauce and making it easy on the palate, and the addition of cognac gave it a slightly flavourful dimension. I am normally averse to creamy dishes, but the lobster macaroni and cheese was certainly an exception. One thing to note: I wish the macaroni could have been cooked a little lesser for a touch more bite in each spoonful.

We also had a Lobster Chowder ($38++) to taste, but I personally found it a bit lacklustre; other than the lobster meat, the dish did not really scream lobster, or seafood to me. It was also a bit heavy on the palate, and I felt it was more of a leek and potato chowder instead of a lobster one.

All in all, I am impressed with the freshness of the ingredients by Pince & Pints. The lobster roll, steamed lobster and lobster mac & cheese were all great; the pairings of the ingredients were thoughtful, yet when it’s time for the star ingredient to shine, it was duly allowed. While the price may be a little steep, the restaurant’s speciality of fresh Atlantic lobsters has its own appeal. Also, if you are looking for somewhere to give yourself a treat, or to have a place to wind down after a hectic week with a group of friends, Pince & Pints deserves a consideration. Oh, and I intend to hunt down the bakery in Chinatown that supplies them their bread for the lobster roll. It was that good.

Thank you Pince & Pints for the invitation.

This article was written by Yan Zhi.

Pince & Pints
95 East Coast Road
Singapore 428793

Reservations: 6386 3988
Website

Opening Hours
Mon – Fri : 12pm – 2.30pm & 5.30pm – 11pm
Sat, Sun & PH : 11am – 11pm (All Day)
Open on Public Holidays
Last Order for Kitchen 10pm

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The Bird Southern Table & Bar: Good food, but its chicken might not fly with everyone

YardBird Southern Table & Bar is among America’s most recognisable restaurants. Its two outlets in Miami Beach and Las Vegas have received much praise for their comfort Southern food, which includes their signature Lewellyn’s Fine Fried Chicken that’s made with a 100-year-old family recipe.

Now YardBird has flown into Singapore, albeit under a different name. Renamed to avoid confusion with the Hong Kong izakaya of the same name, The Bird Southern Table & Bar has been open for business since July across the ground floor and basement one of The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.

The Bird’s menu features numerous Southern classics such as Shrimp ‘N’ Grits, Buttermilk Biscuits and Butter Lettuce and Grilled Mango Salad. But in a nod to its new home, the joint has also incorporated local and seasonal ingredients into the menu. Its crab cakes, for instance, are inspired by local black pepper and chilli crab dishes

Drinks – More than a hundred options

The joint has an extensive drinks menu. Alcohol lovers will be thrilled with more than a hundred options for beers, cocktails, wines, bourbons and whiskeys.

Check out the Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade ($27++), which is the restaurant’s signature punch made with Wild Turkey Bourbon, blackberry puree, fresh lemon, cardamom & Angostura Bitters. Tart and tangy, the cocktail is the right amount of sweet.

For a visually arresting drink exclusive to Singapore, try the Sub-Zero Floral Aviation ($24++). A Lavender-scented fog shrouds the gin-based cocktail, which comprises Marugotu Shibori Yuzu, Maraschino Liqueur and Crème de Violette. The drink tastes sharp, yet retains a pleasant flowery taste.

Excellent range of appetisers, salads and sides

The Deviled Eggs ($14++ for 3) are delicious. Prepared with dill, chives, and smoked trout roe, one is simply not enough. But if you prefer something crispier, order the Fried Green Tomato & Crispy Pork Belly ($14++ for 3). Thanks to the pimento cheese and smoky tomato jam, this dish is slightly sweet and salty. It is an addictive combination.

The Butter Lettuce & Grilled Mango Salad ($18++) is excellent. The char-grilled mango cubes are ripe, fresh and juicy, while the smoked pecans provide texture and a savoury counterpoint to the sweet salad.

I found the Macaroni & Cheese ($14) visually appetising but too rich. This dish is supposedly special because it features five types of artisanal cheeses and a crispy herb crust. But I cannot distinguish the various cheeses and feel full after just a few spoonfuls. Only order this if you are a rabid mac and cheese lover.

Mains – Are they worth it?

Most diners will probably order the Chicken ‘N’ Watermelon ‘N’ Waffles ($45++; half portion depicted) or the Lewellyn’s Fine Fried Chicken ($35++). The Bird is famous for brining its hormone-free chicken over 27 hours, before it is seasoned and then and fried.

I try the former, and while I’m a huge fan of the dish’s honey hot sauce, chilled spiced watermelon, sharp cheddar cheese waffle, and bourbon maple syrup, the chicken does not live up to its mythic status as amongst the United States’ best fried chicken. The chicken is tender but relatively plain – most of the dish’s flavour comes from the honey hot sauce and the outstanding spiced watermelon. I would recommend that you order this to judge the joint’s chicken if you are new to the restaurant. But I will skip this on my next visit and try one of the restaurant’s other mains instead. The restaurant also serves ribs, fish, shrimp and steak.

Go for the Southern sweets!

The Cafe Creme Brûlée (S$16++) is good with its strong coffee flavour, almond orange biscotti and orange gremolata. While tasty, I am not sure if The Bird’s rendition is really that memorable.  Likewise, the Banana Pudding (S$14++) is good but not outstanding. Chantilly cream and vanilla wafers sit atop a rum-soaked banana cake, which contains several fresh banana slices.

Instead of these two desserts, I would save space for more distinctive Southern sweets like the Flower Pot Mississippi Mud Pie ($18++), or the baked-to-order Peach Cobbler ($25++). Do allow 25 minutes for preparation.

Verdict – Pricey with a great ambience

Inspired by the Southern United States, The Bird incorporates modern-rustic design with industrial touches. With its glass windows, the industrial-themed ground floor area offers good views of the pedestrian traffic around Marina Bay and al fresco seating. On the other hand, the basement is done up in the style of a rustic barn and features a private dining room that can be configured into two rooms for 6 to 10 people, and a 30-seater semi-private dining room.

The Bird is expensive, and its signature chicken is not out-of-this-world. But its ambience, drinks, and the high quality of food means it is a place worth saving up for. I will probably return again to sample more of its extensive and promising menu.

Another reason to return to The Bird is the good service. The joint appears to have trained its staff well. Staff constantly check in with diners on their meals, are familiar with the menu, and provide expert recommendations on drink pairings. It is certainly a breath of fresh air.

Thank you, Bird Southern Table & Bar, for the invitation.

The Bird Southern Table & Bar
B1-07
Galleria Level
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Singapore 049433

Reservations: 6688 9959
Website

Lunch
Mon – Fri 11am to 4pm

Dinner
Daily 4pm to 11pm

Weekend Brunch
Sat and Sun 8am to 4pm

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Decadent Sunday Champagne Brunch Buffet at Seasonal Tastes, The Westin Singapore!

Seasonal Tastes at The Westin Singapore is proud to launch their weekly decadent, gourmet buffet delight – the Sunday Champagne Brunch Buffet! With a stunning view of Singapore’s Marina Bay and the South China Sea through the restaurant’s ceiling-high windows from the 32nd floor of Asia Square Tower 2, diners are promised a spectacular afternoon away from the crowds.

Featuring a smorgasbord of mouthwatering delights, tuck in to a generous selection of fresh seafood, roasts, classic international brunch dishes, local and regional favourites, all on top a free-flow selection of champagne, wine, beer, selected cocktails and soft drinks! The champagne brunch buffet is available every Sunday at $148++ or at $88++ (with only one glass of champagne or drink of your choice). And without further ado, here are some gorgeous pictures to whet your appetite further.

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