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Heard about this little hideout in Bukit Timah quite some time ago and finally paid it a visit to verify if its beef burger lives up to the recommendations i've heard about it. It's rather along the west end of Singapore so i had to drive around and got lost a couple of times before i found it but i'm truly glad i did.
The location is nothing to shout about, after all, it resides in a corner coffeeshop location and shares the space with an Indian food stall and a bar calling itself Bar Bar Black Sheep. Not that i'm complaining because the place is excellent. Wooden chairs and al fresco tables gave me an impression that i wasn't in Singapore anymore but rather some hang out place in Australia or USA. The Caucasian friends or expatriats who pack the place certainly aided in giving me this impression but i definitely liked the vibe of this place. Simple yet classy.
Hoegarden and Lime Juice - The drinks here are reasonably priced to be sure. Order it direct from Bar Bar Black Sheep or any of the girls going around to take orders and you'll be served your drink in a short span of time. I ordered 1 pint of ice cold Hoegarden and thank the lord, it was an actual pint at discount prices which was as advertised, ice cold too. I couldn't pin the exact cost but its anywhere between $6-9 for a pint and if you compare it to similar joints, you'll see its actually a great deal
Fish and Chips ($8-10) - My gf ordered fish and chips as we were soon served with a huge, 3 piece fish and chips with generous portions of fries. It helps that everything was fried to a nice golden brown and served hot. The fish and chips, though having tender and sweet flesh, had a rather thick batter which didn't sit well with us. Strip away the batter though, and this works pretty well.
Beef Burger ($12-14) - The star of the day, the beef burger has a patty handmade by the restaurant in the day. The meat was finely pounded and padded together for a slightly crumbly yet firm texture. The beef taste is moderate but strong enough for me while the caremelized onions, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes added more bite to the burger. Did i mention the burger was about the size of a BK whooper? I'm definitely coming back for more of this.
Total bill probably set us back by less then $30 for this meal and i find it money well spent.
Value for money: 8/10
Overall Score: 8/10
I like this place. Its got a rustic and earthly charm to it. And the real draw is how our Caucasian friends or expatriats who frequent this place really gives me the impression i'm not in Singapore. The way this illusion takes away my troubles is quite simply, priceless. Throw in good beer on tap for cheap and a beef burger to give Astons a run for their money and this place has my vote as my favorite ulu bar of the year.
Bar bar black sheep, have you any food?
Yes sir, yes sir, three stalls full!
One for the Indians, one for the Thais.
And one for the Smok’Inn Frogz kitchen by the side.
The epitome of the coolest coffee shop, Bar bar black sheep. With a foot in uptown Bukit Timah, the affluent neighbours and the Caucasians crowd, the rise in the popularity isn’t merely luck. The owner of bar bar black sheep is a pretty smart guy, bringing in an Indian, a Thai food stall and of course Smok’Inn Frogz Kitchen.
With such ear-catching names, who could resist coming down to find out what they are about? Essentially a coffee shop that goes through project makeover, the dim lighting, the laid-back environment, with plenty of boozes, and popular food. Smok’Inn Frogz Kitchen is co-owned by three partners, with the former-chef from Flute @ the Fort coming out with the menu, the second guy managing the finance, and the third dude handling the daily operations.
The de facto signboard for Smok’Inn Frogz, the homemade beef burger ($12) was made popular after the Sunday Times reporter came to try the burger and raved about it. Like they said, the rest was history. Well I was tempted to choose between the chicken or the beef burger, but since they were both priced the same, it didn’t really make sense to choose chicken over beef. Now back to the main character, the beef patty was tender and moist, while the sesame bun was slightly too toasted for my liking. Double cheese and caramelised onions were on hand to enhance the flavour of the burger.
I wasn’t very fond of aglio olio since i always found them to be too spicy and dry. The Prawns linguine Aglio Olio ($14) here wasn’t as spicy like most, as they swapped the small chilli padi with the hot ones instead. Smok’Inn frog rendition was reasonably wet, and had 6 prawns, very generous indeed.
Another of Smok’Inn Frogz’s supposedly signature, Beer-battered fish & chips ($12). The portions were huge, enough for two to share. The beer taste was evident in the fish, but other than that, there wasn’t any spectacular magic about it. And the fish became soggy after a while.
Total bill was $38 for the 3 main course. Prices are reasonable for the food, and with the Caucasian crowd and the Bukit Timah residents packing the place up, it’s difficult to get a seat for dinner on weekends if you came later than 7pm. I’ll also like to apologise for the ugly photos (the worst i took since I used dslr) due to the very dim lighting.
You are always welcome to visit ladyironchef for a full-up on this trip. Whatever written herein are my genuine feelings expressed in words. Food, my dear, is what they call an adventure!
Although this place is really near my house, I've been here a grand total of twice in since the time it has opened.
The Caesar Salad ($8) This wasn't very fantastic - the dressing, which is the key to good caesar salad is mediocre, and doesn't have the nice anchovy taste. I wouldn't have ordered this ordinarily, but I just felt like having caesar salad that day. It's a pretty small portion for $8, and with no eggs, just iceberg lettuce, cheese and topped with fake bacon bits. I think Coffee Bean does a better caesar salad for slightly cheaper.
The French Onion soup (price is either $4 or $5, I can't remember) is packed full of tender onions, and comes with a piece of baguette covered with melted cheese.
Grilled Chicken Burger ($12) - lots of chicken (the real thing, not the processed patty) in a tangy slightly spicy thai dressing. It's a good amount of chicken so I'll be willing to pay the $12 bucks. Of course, if you're comparing this to Astons, Astons is definitely cheaper. The sesame bun is lightly toasted, buttered, and the burger is complete with tomatoes, lettuce and raw onion rings. The mashed potatoes are creamy and buttery, and the daily salad is tossed in vinaigrette dressing.
Of course, it's nearly half price compared to Brewzwerks (small and al fresco)which is just around the corner, but somehow I can't shake the feeling that I'm getting ripped off for a pseudo-coffeeshop turned al fresco bar.
I would definitely go back to eat the burger, but I won't recommend you trudging across half of Singapore. It's great tasting for convenience and free parking (but it's pretty hard to find parking on weekends).
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