Nostalgic Dinner Under the Stars

I was thrilled to receive an invitation to ‘Dine Under The Stars’ with fellow food bloggers at Food Republic Beer Garden on 14th March 2012!

Being a non clubber, I have not visited St James Power Station for over 2 years. Food Republic Beer Garden was a totally unfamiliar name for me. Apparently, some 929 sq ft of St James carpark space was craved out to create a 400 seater open-air hawker enclave a year ago.

20120323-090756.jpg

With St James Power Station in the backdrop, this hawker joint offers a nostalgic 60s street hawker theme concept to both local and tourist diners with 18 rustic-style pushcarts, truck stalls and kiosks selling all time Singapore favorites which I was about to taste in a while. Slurp!

20120323-090806.jpg

You know they definitely did their homework when the great grand ancestor of world renowned ‘Tiger Beer’ by Malayan Breweries was showcased at their Street Bar. Operating behind an disused Tiger Beer Truck, this bar can conjures up 6 different beers on tap, international wines, champagnes and even Singapore’s most beloved cocktail – The Singapore Sling to go with your meals!

20120323-090802.jpg

After a quick round of introduction amongst fellow food bloggers over refreshing Longan & Grass Jelly drink, Project Runway – Foodie’s version commence!

White Rojak ($7, Large Portion) from Aunty Jessie Rojak was the first to come on the dining table. This supposely healthier version of rojak was pleasing to the eye with the inclusion of strawberries. Innovation & aesthetics aside, I did not really find it amazing.

20120323-090824.jpg

Murtabak ($5,.50) from What do you Prata was served up in chopped pieces for diners convenience but it ended up looking a little ‘raw’. Judging from the comments from fellow foodies, local patrons generally preferred having it served in a single big piece. The murtabak was crunchy on the outside and rather generous with its fillings. It’s tasty but I am not yet impressed.

20120323-090830.jpg

Do not be fooled by this Minced Meat Bah Chor Mee ($4.50) from Old Days Minced Pork Noodles modest appearance. It is one of the serious contender for my favourite dish of the night! The delicious sliced mushrooms, stew sauce with a hint of vinegar goes perfectly well with its springy noodles. It’s really tough to decipher if the wow factor comes from the sauce or the noodles. They just taste fantastic together.

20120323-090835.jpg

Signature Braised Trotter ($6.50) from Balestier Bah Ku Teh wasn’t exactly a well presented dish to start with. Contrary to the usual moist, tender and succulent meat texture that resulted from slow cooking in the tasty sweetened black vinegar, the meat was rather tough to bite. Decided to leave room for better dishes.

20120323-090840.jpg

The piping hot Pork Ribs Soup ($6.50) proved to be a good comeback for Balestier Bah Ku Teh.

20120323-090847.jpg

The clear soup riched in pork stock delivered a strong peppery punch and the tender pork ribs are cut into manageable bite size.

20120323-090851.jpg

The Fried Hokkien Mee ($7.00 Large Portion) from Thye Chua also rank high among the other dishes presented. The mee was presented on a opeh leaf with generous morsels of sliced squid, fresh prawns, sliced pork with homemade chilli sauce and fresh lime on the side. Seriously, can fight the one at 313 Somerset Food Republic.

20120323-090857.jpg

The assorted beef, mutton, chicken and beef tripe satay ($0.60 each) from Satay Power was ok only lah. The meat is a little too healthy, I like my satay meat with more fats.

20120323-090902.jpg

The BBQ Sambal Stingray ($12.00) from Boon Tat Street BBQ Seafood was huge! I cannot comment much on this as I have missed out these Stingrays till later part of the dinner. By the time I got down to taste it, it was already a little cold. But based on the comments from the other foodies , it was pretty good.

20120323-090908.jpg

Java Mee ($5.50) from Wok n Roll looks like Char Kway Tiao but its not. The taste is absolutely different. This mee has a sweet, tomato flavor which is rather refreshing. It’s not something familiar for Malay cuisine but there is still a tint of familiarity somewhere. If you are adventurous and wanna try something new, order this.

20120323-090918.jpg

The Dried Chilli Frog Porridge ($8.00 Regular Portion) from Lorong 9 Geylang Frog Porridge is a MUST HAVE! The flavourful frog legs were served separately in a traditional claypot and the sauce alone is enough for me to wolf down my entire bowl of porridge. The frog legs tasted liked a little like chicken, extremely tender & succulent. No wonder this stall earn so many awards and recommendations from publications such as The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao and Shin Min Daily News. This is the BEST DISH of the night for me!

20120323-090913.jpg

To make sure that all of us are well fed for the evening, BBQ Chicken Wings ($1.50 each) from Zhong Zhong Fine Spice was served. Hot and crispy on the outside, juicy and tender inside – this makes really good finger food for chill out with friends over beer.

20120323-090923.jpg

The sweet ending for the evening was Kueh Tutu ($0.60 each) from Chinatown Tan’s Tutu Kueh. For non Singaporean readers, Kueh Tutu is a steamed coconut cake made with finely ground rice flour. The cake is filled with grated coconut cooked with palm sugar or peanuts sprinked with sugar. I am not a fan of Kueh Tutu but it tasted decent.

20120323-090928.jpg

All these time while we were happily munching away, a live band was actually performing hits from the 60s & 70s as well as current chart toppers.

20120323-090812.jpg

Before the evening ended, a group photo of all invited foodies was snapped. Great event, really happy to be able to meet and get to know other food bloggers while enjoying great food & music at Food Republic Beer Gardens.

20120324-155842.jpg

Looking at the price of the dishes, I must say this joint really offers value for money dining for dinners or late night suppers.

Details of the place are as follow:

Food Republic Beer Garden

St James Power Station, 3 Sentosa Gateway S(098544)

Operating Hours: 6pm to 6am (Mon – Thurs) & 6pm to 6am (Fri, Sat & Public Holidays)

You may also like to check out my posts on other delicious food places here

Leave a Comment