We scour the bar scene to bring you the new and note­wor­thy. It’s a tough job, but some­body’s got to do it!

Expat Living (Singapore) - - Wine & Dine - – An­thia Chng

Here’s a look at some cook­ing class high­lights for this month and next.

Ul­ti­mate Pa­leo Fri­day, 5 May from 10am to 1pm $165 per per­son

This brand new course takes a com­pre­hen­sive look at the pa­le­olithic diet: how it works, what’s in­volved and how to get started. The class will also de­bunk any pa­leo myths and teach five clever recipes that’ll let you mimic for­bid­den foods: spiced crispy chicken nuggets, turmeric flat­bread, pesto beef burg­ers, pump­kin spice muffins and fudgy co­conut brown­ies.

High Pro­tein Sal­ads Wed­nes­day, 17 May and Wed­nes­day, 24 May from 10am to 1pm $165 per per­son

Learn some fresh ideas for turn­ing your same- old sal­ads into in­ter­est­ing, in­spired and pro­tein- rich par­ties in your mouth. Note: the 17 May and 24 May classes will fea­ture dif­fer­ent salad recipes, so go ahead and sign up for both!

#B1-00 Haw Par Glass Tower 178 Cle­menceau Av­enue 6904 4019 | hop­heads­bar.com

First im­pres­sions: In­con­spic­u­ously housed in an of­fice build­ing base­ment near Dhoby Ghaut MRT, newly re­lo­cated Hop­heads is un­der­stat­edly cool, with a min­i­mal­ist de­sign that fea­tures con­crete walls and steel fur­nish­ings. Min­i­mal­ist doesn’t mean small though – there are plenty of seats (180 to be ex­act) and tons of free space to roam around. On the playlist are R&B and pop tunes, chan­nelling a hip, mod­ern un­der­ground bar vibe. You’ll find a mix of univer­sity stu­dents, of­fice work­ers and tourists gath­ered at Hop­heads, look­ing to un­wind with drinks and games – there’s a ping pong ta­ble, darts and board games for all.

The Cho­sen One: Beer lovers are in for a treat; what’s on tap changes on a ro­ta­tional ba­sis, and there is a splen­did se­lec­tion of bot­tled beers from around the world. I went for the lim­ited edi­tion Gos­nell’s El­der­flower Mead ($17), a rare find ac­cord­ing to Hop­heads owner Ethel, who said that they are one of only a few lo­cal bars stocking it. The bot­tled mead was mildly sweet with a flo­ral kick, yet still light and re­fresh­ing – per­fect for a hot day. If you’re a fan of dark lager, we’d rec­om­mend the Deschutes Black Butte Porter ($14), a smooth, creamy and full-bod­ied brew. Apart from beers and ciders, wines and spir­its by the glass are also avail­able.

The Cheap­skate: Asahi goes for $8 a pint on week­days from 3pm to 6pm, while you can get a pint of Kro­nen­bourg 1664 Blanc for $13 from mid­day to 9pm. Mains and sides are kept at pocket-friendly, sub-$20 prices. Folks work­ing around the area will ap­pre­ci­ate the $8.80 lunch special, which gets you a main dish, free-flow iced lemon tea and all the ping pong you wish to play – a com­plete steal, in my opin­ion.

Bite on this: While Hop­heads is pri­mar­ily known for drinks, you can come here hun­gry, too. A pop­u­lar pick is the salted egg yolk pasta ($16.90), which fea­tures fried breaded prawns atop spaghetti in a creamy, salted egg yolk sauce. A lo­cal spin on car­bonara, this dish had a strong, salty egg flavour on the first of cou­ple bites, which was soon over­pow­ered by the cheese in the sauce. None­the­less, it’s a note­wor­thy take on lo­cal flavours, and the gen­er­ous por­tion makes it great for shar­ing. Not in the mood for pasta? Al­ter­na­tives in­clude burg­ers and snacks such as the chilli beef na­chos ($16.90) and patata bravas ($9.90).

Last but not least: Hop­heads or­gan­ises house par­ties with live DJS and drink pro­mo­tions from time to time. Check their Face­book page ( face­book. com/ hop­headssin­ga­pore) for up­dates!

The vibe: In­spired by Barcelona beach cul­ture, this ca­sual and colour­ful beach­front spot is a great place to chill out with some cock­tails while the kids run amok in the large, sandy space just out­side. If you like Tan­jong Beach Club, you’re sure to love FOC (pro­nounced “folk”), too, as it has a pool and ca­banas, an al­fresco ter­race, and an airy, in­door din­ing area and bar. Two pri­vate rooms on the sec­ond level are avail­able to book for group get-to­geth­ers, birth­day bashes, you name it! The food: Cre­ated by Miche­lin-starred Chef Nandu Jubany, FOC’S menu is “con­tem­po­rary Mediter­ranean with a Span­ish touch” and fea­tures ev­ery­thing from oys­ters, hot and chilled ta­pas and an ar­ray of bar­be­cue items, to four types of paella ($28-80) and two types of cal­doso rice dishes ($36-140, de­pend­ing on size) – there’s a lot to choose from here.

For us, stand­outs in­cluded the won­der­fully flavoured veg­e­tar­ian paella ($28 for two to share), full of charred broc­coli and other yummy veggies, the savoury and ten­der Gali­cian-style oc­to­pus ($22), a de­li­cious roasted leek salad ($14), and the lovely grilled zucchini and tomato carpac­cio with pesto and pine nuts ($12) – this salad was so tasty and fresh, we couldn’t get enough of it. Less im­pres­sive was the FOC fish and chips, which we’d been told was a must-try sig­na­ture; with so many Span­ish op­tions to choose from, I’d sug­gest or­der­ing some­thing else.

Do try the Jack Spar­row’s mo­jito, made with pas­sion fruit, vanilla, mint and rum – yum!

There’s no kid’s menu; for them, you could choose from a se­lec­tion of mostly fried foods like cod fritters ($12) or fried cala­mari ($16) – un­less, of course, your child has a more re­fined palate. The stars of the show: Don’t leave be­fore dessert! My hus­band loved the su­per-sour Gin & Tonic Lime dessert ($10) – a gin-in­fused, lime sor­bet over ice, while I went nuts over the Yin Yang Cracker ($14) – a thin cookie sand­wich the size of my head (lit­er­ally) that’s filled with hazel­nut cream and pre­sented in a metal yin-yang holder. It was in­spired by the Cata­lan neula, a su­per-thin bis­cuit that’s tra­di­tion­ally eaten at Christ­mas-time.

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