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