Where to go when it’s 3 a.m. and you’re hankering for piping hot hawker nosh? Food Republic Beer Garden.
Contributed By Reuel Eugene Tay
It seems that a retro vibe is part of the equation for a great food haunt nowadays. Barely a month after the ‘60s-themed Singapore Food Trail opened up at the Singapore Flyer, another has appeared on the scene—Food Republic Beer Garden.
A joint collaboration between Food Republic and St. James Power Station, this 400-seater open-air food paradise is located right outside St. James Power Station, across from VivoCity.
Old-fashioned pushcarts with wooden frames, glass showcases, large wheels and tarpaulin tops deck the 929-sq-ft open-air ground. Each offers hawker favorites from Hokkien prawn noodles to bak chor mee, a la minute fluffy prata and charcoal grilled chicken wings.
The Beer Garden boasts 18 carefully handpicked “heritage hawker” stalls such as the celebrated Hon Kee Porridge from Malaysia. The must-try dish is, of course, the establishment’s claim to fame, the sliced fish porridge (S$6). The freshness of the ikan parang (wolf herring) served with strips of fresh ginger complements the perfectly textured porridge wonderfully. This is perfect post-clubbing chow.
Over at the famous Satay Power, we tried the beef tripe satay (S$0.60 per stick). Not such a common offering, this satay had us floored at first bite with its unbelievable succulence, flavor and chewiness. One stick is not enough. The stall also serves charcoal-grilled prawns (S$2 per piece) all peeled and skewered to cater to finicky patrons. Try Boon Tat Street BBQ Seafood’s BBQ stingray (S$10) too—the sambal has a fiery kick, and the serving, good for four, is generous for the price.
Other gastronomic highlights include the Old House Melaka Lok Lok, What You Do Prata, Old Days Minced Pork Noodles, Thye Quan Fried Hokkien Mee and Aunty Jessie Rojak; try its white rojak (S$4)—it’s addictive.
Another feature of the Beer Garden is, of course, the beer. There is a fully functional bar retrofitted into the back of a truck selling everything from local and imported beers (bottle or on tap) to fine wines, champagnes, cocktails and mocktails.
The live band performance kicks off at 8 p.m. nightly all the way till 1 a.m. There’s a particularly popular father-and-daughter duo covering hits from the 60s and 70s as well as current chart-toppers, alongside a whole stable of in-house performers from St. James.
On weekends, catch a glimpse of long-lost tradesmen and street entertainers showcasing their wares and talents. There are buskers, kacang puteh men, calligraphers, Chinese barbers (complete with barber chairs)—the works. Obviously, Beer Garden is positioned to give Newton Hawker Centre a run for its tourist dollars, but rest assured that the prices are more than tourist-friendly.
Food Republic Beer Garden
3 Sentosa Gateway
+65 6376 9768
Food Republic Beer Garden is open 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. (Sunday to Thursday) and 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. (Friday and Saturday). Happy Hours from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 50 percent off jugs, mugs, buckets and Shuttles.