This shophouse bar bistro is set up by banker Celina Tan and her engineer husband Kok Fook Onn. Serves modern-style homemade food and boasts of an extensive drinks selection.
First off, thanks to my like-minded boss Howie for this latest Good Things Must Share post. Celina’s GastroBar is introducing two you-can’t-find-it-at-7-11 beers today and is on till 28th May – MOA (New Zealand) & Hitachino Nest Beer. Unfortunately its closed on Vesak Day, so those of you who want to enjoy a Buddhist bank holiday brew will have to look elsewhere. MOA is a brewery helmed by really quirky kiwis with a twisted sense of humour. And that always makes for good beer, we say! In their own words, ‘Brew using traditional costly, inefficient and labour intensive techniques’ and ‘Fifty years ago, before there were lesbians, this is what beer tasted like’.
None of that big beer commercial cost cutting methods for the good folks at MOA
Were there really no female homosexuals more than fifty years ago? Seriously, we didn't know! Thanks, MOA!
Hitachino Nest, on the other hand, is less irreverent (despite the cute cartoon owl logo), and its legacy has somewhat links to the Japanese royal family. Started as a sake brewery, it has since evolved into a craft brewery and they recently started a winery as well, having just acquired 4,000 sq metres of vineyard. The first batch of Merlot and Chardonnay were turned into 2 hectoliters of alcoholic grape beverage in 2004.
No mice flavoured beer from these guys... yet?
These guys are available in other parts of Asia such as Hong Kong and Shanghai. Now in Singapore.
MOA Tasting Notes
MOA ($16+ per bottle; $42+ for any 3 bottles)
A champagne-style beer brewed by wine-makers, is a naturally carbonated beer. Available in 4 different flavours:
Noir - Dark lager. Chocolate and roasted coffee beans dominate. A full
flavoured palate giving MOA Noir a long smooth finish.
Blanc - Wheat beer. Brewed with 65% wheat malt, 35% barley malt resulting in an elegantly smooth beer with hints of spice. Like most wheat beers, it has a cloudy appearance.
5 Hop Winter Ale – a blend of 5 premium malts & Nelson hops. Smooth velvety characters on the palate as well as a refreshing floral nose.
Pale Ale - Powerful floral citrus & tropical notes, best enjoyed just below room temperature.
Hitachino Nest ($14+ per bottle; $36+ for any 3 bottles)
Brewed by a sake brewer, has all the subtleness you expect from sake.
Available in 4 different flavours:
White Ale – A refreshing mildly hopped Belgian styled beer with a complex
flavor of coriander, orange peel, nutmeg.
Amber Ale - A reddish brown beer brewed with a rich malt and bitter hops
Japanese Classic Ale – Bottle-conditioned fine creamy head on top. Medium bodied feel with sweet bitter taste. It has a unique note of cedar
and complex spicy yet mild aroma of British traditional hops such as Kent
Goldings and Challenger.
Sweet Stout - A perfect mixture of coffee, chocolate, and roasted flavors in
the nose and on the palate. No bitterness, but sweet notes
throughout to the very finish.
…and there is great food in small plates to accompany
All prices are subject to 10% service charge. No GST will be applied.
We LOVE Celina’s title – FUN MANAGER – as she calls herself. One look at her designated role and you know at once you’ll get all the excitement of a craft beer and hostess dedicated to a good time – presumably skills not picked up during her stint at the bank. Check out:
51 Duxton Road
Just found out also that Hitachino Nest Beer is available at Meidi-Ya the Japanese supermart in Singapore at S$9.50 per 330ml bottle.