On my first visit here the place was deserted and I was looking for something to eat. Andrew cooked up a whole fish lashed with chillies and garlic and ginger. Then he put on a mix of Van Morrison and the Stones, gave me a beer and left me to get on with it. As the evening wore on, and I tried to recover from a severe case of gluttony, the bar slowly filled up with local Singaporeans, of Chinese and Indian origin. Hooray, there was not an expat to be seen. This was clearly a local watering hole and everyone behaved like family.
Since then Andrew has decided that cooking up fish requires a days notice and that, for locals only. Fortunately for me he counts me as a local so is happy to rustle that speciality up if I think I need it. Otherwise he rings the food in. He has revamped the bar to better accommodate live music. But he still lets me run the music desk if the live muso is not around (sometimes I come in and have to remove ABBA from the playlist!) and is the same hearty, good natured chap he has ever been. Mind you there is an iron streak in him too – for all his good humour if you cross him and you have reason to play pool with him he will whip you dry. I watched him shark a visitor and his wife from the
In a town that has a preference for shiny chrome, polished timber bars populated with preening girls or strutting blokes, bar girls out of European or Taiwanese fashion magazines, and London cocktail bar or New York wine bar prices, Andrew’s pub is appropriately dark, noisy, smoky and atmospheric. Beer is cold and about the right price, the place is a local watering hole with character and music with some punch is usually on the menu. Andrew is either behind his bar, shouting encouragement to his live act (who tonight did some great Deep Purple and Eric Clapton), messing with the sound desk, playing cards with some locals, livening up a game of pool or otherwise shouting with laughter at something that just eluded you – but you laugh anyway, having caught his infection. It is a place that hints at being a little out of control, in a very controlled place. I like it for that.
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