Little Island Brewing Co: for seriously crafty people

So another restaurant bartering craft beers opens up - what's new? Well, here's the scoop. Little Island Brewing Co isn't just another run of the mill hipsterish cafe/restaurant pitching an extensive list of speciality beers just to rally the crowds; its sprawling grounds and glistening vats locked behind caged frames revealing ballsy plans to embark on a journey of brewing and achieving status quo as one of Singapore's few local breweries.

During one of my visits, I was fortunate enough to exchange pleasantries with Steve Spinney, Little Island's consultant brewer who talked about some of his brews he had planned for the joint including a pale, a wheat and a coffee stout which are currently in the pipeline till more equipment and ingredients arrive in their quarters. Owner, Francis Khoo is one of the four shareholders in this grand venture; a humble chap who was benevolent enough to entertain my partner and I, through some alcohol laden meals; it was plain to see that his passion for craft beer and its gradual assimilation into the local lifestyle, was his main driving force in the process. Combined with the culinary prowess of Chef John Edwards, manning the smokers and the grills, you have a force to be reckoned with.

So as we await the brew room's activation, be satiated by the awesome line up of beers on tap via the DIY drinkcommand system where you'll get to pour your own beer at the bar. Though this system may seem intriguing, slip ups are common especially with various challenges posed with different kegs of beer harboring varying carbonation levels. Even if you end up tapping half a pint of foam as opposed to a prolific pint of cold beer, fret not, as the system is calibrated in such a way that you're paying for the liquids dispensed and not the volume of the foam. So aside from 'losing face', there really isn't much to gripe about. And if there's nothing on tap that tickles your fancy, the pervasive bottled beer list will fill the void.

Moving on to the subject of food, Little Island Brewing Co's menu boost a healthy selection of pub style grub with a little bit more finesse than most. One bite into the Smoked Beef Brisket and all your demons will be appeased. You'll shudder from the richness of the manchego cheese studded Memphis coleslaw side dish, a true testament of its exquisiteness being the moment you polish off your dish and proceed to distract your other half in an attempt to sneak forkfuls from his dish. Of course, when this motive was uncovered, I had a whole dish handed willingly to my care - and I conquered it with no qualms whatsoever. It's that good.

Another dish to watch out for is the Beer Braised Porchetta. Giant hunks of pork belly braised in beer and finished off on the grill for the pop, snap and crackle, resulting in an irresistibly crispy and bubbly hide that you'll happily chomp down on with a toothsome grin. 

15 hours smoked Cape Grim Brisket with memphis slaw, horseradish dressing
Breakfast Burritos with smoked brisket, tomato- black bean ragout, manchego cheese, avocado salsa

Served from 9am -3pm on weekends, the brunch menu presents a larger spread of options ranging from your usual Bircher Museli to the more elaborate Egg Benedict casting the spotlight on their slow cooked pork belly. On my last visit, I called upon the Short Rib Burger ($25) to appease my rumbling tummy. And to be perfectly honest, it did a mighty fine job, stemming from the flamboyant short rib composed patties to the crisp bacon strips sticking out at its edges - Buns are from local bakery Nick Vina Artisan, a little dry and lacking in soaking capabilities in its employment; but the appearance of that hefty glistening puck like patty oozing juices even as you gingerly tilt it off the plate, virtually swallows up all other grouses.

A picture perfect roll on the facade, the Breakfast Burrito ($15.50) holds a treasure trove of ingredients that throb with color. In there, a hodgepodge of flavors contributed by smoked brisket, tomato and black bean ragout, more manchego cheese and avocado salsa, do a raunchy dance before insertion. I say, throw in some fried potato cubes in there and call it a Mexican hash already; that would have fared much better than the thick doughy tortilla wrap situation we were faced with.

If there's one thing I love about Little Island Brewing Co is that it is unpretentious. So if its cold beer and a great smoked meats menu you're looking for, make your way down to the brew shed, you'll be rewarded with front row seats to the sea view as well. As for me, I'm already plotting out my new visit, the distance between us, all but a teensie worry chiming at the back of my mind.

Great news for guys camping out the long weekend on local grounds, LIBC will have its doors open today through to Sunday so hop on over to their facebook page for regular updates regarding the new beers on tap!

Short Rib Burger
with bacon, egg slow cooked, tomato and cheese

Little Island Brewing Co
Blk 6 Changi Village 

Opening Hours: 
Tues - Fri: 11am - 12am
Sat - Sun: 9am -12am

No comments: