The Buzz: Tucked away by the back fence of the Istana just beyond the traffic and construction mayhem along Rochor and Bukit Timah roads, Owls Brew is a delightful haunt in one of Singapore’s forgotten areas.
Décor: Owls Brew occupies one of the old two-story shophouses on MacKenzie Road and has a mix of outdoor wooden seating and indoor bistro-style tables. High ceilings within and a small but elegant archway at the entrance add a bit of old-fashioned polish.
Drinks: This place is all about beer and one of its owners, Seren Nah, isn’t shy about her love for it. She recently spent around $200 acquiring three impossible-to-get Trappist beers from Westvleteren Brewery. Unfortunately, those bottles came and went, and what’s left is a list of about 40 familiar Belgian, German and Japanese labels (Chimay, Orval, Trappistes Rochefort, La Trappe, Schneider Weisse and Hitachino) priced $12-26. There are also ciders ($14.50-16) including a couple from lesser known cidery Thatchers. They also intend to introduce seasonal beers which they’ll bring in independently once they’ve settled in.
Food: Bar bites like chicken wings, ebi fritters and sausage platters ($6.90-15.90), pub grub mains in the $20 range and, as is customary with any proper place that serves Belgian beers, mussels prepared in your choice of three styles and served with fries ($20.90).
Music: Easy, breezy, Top 40s and radio favorites.
Crowd: Right now, the odd tourist and passers-by who stumble upon it, but it does seem like the sort of place that will evolve into a haunt for friends, with knowledge of its existence passed around by word-of-mouth.
Why we’ll be back: While the beer selection here isn’t revolutionary, it benefits from its location. The name “Owls Brew” is actually a derivative of “owls burrow”, a place, as Seren puts it, where people can hang out hidden away from the world. Also we’re interested to see what seasonal beers they bring in, of course.
(will move to noon-midnight in the next few months)