Punggol food hall with live music and fresh beers on tap
The hype: Better known for their bars and bistros at places like Zhongshan Park and Holland Village, Starker—also the brand of beers independently brewed and sold at Starker establishments islandwide—has opened their first multi-concept food hall in the Northeastern heartlands. It’s also cool that no service charge is levied here, seeing as orders are taken at standalone kiosks and guests collect the food and drinks themselves at individual counters.
The vibe: Technically, while Starker’s first foray into a multi-concept set-up materialized as the separately-branded Legend Cafe, a hip coffeeshop hangout in Sengkang similarly featuring Starker beers and live music, newly opened Starker Q at Punggol Town Square, housed on the outer broadwalk of Waterway Point, leans more towards a shopping mall foodcourt vibe.
The food: Those who’ve been to Legend Cafe will be familiar with the food options here. First, start off with Allegra’s satisfying chicken wings (the spicy Fiery Wings [$5.80] are the best in our books), generous servings of pasta and various meat platters. Then there’s Legend Seafood’s dependable menu (a streamlined one compared to the Legend Cafe outlet) of grilled seafood skewers and the crowd-favorite, Clams In a Pot ($12.90; choose between garlic butter cream and spicy white wine broths).
Pizalo is here too, offering convenient cone pizzas and delicious eight-inch thin crust pizzas with flavors like Margherita and Pepperoni, or if you’re up for something special, get the Wanton pizza ($6.80) that’s topped with marinated pulled pork and crispy wanton skin with hoisin sauce. Then there’s My Bao serving up a good range of savoury buns like Curry Chicken Bao and the Braised Pork Belly Bao ($1.40) that’s basically a kong bak pau.
What Legend Cafe has that Starker Q doesn’t, is the tze char stall—so no, there’s no sambal kang kung to be had here. Instead, there’s Mukja, which serves Korean favorites like Seafood Pajeon ($6.80), a fried seafood pancake, as well as things like Korean Army Stew and Bulgogi Beef. Come year-end, another stall serving roast meats like pork knuckle and crispy pork belly with sauerkraut will open too, further complementing the German-styled beers at the bar.
The drinks: The best thing about Starker’s beers are that they are brewed fresh in Singapore and Malaysia with a seven-day shelf life policy and stored in barrels before undergoing same-day cold-chain delivery to the taps of Starker stores in Singapore. You get the full range of Starker beers ($16.90/pint)—Lager, Dunkel, Aromatic, Lychee and Charcoal—on tap at Starker Q just as you would at their bistros and bars. If it’s your first time here, try a flight of five beers for $20 to get a taste of all the flavors. Or if you're really game, get their two litre or five litre wooden barrels going at $63.90 and $148 respectively.
Standouts for us are the Lychee and Charcoal beers. The Lychee isn’t the overly sweet concoction you might get from fruit beer cocktails, but a specially brewed medium-bodied Belgian beer that is refreshing, fragrant and which gives you that satisfyingly crisp first gulp. Then there’s the Charcoal beer, not to be confused with stouts, a full-bodied dark beer with hints of roasted malt and coffee that’ll envelop your olfactory senses with bold, piquant aromas.
Why you’ll be back: Those who live in Punggol and it’s surrounding neighborhoods will love Starker Q and thank the beer gods for this establishment that opens till late. Once you’ve been here a few times, check out the upstairs area for a cosier, more intimate ambience away from the live band playing in the evenings.