Three words: Self-serve beer taps.
Well, I was pretty much sold when I was introduced to this concept at gastro-bar The Chop House, even before the food tasting session began. But lest you think yours truly loves her alcohol a little too much, allow me to explain how tremendously awesome self-serve beer taps are.
Called SelfTap Beer, this concept from USA is a first in Asia. There are five taps located at The Chop House for your drinking pleasure. Based on regular or happy hour rates, you’ll be charged by the millimetres. How it works is that you need to first purchase a stored value card from the cashier for $5, then top it up with any amount you want. Tap your card against the SelfTap reader, which unlocks the tap so you can pull your own pint. You’ll be able to see the amount deducted from you card and how much you have left. Once you’ve pulled your fill, tap your card again to lock the tap. Voila!
At the moment, Mac’s Great White Cloudy Wheat Beer (New Zealand) and Pure Blonde Premium Lager (Australia) are available at all five SelfTap stations, three of which are located at three six-seater dining tables – perfect for a great night out with friends after a long workweek.
Besides SelfTap Beer, The Chop House is also home to yet another first-in-Asia concept: it utilises a specially designed tap system that keeps brews constantly chilled at one degree Celsius from keg to glass. There are six beers on tap: Schneider Wiesse Tap 7 (Germany), Weihenstephan Original Lager (Germany), Mac’s Great White Cloudy Wheat Beer (New Zealand), Pure Blonde Premium Lager (Australia), Stellar Artois Lager (Belgium) and Kronenberg Lager (France). Prices start from $8 for 300ml. Iced cold beer, anyone?
No? Well, then, choose from the menu’s 15 specialty cocktails, each $16. An interesting one is Butcher’s Bleeding Mary, a concoction of blended Roma tomatoes, tabasco, vodka, lemon, sugar cane and rosemary. Don’t be surprised when you see a piece of smoked bacon next to the celery stick in your glass! I tried Smith & Co, a blend of Smith’s Glenlivet 12, lemon, Tahitian lime, orange, brown sugar, cherry bitters and Coca-Cola. The slight bitterness balances out the citrusy flavours, making it a refreshing perk-me-up.
Of course, The Chop House isn’t just about great drinks. Dreamt up by the same people behind Wooloomooloo Steakhouse Singapore, this gastro-bar serves up classic western favourites, such as burgers and steaks.
To whet your appetite, try the homemade Mussel Soup ($10). The broth is delightfully creamy and flavourful, complementing the freshness of the New Zealand green-lipped mussels.
Meat-lovers will be very pleased with the mains. One of the must-tries is Berkshire Pork Chop ($32). Grilled to pink-centred perfection, the meat is glazed with hoisin and black bean chilli sauce – lip-smackingly good! Another great dish is the USDA Prime Ribeye ($36, 200g). Tender, juicy, and filled with fat we can’t complain, it is exactly what you would expect from the reputable Wooloomooloo Steakhouse. I’m not exaggerating when I say that a collective moan of pleasure could be heard the moment we bit into this steak during the tasting session.
With any of The Chop House’s meat specialties, three complimentary homemade condiments – Beetroot Chutney, Chilli Mustard, and Onion Jam – will be served. My favourite is Onion Jam, which goes perfectly with Berkshire Pork Chop.
If you prefer non-meat dishes, you can’t go wrong with the fresh Mixed Seafood Platter for two ($42), which consists of salmon, prawns and calamari stuffed with herbs and breadcrumbs.
Now, I’m a desserts-before-main-course kind of girl, but the one thing that didn’t quite make the cut for me at The Chop House was the dessert we tried: Apple Strudel in Tortilla with Vanilla Ice-Cream ($11). While the vanilla ice cream and custard cream anglaise tasted heavenly together, the tortilla bread felt a tad tough.
But, with their cool SelfTap Beer concept and super-scrumptious mains, The Chop House is definitely worth checking out.
The Chop House is located at #01-161/162 VivoCity, Tel: 6376 9262.
Material World was invited for a tasting and was not paid for this review. All opinions are the author’s own.
About The Author: A founder of Material World, Tan Lili has previously worked in magazines The Singapore Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan Singapore, as well as herworld.com (now herworldplus.com, the online counterpart of Her World). She is now a freelance writer who works on this website full-time. Lili hopes to travel the world, work with wild animals, and discover more awesome Twilight fan-fiction. Follow her on Twitter @TanLiliTweets.