The Guild: Comfort Food and Craft Beer on Keong Saik Road

Having moved to Singapore only a few weeks ago, I’ve already had the chance to meet with quite a few friends I hadn’t seen in a long time – this city really is a major hub for international travelers. I’m so happy I’ll be re-connecting with many people while living here!

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It’s with Daniella, a friend who was here visiting from Hong Kong, that I went for a lovely dinner at The Guild, a spot recommended to her by one of her chef friends.

The Guild is a relatively new project brought to the buzzing street of Keong Saik by Hong Kong’s largest independent craft brewery, Young Masters. I have been acquainted with these brewers from quite some time, having travelled to Hong Kong for related business since 2016, so I was really happy to see their geographical expansion into Singapore.

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The ambiance at The Guild is that of a thoroughly polished upmarket gastro-pub. You’d expect a bit of roughness from a taproom. Instead, the environment is neat, dimly lightened, busy with lively chatters of the patrons who enjoy many a few pints of the good stuff.

Talking about the good stuff, I ordered a 330ml glass of my all-time favorite Young Masters beer, the Cha Chaan Teng Gose (S$16), a savory and citrusy light brew that is perfect for the hot and humid Singapore weather.

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While I did not drink other beers during my visit and I’m looking forward trying some of the local collaboration brews, I can vouch for several of Young Masters core selection brews, having pounded some liters of it during my Hong Kong visits. My top recommendations are their oak infused rye ale Rye on Wood (S$17), for a complex beer with malty sweet notes, and their Another One (S$15), a session IPA that is easy to drink, while keeping a bit of welcome hoppiness.

Following the global trend of draft cocktails, they also have a Gin & Tonic on tap for a reasonable S$16. Their drink list features some natural wines as well – I’m not really a natural wine believer, so I’d say stick to the beer.

By the way… their WiFi password is “bestbeerintown“, go figure.

The food is made with love and care by Italian-American Chef Vincent Lauria, whose take on comfort food draws inspiration from hyper-local, natural ingredients and a bit of an Asian kick.

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We were recommended the Salt & Vinegar Fries (S$9) to start off. While it wouldn’t be the most conducive appetizer per se as it’s quite a dry dish, it makes for the perfect sweet and savory snack to munch on while sipping on the barley juice.

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The must order is definitely the Mac N’ Cheese (S$20), an absolutely perfect, upper scale rendition of the classic American comfort food, topped with a cured egg yolk and generous amounts of chopped scallion. It is gooey, creamy, bold and everything you ever wished for.

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Diving deeper into the comfort food theme, we also ordered the Salted Egg Fried Chicken (S$30). It’s a massive half chicken portion inclusive of its lovely foot, battered, deep-fried and then brushed with just the right amount of Singapore’s typical salted egg dip.

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We felt conservative and wanted to balance out the fattiness of the fried chicken dish, so we chose to accompany it with their simple Fresh Greens (S$9). You can also choose more decadent options on their vegetables and sides list, such as the Egg(plant)ception (S$18) or the Butter Roasted Mushrooms and Grilled Onions (S$13).

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We finished up our meal with a truly delicious dessert, an innovative and very localized take on the classic Italian tiramisù, their Pandan & Coconut Pudding (S$12). This dessert is a beautiful layering of kopi soaked vanilla cookie crumble, home-made kaya jam and pandan flavored custard. It’s the only dessert available on the menu; thanks Chef Vinny for understanding that offering no dessert or just limited options is so much better than shoving a whole selection of strikingly shitty desserts onto the menu, like most restaurants do.

The bill will set you back north of S$50++ if you want to enjoy a decent spread of dishes and a drink or two.

Overall The Guild is a great venue where I’ll love going back to for more drinks and more food. I’m planning to try their brunch menu and free-flow deal next time… will keep ya’ll in the loop.

 

Address: The Guild, 55 Keong Saik Road, Outram Park, Singapore

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