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27 Oct 2017 By

For a Joint Called Butcher Boy, You’ll Be Surprised to Learn That Some of Its Best Dishes Don’t Include Meat.

The thing about going to Butcher Boy for a review was that, weeks prior, I had already visited at least a coupla times. Once for late night drinks because I heard the music was good (it was). Then the second time for the music cos the drinks were good. 

The menu, we quickly learned, wasn’t all meat, and there were concessions like the Cauliflower Steak and Crispy Fish Skins, so for a stenophagous eater like me, that’s a plus.

butcher boy plum

You wanna start with this: Plum Sloe Gin Fizz (plum, sloe gin, lemon, sugar, egg white, soda, $18), a sour surprise that’ll set up your tastebuds for the evening ahead.

The cocktail program, created by Bar Manager Knut Randhem (previously from Ce La Vi), eschews most of the Asian influences that’s such a big factor in the food (yes, thankfully no kalamansi kaya keffir kir royales here!). Instead, these are mostly classics with a polished touch of odd flavours, case in point, the plum in the gin fizz above.

butcher boy sake east west

Here’s another to get you going, East/West (sake, gin, ginger, lemon, $18) has that touch of sake as affirmation. The cocktails are priced as such, and are rarely above $20. This clear marvel is mighty quaffable.

butcher boy korean cauliflower

This is the Korean Fried Caulifornia ($20), the cauliflower provides a crunch most veggies don’t possess. The taste and texture, like a sweet and sour fish, is both filling and fully-realised. Possibly our favourite item here. “Our goal at Butcher Boy is simple,” says Andrew Walsh, Chef-Owner of Cure Concepts, “we just want our guests to enjoy themselves, take it easy over good food and drinks in a casual environment”, he adds.

Another favourite:

Butcher Boy salmon nachos

Happy Hour is 5-7pm, where house pours and draft beers are $8, and snacks like Fried Chicken Bao, Warm Chilli Crap and Duck Bahn Mi go for $7 a shout, but definitely try this Salmon Tartare Ikura Wasabi Nachos ($20).

Which goes perfectly with:

butcher boy cocktails negroni

Butcher Boy Negroni ($22) made with white whisky and rum. The bar also offers an eclectic selection of sakes, and slightly more Asian-influenced cocktails but without the gimmicks and garnishes. And then we had a chat with Randhem behind the bar.

What’s the weirdest thing ever stolen from your bar?  I’ve lost a pair of shoes while working. Not an extra pair but my actual working shoes!

butcher boy cocktails knut

Most memorable drinking experience?  Still remember many years ago when I stepped in to Milk & Honey in London. As a young bartender at that time it was like going to church. I still remember the feeling of walking into a candlelit room, ordering my Manhattan.

Best hangover cure?  Cold draught beer.

Person you would most like to drink with? (Can be fictional)  Zlatan Ibrahimovic. [Randhem is a fellow Swede btw. Parched: “Best answer ever.”]

What won’t you drink?  Very few things. But one of the most disgusting things I ever tried was distilled beer. Won’t touch that again.

What’s a cocktail/bar trend that needs to stop – that’s overrated?  Stop worrying about whether your Old Fashioned needs to be stirred eight or nine times. Focus on the guest in front of you!

What is your guilty pleasure?  Liqourice, preferably salty ones.

What do you drink at home?  I just set up a nice bar trolley at home so I have a few options. I actually just got a nice bottle of peated Scotch, which makes a killer Old Fashioned.

What’ve you learned about life from behind the bar?  That drinks can’t fix the problem, but they sure help when you need a break.

Have you ever cried in a bar?  Of course. I’ve spent most of my adult life behind the bar so I’ve experienced most emotional stages. There’s nothing wrong with being emotional in a bar.

Butcher Boy, 31 Keong Saik Road, tel: 6221-6833. Open everyday.

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