Eat and Drink to Merry Music-making

Love good food and drinks with fantastic live music? Inside recommends 5 great bars with live bands and tells you what eats, mixes and pours go best with the different genre of music

Issue: Nov 2014

Take time to try different cuisines as you listen to live bands playing Rock, Jazz, Latino, Local and Mandopop music at the various bars in CapitaMalls Asia
Take time to try different cuisines as you listen to live bands playing Rock, Jazz, Latino, Local and Mandopop music at the various bars in CapitaMalls Asia

Live music is alive and well in Singapore, judging from the hundreds of clubs and pubs that boast their own bands. Most of them entertain admirably with Top 40 hits and pop music. But if your taste in music is a little more varied, you won’t be disappointed either. There are joints and jives that offer not just smooth drinks and scrumptious eats but different genres of music that will have you grooving well into the night.

Let’s Rock Around the Clock – Rock & Roll

THE PUMP ROOM

Where’s the Music

The Pump Room is one of those places where good food, great drinks, and foot-stomping music you can rock to all come together nicely.

Address:
3B River Valley Road
#01-09/10
Singapore 179021
www.pumproomasia.com

Who’s Playing

Rock it out with All Axcess from Tuesday to Sunday with their foot-stomping mix of rock and pop
Rock it out with All Axcess from Tuesday to Sunday with their foot-stomping mix of rock and pop
Photo credit: The Pump Room

Resident band, the seven-member band All Axcess, with a repertoire that includes rock and roll, funk, pop and Top 40s. During Happy Hour, The Vibes, Sweatshop Jam and Trip Kings entertain.

When

Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday
9.45pm onwards

Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and eve of public holidays
10.30pm onwards

What’s Special

Tuesday is Open Mic Night and performers get a complimentary house pour.

What’s Good to Eat and Drink

The Pump Room is known for its house-brew microbrewery beer, fresh from the tap
The Pump Room is known for its house-brew microbrewery beer, fresh from the tap
Photo credit: The Pump Room

With a microbrewery on site and all-natural ingredients sourced from Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and America, you can bet that only the best and freshest hand-crafted beers are offered at The Pump Room. All its beers are unfiltered, unpasturised, and without chemicals or artificial flavouring.

Hot wings with Thai Chilli, Crispy Blue Swimmer Crab Cake with a mango and water chestnut salsa and BBQ Pork Rib go best with the all American rock and pop music
America fare like Hot wings with Thai Chilli (S$14), Crispy Blue Swimmer Crab Cake with a mango and water chestnut salsa (S$18) and BBQ Pork Rib (S$32) go best with the all American rock and pop music
Photo credit: The Pump Room

What could be better with cold beer than hot wings? Spiced with Thai chilli (S$14), they are Singapore’s answer to Buffalo wings. Or treat yourself to an upgrade of regular fries with Shoe Strings Fries with Truffle (S$13). Crab cakes is an American finger food that is not easy to hunt down in Singapore. At The Pump Room, you can savour Crispy Blue Swimmer Crab Cake with a mango and water chestnut salsa (S$18). Then go the whole hog with BBQ Pork Rib (S$32) that are marinated in homemade beer and barbecue sauce and served with salad and potato wedges.

Sway to the Rhythm – Jazz

BEER MARKET

Where’s the Music

Like the stock markets, prices of the drinks at Beer Market can get bearish or bullish. Every half hour, their prices are flashed on screen on the Beer Market Exchange. Popular brews spike in price while those of beers that have not been ordered in the last hour start to slide.

Address:
3B River Valley Road
Clarke Quay
#01-17/ #02-02
Singapore 179021
www.beermarket.com.sg

Who’s Playing

Shili & Adi play give pop favourites a smooth R&B and jazzy feel with a twist of rock to serenade you as you keep an eye out for the price of your favourite drink.

When

Thursday 8.30pm onwards
Friday 10.30pm onwards

What’s Special

There is a different band almost every night of the week, there is the thrill of looking out for plummeting beer prices – what is there not to like about this place?

Well's Banana Bread Beer is a fruity, flavourful beer that is worth a try as you listen to the sounds of Shili & Adi
Well’s Banana Bread Beer is a fruity, flavourful beer that is worth a try as you listen to the sounds of Shili & Adi
Photo credit: Beer Market

What’s Good to Drink

The beers are outstandingly enticing. Some of them are almost desserts: Well’s Banana Bread Beer full of the flavour of the fragrant fruit; and Stick Toffee Pudding Ale with caramel, toffee and nuts, a beer version of the beloved English sweet. Then, there are the fruity beers like Fruli the Strawberry Beer and Matso’s Mango Beer.

Samba and Salsa to the Beat – Latin

CUBA LIBRE

Where’s the Music

The sexy, sweaty passion that is Cuba sizzles up this place where you can put on your dancing shoes and samba and salsa all night long.

Address:
3B River Valley Road
Clarke Quay
#01-13
Singapore 179021
Tel: (65) 6338 8982
www.cubalibre.com.sg

Who’s Playing

Colombian Latin resident band, Adrenalina, brings you the best Latin music on the island with salsa, merengue, bachala, reggeaton, Latin pop, cha cha, and more. Members of this band whose name translates to ‘adrenaline’, alluding to the rush their audience get every time they perform, have been playing in the world entertainment circuit for 15 years.

When

Tuesday to Sunday

What’s Special

The atmosphere, complete with Che Guevara’s likeness everywhere, transports you to Cuba as you sip a Mojito. That is how the drink should be appreciated.

What’s Good to Eat and Drink

How can you be in a place called “Cuba Libre” and not order the drink (S$18) for which it is named? The rum and cola mix with a twist of lime was supposedly invented in Havana, Cuba in 1900 to toast the nation’s freedom from Spanish occupation. Of course, there is the Classic Mojito (S$27), an award-winning recipe served with a sugarcane. The bar’s very own creation, Midnight Flight to Cuba (S$27) is an intoxicating mix of fresh fruits, rum and vodka.

(Left) Sip the Classic Mojito (S$25),(Right) Embrace the Latin American atmosphere with cuisine like Cana de Cordero en Salsa (Lamb Shank) ($28)
(Left) Sip the Classic Mojito (S$27), an award-winning recipe served with a sugarcane, as you enjoy the sensual sounds of Latino music at Cuba Libre; (Right) Embrace the Latin American atmosphere with cuisine like Cana de Cordero en Salsa (Lamb Shank) ($28)
Photo credit: Cuba Libre

While there, have some Cuba fare like the classic port, chorizo, bacon, tomatoes, and black beans in a garlic cream sauce called Feijoda (S$18). Fajitas is another good choice (S$34), filled with meats of your choice. The Cana de Cordero en Salsa (Lamb Shank) ($28) features braised lamb shank in brown sauce, served with potatoes and ratatouille. Definitely worth a try.

Stand Up for Singapore – Local Music

HOOD BAR AND CAFE

Where’s the Music

Styled like a neon version of ancient China crossed with an American ghetto (thanks to the street art that adorns its walls), this 3200-square-foot place is where you can hang loose with the gang. Art and music find a happy, hippy home here.

Address:
Hood Bar and Café
201 Victoria Street
Bugis+
#05-07
Singapore 188067
Tel: (65) 6221 8846
www.hoodbarandcafe.com

Who’s Playing

Local indie bands take centrestage every Saturday night at Hoods Bar and Café where Singapore's music scene is championed
Local indie bands take centrestage every Saturday night at Hoods Bar and Café where Singapore’s music scene is championed
Photo credit: Hood Bar and Café

Local indie bands have been getting pride of place here once a week since 2011. If you want to champion Singapore’s music scene and enjoy the energy of indie bands, this is it. Singapore bands like Sam Willows, Shelves, In Each Hand a Cutlass have all performed at here.

When

Saturday

What’s Special

This is where local talents have the artistic space to explore and exhibit their craft. It is your hood if you want original music. Plus, the sound system is near concert scale so quality is guaranteed.

What’s Good to Eat and Drink

Char Siew Pizza and Chilli Crab in Salsa on Sourdough Bruschetta Toast are some of the local-inspired food that you can enjoy as you listen to Singapore's indie bands
Char Siew Pizza (left) and Chilli Crab in Salsa on Sourdough Bruschetta Toast (right) are some of the local-inspired food that you can enjoy as you listen to Singapore’s indie bands
Photo credit: Hood Bar and Café

Head straight for their really interesting tapas selections that takes a leaf from the local cookbook. Sample the Homemade Char Siew Pizza speckled with cut red chilli (S$16), Chilli Crab in Salsa on Sourdough Bruschetta Toast (S$14), Pulled Pork Rendang Burger (S$14), and Fries Cut Luncheon Meat with Nachos Cheese and Spring Onions (S$12). Then, if you still want some Asian fusion, there is Tom Yum Surprise Fish Fingers Kup (S$12) and their latest creation, Ma La Deep Fried Frogs Legs (S$16). The finger food is hits all the right notes with its crispy batter and Szechuan Mala flavouring that comes with a choice of two levels of spiciness – acceptable and be warned.

Then pick from nearly 20 craft beers on the list to wash it all down.

Make Mine Mandarin – Mandopop

1. BEER MARKET

Where’s the Music

Yes, it’s the Beer Market again. With their roving bands, they offer different genres of music every night.

Address:
3B River Valley Road
Clarke Quay
#01-17/ #02-02
Singapore 179021
Tel: (65) 6221 8846
www.beermarket.com.sg

The Black & Blonde (S$17) - celebrates the best of both worlds, just like bilingual band, Too Much Drama, which specialises in both Mandopop and English hits
The Black & Blonde (S$17) - half pint of Guinness and half pint of Erdinger - celebrates the best of both worlds, just like bilingual band, Too Much Drama, which specialises in both Mandopop and English hits
Photo credit: Beer Market

Who’s Playing

Too Much Drama sings both Mandarin and English hits and is one of the most popular bands in the local live band scene. Their East-meets-West sets draw a bilingual crowd.

When

Tuesday

What’s Special

Too Much Drama is quite a draw. They have performed at the Esplanade Waterfront for Celebration December 2013 and have participated in Poetry of Song 2013.

What’s Good to Eat and Drink

To go with the Mandarin hits, try a Chinese-inspired beer - Mystic Peach. Yanjing beer from China is another drink that might go down well with the tunes.

Since Too Much Drama fuses English and Mandarin songs, you might want to try the Black and Blonde, half pint of Guinness and half pint of Erdinger to celebrate that wonderful mix.

Chicken Rice Pizza (S17.90) and Salted Egg Seafood Pizza (S$21.90) are the perfect fusion food to order as you listen to the bilingual band, Too Much Drama
(Left) Chicken Rice Pizza (S17.90) and (right) Salted Egg Seafood Pizza (S$21.90) are the perfect fusion food to order as you listen to the bilingual band, Too Much Drama
Photo credit: Beer Market

For something to eat, go fusion as well. Try the Chicken Rice Pizza (S17.90) and Salted Egg Seafood Pizza (S$21.90).

2. SHUFFLE

Where’s the Music

The bistro and bar boasts clean lines and stylish furniture and is a good place to sit back and relax to some Mandopop hits from live bands.

Address:
3D River Valley
Clarke Quay
#02-03
Tel: (65) 6338 9438

Who’s Playing

Bilingual acoustic act, Paraphrase, entertain with a selection of Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien as well as English music from the late 50s to today’s Top 40 hits. The four-member band transcends several genres, too, playing anything from jazz to hip hop, techno and popl.

When

Friday from 11.30pm

What’s Special

The energetic, enthusiastic bands that grace the stage is proof that musical aspirations abound in Singapore.

What’s Good to Eat and Drink

Spam with Carrot Cake (S$14) and Crispy Pork Belly ($12) are local eats that will go down great with the bilingual music from Paraphrase
Spam with Carrot Cake (S$14) and Crispy Pork Belly ($12) are local eats that will go down great with the bilingual music from Paraphrase
Photo credit: Shuffle

To go with the Asian music, try the Asian eats: Spam with Carrot Cake (S$14) with crispy luncheon meat and carrot cake in spicy XO sauce, Crispy Pork Belly ($12) deep fried to perfection, and Smoked Duck Pizza ($20) with cucumber and a pesto sauce on a crispy thin crust.

Wash it all down with a special variant of the Hoegaarden wheat beer, the Rosee Beer Hoegaarden, which is found in only a few bars in Singapore
Wash it all down with a special variant of the Hoegaarden wheat beer, the Rosee Beer Hoegaarden, which is found in only a few bars in Singapore
Photo credit: Shuffle

Taiwanese Lychee Beer and Honeydew Beer (both S$14) are particularly fitting brews given the Chinese music. Have a glass of Hoegaarden Rosee Beer ($10), a special variant of the Hoegaarden wheat beer on tap that are found in only a few other places. Otherwise, you can have your pick of over 60 cocktails (S$12-$17). Ganbei (bottoms up)!

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