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The Skewer Bar

Posted on Saturday, August 20, 2016

Decided to be hipster and pop by The Skewer Bar with Justin, Dings and Jo, which is a super affordable yakitori-esque joint locally right in a coffeeshop in Geylang. It's quite cool how they somehow managed to separate themselves and look super modern by creating a trendy alfresco seating area along the road!

There's something that really increases the anticipation of eating your food just by watching all the rows and rows of little skewers getting flipped!

Hello dining partners in crime :D

The restaurant gave us complimentary Edamame while waiting for our food to be cooked, which was a nice touch. Their craft beer, Coedo, was super affordable too - $9.80 for one, or $26.00 for any 3 flavours, which were poured out into these adorable tumbler-esque mugs.

Ordering was simple - there's only one page of items, starting off as cheap as $1.20 per stick! As we came early (630PM, just when they opened), we didn't have to queue at all, contrary to online reviews.

First to come out was a grilled Whole Eggplant (S$4.50), which is one of my favourites partly because I'm crazy about eggplants, but also it was topped with off with a savoury home-made garlic chilli sauce - it looks kind of like a sambal stingray, doesn't it?

And then everything rolled out so it was hard not getting excited over all the food! I love variety and trying a little bit of everything - so this was perfect.

We ordered TWO whole plates of the Whole Chicken Thigh ($5.00) by accident because we didn't realise how big it was. While it was nice for a couple of pieces, the black pepper sauce did get a bit jialat after a while because there was too much, oops! But seriously value for money at just $5.00 for so much!

Was looking forward to this the most before coming to the restaurant - Grilled Canadian Oysters (3 for $11.00)! Ok,  at around $3.70 a piece on hindsight they aren't the most value or freshest oysters one can get in Singapore, but the grilled smokey flavour, ponzu sauce and charming presentation made it worth trying this once!

Hand-made Chicken and Pork Balls ($2.40 a stick) and teriyaki flavoured Pork and Chicken ($1.30 a stick) are the usual must haves for yakitori-esque affairs to keep you nice and full! I feel the pork could have been a little fattier as it was tough to chew - at $1.30 a stick, it's cheap but I think institutions like even Tori-Q with comparable prices have more tender meat. But I know, I know, it's all about the alfresco dining experience and getting your items served in cute rattan baskets!

It's hard to go wrong with Bacon Wrapped Enoki ($1.50 a stick) - Justin and I like to make a whole batch ourselves at home so it's not the most novel treat to us. The enoki mushrooms here were slightly burnt,  but it was still tasty and had that awesome grilled taste to it, especially when you eat it fresh off the fire!

The Half Squid ($5.00) sounded exciting in theory, but it wasn't grilled hot enough to have that wok-hei taste, also it is rare but the squid was not fresh. I seriously love squid so yes, I still ate it all, but everyone was quite turned off (so score for me..?)

The only mushrooms I've not been crazy about - the Shitake Mushrooms ($1.20 a stick) are like those brown non-descript Chinese mushrooms that you get in your bak chor mee, which is kind of disappointing and not as hot as I was hoping. This would have been so much more enjoyable if they were portobellos or button mushrooms, but then I guess if it were it wouldn't be $1.20 a stick :'D

Chicken gizzards, heart and liver (all at $1.20 per stick) - not for the faint hearted! I loved the hearts because they had just the right crunch and density. The liver slices on the other hand were a bit too large and sadly by the time I ate them they were cold which didn't help the overwhelming innards taste. However, all were aggressively seasoned with this nice paprika-ish powder they always use, which I fully appreciate, yum.

Definitely a winning tray for me! I loved the Chicken Mid Joint ($1.30 a stick) which was spiced with the paprika powder again, sososo good as they were crispy, deliciously burnt and fresh off the grill! We ordered 4 sticks at the start for each of us, and then we reordered another 4 sticks again, just cause it's that good. Must try!

Also notable - the Cocktail Sausages ($1.50 a stick) were the Taiwanese lup cheong types so much more tasty than the name made them sound! The Shishamo ($1.20 a stick) were alright, I don't really have much of an opinon on small fish (they're Smelt) but I love it for the variety it adds just for a little fun.

So after all this food it was quite terrifying to receive the bill, but it turned out to be just $95.40 in total, or around $24.00 each, including beer! I think that alone made up for the fact that the quality of ingredients was to be quite honest, very average, neither were we bursting at the end of the meal despite having so much food, since everything is quite small!

Also, do check your bill carefully at the end of the meal as they charged us wrongly for at least 4 different items with regard to the number of sticks, which is easy to overlook when paying since there are so many things to take note of!

Overall, I'm not sure if I'll be making the trip down all the way to Geylang specifically just for this again, but I suppose if I am in the vicinity I wouldn't mind popping by once again as it really was very affordable for all the variety we got and the pretty fun eating experience for big groups!