Sunday, November 1, 2015

CATO Restaurant Bar Lounge @ 237 South Bridge Road Chinatown

The CATO name had recently popped up all over my instagram feeds. Ivan mentioned that he wanted to revisit the place and thus, decided to tag along. Even more so since he mentioned that they have good craft beers. Keke.

Located just opposite the Sri Mariamman Temple, this was a rather unusual place to have a bar/lounge. The contrast between the external and internal vibe are apparent, and for us cafe hoppers on our 6th place for the day, the indoor airconditioning was a welcome respite from the heat wave outside.

Coincidentally, someone in the group mentioned about wanting to find a Halloween themed place to visit. Lo and behold, we walked right into one. Unintentionally, of course. No reservations, but upstairs is available, we were told. Carefully, we walked up the stairs to the empty and dark space. The Halloween party has not started since it was just before 730pm.

CATO @ Level 2 - The Bar Lounge area

They've done a pretty good job in the decorating the place for 31 October. Since there were no other patrons during that time, went about exploring the Level 2 area.

newspaper clippings of horrid tales, and that jar...

There were a few other installations near where we sat that upped the spook factor. Of course, the only real goosebump inducing ones would be the much talked about CCTV footage of this place that has been circulating over the internet. Am not going to see the video (yes, am a scaredy cat) and no, we still had our drinks and snacks before we left.

Contrary to earlier expectations, the selection of craft beer at CATO is still somewhat limited with only 11 choices. Decided on Belgium ones. The guys ordered something from the tapas menu to munch. For teetotellers, there's ginger ale, sparkling water and juices.

Modern Times Blackhouse Coffee Stout (USA) 5.8% ABV @$16++

Tried a sip of the coffee stout and it was bitter and strong, as expected. Ugh, not my kind of drink though.

St Bernardus Abbot 12 (Belgium) 10% ABV @$18++

Hmm, not sure why but beer brewed by Trappist monastery is always delicious. This one is still a pretty dark beer, fruity aroma with bitter finish and very dry. The kick will only come after the bottle has been drunk up.

The snacks from the tapas menu provided the accompaniment to the drinks. The online menu can be found here.

Beer Beef Chili and Cheese Fries @$12++
Crispy Squid in Thai Style Glazed @$12++
Lamb Skewers with Onions served with chili and peanut gravy @$16++

The crispy squid was seriously crispy, and done well. Tasty, with a hint of Thai seasoning and was that sweetness that appeared after the salt dip? Interesting and paired well with the drinks. The lamb skewers were good too. Tender lamb, and sauce that complements the meat. Not gamey at all. Nice.

The beef chili fries had a somewhat more muted flavour than expected. Perhaps, I have not tasted enough of beef chili fries for a fair comparison.

As we were finishing our beer, the DJ arrived and started spinning some tracks. The mood turned party-ish hip, and steady streams of party-goers decked out in their Halloween best started appearing at Level 2. There was a butterfly (or, I thought she wanted to be a fairy?), a samsui woman, and the usual suspects of ghouls.

All in all, this was an interesting place with an equally interesting tale.

However, am not sure why there are still places that has alcoholic drinks for on-site consumption but yet, does not provide free drinking water to its customers.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your work. I'll come back for more

    Keep up the good work :) from TheStillery, a stuart bar in Florida


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