Whether you are someone who simply enjoys a cold beer or a self proclaimed hop-head, new bar on the block, Nickeldime Drafthouse, is a must visit. Opened in October and located in Novena along Thomson Road, Nickeldime is the latest drinkery to be opened under Hidden Door Concepts (the crew behind Pigsfly, Angie’s Oyster Bar, and Kitchenette Bakery) and is the first beer house in Singapore to offer 15 international constantly rotating craft beers on tap.
The joint pops with personality featuring graffiti artwork, colourful beer taps popping out of the corrugated back wall which holds shelves filled with growlers and liquor bottles behind the concrete bar. Seating styles range from high tables and barstools to sofas and armchairs.
While I was there to sample both the beer and food, I was told not to get too attached to any of the beers, as there was no telling how long each one would be in stock. The beers are all sourced from boutique breweries around the world, and brought in only a keg or two at a time. So while you will always be able to find your preferred kind of beer like an IPA or Stout, the name of the beer and the location from whence it came may change.
We sampled a few of the current drafts like the Mountain Goat Golden Ale from Australia and a stout from the Weihenstephaner brewery out of Germany. Frank Shen, manager and resident “beer geek”, filled us in on the various brewing styles and techniques as each one was brought out. Frank is a wealth of knowledge and happy to not only share it, but use it to help you pick your perfect pint.
The menu at Nickeldime offers of a variety of beer-centric chow while sticking with traditional fares. We tried a few popular dishes starting with the Ale Snapper Fish & Chips ($16). As the name implies, the fresh snapper is soaked in a light ale before being battered and fried. The garlic fries and tortilla chips with Hot Crab IPA Cheese Dip ($11) is an interesting side companion with its strong flavours. My new favorite pasta dish, The Stout Braised Beef Ragout ($13) uses ribeye soaked in beer for 24 hours before being chopped and simmered into the sauce and served with spaghetti.
We also sampled the Salami and Fresh Chili Pizza ($18)…and yes, the pizza dough is mixed with beer instead of water! As a fan of the traditional burger and beer combo I was anxious to try the 510 Burger ($18) – boasting 200g of Angus beef topped with IPA infused Gouda cheese, beer candied bacon, a beer infused sunny side up fried egg, topped with beer BBQ sauce and stuffed into fresh handmade brioche buns! It was even better tasting than it was looking. We finished with a cider and a chocolate tart, which made a surprisingly nice combination as a sweet finale.
In short, I think this amalgamation of neighbourhood dive bar meets uptown bespoke brewery is a great addition to the local bar and restaurant scene. The 15 ever-changing beer barrels keep those with AADD (alcohol attention deficit disorder) from getting bored and allows the true connoisseurs to continuously check a new brew off of the list. Their menu offers upscale twists on the classic bar staples that pair perfectly with the craft beers and the partially alfresco atmosphere is very relaxing. Oh, and they have a small side store from which you can purchase a variety of bottled beers to take home or give as gifts.
Happy Hour 1-for-1 specials before 6pm daily and lunch sets are $9.90. Opening hours: Sun-Mon 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11am-1am.
Nickeldime Drafthouse, 273 Thomson Road #01-06, Novena Gardens, Singapore 307644, Tel: (+65) 6256 0261 www.nickeldimedrafthouse.com