A Very Dramatic Meal

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It was the end of a very long work week. I’d just recovered from one of those nasty bugs that was percolating round and round that sick building I work at. It was late and DC suggested we go for burger and beer at Smokin Frogz. That place was so packed we almost had to stand. We were lucky to get a table after a short wait.

The burgers were very good though: meaty and juicy. Although mine was a mushroom burger, the mushrooms hardly registered. Such a pity since the rest of the burger was good. There was soft bun and thoroughly melted cheese to top it all off.

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We were delighted to spot some harder to find beers on the menu. DC went for the Chimay Red and I had the Little Creatures Pale Ale. The Chimay Red was rich and malty but also quite hoppy. Surprisingly for something so malty and dark, it was rather fruity with a hint of apples. The Pale Ale was very forgettable: light and smooth but nothing much. It seemed like the Little Creatures took flight before putting in the flavour.

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The beer was also very heady! It was probably a combination of exhaustion, post-illness fatigue, a late dinner and the alcohol. One moment I was telling DC that the beer had gone to my head too fast and the next I was waking up from a faint, flat out on the floor. It must have been rather alarming to the rest of the customers. I was lucky that DC was there and also had the help of another diner who was a nurse. We’d arranged to meet a couple of his friends there for drinks but they showed up only to help haul me to car and get to A&E to be checked out. Such a pity since the Chimay was good and fairly cheap (less than $10 I think).

Smokin Frogz
879 Bukit Timah Road

[post script: I’m OK, don’t worry. The hospital couldn’t find anything wrong, so all’s well.]

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Burps at the Beer Fest

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I was late to attend Beerfest Asia 2009 mainly because I was out diving for most of the time. (Will update on that in a while.) Finally made it on the last day, on a Sunday afternoon when all the fun was pretty much over. No matter, we made up for the lack of good music (and Vertical Horizon) by downing more beers.

We limbered up on the Turkish Efes which was surprisingly light for a 5% and tasted of… nothing at all really. This was swiftly chased down by our very own local Archipelago Travellers Wheat that had a very unique taste. I couldn’t place it until I looked it up on the website. It was tamarind and ginger together, so it was spicy and warming yet with a very pleasant tang.

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I’d originally planned to stop at a couple of beers, but I’d already paid $27 for entry only to pay more money to get my hands on some beer. So I wasn’t a particularly happy camper and proceeded to instigate my drinking companion to buy more beers.

The American Doggie Style Pale Ale (5.5%) was more packaging than good beer. We were not impressed. Another friend joined us with a Dog Schwarz (7.8%) and was similarly underwhelmed. No matter, onwards to better things! DC liked the Chimay Tripel (8%) from Belgium, proclaiming that it was complex, dark and… like a stew. I thought it was bitter and moved swiftly on to my favourite of the session. The Silly Saison (5%) was also from Belgium and was redolent of thick , buttery and almost salty caramel. It was smooth and amazingly good.

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Then came a silly in-joke as we drank to a friend called Calvin. Unfortunately the Calvinus Blonde (5%) from Switzerland lived up more to the second part of its name. Despite the pretty label, it was another one of those bland forgettables in the ocean of beer. John Calvin must’ve been rolling in his grave, more because it was such a bad beer, methinks.

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Next up came a short and rather ill-fated interlude with some cider. Magner’s Irish Cider (4.5%) from (you guessed it!) Ireland was, according to DC, metallic and tasted like rotten 500-year old cheese. I thought it was OK, but not worth the carbs and burps, so we moved swiftly on.

I don’t remember trying the Pompey Royal (4.5%) from the UK but DC said that it was malty and full-bodied with lots of hops. It was well-balanced and smooth, worth the $10 price tag. I remember scribbling some notes, but ended up losing them, so fat lot of good that did me and this blog post.

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And last of all, we dreg up the Swiss Schwarzer Kristall (6.3%) from the depths of my memory and all I remember is that it was a terrible letdown that tasted like the insipid Flying Dog stuff from the US.

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The conclusion really was that there are good beers and there are expensive beers and the two are not necessary the same. Oh and there are bad beers too. And beer makes me tipsy. And gives me a headache. So no more beer for a while.