[Invited Tasting & Revisit] AdstraGold Microbrewery

I was invited to a tasting at AdstraGold Microbrewery sometime back by the good people of HungryGoWhere. The young-ish microbrewery used to be at Chijmes until it moved its teeny tiny premises to a bigger premises in the east, and expanded its microbrewery pub to house a proper gastropub. It's decorated in that messy, haphazard style, with a million framed memorabilia, adverts and photos. Add that to the loud cheesy music blaring out of its stereos, competing with the sports channels showing on several TV screens, the casual gastropub wouldn't look out of place at Patong Beach in Phuket, or Kuta Beach in Bali. One thing that struck me about this place is that unlike most eateries with an on-site brewery, AdstraGold is free of the headache-inducing yeast scent.
At the tasting, the food impressed me, even if service was a little sluggish. It was so good that I was left salivating over their fish & chips days after the tasting. I was actually looking forward to revisiting AdstraGold with a couple of chums and the Hubs.

Unfortunately, there was some sort of epidemic breakout amongst their staff when I revisited AdstraGold last Friday, resulting in just one waiter and one chef turning up for work. So it was just them both handling the entire dinner service. As you can imagine, service was terrible. Despite the pub being half empty, our food took a good 40-odd minutes to arrive, and we didn't get no water until the end of the meal. After we'd asked for it. Twice. The food also fared badly. Compared to the stuff served at the tasting, it was uneven and lackluster.

At the tasting, I thought the Fish & Chips were amazing, because they use the premium cream dory fish here. Fresh and totally scrumptious, the flaky fillet was encased in a light batter and paired with a fresh house-made tartar sauce.

At the revisit however, the Fish & Chips ($15.90 for 90gm) disappointed. The battering was uneven, and so was the salting.

At the tasting, we enjoyed the Meat Platter very much. Here, 2 slow-roasted pork ribs, a hulking large-sized (1050-1250gm raw gross wt) pork knuckle were served together with a quartet of chicken and beef sausages. The ribs were less than meltingly tender but they were intensely flavoured. The pork knuckle was very good; fresh, with nary a mature porky taste of feet and superb crackling skin. The sausages were awesome as well, properly textured, chunky and moist.

The Meat Platter ($89.90 for 3-4 persons) didn't fare as well at our return visit. The ribs were awful, tough and dried out. Even the liberal barbecue sauce spread couldn't disguise how dry the ribs were. Suffice to say, the ribs weren't finished. The pork knuckle didn't fare as badly; it was fresh, but it could be moister and the skin more cackling. The only thing that maintained its standard were the sausages, but then again, you'd have to be a complete noob to screw up sausages anyways.

At the tasting, I found the brews here pretty good, as the lack of preservatives ensures freshness. For lightweights, I'd recommend getting the Golden Ale, it's like drinking apple juice with just the teeniest touch of alcohol.

The oddest thing you'll find in the gastropub is the prevalence of yacht chartering adverts. That's because the owner's first (and still current) business venture relates to yacht chartering. So apparently, if you accumulate more than $150, you get to redeem 1 free joyride on a speedboat.

AdstraGold Microbrewery
417 East Coast Road
Tel: 6446 7134
Open Mondays to Saturdays from 2pm to 1am; Sundays from 12noon to 11pm
Website: www.adstragold.com


andmorefood said...

that's pretty bad about the revisit! I wish restaurants would try as hard for their regular customers - it's especially bad when you return with expectations!

Bern said...

exactly. which is why, i think, revisits are so impt after an invited tasting. quality control of sorts. after the abysmal revisit, i dont think i'd ever go back.

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