Known as one of the biggest, noisiest, and busiest go-to bars located at the intersection of Ann Siang Hill, Gem Bar is now back and better after upgrading its space with a full kitchen back in March. Well, a full kitchen also means a special food menu selection with over 13 new dishes for you to enjoy with alcohol on the side to let loose after a long day or week of work.
Inspired by the Bar’s Operation Director, Zulkiflee and Bar Chef, Tey’s imagination of travelling around the world (which we are sadly unable to do physically now), they hope to present the local flavours of Singapore through this Street Food Paradise menu but at the same time, input a hint of an international palate from the rest of the world! As a bar, these foods were definitely created to go well with alcohol too!
AVENUE ONE had the chance to head down for a tasting session for the all-new Street Food Paradise menu with Gem Bar and we are now ready to share with you our thoughts on the new dishes!
To kick off our feast, we started with some finger food – Curry Sausages (S$8). We have all heard about pairing curry with either bread or rice, but sausage? That’s a first. Created as a tribute to the eponymous fast food joint in Berlin, this snack is served with an apple and herbs pork sausage drizzle and a special house-made curry sauce. This Curry Sausage definitely packs a punch, the moment you bite into it, you will get a delectable mix of sweet and spicy flavours in your mouth. Not to worry if you are not the best at spice tolerance because the spiciness of this snack is extremely mild, allowing you to enjoy its flavours without having to ask for more water to wash the spice down.
Following that, we moved onto our mains – the burgers. It’s been a long time since we had a Pasar Malam here in Singapore and we definitely haven’t had the opportunity to visit Malaysia in the past year. This is why we were very pleased with the Gem-ly Burger (S$16), a recreation of the crowd-favourite Ramly Burger but with a twist. Made with a Tom Yum beef patty topped with a homemade truffle egg mayo, and sandwiched between a soft Brioche bun, this burger definitely brought us back to our Pasar Malam days for a moment. It tasted just like the usual Ramly burgers but this version had a bigger burst of flavour in our mouth every time we took a bite!
Also available on the menu is the Handshake Burger (S$18) which is made with a beef patty, topped with shallots and bearnaise sauce, sandwiched between a Brioche bun. This was less flavourful than the Gem-ly burger but still provides that savoury taste that we all look forward to in our burgers.
We recommend that you share the burgers if you intend to order more than one, as the taste can get a little overwhelming after a while.
We then had the King prawns and Mentaiko Scallops (S$19), which was hands down our favourite from this special menu. Fresh seafood paired with classic Mentaiko sauce? Delicious.
The sauce was also flavourful yet mild, which was a refreshing palate that we really loved.
We might all be missing Malaysia a little too much but fret not, as this LokLok will surely take you on a journey back to JB’s LokLok street stores with its rich flavours. With a huge selection to choose from, enjoy the broccoli, cauliflower, or king mushrooms at just S$2 each. To add more colour and goodness to your plate of skewers, opt for the bacon-wrapped enoki, asparagus, Tomyum beef kebabs or the mini BBQ pork sausages at S$2.50.
The LokLok platter was slightly salty for our liking but if you are someone who loves really strong flavours, this is definitely for you!
LokLok can’t be eaten without your sauces! Featuring four homemade sauces (S$2) – Wasabi Mayo, Thai Sweet Chilli, Goma Dressing, and Sambal Petis – you will definitely be spoiled for choice on which sauce to deep your skewers in.
By the way, the Sambal Petis Sauce is extremely spicy so if your spice tolerance is not the best (like ours), we suggest you take a small taste of the sauce first to decide how much you can take before actually dipping anything into it!
What is all that street food without some alcohol? Featuring 7 Sins of Yishun, one of Gem Bar’s signature cocktails which has a dark and mysterious taste of Long Island Tea that is brewed with seven other sinful ingredients, that can serve up to four in an adorable light bulb bottle. Alternatively, if you prefer something that is more fruity, you can opt for the Kyoho Sangaria that is a mix of a Gin-based cocktail, Kyoho grape juice, elderflower, and lychee, topped with Prosecco and dried grapes.
If you are feeling something with a stronger tinge of alcohol, then the Smoked Whiskey Sour is for you. This has a good, balanced mix of sweet and sour flavours. Of course, there are still the classics that you can go for such as the Tsingtao beer (fun fact: Gem Bar is one of the only few bars in Singapore that serves the golden brew on top) or the strong and smooth Soju Jinro Green, which is available in grape and strawberry flavours.
View the full Street Food Paradise Menu here.
Where to find Gem Bar?
Gem Bar is located at 10 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069789, just a 5-minute walk away from Telok Ayer MRT. It is open from 3pm to 10pm from Mondays to Saturdays and closed on Sundays.
You can either make your reservation online or contact Gem Bar at 9834 0755.