The Place Seemingly tucked into a corner of the industrial park along Lavender Road, The Refinery in the Jalan Besar vicinity has a very rather inviting space. Definitely ideal for large groups, cool enough for the hippies and chill enough for the non-chalants, the high ceiling and white walls gives its diners (and drinkers alike) the best space to wind down after their busy work day.
*The Refinery is part of our list of 22 Top Food Hunts in Jalan Besar Neighbourhood.
The Refinery combines the influence of Japanese food and chill-lax drinking culture into one easy casual restaurant. It definitely stands out from its large space, impossibly high ceiling, a cocktail bar on its second level and apparently a craft workshop on its third level – which we didn’t manage to sneak up to check out unfortunately!
The Food It truly is all about Japanese Yakitori, with a decent selection of skewers and light bites.
The Shiok Bak ($8) was highly recommended by the waiter serving us, so we decided to go ahead with it. No regrets, it is not the best shiok bak I have had, but down it with some Asahi, the night just seemed to start perfectly!
Now now, we are talking! tRP can’t do a meal without craving for some beef, and what’s not to crave for when they serve the Wagyu Rib-eye ($16) here. It was slightly pricey though, considering the small portion, but having not much of a choice since we did read some negative reviews about their Skirt Steak skewer ($10). Use all the adjectives you can coin up on a wagyu beef, except that it’s not the best we have ever had either.
Small bowls are served here as well, evidently adopting the tapas-style dining culture. We gave both their Tonkotsu Ramen and local inspired delight Mee Pok ($6) a try and would recommend all to head straight for the Mee Pok – only. Skip the ramen if you can, the soup was way too bland, with the ramen texture reminding us of instant noodles! But we have to give thumbs up to their rendition of Mee Pok though. The well flavoured sauce, together with the pulled pork (aka pulled char siew), makes this small bowl a good carbo intake for our meal.
Again, repeat after me, skip the ramen.
This was what we got most excited about, and what left us the most disappointed as well – and we only got to know it after we headed back home. The Salted Egg Onion Rings ($8) which we were served had just the onion rings per se, without any salted egg paste which we spotted on our favourite local magazine (ok fine, we admit we grab our copy of 8Days every Sunday!)! If you have been reading our blog, you would know our love for anything salted egg – and then this disappointing discovery. Is there money back guarantee at the Refinery?
Now, this dessert got us really excited once again just by its name – Ice Cream Kong Ba Bao ($8). Could this be a perfect match-make between a local classic and everyone’s favourite dessert? Well, after a long 20 minutes wait, this small little serving of one fried kong ba bao was served with a scope of Coconut Ice Cream and Salted Gula Melaka. We must say there was a good effort in mixing these rather familiar Asian delights all into one unique dessert – while we wouldn’t say it’s best dessert, do give this a try when you visit Refinery.
Did you spot theRantingPanda on the wall?
Rants If you are a big eater, the Refinery may not be the ideal stop for a full meal. The relatively small portions and above average prices may burn your pockets deep if you intend to fill up your daily calories quota here!
Will I return again? For a drink after work, definitely a yes! Perfect for a chill-lax night out, without the hustle and bustle of town, yet still very centrally located. Just make sure you are patient enough for the rather long wait, as it is not the best place for the extremely hungry souls.
Make your reservation instantly at The Refinery here.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
115 King George’s Avenue
Tel: +65 6293 0461
Tuesday – Sunday: 6pm to 12am
Closed on Monday
Ranted by The Rantee