Cheers to the Old Boys.
Old Boys Gallery gastropub was founded by three friends who wanted a hang out to relax and catch up over booze. Hence, they created a little corner for the old boys to gather.
The minimal exterior was nothing compared, I was quite amazed with the vibrant decor which with paintings hung in a manner that resembled an art gallery. Almost every inch of their walls is covered with some sort of art – be it bright, bold-colored frames, graffiti or vintage Japanese posters.
Art Galleries often have an esoteric sometimes even pompous or pretentious feels to them and we’d assume combining gallery-material art and food would probably yield the same effect. However, this is entirely not the case for Old Boys.
As mentioned, they conceptualised it as a place to relax hence Old Boys Gallery is warm and casual. The myriad of colours in this place, almost elicits one to let loose and have fun as well.
You can create your own snack platter – ‘Triplets’ as they title it – for $21. We were presented a triplet platter of OBG Wings, OBG Crab Cake and Vongole Bianco.
The OBG wings were absolutely tasty; totally worthy of being titled a signature dish. With crisp skin that soaks up the sweet and savoury marmite sauce that leaves a satisfying honey-like aftertaste, the wings were hella addictive. It reminded me of excellent Pai Gu Wang sauce that Zi Char stalls offer.
The OBG Crab cakes were delicious as well; crab meat was fresh and sweet, mashed with bits of carrots, lime leaves and interestingly, topped with mango relish. It had a very subtle, almost missable hint of lemongrass and lime which could be heightened.
I thought the Mango Relish on the crab cake was brilliant but would be great if the flavour could be more prominent. Then again, it could be my mistake for diving into the wings first before the crab cakes, hence masking subtler flavours. So in case you order crab cakes, do try it first before you try other stronger tasting dishes for it is more on the lighter-tasting side.
Vongole was really exploding with garlic and seafood flavour and was really tasty. Take note that it is has sliced chili padis and hence is really spicy (because I didn’t expect it), and was caught by surprise at how spicy it was.
Personally, I think the Triplet (selection from their Bits & Bites section) is a great way to enjoy the variety of appetisers/snacks they offer. I for one, have this problem of wanting variety especially for sharing starters.
For you SPAM lovers, Spam Chips ($9.00)
I’ve only tried Spam fries before and not spam chips so this was my first time. It was hardy, crackling loudly upon biting with the recognisable taste of luncheon meat only appearing after sometime. Old Boys Gallery paired their spam chips with wasabi mayo which is pretty nice to keep things more refreshing and less likely to reach gelat-ness.
Roast Pork Aglio Olio ($14.90)
aka Shio Ba Aglio Olio. The thick strips of roasted pork had a great ratio of fats to meat, it doesn’t feel like all I’m eating is pig blubber. There also fried pork lard to give this dish the occasional crunch.
The pork meat is very tasty… and salty, almost too much for my liking. It would be great if the saltiness can be balanced out.
This is actually a really good dish that could strike well with the masses. It is a simple yet apt fusion of a local favourite and Italian favorite since aglio olio is really popular here. Kind of novel yet familiar.
Bak Kwa Risotto ($16.90)
Not exactly the regular risotto as it has mascarpone cheese added, making this risotto creamier, slightly cheesier and absolutely delicious. Truffle oil also gave it a boost in fragrance and depth. The Bak Kwa however seemed a tad bit odd to me as an ingredient in this risotto.
But since this dish includes cheese, truffle and rice, there’s a high chance of one feeling quite dull of it after multiple spoons. So there’s that.
Belly Burger ($18.90)
Now this was a satisfying burger. Cheeseburgers may seem too boring now because almost every where has some sort of decent cheeseburger that kinda tastes the same or you may be like mehhhh Cheeseburgers are so yesterday.
But this, this Belly Burger is so today.
Stacked with pineapple, melted cheese, fresh vegetables, BACON, ONION RINGS, a sunny side up and of course that glorious slab of pork belly – any burger than has onion rings inside has a special place in my heart. And this isn’t just any ordinary braised pork belly or the kind you’re used to.
This pork belly is braised in Japanese style sauce that includes Shoyu, Sake and Bonito flakes. The combination lent this pork belly a positively sweeter and lighter taste than normal braised pork belly meat you find in Lor Ba/ Kong Ba Pau.
The pineapple and onion rings gave it extra zest and sweetness while some sort of vinaigrette sauce on the crunchy lettuce just went really well with the burger. I’m sorry I was too lost in it to figure out the sauce.
I would come back for this burger and would recommend this to others. I think it’s a great burger especially for people who don’t like beef patties.
Being a hang out place, of course there’s beer!
But even better than ordinary beer? Craft Beer.
Old Boys Gallery has more than 10 types of bottled craft beers to choose from. (They also carry Trappist beers which are actually brewed in a monastery.) So you have a decent variety of craft beer to choose from to pair with Western-local casual comfort food. Sounds great to me!
I would visit this place again because for the quality and type of food, it is pretty worth your money. Plus,it has craft beer as well. It seems like a very ideal place to just relax with comforting sorta fusion grub and booze.
Expected Damage: $20 – $30 per pax