Old House BBQ & Bar: Delicious fatty skewered meats & pepper chicken, open till 2am

Residents living in the vicinity would often witness frequent changes of stall owners in this particular spot. Today, that very spot sees an influx of customers come night time, especially since they are open till 2am. I am talking about the new Old House BBQ & Bar near Boon Keng MRT station.

old house front

East meets West past the doors to the restaurant. Visitors are welcomed by a slightly overdone European design. With more than 10 pictures framed and hung onto the walls, a hanging chandelier from the ceiling and a large bar counter, I cannot blame anyone for assuming they sold European dishes.

Nonetheless, since the themed restaurant was intended, I would comment that it was well executed. 

old house dining

The purpose of our visit was to devour their Chinese fusion dishes. When we arrived at 4pm, the restaurant had just opened for business and no other customers were present. 

However, at the back of the restaurant, 2 chefs were focused on skewering raw meats onto a heavy reusable wooden stick. I am certain they are prepping for the supper crowd later that night. 

What I tried at Old House BBQ & Bar

Our drinks arrived first. First up, Berry Worries (S$18) was presented as a bubbly concoction with a beautiful red gradient shown through the clear glass.

old house strawberry

Although visually pleasing, the mixture contained mostly soda water with a hint of booze (even after a stir). The strawberry compote used was also artificial tasting and overly sweet. 

The JING-A Mandarin Wheat Beer (S$12) fared much better. Crisp with a subtle sweetness, this brew was easy to down.

old house beer

Just like an appetiser, the grilled skewers were served next. Words cannot describe the aroma that filled the surrounding air. I could almost taste the savoury combination of meat seasoned with chilli and cumin powder.

Resembling the taste of pork belly, both my dining partner and I had the sudden confusion as to whether we ordered the right item.  

old house mutton

Regardless, these Xin Jiang Rose Willow Mutton Skewers (S$12 for 3 skewers) were so good. I took my first bite and my eyes immediately widened.

It was super tender and juicy. I noticed that the meat chunks used were larger than the ones I usually eat. This really helped the meat stay moist within while the outer layer got adequately charred and generously dusted with a variety of herbs. 

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Another component of the dish that I enjoyed were the chunks of fat sandwiched between lean meat pieces. When heated, the fatty juices released an additional oomph that flavoured the entire skewer. I highly recommend those obsessed with pork belly to order this item. 

old house beef

With high hopes, I dived straight into the Charcoaled Beef with Bell Pepper (S$12 for 3 skewers). The bell peppers were sweet and savoury thanks to the same cumin-chilli seasoning. I was also surprised that the vegetable remained crunchy even after being cooked. 

However, I feel regretful to inform readers that the beef – which was supposed to be the star of the dish – was tough and dry.

old house powder

While the Dipping Sauce Platter (S$2) was listed as an essential item to accompany the skewered meats, we didn’t think there was much significance to it. I’d skip this.

old house oyster

Beautifully plated Fresh Japan Oysters (S$10 for 5 pieces) were next-in-line. Do note that this is an opening promotional price with no end-date decided on yet.

I may be digressing just a little, but I would like to take this juncture to exclaim just how cute these Chinaware are! 

Turning back around to the plump shellfish, they were served at the right temperature— chilled but not too cold to pop the entire briny bomb into my mouth. In comparison to the indulgent Mutton Skewers, the fresh oysters were almost refreshing to eat. 

old house rice

Being one of the few main dishes offered by the restaurant, we didn’t have many choices to decide between. Ultimately, we went for Grandma’s Fried Rice (S$12) which was also titled as the ‘Best Fried Rice Ever’ by the team.  

There was a generous amount of fried eggs well incorporated into the rice. However, a sharp numbing sensation was all we could feel. The presence of pickled sliced vegetables were a much needed component to add balance to the otherwise plain dish. 

old house chix

Under the cold dishes category, the Shou Si Pepper Chicken (S$18) was recommended by the staff. In English terms, this translated to hand-shredded spicy chicken. As a regular consumer of vegetable liang cai (cold dishes), I was open to trying out the cold marinated poultry. 

I should highlight that this may not appeal to everyone.

old house chix skin

I am glad I did as this was a total banger. The marinade consisted of a mala base mixed in with tangy vinegar and topped with coriander leaves. But what made this dish so addictive was its use of varying textures from the crunchy raw onions, moist chicken pieces and the snappy chicken skin. 

I am still unsure how they managed to attain such a unique texture from the chicken skin as it was not one bit mushy or soft!

Final thoughts

old house overall

Understandably, the prices are rather steep as countless other BBQ houses offer similar items at a significantly lower point. However, I am certain that you will be getting your money’s worth if the right items are ordered. 

Naturally, that order list should include those Mutton Skewers, Pepper Chicken and a pint of that Mandarin beer. After all, what’s spending a little more for a satisfying supper with your best lads? 

Expected damage: S$30 – S$60

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Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Old House BBQ & Bar

1088 Serangoon Road, Singapore 328188

Our Rating 4/5

Old House BBQ & Bar

1088 Serangoon Road, Singapore 328188

Operating Hours: 4pm - 2am (Mon to Fri), 11am - 3pm & 5pm - 2am (Sat, Sun & Public Holiday)

Operating Hours: 4pm - 2am (Mon to Fri), 11am - 3pm & 5pm - 2am (Sat, Sun & Public Holiday)