The Guild – a collaboration between Chef Vinny Lauria and Hong Kong’s highly-lauded craft beer makers Young Master Brewery – opens up in Keong Saik Road with a focus on championing small-scale, artisanal producers, such as farmers and growers for ingredients in its food offerings, to brewers, winemakers and distillers for its beverage menu.
Young Master Brewery, possibly Hong Kong’s best-known craft brewery, needs little introduction. After taking the Hong Kong beer scene by storm some five years ago, Singapore became Young Master Brewery’s first official export market when it started shipping beers here last October and today its beers can be found in some of the more upmarket F&B venues around town.
With The Guild, it’s taken one of the boldest steps in the Singapore market. While not every brewery can do what Fremantle-based Little Creatures have done by opening a brewery-restaurant here in Singapore, a simple tap room would have sufficed for most. Instead, Young Master Brewery ups the ante by collaborating with Chef Vinny Lauria – who consults for Hong Kong’s Homegrown Foods’ chain of restaurants – to open a fully-licensed bar restaurant with The Guild.
Chef Lauria is big on championing small producers, and the food and drink offerings here reflect that. You’ll of course find the whole range of Young Master beers here on its 19 taps, ranging from $16++ to $18++ for a pint; but there’s also room for rotating guest brews from other craft breweries on some of those taps – we saw the likes of New Zealand’s 8 Wired and Singapore’s very own Brewlander, for example.
There are other drink offerings as well, including an entire slew of cocktails. The refreshing Guildhouse G&T ($14++) features Larios gin and J Gasco tonic, while the Ham Sup Highball ($15++, above) is a spicy, smoky tall number put together with Machetazo Salmiana mezcal, Young Master Cha Chaan Teng Gose, fresh lime, and even comes with a chili rim. The Poppa Woody’s Negroni ($24++) is a standout – our friends at Parched Asia certainly agree – if a little on the pricier side, but the oak spiral-aged Dopo Teatro Amaro vermouth lends an impossible silkiness to this classic Italian aperitif that makes it worth paying for.
Wine offerings at The Guild, though, is bafflingly expensive. We understand – and applaud – the need to support the underdog, but $21++ for its house red of a 2014 Domaine Dupasquier Vin de Savoie and $19++ for a house sparkling of Castell d’Age Cava Anne Marie Brut Nature Reserva NV look priced to push its other drinks?
Food-wise, The Guild offers an eclectic Asian-influenced menu that shows Chef Lauria’s creativity. The General Tso’s Frog Legs ($14++) makes for an excellent beer snack, as does the Salt & Vinegar Fries ($8++). For something more substantial, the Umamiwurst ($22++) of house made pork and shiitake mushroom sausage is delish with some of the heartier Young Master beers.
The Keong Saik F&B stretch can be rather brutal, but for Young Master (少爺) to set up its base in Singapore right smack in the heart of Chinatown with The Guild is somewhat poetic destiny.
Address 55 Keong Saik Rd, #01-01, Singapore 089158 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 5pm to 12am Wednesdays to Sundays, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Tel (65) 6224 1262