Caribbean restaurant Lime House’s recent revamp not only sees its space with a new look, but its food and cocktail menu updated for Caribbean sensibilities and with a more local touch.
Lime House along Jiak Chuan Road in the Keong Saik lifestyle enclave is best known as pretty much Singapore’s only Caribbean restaurant; it’s where almost every homesick person of Caribbean descent here go to when they’re craving for a slice of home. But while it’s tweaked its offerings ever so often, it’s not really given itself a proper refresh since it first opened its doors in 2013.
The house of liming – a colloquial Caribbean term for chilling out with friends over food and drink – recently overhauled itself in a big way. The space – both indoor and outdoor – is much more open and convivial now, and cocktail hounds will be glad for its expanded bar space pushing out rums and rum cocktails. Well that’s the good news. The bad news is that Lime House’s dedicated rum bar Bago upstairs, is no more; it’s now a dedicated event space.
The biggest change at Lime House is its cocktail menu. What’s new is that Lime House has now partnered drinks consultancy Proof & Co to develop an extensive cocktail programme that’s a lot more refined and elegant than its previous offerings. The bar is now fronted by experienced bartender and bar manager Thomas Sobota, previously of Fat Prince and the now-defunct The Library.
Consider the likes of Isle of Spice ($19++), which may look like a regular tall drink but the vodka-based tipple is rife with tropical notes of passionfruit lifted by spicy mace and nutmeg, or the Antigua Smile ($22++), a tropical take on the daiquiri using dark rum with bold flavours of banana and mint for complexity.
Those who like their drinks even more spirit forward would like the Rum Old Fashioned that is the Between Isles ($20++), which combines a blend of Martinique and Bajan rums and comes with a slight savoury finish. But if you want both power and tropical flavours the Painkiller-Lah ($27++) is a classic tiki cocktail with a Singaporean touch – gula melaka coconut cream that tops off the drink. To complete the decadence it even comes with a shot of overproof rum for you to either pour into the cocktail or shoot with.
For rum lovers, you’d be pleased to note that Lime House’s collection of rums has grown, and while not quite rivalling the extensive selections at Origin Bar or The Bar at 15 Stamford in terms of size, there are still over 300 options for you to consider.
Then there’s the food. We’re actually pretty glad the food didn’t change as much as its drinks menu, mostly because it was really good to begin with. In fact it’s simply trimmed down; some favourites, like the barley risotto that is the Pot of Jah Love, have been removed. But we’re glad the Tribajam Curry Goat ($32++) remains on the menu. This generous portion of goat curry comes with rice and peas to soak up all that spicy curried goodness, which has all the familiar flavours of a good local rendang.
New entries are generally vegetarian options like the Vegetarian Pelau ($22++) or Doubles ($14++), the latter which is housemade barra bread smothered in a delicious curried chickpeas. But Lime House was most famous for its Caribbean-style jerk chicken, and we reckon its tapas-sized Jerk Chicken Skewer ($20++) or Signature Jerk Chicken ($32++) are still must-orders; the spicing levels are perfect, and juicy tender to the bite. If you’re only peckish we highly recommend the Caribbean Nachos ($14++), which eschews the usual tortilla chips for plantain chips for a tasty snack.
Lime House is one of those establishments you wish would continue to succeed – it has a great story to tell, but more importantly it flies the flag and celebrates the culture of a region that most Singaporeans just aren’t familiar with. And for a country that’s so uptight, we need to properly learn to lime like the people of the Caribbean – and how better than through food and drink>
Address 2 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089260 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 5pm to 12mn Tuesdays to Saturdays; closed on Mondays and Sundays
Tel (65) 6222 3130