Robertson Walk beer bar Darjeeling Social has some surprisingly legit Indian dishes to go along with its lovely craft beers on tap.
You’re likely to miss Darjeeling Social if you weren’t looking out for it. Tucked among other watering holes around the Robertson Walk fountain, the bar’s unremarkable decor blends itself into the building’s facade and rendering it pretty nondescript. Heck, you’ll probably only notice it on the way to the mall’s restroom.
Which is a shame, because there’s some great eats here.
Positioned as a craft beer pub, Darjeeling Social offers over 50 beers – with 12 of those from draught taps – in its liquid arsenal. Their craft brews are just a smidge pricier than the surrounding competition – a neighbouring bar offers bucket deals of commercial swill discounted depending on the hour of the day – but that’s simply the price of quality. When we were there, we saw trusted beer brands such as the Stone IPA (from California’s Stone Brewing), the Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Oregon’s Deschutes, as well the Jindong Juicy from Margaret River’s cult brewery Rocky Ridge. Quality brews, all. There was even the Iron Maiden Trooper from UK’s Robinson Brewery, served here on nitro for a creamier, more delicate finish. We like.
For those not into beers, Darjeeling Social carries a range of rather average wines but some smashingly fun highballs. Their Signature Honey Lemon Vodka Cooler and Kumquat Cooler are flavourful and refreshing, and well suited to the food here.
Yes, the food. You’ll raise some eyebrows when you first peruse the menu, because despite its name chances are you’re not expecting a range of dishes – that should rightfully belong to an Indian restaurant – in a bar like this.
Signature Smoked Butter Chicken? Kerala Beef Curry? Palak Paneer? Momo?
These were all very competently executed. That butter chicken had juicy grilled chicken chunks smothered in a lovely creamy sauce that had a most enticing smokiness. The palak paneer came as squeaky cubes of cottage cheese caressed by indulgently smooth creamed spinach, exactly as it should be. The Dal Makhani, too, was legit with its smoky charcoal overtones – a sure sign it was done the right proper way. Even the accompanying Jeera Rice was lovingly scented with cumin, perfectly accentuating the flavours of the main dishes.
There are many vegetarian options too, such as the newly launched Bhindi Masala. We’re not a fan of okra in general, but cooked this way – smothered in masala gravy – we wolfed it all down.
The tears that streamed down my face weren’t all from the chilli in the fiery Chennai-style Chicken 65; some of it has to have been from relief and sheer joy to find there’s some legitimately delicious Indian food in this beer bar.
Here’s yet one more reason to drop into Robertson Walk now.
[Photo credits: Darjeeling Social]
Address 11 Unity St, #01-12, Singapore 237995 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 5pm to 11pm daily
Tel (65) 8139 5952