It was a dark and stormy night. We decided to adjourn for happy hour drinks at Armoury Gastrobar Singapore which is located in a building that used to be an armoury in the former Beach Road Army Camp. If our memory is correct, the old HQ 2 PDF reservist unit used to occupy this place. The armoury is a stand-alone building but is part of the South Beach conservation and redevelopment project that involved a makeover of the whole army camp and the construction of a new hotel, commercial outlets and condominiums.
While the external facade of Armoury Gastrobar still retains the elegant colonial look of the buildings from that era, the internal space is that of a dark, raw, industrial pub. Exposed pipes, brick walls and big screen TVs are the main adornments in this place. There is a mix of high and low tables to break the monotony of the space.
We could guess where the priorities of the Armoury Gastrobar lie when the drinks menu is longer and more interesting than the food menu. A wide selection of international beers was the highlight. Here are pictures of the menus.
There was a very good happy hour (5 to 8 pm) deal with 6 bottles of craft beer for only $36. Which explained the huge crowd in the room when we arrived. The crowd significantly thinned after 8 pm. We tried a couple of the other beers – a Maisel Hefeweizen Original and a Modern Times Coffee Stout. The beers were priced at reducing happy hour prices : first beer per pint was $15, $12 for the second and even less for the third.
The Maisel Original was a fruity and pleasant German beer. The coffee stout was very different, a robust stout with a hint of coffee. Both were interesting and enjoyable, especially with typical pub food like fries and hamburgers. One could see that the beer was really enjoyed by the crowd. The place had a very boisterous merry making atmosphere.
This is the pork belly sliders ($24) with a side order of truffle fries ($4). The mini-burgers were quite oily, which can be expected from pork belly. The overall taste was good and the dryness of the beers was a good complement to the oiliness.
We thought that we couldn’t go wrong with fried chicken wings. But these Armoury Buffalo Wings ($19) had an unusual seasoning of a sourish sauce which was not our cup of tea. Some carrot sticks with cheese dips were provided. This part of the dish was fine.
The cod fish was pan-fried to produce a beautifully crisp skin. The presentation looked so good and promising. But for some reason the texture of the cod was quite tough. We pointed it out to the staff and they very obligingly took it back without any fuss.
Overall, the Armoury Gastrobar is clearly a hotspot for after-office drinks for the folks that work nearby. We would head somewhere else if we wanted to have some serious eating. But to have a beer or three with some pub food, this gastrobar certainly is on our radar for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere and the nice beer selection. Bring an umbrella if it rains as there is no sheltered connection to the main building.
South Beach Quarter
36 Beach Road
Nearby Stations : Esplanade, City Hall.