08 January 2013

looking for The Wolf but found The Ground

On a street lined with various restaurants, we discovered something new.

226 Tanjong Katong. 9 months ago, April last year, Big Bad Wolf was located here. Now, January 2013, a new restaurant took over - The Ground Cafe and Bar.

We don't really want to believe that Big Bad Wolf had closed down for good. That was until we saw the address painted in vibrant color over the glass door - 226.

Though hesitant, we decided to give it a try. I confirmed with the cheery female staff, who welcomed us with a great smile, about what had become of Big Bad Wolf, that used to be located in that very place. "Oh, they closed down for good", she answered smiling.

My friend, who I actually just accompanied for this venture, browsed through the menu. We're after the apple pie a la mode with butterscotch sauce that I had at Big Bad Wolf, and some craft beers, of course. I loved that dessert. But it wasn't there.

The same, old place with a new ambiance, furniture, decor, and menu. There was not a trace of the previous restaurant in there. It was a completely different place in a same address.

The Ground Cafe and Bar

It has a chic feeling to it. Elegance without making you feel off. Modern and trendy that makes you feel cozy. It actually reminds me of Smitten Coffee and Tea Day Makers, particularly the menu presentation. I should have asked if they were associated in a way.

I didn't studied the menu, just browsed through it quickly for an interesting drink. They have mostly drinks of Netherlands origin. Bottled drinks with names that we can't even pronounce and descriptions asking you to order them. Surely, we ordered the ones with the most appetizing description. We both have a sweet tooth, given that, why would we pass on a couple of beers with a taste or aroma of chocolate, coffee, caramel or vanilla? More than appetizing, they are enticing.

I had a cold bottle of La Trappe Quadrupel. It had a taste or aroma of caramel according to the description, and the reason I ordered it. The female staff opened and poured it in a glass that looks like a margarita's. I can smell the scent of beer as she was pouring it. I was not a beer person, though I can somehow manage drinking it. I didn't like the beer aroma, most of all.

As I am not particularly fond of beer, distinguishing the flavors was a feat. I am certain though that the taste of my drink was sweeter and there were other spices mixed in it, as compared to the draft beers I've tried before. Still, the general taste of beer is there.

My friend had a bottle of De Molen kind of beer. I didn't gave much attention to the name, but the picture I had of the bottle stated Eel and Bierlokaal De Molen. I guess that was it? I remembered that it has the taste of chocolate and licorice and a few more spices. I actually liked it better than mine. It was certainly beer, but it was something I would have enjoyed more. The aroma was nicer as well, not the strong scent of beer. It has a dark color but I don't think it was the same as the dark, strong beers I know.

My friend was craving for ice cream due to the anticipation for the apple pie a la mode. He ordered affogato and came a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream showered in espresso. I don't exactly like espresso, but the affogato tasted heaven. It was a must-try and I will certainly have that the next time I go there.

We also had some cheesy meatballs. The cheese was literally bursting out of the meatballs. It was delicious but a little salty. We only ordered it since I am getting a little tipsy from drinking my beer. Yes, that 30% alcohol got a little into me. My friend said that it was because I was drinking my beer quickly hence the tipsiness. I also had a bottle of Rekorderlig Strawberry and Lime after my beer. I would have gone for that one first had I not checked the drink list.

I drank a beer and a cider. I was fine though. It was weird that I can somehow handle my alcohol intake because I am not trained for drinking. I said that I can handle it, but I am more likely to bother the friend who's with me when I have entered that phase.

The restaurant wasn't crowded when we went there on a Thursday night. I kinda enjoyed how it was mostly empty. The staff were kind and accommodating and cheerful. The things I loved about the restaurant are, one, the line prints in the upper wall which not many people might have noticed, and, second, the bottle display behind their cashier counter.



I would highly recommend the restaurant to be visited. They have a good array of craft beers and ciders that both males and females will definitely enjoy. The ambiance is comforting matched with the accommodating staff. It was definitely a good place to relax and chill. An after-drink walk along East Coast Beach Park or just in the neighborhood would also feel great.

[moody-foodie 08.01.2013]

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