One does not simply put a curry on a pizza!
On the 29th October the OCC visited Barrels – 34 South Buona Vista Rd
Address: 34 South Buona Vista Rd. 118162
Barrels IS NOT AWARDED the OCC badge of recommendation scoring below 7 (out of 10) in all but 2 categories.
Customer Care: 5.71
Located on a busy stretch of South Buona Vista Road, Barrels is a well-established Indian haunt. Busy (but socially distanced, of course), vibrant and lively. It’s easy to see why. Although falling short of a number of the OCC’s strict voting criteria, at the same time it did make a very clear statement of it’s intent…
Barrels is one of the busiest venues you will visit in the current climate in Singapore, with plenty of local trade. Which is always promising!
We were a little disappointed that on arrival the waiting staff were unaware we were coming, but we soon got over the disappointment once the free drinks promotion was honoured. (Thanks to Tiger Beer)!
The Venue - To put it bluntly - It's a pub that sells a Curry. And to a lot of people, both local and ex-pat, that might just be the dream combination.
“A pub that sells curry. Independently those things are good. Together they are better.!
Barrels in that regard is a little like the movies of Sean Bean. If you’re expecting high art and white tablecloths you’re going to be disappointed. But if your after a good time, a few cheap drinks and a laugh that might be somewhat rough around the edges then this might be the place for you.
Like the aforementioned Bean movies, stick to the classics. Lord of the Rings (fun times) Ronin (fun times) Patriot Games (double fun times) Age of Hero’s Danny Dyer (not fun times) This analogy will become clearer once we get to the “The Pizza”!
The food review:
Tandoori Papadums to start (a twist on the traditional fried version) with an unexpectedly lively green sauce and the obligatory cold pint (it is a pub after all)
Mixed Kabab Platter, Gobi Pakora, Paneer Tikka and Mutton Mysore to follow. Giving us a good representation of what’s on offer.
Here are some quotes from the dining experience from the OCC -
Entree course reviews -
“The mint sauce that came with the papadums was bl00dy delicious, about as good I’ve had. Also, that lamb starter was beautifully seasoned and melt in the mouth, banger!”
“The pappadums were emblematic of the evening - excellent first few, but by the time you reached the bottom, they were more akin to wet toilet paper”
“Loved the mutton starter. Very spicy and hit the spot”
“Thought the Chicken Tikka starter was delicious. Moist and plentiful!! The mutton Mysore was decent but perhaps a bit too spicy for a starter for my liking”
Main course reviews -
Rogan Josh, Haryali Chicken Tikka, Moonge Dal, Butter Chicken, Prawn Curry and …….. Chicken Tikka Pizza
Again we chose a mixture of dishes to ensure we got the full range of what the kitchen had to offer. We did ask our waiting staff for recommendations, unfortunately, we were told they had “never eaten curry before” which seemed a little odd...
At this stage, we tried the house speciality - Chicken Tikka Pizza. In short, it’s a dish that single-handedly manages to enrage the whole of India, all Italians, anyone who has ever eaten pizza or chicken tikka.
“Kebabs were fairly juicy and the curry portions were ok. Nice fresh naan. A good night had largely due to the reasonably priced beers in this pub”
“The curries were, unfortunately, a relatively indistinguishable sea of sameness, apart from the butter chicken which was like someone had emptied a sack of sugar into it”
“Curry has a good allocation of protein. Call out for the mutton Mysore. Probably wasn’t a good idea to order pizza. Will go for tomato soup instead next. Communication challenges with ordering. One waitress admitted to never eating curry”
“The chicken tikka pizza was worse than awful”
Barrels can be summed up simply - most members of the OCC would be happy to return, but not necessarily with curry in mind.