(Teepee Bar & Restaurant had since ceased operations.)
Teepee Bar & Restaurant is the latest F&B concept that had recently moved into the Clarke Quay neighbourhood.
Situated opposite RONIN, Teepee Bar & Restaurant is well hidden within the main building of 31 HongKong Street, accessible by a side door which leads one right into Teepee Bar & Restaurant. There is no clear signage situated on the shopfront that houses Teepee Bar & Restaurant, except for cardboard pieces sprayed with the words “Coffee?” and “Lunch?” hung outside during operating hours in the day. Inside, Teepee Bar & Kitchen is relatively small, having a bar counter area upon entry and a small dining hall with a good number of counter seats at the side facing the walls as well as four tables of four (two low tables and two high tables with four chairs each). The bar is decked in concrete walls with blue paint applied to the lower half, while decked in wood furnishings. Teepee Bar & Restaurant’s hot food menu largely revolves around burgers and rice bowls that are available during both lunch and dinner hours, with some sides available. Being a bar, the drinks menu that lists cocktails, highballs and beer options for those intending to go for alcoholic drinks while coffee and a small section of other drinks (e.g. tonic water and ginger ale) are also available.
Going for one of their burger options, the Umami Swiss is perhaps one of the most classic burgers that are available on their menu. Featuring a beef patty, swiss mushrooms and melted cheese, it comes with other condiments such as tomatoes, onion, caramelised onions, greens all in between two buns; it also comes with a side of Cajun-spiced fries. A classic combination, the beef patty was done to medium-rare with a pink center; juicy and tender without having to put much effort into slicing the patty while covered in melted cheese and soft and sweet caramelised onions. In between, the tomatoes were fresh and juicy while the raw onions gave the burger a tinge of zesty juiciness that gave it a little numbing sensation which was a surprising twist to the entire burger. The Cajun-spiced fries were also crisp and well-seasoned. Overall, a decent, no-frills burger without all the fancy-schmancy details; simple yet well-executed.
One of my dining partners went straight for the Pork Belly Kimchi Bowl. A pretty simple eat, the Pork Belly was well-braised for the slices of jiggly, fatty pork belly was savoury with the marination being consistent in every part. Coming with Japanese pearl rice at the bottom while topped off with Kimchi on the top, the Kimchi adds a tinge of tastefully sour, pickled zinginess to the cut the flavours of the pork if one finds it overwhelming. The only gripe was that the rice was not drenched in enough sauce (which was also one of the main problems with the other rice bowl), thus a tad dry.
The other dining partner chose the Crispy Chicken Bowl; felt very much like a deconstructed version of the Japanese chicken Katsu Don which comes with Japanese pearl rice, fried chicken cutlet, sous-vide egg, caramelised onions all in a single bowl. This was pretty comforting, especially with the same sweet caramelised onions from the burger as well as the crisp fried chicken cutlet and the flowy sous-vide egg which bursts of golden yolk when poked with a chopstick. Again, it would be nice if there was a little bit more sauce in the rice so it feels less dry; perhaps they could look into making a Dashi broth to drench the rice with just like in the traditional recipe for an Oyakodon.
We usually are not very impressed with coffee brewed at bars, but Teepee Bar & Restaurant does a pretty mean cuppa especially considering that it is a restaurant and bar rather than a cafe. Using a blend from local roaster Gentleman’s Coffee Company, the Flat White here was smooth and creamy, carrying a nutty and earthy flavour profile that had a medium body which was pretty soothing to have.
Teepee Bar & Restaurant feels like it is generally targetted at the night-time crowd, especially since HongKong Street has a quite a number of reputable bars and fine-dining establishments such as Bacchanalia and FOC situated right at the street as well as competition from neighbouring streets such as Circular Road. While we did not try any of the bar bites as well as drinks, the hot food which is available for both lunch and dinner were pretty decent offerings that works for one who is looking for something substantial to have. Sure, there are some things to improve on the food, but they do have the right vibes; friendly staff and great environment for the weekday wind-down after work. With a bit of fine-tuning as time goes on, Teepee Bar & Restaurant would work great for the working class of Clarke Quay looking for a more affordable option for bars yet having all the right vibes within the vicinity, especially considering that they do not charge service charge nor GST. A place I would probably consider visiting again if I were to be in the area or looking for somewhere with a chill vibe for some drinks before the weekend.
(PS: If you do have difficulties looking for Teepee Bar & Kitchen, look out for the “31” signage on the facade of the building.)
Teepee Kitchen & Bar
31 HongKong Street