The moment I had read about the Beast, I was really eager to check it out. Southern American food in Singapore? Surely this place has discovered a niche in the Singapore food scene that has not been filled yet? The girls were really keen to try this place out as well, so a date was set.
Located along the row of shop houses along Victoria street, the Beast stands out with its huge stencil sign overlooking the main street. Parking along the street can be difficult, so go early or be prepared to park at the nearby shopping centres.
The first floor is where the bar is and where most customers for drinks and quick bites hang out. The second floor (where we were seated) is where dinner patrons are usually seated. Cheeky quotes adorn the tables and as befits a bourbon bar – a large quote from Mark Twain on bourbon and cigars.
Starters: Pimento cheese dip ($12) – candied bacon, corn chips; fresh baked cornbread ($8); truffle fries ($10)
Among the three, the cornbread really stood out. J had been raving about it and rightly so. It had a nice fluffy texture and tasted well on its own, even without the syrupy dip. The cheese dip and the truffle fries were enjoyable, but just all right for me.
Chicken & Waffles ($20) – 24 hour buttermilk chicken, waffles, bourbon maple butter sauce. Having heard mixed reviews about this dish, it was still ordered since it was said to be the restaurant’s specialty. The fried chicken was done well, though W commented “how hard is it to mess up fried chicken?”. “Have you seen masterchef?” was my cheeky reply. I really liked the bourbon maple butter sauce. You could really taste the hint of bourbon and maple and I thought it went very well with the chicken, and anything else in fact. There was divided opinion on the waffles – many of whom felt that this was the weakest link in the dish. They were very light, too light in fact and lacking in bite. I think many at the table were not used to that.
Shrimp & grits ($24) – shrimp, creamy grits, garlicky shrimp sauce. A, who ordered this dish, called it very unsatisfying. Perhaps rightly so, since compared to our other mains, this paled in comparison protein wise. It’s quite difficult to be full on just a handful of shrimp and the grits could be quite salty on its own. Having said that, we could not help picking at the grits after dinner and ended up almost finishing the entire plate. Perhaps, this is best ordered as a main to share.
Blackened pork collar ($24) – fine beans, mashed potatoes, thyme and garlic cream sauce. This was a well executed dish. Garlic seems to be a popular ingredient at the Beast! Garlicky sauce in both the grits and the pork mains.
Catfish tacos ($24) – Cabbage, sweet corn salsa, cajun remoulade, sour cream, lime wedges. Tacos are usually served with beef or pork. The first time I had fish tacos was when I was an exchange student in UCLA. I thought it was weird, but I grew to love and appreciate it. Since I’ve been back (which was a long long time ago), I’ve never eaten a single fish taco again, till tonight. I must say that I really enjoyed the Beast’s rendition of fish tacos. The salsa and remoulade went really well with the fish and servings were very generous. Definitely something I would recommend and come back for. It can be a bit messy, since it’s DIY tacos, but I think it’s quite manageable (and I was wearing a white shirt that night. Left with no stains.).
I had a really enjoyable night at the Beast. We stayed late chatting till we were last ones on the dining floor, but at no point did we feel obligated to leave. Staff were also very friendly though service was a bit slow at the beginning. Definitely a place to consider coming back to. Having the Beast featured on the entertainment app is also an added bonus.
Add: 17 Jalan Kalpa