Sometimes, a good beer and steak is all you need to get you through the week. Even better if the meaty joint is right in your neighborhood. That’s what Homeground Grill & Bar aims to be for its customers: A heartland hangout where you can get great grub and booze, and stay on for the chill vibes.
Located in the Boon Keng area, among hawker eateries and residential blocks, the charcoal grill and cocktail concept was dreamed up by childhood besties Nellie Tan and Chrystal Yeong. The former runs the kitchen, while the latter helms restaurant operations, and both work seamlessly (and jovially) as a team of co-owners.
Their longstanding spirit of camaraderie can’t help but trickle into the restaurant, turning Homeground into the kind of place where you can have a laugh with a friend, feel at ease on a first date, or catch up over cocktails. No matter if you’re part of the boisterous group by the bar or you’re cozying up to one another in the back corner — only good vibes are welcome here.
In line with the owners’ idea of creating a snug space as a regular haunt for diners, the menu is simple yet hearty. Most dishes are meant for sharing, since Homeground is all about community. To start, order a round of light bites such as grilled portobello mushroom slathered in garlic butter and cheese ($7), grilled salmon belly with garlic chilli ($9), truffle mash ($10), potato skins with bacon and sour cream ($8), or salt crusted fish made with the catch of the day ($19).
Clearly, the spotlight shines on the charcoal grill, a temperamental beast that, when tamed, gives the best kind of smoky flavor. So you could be individualistic about it and try items like the chicken ($15), whisky ribeye ($26), sausage with mash ($18) or Norwegian salmon ($18)… or you could sample a bit of everything with any of the four platters.
There’s the option of seafood only ($48), meats only ($58), or surf and turf ($42), but if you want to go the whole hog, the mixed platter feeds two hungry diners to waistline expanding proportions.
It’s slightly pricier at $72, but the massive plate is piled with two chicken legs, 200g of New Zealand ribeye marinated in whisky and herbs, a bratwurst, one slab of salmon, three garlic butter tiger prawns, and a sprinkling of leafy greens, roasted baby potatoes, and sautéed mushrooms. The beef is tender with a charred and caramelised exterior, the fish is perfectly pink, the chicken’s got that lovely crisp skin, and everything’s bathed in a sublime smokiness as a result of the slow grilling process.
For more to stuff your face with, the bar menu offers deep fried temptations like enoki mushrooms ($8), pork belly ($9), and chicken wings ($10). Or, you could save space for the sole dessert on the line-up. Made by ice cream parlor Geometry, the Yin Yang ice cream sandwich ($9) consists of chocolate chip and double chocolate chip cookies with Earl Grey tie guan yin and toffee-flavored scoops.
There’s a possibility you may be lulled into a delicious coma by this point, but you can still hang around and sip on beers, wines, coffees, teas, or cocktails. The bar’s signatures include Tian Cha (Heavenly Tea), a concoction made of whisky, tie guan yin tea, honey, mint, and lemon, and Safehouse ($17), done up with gin, tonic, ginger, herbs, lime, and sour plum. If you’re really looking forward to Christmas, hear the herald angels sing on your first mouthful of the Smoky Bastard ($17), an aromatic blend of rum, apple, and tonic, smoked with cinnamon.
Homeground Grill & Bar is at 1088 Serangoon Rd.
8774-9278. Tues-Fri 6pm-midnight, Sat-Sun 1pm-midnight.
MRT: Boon Keng
This article, Heartland hangout Homeground Grill & Bar is a cozy new female-led charcoal grill and cocktail concept, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!