Starker – A Refreshed Pub @ Holland V

20141017_203417“Which outlet should we try out at Holland V on Friday?” asked me of the friend whom I was going to meet for dinner. “Let’s try the pub that we walked past many times but never tried, opposite nydc,” said she adamantly. Well, only when we stepped into Starker Fresh Beer @ Holland Village that we realised not only have we walked past it for the past two years. but nydc has since been replaced by a new Curry Hut (will try that next time). But it was a good time to check out the place as it was recently renovated – just completed a month ago – and the atmosphere certainly feels jollier.
Starker group shotThe joint is known for its house beer Starker (hence the name) which comes in three formats – lager, aromatic and dunkel (dark and full-bodied). So ordering a Starker is a no brainer, it just depends on the type of beer you fancy. The aromatic was a tad too “herbal” and light for my taste, but the lager was crisp and refreshing. Happy Hours is till 8pm and the prices for the pints are much more affordable before that ($10.90 a pint; $16.90 after 8pm). There are a reasonably good selection of food items on the menu – pasta, pizzas, etc – but we decided to opt for their pub grub which sound and look more exciting. We settled for the Classic Wings ($9.80), Crispy Pork Belly with Sauerkraut ($13.80) and Truffle Fries ($9.80). Okay, presentation wise was a dead zero… BUT the quality of the food was a great save. The truffle fries looked like ordinary fries without  fancy cheese trimmings like how most restaurants serve it but the truffle taste is certainly there and the fries were crisp and fresh. The pork belly was chunky and a tad salty but it’s a good savory item to go with beer, down to its crunchy skin. However, the less said about the “sauerkraut” the better. The best of the lot was the chicken wings which were fragrant, delicious and not at all oily. Also, they provide the best sauce for the items – for eg, mustard for the pork belly and chilli for the wings. All the above is just nice for two people who can’t eat as much as before…
20141017_200307Besides the beer and the food, what we really liked about the place is the good service and the chirpiness of the servers – from waitresses to the managers (okay, just the female manager). They made sure we have everything we need for the food (even arranging them nicely for us to take photo), offered fresh frosted mugs for us to continue drinking our beer cold (this is highly commendable); and then just before 8pm, came round to ask us for last orders for Happy Hours (which more established pubs around HV don’t even do). Here’s a shout-out to Jane – whose last day is unfortunately today – who made our evening there even more enjoyable.
20141017_203119And add to that, the relatively small pub even have a corner for young musical talents to entertain the crowd. Our table was right next to this young lady who crooned out a couple of jazzy numbers with aplomb. It was fascinating to note that the new generation these days don’t use lyric sheets but simply scroll their iPads to refer to! The guy wasn’t half bad too though he had a rather strange accent when he speaks…
20141017_195354Well, I’m glad we finally get to try out the place “we walked by many times”. The next time, we will definitely “walk straight in” as we have always wanted to try what caught our attention all these time – it’s that instead of jars, Starker serves their house beer in cute 2-litre kegs with taps as seen above. We are certainly not going to wait another two years to roll around to try that!


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