[Updated] Outpost 903 Gastrobar closed on 30th November 2013. Their annoucement was sudden with only a week’s notice. They said they would be back with a new concept and location.
If there is one word to describe MediaCorp host Lin Youyi (Iriana Halim), it would be “persistent”. Few may know that she lost in a radio DJ competition (it was Christina Lin Peifen who won in the end.) But she pushed on with her sunshine smile and eloquence to be the Best Current Affairs Presenter for Good Morning Singapore at Star Awards, and also become one of the few current affairs host to cross over to variety.
Plus her studies at UniSIM. All these happening while she is managing her restaurant Outpost 903 Gastrobar at Bukit Timah.
Youyi wanted to play a part of every detail and menu item of Outpost 903, creating an industrial chic charm with hints of retro, almost like you are entering a factory-bar.
The birth of Outpost 903 Gastrobar was no easy feat. The location itself is a rare single-storey shophouse built around 1902, and needed some convincing to secure. When asked about the water tank feature hanging at the top of the roof, Youyi proudly said that she personally got it. That is persistence.
Outpost 903 Gastrobar (so named because it is on 903 Bt Timah Road) has recently undergone a menu revamp. The menu can be said to be Western, but with frequent touches of Asian/Singaporean influences, such as Cripsy Pork Belly ($18), a refreshing Rockmelon Salad ($14) Minced Pork Spaghetti ($14), Golden Beancurd ($8) and Herbal Chicken ($18 – weekends only) which all seem all belonging to a zhi char restaurant, yet has Western style preparation methods.
Yes, the thick slab of pork belly with a sweetish sauce comes served with mashed potato and salad. Some goes for the Herbal Chicken, a long dish of chicken thighs marinated in herbs with a special thicken herbal sauce served on side. Imagine the herbal soup your mum makes made concentrated into a sauce.
My favourite dish of the day? An Outpost Carbonara ($16) of fettuccine pan-fried in bacon oil and creamy white sauce topped with egg yolk and parmesan flakes. There is a certain type of carbonara I fancy – the sauce cannot be too thick or watery, the egg must be half cooked, and it shouldn’t be too cheesy. This version falls nicely into it. Yums. (Check out the #instavideo on @DanielFoodDiary which also made it to POP page.)
The shocker dish of the day is the WTF ($32). It is “What The Fish”, a crispy whole grouper with the fish meat filleted off to both sides and served in two styles – one was Thai, one was more Chinese.
I asked Youyi if her ang mo customers could accept this, after all, I hear some saying they don’t take the whole fish like THAT – in whole. She said, surprisingly some would take the bone and fins to eat with beer, because they are deep fried till it is so crispy.
The food may not be the most polished or typical of a bar menu, but most were quite hearty and pleasant-tasting. What is really charming about this place is the whole ambience and décor, which makes it a chill-out place to spend your weekends with good friends.
[Closed] Outpost 903 Gastrobar
903 Bukit Timah Road Singapore 58960 Tel: +65 6468 4903
Opening Hours: 5:00pm – 12:00am (Mon, Wed-Thurs), 5:00pm – 2:00am (Fri), 3:00pm – 2:00am (Sat), 10:00am – 12:00am (Sun)