Yes I have a friend we call Tiny. it’s not her real name but it describes her and the name stuck. Yes she answers to it. Sometimes I introduce her to new people as Tiny.
Her birthday is coming so we decided to celebrate it over the weekend. It was supposed to be at Botak’s Backyard @ Dempsey but she was held up at work and we were done eating so we decided to pick her up and head towards St James Beer Garden instead.
I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of a beer garden, the name in itself suggests the growing of beer but that’s not what it really is. A beer garden is usually an outdoor or open area where beer is primarily served. sometimes it comes with live entertainment, like the one at St James or the many beer gardens you find in Thailand. sometimes food is sold at these places.
Beer Garden at St James is almost like Newton Circus hawker centre, with many food stalls ranging from the usual BBQ seafood to the not so usual Malacca Lok Lok (found next to each other at one end of the row of food stalls). since we unfortunately had our dinner at Botak’s we didn’t really eat anything except perhaps an oversized serving of deep fried Ngoh Hiang (prawn fritters & crackers) and 8 pieces of kueh tutu, courtesy of Bryan (whose eyes are always bigger than his stomach and who knows I love kueh tutu). This is especially great if you’re hungry after a night of partying, where in the past, I couldn’t think of a nearby place at the southern part of Singapore that would be open past midnight for late night munchies. We used to have to make a detour to either Newton or River Valley Road.
The other great thing about beer gardens is the live entertainment they sometimes promise. When we got there, we had a duo on stage singing old mandarin hits from Theresa Teng’s era. the female singer was apparently a fan of Theresa so she has cultivated her voice to mimic the songstress voice from that era. it has a crystal clear sound to it which made it really pleasing to hear, although we all felt very FM90.5 (radio station that played oldies and evergreens only) when we recognised some of the songs.
There were 2 bands on rotation that night, the other was this old mat rock band. they looked like they were jamming more than performing. they started their set with a difficult guitar solo Eagles’ Hotel California, which the lead guitarist kinda fucked up along the way, or rather it’s the way I would play the song on Guitar hero. but because the band was made up of old men who looked like someones’ fathers, we couldn’t help but cheer and hoot anyway. we even joined in the singing when they sang Hey Jude.
Yes yes, our age was showing.
Tiny’s birthday cake was made up of Japanese cheese cake with strawberries and cream from Bakerzin. it’s not supposed to look like that but it didn’t survive Kevin’s marvelous F1 driving. all the strawberries slid off the cake and landed rather haphazardly around the box. after singing a rather long and dragged out happy birthday song while trying to beat the wind when lighting the candles, we all tucked into the cake, all armed with a pair of chopsticks each. I’ve never eaten cake with chopsticks before.
The other great thing about the Beer Garden at St James is that we could bring our bottles out of St james. so not only did we have lime juice, chin chow and beer on the table, we also had a bottle of red wine and 2 bottles of vodka. while the girls in the club were dressed like skanks and had a heavy make-up on, I was sitting like an auntie just right outside.