Get us in your inbox


The Downtown Line 2 pub crawl

Written by
Natasha Hong

After a ten-year wait (Bukit Timah folks, you can stop complaining now), the north-western flank of the Downtown Line finally whirs into life come December 27. So in celebration of that, we’ve devised a pub crawl along the MRT line that’ll take you to heartland bars, pubs and kopitiams you never thought to visit.

The rules are simple: gather a troop of your craziest friends and hit the tracks. At every stop, visit a nearby pub, coffee shop or supermarket and down a drink. We don’t recommend hard liquor neat, because it’s bad luck to puke on a train on its first day of operations. Give yourself a maximum of 20 minutes to finish your booze before the next stop. And may no train faults delay your alcoholic odyssey.

Stop 1: Bukit Panjang (DT1) 

Gather the gang at the cowboy-themed Buckaroo BBQ and Grill behind the Sri Murugan Hill Temple along Upper Bukit Timah Road, and order a couple of bottled Desperados and a tower of battered onion rings. Take the ring as a symbolic commitment that you'll stick by the group through EZ-Link gantries.

Stop 2: Cashew (DT2)

Hup Choon Eating House at 794 Bukit Timah Road is famous for its zi char and sweet and sour pork, but you're not there to eat. You're there for the Tiger twa kee (tall boys at 750ml). 

BLooiE's BBQ Beer Butt Chicken

BLooiE's BBQ Beer Butt Chicken

Stop 3: Hillview (DT3)

Walk down Upper Bukit Timah Road towards Rail Mall. American diner BLooiE's Roadhouse pours Tiger, Heineken, Guinness and Erdinger White on tap (from $8). 

Stop 4: Beauty World (DT5) 

If the stops before seemed a little too residential, Beauty World presents a few more options. Stirling Highway (5 Ridgewood Cl) along restaurant-dense Cheong Chin Nam Road serves craft beers, wines by the glass, and whiskey, and a couple of kopitiams can be found adjacent on Chun Tin Road. Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre (116 Upper Bukit Timah Rd) is another good-value option. 

Stop 5: King Albert Park (DT6)

Sime Darby Centre (896 Dunearn Road), just across the road from King Albert Park station's Blackmore Drive exit is home to the city's newest Cold Storage branch, that has – wait for it – wine dispensers for free sampling. Three reds and a white of Old and New World pedigrees are always at the ready to drop 50-mililitre sippers.

Lazy Lizard

Lazy Lizard

Stop 6: Sixth Avenue (DT7)

Sixth Avenue has Lazy Lizard serving British ales and housepour spirits, and ’round the corner, hit up Good Good Eating House (24 Sixth Ave) for Carlsberg on draft.

Stop 7: Tan Kah Kee (DT8)

Chinese businessman, philanthropist and founder of Hwa Chong Institution nearby gives this station its name. Tan Kah Kee's in the vicinity of a Bojangles branch, and you’ll be able to sort yourself out at the neighbourhood pub – unless it’s closed for a Celtic FC screening.

Stop 8: Botanic Gardens (DT9)

After your beer at Bojangles, walk to the next stop. A chilled-out branch of Bar Bar Black Sheep hides behind Cluny Court – enter by the alleyway between Cluny Court and the tyre shop next to Serene Centre – but don't get too comfortable. The next stop awaits.

En Japanese Dining Bar

En Japanese Dining Bar

Stop 9: Stevens (DT10)

There isn't much to do around the junction of Singapore Chinese Girls School and Raffles Town Club, but Alocassia Service Apartments on the junction of Robin Lane is home to a branch of Japanese shabu shabu buffet restaurant, En Japanese Dining Bar. Getting a seat among the beef-dipping masses on a weekend might be hard, but try to convince the staff to let you share a bottle of sake or shochu while standing. Hey, you signed up for the game, yeah?

Stop 10: Newton (DT11) 

Exit A takes you to Balmoral Plaza, where another branch of Bojangles resides. Been there, chugged that. Take Exit B instead, and wind your way to Newton Food Centre. Rock up to Thong Lai Cold Drinks and Beer (#01-41) and ask for the uncle's finest stash of beer slushies – they're beer frozen to a sub-zero, icy consistency.

HOME Bar & Kitchen

HOME Bar & Kitchen

Stop 11: Little India (DT12)

If you're doing this run on a weekend, you might have to duck into a restaurant or a bar like HOME Bar and Kitchen (435 Race Course Rd) or Banana Leaf Apolo nearby with a liquor license to tick off this station. The liquor control ban still hangs like a dark cloud over public drinking from 7am on Saturday ’til 7am on Monday. 

Stop 12: Rochor (DT13)

You made it, champ! Clink and cheer your victory with a bottled beer, or cider at Lowercase at LASALLE College of the Arts, just up the road from Prinsep Street. After, cab down to your favourite club and make good use of that happy high you've nursed throughout the crawl. 

You may also like
You may also like