In many areas across the Caribbean islands — most notably Trinidad and Tobago — people use the word “liming” pretty often, not unlike the way that Singaporeans would use “lepak.” It basically means chilling and hanging out, and of course, that means booze and snacks are often involved in the mix.
We recently did just that at Lime House, one of the rare Caribbean joints in town. It’s been a mainstay on Jiak Chuan Road, a three-story stronghold of bites and booze while neighboring F&B tenants along the same stretch who have come and gone, come and gone, on repeat. What’s behind the longevity of Lime House? We’re hard put to offer up possible explanations there, because frankly, the place isn’t exactly known for its stunning food options.
Perhaps it’s the laid-back vibes of Lime House that keep the ebb and flow of customers alive — prime liming conditions, if you will. The restaurant-bar seems to know its strengths, too, because it recently teamed up with craft brewery Trouble Brewing for their own spin on the typical happy hour promo: a “Limin’ Beer & Bites Menu” ($65), which pairs Caribbean-style craft beers with snacks inspired by the region’s cuisine.
Introductory Course: How to Lime for Locals, basically.
The premise here is simple: Pay $65 and get a bucket of four bottled craft beers, plus two dishes to go along with your swigs. The brewmasters at Trouble Brewing created these four beers specially for this Limin’ menu, and there’s a strong sense of cohesion to the theme — the bottle designs, the flavor profile of each beer, the playful names of each brew.
If you like Red Stripe — ubiquitous in the Caribbeans, and oddly enough, in frat houses across America’s eastern seaboard — then Trouble Brewing’s “Allyuh Lager” is a great small-batch version of that. There’s also a pilsner, summer ale, and pale ale on offer, which its makers describe as “easy, summer, sunshine-y flavors” that are meant to be “sessionable,” because of course, the point of liming is not to get wasted and have to tap out early for the night, but to take it easy. Sip slowly.
The food menu displays a little less cohesion, but certainly has some solid offerings. The selection spans small plates of Caribbean beef empanadas, mac and cheese balls with “Caribbean dipping sauce,” shrimp with warm salsa, and crab spring rolls with cilantro coconut sauce. The grilled jerk chicken skewers and plantain chips with guacamole (Lime House calls it “Caribbean nachos”), however, are the two that we’d go for — they make a great pairing with each other, and those beers.
Lime House is at 2 Jiak Chuan Road
Open Tues-Sat 5pm-midnight; closed Sunday-Monday
MRT: Outram Park