Loof – Attractive Food & Interesting Cocktails on a Rooftop Bar
Opened in 2005, Loof is Singapore’s first standalone rooftop bar. It is a space that celebrates and epitomizes local culture so the name, “Loof” is derived from the “Singlish” way of pronouncing “roof”. You’ll notice Loof’s Mama Shop upon entering the rooftop, which is Loof’s postmodern take on “mom and pop” shops originally found in housing estates in the heartlands, with a curated list of old-school knick-knacks and new age local souvenirs. It really brought back those nostalgic childhood memories for us.
Loof has been a favourite spot for locals, expats and tourists so, to usher in a new decade of food times and local loving, Loof invited one of Singapore’s most ‘notorious’ culinary geniuses, Bjorn Shen, chef-owner of Artichoke and Bird Bird, to develop a menu like no other. Together with Asian-forward cocktails designed by Group Bar Mentor, Julian Serna, Loof’s new menu is bound to whet your appetite for more.
Taking inspiration from local, as well as, Asian cuisine, the new dishes curated by Bjorn Shen are mind-blowing. Fondly recognized as the ‘King of Dude-stronomy’, Chef Bjorn brings his signature ‘no muss, no fuss, simply damn good food’ mantra to the table. The cuisine, aptly coined ‘Dude-Sin (Singaporean)’, is a modern Singaporean riff on typical bar grub done in a style that is anything but ‘atas’.
Divided into four categories – skewers, chips with dips, buns and bowls, the new menu features dishes prepared with a variety of different cooking styles from deep-fried to char-grilled, offering light to heavy flavours to suit the palates of everyone. We had the Bacon Lollipop ($16), consisting of thick pancetta slabs glistening with maple syrup, groundnuts and garnished with Vietnamese Pho herbs, as well as, the Twisties Charred Corn ($13), a curry mayonnaise corn cob topped with shaved cheese, which is a healthier take on the cheesy corn snack Singaporeans know and love.
We also tried the California Crackers ($14) boasting glorious golden brown wanton skins served with a dip that is heavily influenced by flavours prominent in Japanese California rolls with ebiko, avocado and nori tossed together in a delectable mayonnaise sauce. This is so addictive and a really good dish for sharing with friends. The wanton skins and dip will totally be devoured without you noticing if you’re too engrossed in your conversations. Loof’s new menu also offers a great diversity of different chips paired with dips, from sweet potato to waffle-cut fries.
Loof’s signature Chilli Crab Fries ($15) has remained on its menu but sees a lighter, fresher spin whilst keeping the same to-die-for flavours. This revamped classic contains fluffy waffle-cut fries doused in a house-made chilli sauce with a refreshing blue crab dip. We felt that it would’ve been better if Loof came up with probably three levels of spiciness so those who really love spicy chilli crab can opt for the dip that packs a really good punch while those who can’t really take spicy food can opt for the “beginner’s level” just to savour the delicious taste.
For a more indulgent, heartier affair, sink your teeth into the B.C.M. Grilled Cheese ($18). B.C.M stands for our local favourite ‘Bak Chor Mee’! Sourdough bread is generously stuffed with cheese, pork mince and mushrooms – an even more sinful take on our favourite hawker fare. However, we felt that it would’ve tasted better if the ‘Bak Chor Mee’ flavour is stronger and more distinct.
Vegetarians, Loof hasn’t forgotten about you guys! There is the Kimcheeseburger ($18), consisting of grilled haloumi patty, kimchi and caramelized onions. Cheese lovers will go crazy over this dish and we really enjoyed the combination of cheese with kimchi as the kimchi managed to spice up the dish. The caramelized onions also enhanced the flavours so the entire package receives a thumbs-up from us! Forget about eating gracefully at Loof for you must get your hands dirty, let it loose and feast to your heart’s content!
Besides cooking up a storm, Loof’s refreshed cocktail list is very interesting and infused with Asian flavours familiar to Singaporeans. The menu places strong emphasis on local flavours like pandan, coffee and Milo while shining a light on lesser-known tropical fruits like sour plum, calamansi and jackfruit. We had Stylo Milo ($19) which is a malty mix of spiced rum, Milo, roselle, hazelnut oil, orange and vanilla that is sure to satisfy any chocolate cravings. We also had Uncle Tee-Kee ($19) and the Little Pink Dot ($19). The former includes gin, passionfruit and cranberry sorbet, vanilla beans, ginger ale and fresh mint. The latter contains marshmallow gin, mandarin rice wine, dark plum, orange, pink grapefruit, egg white and lavender bitters. There are also other attractive concoctions such as Kaya Lumpur, Kopi Cat, PAP (Pineapple Action Party) and Great Singapore Sail, just to name a few.
Loof is easily accessible from City Hall, Bugis and Bras Basah and boasts such a great chillax ambience, making it an ideal after-work hangout with friends and colleagues. Kick back and relax while tucking in and sipping on a medley of locally-inspired bar grubs and cocktails, Asian beers and whiskeys.
Note: This is an invited tasting.