Refinery

Oh my, how refined!

A chic new place called Refinery opened up at Promenade in Greenhills Mall, serving up Western fare in a chillaxed atmosphere.  From the rustic brick façade to the cozy lighting, provided by the Edison filament light bulbs, this establishment provides a welcome getaway for an evening’s delightful repas.  My favourite table is to the left of the entrance; in a nook attached to a wall of wine bottles.
The price point is one of my quibbles, as their prices tend to be on the mid-range scale for essentially slightly higher end casual pub cuisine.

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“…this establishment provides a welcome getaway for an evening’s delightful repas”

So what’s on the menu?  Most of our visits were in the late evening as their kitchen’s last call is at 11 PM, while the last call for alcohol is at midnight, so you can relax, hang out and not worry about early closing times.  Casual American pub fare includes steak and eggs, various linguine dishes, burgers, sandwiches of all sorts and caviar and toast.  Say what?  That’s right folks, there’s standard favourites as well as more delicious unorthodox combinations like Chef’s Nuts, and the Top Heavy Milkshake, which is a diabetic’s nightmare, but delicious like nothing else.

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Refinery burger with fries, coleslaw and a dash of salt

This is cutting into my drinking time!  If you’re in the mood to drink, they have a great selection of local and imported beers, top shelf liquor and of course wine.  I found a lovely bottle of 2013 Castel Starmina Merlot from my hometown in Romania.  A working class table wine, but the price per bottle, even with the restaurant mark up, will pleasantly surprise you.  If you’re in the mood for something sweeter, you can get yourself a Mango Mimosa or taste their various delicious house infused gins like the Bacon Infused Bloody Mary…mmm bacon infused vodka.

What did you have?  We ordered an eclectic mix of pastas, burgers and various starters like the Bacon Popcorn mix and the Double Truffle Fries.  We also tried their twist on the French toast and of course, the Top Heavy Milkshake.  Overall presentation is well done and the food looks delicious.

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Chorizo with sun-dried tomatoes

So was it finger licking good?  Well…the linguine dishes included chorizo with sun-dried tomatoes, and a twist on the Sicilian national dish, sardines with sun dried tomatoes (I have a thing for sun-dried tomatoes). Being a pasta snob I tend to be very critical of restaurant pasta and hold any restaurant which chooses to serve pasta, to the highest of standards.  In this case the linguine was firm with a good bite and I somewhat enjoy both the chorizo and sardine dishes.  I did, however, find the chorizo itself to be average; not bad but also not great with none of the kick-you-in-the-face spiciness of real chorizo sausage.  The sardine linguine mix was a little dry and I had to ask the server for some more olive oil.

The burgers are delicious and juicy and the brioche style bun they are served on is lightly toasted and lends a hint of sweetness to the meal. Albeit a little small, the burgers are definitely worth it; however, if you have a big appetite you might need to order two.

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Finally, I had to try the Top Heavy Milkshake, or as I’d like to call it the Tower of Sin.  It is a veritable cornucopia of chocolate, pastries, cookies, swirly tube wafers and various other sweets.  The milkshake is a good balance of smooth and thick and definitely has flavor.  This is one for sharing, or if you’re a glutton like me you can finish it on your own.

What you think of the joint?  From the décor and atmosphere to presentation, Refinery does a good job of welcoming you in and tempting you with their various dishes.  For a more upscale casual fare the food was better than average, but not always worth the higher price tag.  Like most other restaurants the kitchen also tends to be a little too liberal with their sodium and some of the dishes were a bit too salty for my taste.

Overall, if you’re in the mood for cool place to hang out with friends, chill, have a few drinks and sample better than average pub fare, Refinery is definitely your place.

Overall Rating:  3 out of 5

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