If you’re looking for cheap drinks and an interesting fusion mix of Korean-Mexican food then Don’t Tell Mama is the place to go. Located on Tanjong Pagar Road and sharing the same kitchen as it’s sister restaurant Chicken Up next door, the place is an Australian brunch and dessert café with a Korean twist by day called The DaBang and turns into Don’t Tell Mama at night.
The place was absolutely packed when I was there last Thursday night with groups of people constantly being turned away for nearly the whole time I was there so a reservation is definitely a must. It’s no surprise though how popular it is as their drinks promotions are some of the best you’ll find around town. They offer a “liquid buffet” which includes free-flow beer and cocktails served with complimentary bar bites for 3 hours EVERY DAY! Yes you read correctly!! Their liquid buffet is available every day from 6-9pm and is only $28++ for women and $35++ for men with a surcharge of $10 on Fridays. The selection of cocktails that you get to choose from does not include their very Instagram-worthy Beerita or Sojurita though. As they were having a 1 for 1 Beerita/Sojurita drinks promotion on their Facebook page that day we decided to take advantage of the offer since a Beerita is normally $22 and a Sojurita is $25 so 2 for the price of 1 is an amazing deal.
A Beerita is a combination of a beer and a margarita cocktail. You get to choose between Korean Hite beer or a Mexican beer (either Corona, Dos Equis, Negra Mondelo or Pacifico) as well as your choice of margarita. They have several different flavoured margaritas available including blueberry, grapefruit, apple, mango, strawberry, lychee, passionfruit & mango and the classic lime. I had a Beerita with Hite beer and a strawberry margarita. As you can see from the photo they plunge an entire bottle of beer head first into the margarita so that as you drink the margarita, beer from the bottle flows into it. The combination of beer and margarita is actually very nice and the bitterness of the beer helps to balance out the sweetness of the margarita and gives it some fizz too.
The Sojurita is a combination of soju (Korean distilled alcoholic beverage) and a margarita. You also get your choice of margarita for this and they give you a soju called Chamisul Soju. Unless you’re not planning to go to work the next day or you have an amazingly high tolerance for alcohol, then you should probably stay away from this one as an entire bottle of soju (16.9% alcohol) plus a margarita with plenty of tequila in it may not be the best choice if you have wake up early the next morning. The combination of soju and margarita is good though if you like a strong drink and if you want to counteract some of the flavour of the tequila and soju then you should probably go for a sweeter margarita flavour and not the classic lime which is what I had.
Food in Don’t Tell Mama is yummy and comes in small dishes perfect for sharing and munching on whilst you enjoy your cocktails. Even if you don’t drink, the food is worth coming here for. They have a selection of salads, quesadillas, burritos, tacos, nachos, enchiladas, fries and bar bites. We had the Bulgogi Quesadilla ($14), Popcorn Chicken ($8) and Truffle Fries ($8). The Bulgogi Quesadilla is Korean bulgogi (grilled marinated beef) and mozzarella stuffed into a baked tortilla and is supposed to come with guacamole and sour cream on the side but we were given salsa instead of guacamole. The Bulgogi Quesadilla was delicious, the beef was tender and sweet and there was a generous amount of melted mozzarella in it.
When we ordered the Popcorn Chicken we asked if it was spicy like the usual Korean fried chicken but apparently it is usually just regular fried chicken pieces in batter, however the waiter said that we could request for it to be in a sweet chilli sauce which definitely turned out to be a good choice as the sauce was very tasty. It was sweet and not as spicy as you would find in Four Fingers but similar to what you’d find in Choo Choo Chicken. The chicken pieces where big and extremely tender and juicy.
The truffle fries were great for soaking up all the alcohol we had and had a mild truffle flavour from the truffle salt.
Now for the service. Service is somewhat friendly although it is pretty disorganised. Firstly when we arrived there they had not reserved a table for us even though I had confirmed it with them via email and as all the tables were already reserved for other people we were given seats at the bar counter instead. Also they have a very limited number of margarita glasses so if you order a beerita or sojurita you would have to wait for a while until someone else finishes their drink so that a glass would become available. They also at one point stopped taking our drinks orders and asked us to try ordering again in 15 minutes time which I don’t think is a very good system. Otherwise the service was fairly efficient and food came out very quickly even though the staff seem pretty stressed and rushed off their feet.
The place itself is small but very nice and cosy, the décor has a modern industrial theme and there’s even an indoor tree! And the music there is just my thing – EDM!! Although the place was at capacity with EDM blasting from their speakers, it actually had a very chilled out vibe and everyone was just drinking and trying to unwind there with friends after work. It was a little strange how every now and then the music would stop midway through a track though for a while and then suddenly come on again lol.
Don’t Tell Mama have some good happy hour drinks promotions as well as any 3 bottles of beer for $25 or 3 bottles of Hite beer for $20 all night long every day. They also have some interesting looking cocktails that come in lightbulbs and frozen alcohol pops that I would like to go back to try.
Don’t Tell Mama
Address: 52 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088473 (Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar)
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 2am, Friday & Saturday: 5pm – 3am, Sunday: closed
Hope you’ve enjoyed my Don’t Tell Mama review, please feel free to leave a comment below with your own review or if you have any questions!