Cocktails in the Club Street ‘hood, anyone? We head to Gem Bar on Ann Siang Hill, directly below sister bar Manor Cocktail Room, for people-watching, quirky cocktails and a new bar menu full of savoury classics.
First impressions: Gem Bar is a good spot for a small group to kick off a night on Club Street and its surrounds, although the array of cocktails on offer may mean you never leave. There’s a social vibe and we were hard pushed to find an outside table for a spot of people-watching, even on a Tuesday night! The inside bar provides some welcome air-con and has a grungy feel with graffiti on the walls, slightly incongruous to its sleek exterior.
The chosen one: The flower song served in a teapot ($16) is an Orient-inspired cocktail with Skyy vodka as the base and finished with chrysanthemum tea. This is a rich cocktail, but a fun way to start the evening, largely due to the novelty of it being served in a sweet teapot with little cups. It’s a good one to share before moving on to a classic, such as the delicious lychee martini ($15).
The cheapskate: Most of the house cocktails come in at a reasonable $14 and Gem has promotions throughout the week that work out as seriously good value, including “Cocktail Wednesdays”, when house cocktails are $12.
Bite on this: The new bar menu is full of savoury classics; try the 100 percent wagyu beef burger and fries ($22), the salt-and-pepper baby squid ($13) and the chilli crab tacos ($16 for four). To finish, the cinnamon sugar churros served with hazelnut chantilly ($14) were still warm when they arrived at our table.
Last but not least: Directly above Gem is its sister (or brother) bar, the Manor Cocktail Room. This has a more intimate setting with a separate drinks menu that boasts an impressive list of whiskies. Big leather sofas and racing-green walls give this a masculine study feel, and it could make a good option for a private party.
10 Ann Siang Hill
6423 9562 | gemsingapore.com
This article first featured in the November 2015 issue of the magazine.