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Bar review: City Space, Aura Bar and Lucky 13

City Space

Swissôtel the Stamford, Level 70

2 Stamford Road

6837 3322



Who Drinks Here:
View-freaks, hotel guests, diners at Jaan or Equinox Restaurant, those in the know.

Best Things About It:
A mind-blowing 70th-floor view and a fantastic list of cocktails. They’re presented by Englishman and “cocktail architect” Richard Gillam, a fascinating character who has 15 years’ award-winning experience as cocktail alchemist, bar designer and consultant to some of the world’s top hotel groups.

Signature Drinks:
Cocktails, of course! From the brand-new list for Equinox I tried the Kaffir Royale, lime-leaf-infused crème de mûres topped with Moët – a new take on Kir Royale. Sentimental Roy chose a Vesper from the wonderfully nostalgic City Space list of Vintage and Authentic Recreations; it’s “the original and best Bond martini cocktail”, featuring Martin Miller gin, vodka and Kina Lillet Blanc.

Nibbles & Noshes:
Freshly shucked oysters (4 for $27, 8 for $51, 12 for $75); jumbo lump blue crab cocktail ($22) and cold-water prawn cocktail ($38); Iberico ham ($26).

When to Go:
It’s 40 percent off the price of cocktails from 5pm to 8pm, plus you get the sunset. After that, they stay open to 1am (Sunday to Thursday) or 2am (Friday and Saturday).

Verne Maree


Aura Bar

17 Bali Lane

8181 7330

Who Drinks There:

Young, city-savvy bar-hoppers looking for a pre-club tipple. The in-house DJ hits the deck from 8pm onwards on Wednesday, Saturday and Friday, completing the blue-lit cocktail lounge ambience with pulsating versions of current MTV hits.

Best Thing About It:

Situated on Bali Lane, Aura is ideally located to kick-start a night on the town. The drinks menu is extensive, and the cocktail selection is particularly noteworthy, boasting flagship original creations.

Signature Drink:

The barman, who was inspired to become a barman by Tom Cruise’s performance in Cocktail (true story), has concocted some original cocktail combinations and has also revised traditional favourites (a watermelon and tangerine twist on the conventional mojito, for example).To him, mixology is an art form. The It’s My Life cocktail is his show-stealer, consisting of Jack Daniels, Kahlua, Amaretto, Coke and his secret sweet-and-sour mix. Equally delicious are the apple cinnamon martini ($15) and the pomegranate margarita ($15). The cocktails strike a perfect balance, being neither too sweet nor too obviously alcoholic – when you can actually smell the fumes with every sip; exercise caution, however, as the alcohol is so well disguised.

Nibbles and Noshes:

One of the chefs is from the UK, so the fish and chips ($10) with tartare sauce is superb. The food menu is uncomplicated and tasty; flavoursome snacks such as the mozzarella cheese bites with creamy garlic dip ($10) and crumbed tiger prawns with sweet chilli sauce ($10) are proving to be favourites. The steak and ale pie is also recommended.

When To Go:

Aura opens from 11am until late six days a week (closed on Sundays). We recommend heading there when the DJ is in full swing and the street is buzzing, or for sundowners.

Alex Westcott


Lucky 13 (closed)

111 Somerset Road

#01-02 TripleOne Somerset

6733 9800

Who Drinks There:
Exposed raw brickwork, and dark wood throughout lends a cool and decidedly casual vibe, attracting everyone from the after-work crowd at the bar to dating couples at low tables under seductively dim lighting.

Best Thing About It:

Hailed as the latest hip spot in town, Lucky 13 combines a Miami-style diner, bar and club. It’s great for a drink or three, followed by a bite to eat and then a bit of a dance on the weekends.

Signature Drink:

Their cinnamon grapefruit old-fashioned ($12), or, for white spirit lovers, the Cuban-style Havana Club caipirissima ($15) .

Nibbles and Noshes:
The fodder is fairly casual, from the complimentary crispy tortilla chips and salsa to the Cuban medianoche sandwich ($18)and Frank’s Miami burger ($18), but after a good few drinks the menu’s ingenuity becomes apparent. Tender chicken quesadillas ($18) with shredded chicken and melted cheese, and crispy croquetas de papas y jamón ($12) – soft and creamy on the inside, peppered with chunks of ham and oozing with cheese, are both perfectly designed to mop up the alcohol.

When to Go:

A dangerously long Happy Hour stretches from 5pm till 10pm and entices with great deals on selected beer, wine and cocktails.

Beate Baldry