4 Haji Lane
First impressions: This narrow, 50-seater vinyl and cocktail bar puts a homey spin on the industrial-chic trend. Choose to sit in intimate “booths” – wood-and-leather chairs separated by gauzy curtains for an air of privacy – or nurse your drink at the counters, which have brass mirrors that are perfect for stealthily checking makeup (or eye candy behind you). The music is just as important as the drinks here: expect an eclectic playlist of old school funk, hip-hop, jazz and hard rock.
The Chosen One: Named after the twinkle-toed Singing in the Rain star, The Fred Ast’air’e ($20) is a delicate and mildly floral gin concoction with apricot liqueur, Riesling and bitters. It comes in a vial-like bottle that, when poured into the accompanying shallow glass, comes close to two servings.
The Cheapskate: Craft beers and ciders start from $15.
Bite on this: Unfussy light bites are taken to the next level with ace ingredients and bold flavours. We loved the succulent buttermilk chicken bites with tangy coronation sauce ($12), as well the spicy togarashi squid with a tongue-tickling harissa dip ($14).
Last but not least: The bar just started Bring Your Own Vinyl Sundays, when like-minded audiophiles are encouraged to play their favourite records. All genres of music from the 1930s to the 1970s are welcome.
Want to know more about Longplay, check out our video.
This story first appeared in Expat Living’s May 2015 issue.