1382 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1
Bishan Park 2
+65 6456 6556
I’ve found a gem of a bar. I like it so much, I’m scared to tell you about it. I’m afraid everyone will go there, and that might spoil it. So before I tell you where it is you’ve got to promise not blab to everyone you know. Promise?
This spot is the perfect post-work bolt-hole, as it has a sense of seclusion that’s hard to find in Singapore. And being in the wilds of Bishan Park, about a 25-minute cab drive out of the city, it’s probably best for Thursday and Friday sessions when less time in bed doesn’t mean a tortuous working week ahead.
The location is a little confusing, as it’s made up of three separate outlets all owned by the same company. There’s a vegetarian café that’s popular with Sunday dog-walkers, an Australian restaurant that’s crowded with families at the weekend, and a bar called Middle Rock hidden at the back.
Go at night and follow the canopy-covered path which snakes past the restaurant and the café. You’ll emerge at an open-air bar with nooks and crannies to settle into and a bamboo stage to focus on.
Pick up a menu and you’ll find no less than 15 martinis, 38 cocktails – from a snowball ($15) to a flaming Lamborghini ($17) – and another long list of shots. Beers include Hoegaarden, Erdinger, Corona and Guinness, and there’s also a decent wine list to peruse.
Choose a seat and order a drink, then get comfy because you’re not going to want to leave soon. If you’re going after work, the live band will have already started. The evening I was there, two very talented young guitarists were strumming out an acoustic set of popular pop. They took requests and fitted in perfectly with the bar’s chilled-out vibe. There’s live music here every Wednesday to Saturday evening and last orders are at 1am.
If you’re hungry, you can order from the menu of either the vegetarian or the Australian restaurant. We opted for a generous portion of feel-good laksa ($13) and a lobster pasta ($19).
There’s also a small selection of tapas to nibble on – the calamari with wasabi mayonnaise ($9) is particularly moreish.Grab some mates, and impress them with your local knowledge by going off the beaten bar track and into the middle of the island. Just, please, don’t take all your friends.