The Horse’s Mouth
#B1-39 Forum The Shopping Mall
583 Orchard Road
6235 1088| horsesmouthbar.com
Who Drinks Here: Only those with their ear very close to the ground. This bar is as discreet as they come – knowing about it is one thing (and you probably heard it here first), finding it is a whole other story. Hidden in the basement of Forum with no signage and doors camouflaged as art makes arriving quite the 007 experience. Tip: enter via Uma Uma Ramen restaurant on Level 1.
Best Thing About It: This sophisticated spot manages to exude atmosphere while maintaining a sense of calm. Good lighting, good drinks and adventurous Japanese food make it a hidden gem.
Signature Drink: The Bison Grass Martini ($28) is a beautiful mix of Zoladkowa Vodka, calvados and dry vermouth. The resident mixologist is constantly experimenting, so ask for his recommendation. We also tried a particularly interesting Japanese beer, Hitachino Nest Red Rice ($16), which has hints of sake and malty sweetness; watch the rounds, though, as this has a whopping seven percent alcohol content.
Nibbles & Noshes: The menu is small and simple, but the quality is top-notch. Grab the horse by the reins and order the daily fish head ($24). If you’re in luck, the fish of the day will be red rock cod – meaty chunks of white fish cheek in a beautiful Asian broth. The sashimi-grade fish is flown in from Japan twice a week for the bar’s sister restaurant, high-end Kaiseki next door. The changing tempura is eclectic – from chrysanthemum flowers and stems in the daily vegetable tempura ($18) to interesting fish items in the daily seafood tempura ($22). Another favourite is the grilled Blackmore Wagyu beef ($28).
When to Go: It’s a small bar, so go mid-week to guarantee a seat.
1204 East Coast Parkway, Car Park E1
#01-06 East Coast Seafood Centre
8112 3757 | mozzino.sg
Who Drinks Here: A casual crowd of East Coast expats and locals.
Best Things About It: Come down in shorts and flip-flops, Siglap-style, for an alfresco table with a view of the sea and – if you’re lucky – a sea breeze.
Signature Drinks: Reasonably priced and palatable Chilean, French and Kiwi house wine by the 150ml glass, starting at $10; just $28 for 500ml of French sauvignon blanc or cabernet sauvignon. Plus a limited list of quaffable bottles from both the Old and the New World.
Nibbles and Noshes: Go for the pizza (medium, $18.50 to $23.50): fresh, crisp and delicious. The rest of the menu includes rather average pasta dishes, prawn skewers and the like.
When to Go: Depends on whether you’re prepared to jostle for parking or taxis on a busy weekend night – East Coast Seafood Centre is the place for Chinese seafood – or looking for a quiet week-night bite washed down with a couple of glasses of vino. Open Mondays to Thursdays from 5pm to midnight; Fridays to Sundays (and public holidays) from noon to midnight.