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Bar review: We enjoy a drink at Kyo on Cecil Street, Singapore

133 Cecil Street, B1-02
6225 6001| clubkyo.com

Who Drinks There:

A sophisticated professional crowd, with an almost-equal mix of expats and locals who enjoy music and have a taste for urban art. It’s a classy place with seating on large leather lounges or at high stools and tables. Enormous graffiti art canvases stretching to five metres are spray painted in a Japanese manga style, which become animated through projectors. There are two options: go for after-work drinks and a snack, or arrive later for a dance. Or combine the two into one big night out!

Best Thing About It:

The 24-metre bar is at the centre of the cavernous, amber-lit basement space. It’s warm and welcoming with a relaxed atmosphere. Service is quick and attention to detail is excellent, as we would expect from the pedigree of Kyō’s friendly and enthusiastic Dutch general manager Dirk Cornelis. Prior to this venture he worked at ultra-lounge Pangaea and before that trained butlers at Marina Bay Sands. From the street, Kyō is easy to find, with the impressive entrance conveniently visible from a nearby taxi rank.


Signature Drinks:

From the impressive list of eight signature cocktails the unique Tanqueray lemongrass smash ($22) appeals for its blend of flavours: gin, peach schnapps, elderflower cordial, lemon juice and lemongrass – a clean and crisp combination. Dirk selected the house champagne Veuve Cliquot as it’s his personal favourite, while the house white is a quaffable Chilean Montes Sauvignon Blanc. There are two beers on tap, Kirin and Heineken, and there’s a list of sake to choose from, balancing out the food nicely.

Nibbles and Nosh:

Dirk describes the 18-item menu as “Japanese tapas with a Latin influence”. This interesting fusion food, courtesy of a very creative chef, utilises the great range of fantastic imported ingredients available in Singapore. Sashimi sliced hamachi in lemongrass romesco sauce with tomato ($18) is an interesting combination but the pick is truffled yuzu roll filled with snow crab and topped with snapper ($30). There are three sliders to choose from – the kimchi-bbq pork belly ($16) gets the thumbs up. For carb lovers, humble potato wedges ($14) get the rock star treatment when topped with nori-bonito flakes and served up with a fiery wasabi.

When to Go:
The kitchen is open Wednesday to Friday, 6pm to 10.30pm, and Saturday, 9pm to 1am. A good bet is to go for Izakaya hour, 6pm to 9pm daily with happy hour specials.

Katie Roberts