The Flying Squirrel
92 Amoy Street
Who Drinks There: Being hidden down a back alley only adds to the “find” when you stumble through the doors into this gem of a drinking den that oozes New York speakeasy cool. A steady stream of trendsetters arrive at intervals; those with bookings slide into seats still warm from the previous sitting, those without are turned away with apologetic smiles.
Best Thing About It: Hands down, it’s the playlist – a mix of new and old-school classics. Owners Jack and Rai are musicians themselves, which accounts for their impeccable taste.
Signature Drinks: There’s Japanese Asahi beer (bottle and draft) and sake; but opt for the Plum Wine ($11) – on the rocks, neat or with spritzer – or the Yuzu Prosecco ($18) for something refreshingly different.
Nibbles and Noshes: The food here is Japanese fusion. The highlight was easily the sushi nigiri platter ($38), five pairs of sushi nigiri chosen by the chef – the sweet shrimp were simply beautiful. If you order this between more than two, you’ll have to be quick with the chopsticks. While we were excited to try blowfish, the fugu mirin ($12) served with mayo was a little on the sweet side. Negi-toro tataki ($18), two dainty spoonfuls of chilled, pounded tuna and tobiko, was a hit, though a little pricey at $9 a pop. There are more adventurous dishes, too, like foie gras aglio olio ($29). Next time (yes, we’re already planning one) we’ll keep it lower-key and choose the California maki ($18), a few hand-rolls (ebi fry $6) and a selection of sushi and sashimi.
When to Go: For a chirashi or bento lunch from 11am (they’re open every day except Sundays); or to soak up the atmosphere and music over dinner and drinks, Monday to Thursday till 11pm and Friday to Saturday till midnight. Happy hour is 4pm to 8pm.