First impressions: Gibson is an intimate and stylish bar with tasteful décor that blends the historic shophouse’s original ceiling and painted windows with a combination of green, yellow, red and white stained glass in the back bar. There’s a range of seating options: for a quick drink, prop yourself up at the bar where Aki Eguchi (bar programme director, formerly of Waku Ghin) is always happy to give you tips on the vast selection of drinks available; or opt for a table, which is more intimate and relaxing.
The Chosen One: From the extensive selection of cocktails, the Crystal Ramos Gin Fizz ($23) with orange flower bubbles is definitely a way to set the scene for fun and celebration. Gibson’s Signature Cocktail ($24) takes its name from the bar and is strong enough to blow your socks off; included in the price is a side of pickled onion, quail egg and smoked tsukemono to soak up some of the booze.
The Cheapskate: Brooklyn Brewery lager is available at $16. Then there’s the great happy hour offer on oysters, $2 to $3 each, from 5pm to 7pm on selected days.
Bite on this: Sea urchin crudo ($38). Chef Polo adds creamy burrata to a hollowed-out sea urchin shell, then tops it with sea urchin and sturgeon caviar. Cucumber granita is the final accompaniment: de-seeded cucumbers are blended with sugar, salt and dill before being frozen and repeatedly forked into a granita-like consistency.
Last but not least: Expect service from silver trays and in one-of-a-kind vintage glassware hand-sourced from vintage stores in the US. The venue caters for 36 people (no standing), meaning there’s no battling the crowds.
Level 2, 20 Bukit Pasoh Road