Wondering where to go for a drink in Singapore? From clever cocktail bars to fancy speakeasies in town, here are the hottest, newest or most notable watering holes to get your alcohol (and social) fix – or the ones where there’s a current deal or special event. Whether you’re craving a martini, a gin and tonic, or just a glass of wine or a beer, bookmark this page and check back regularly!
Other bar articles you should check out:
It’s been many moons since the EL sales team and I had a ladies’ night! So we dressed up and headed towards (quite a bit of) bubbly and a view at WOOBAR at the W Singapore on Sentosa. It was relatively quiet for a Friday night, but the music was cool, with a real DJ.
It was good that he was there as it drowned out the noise coming from the four of us – nothing worse than going somewhere where you can hear everyone’s conversations!
We made a decent dent in the free-flow rosé, and I lost count of the number of the little popcorny bar snacks I polished off through the night – they were so delicious. The seafood platters of salmon and tuna sashimi, oysters and prawns were really good, too, and didn’t seem to get in the way of our appetite for the bar snacks and the beverages. Perfick!
WOOBAR’s Girls’ Night Out is on every Friday, with a DJ from 6pm, and free-flow drinks from 7.30pm to 10.30pm. There’s currently a Ladies’ Special that includes free-flow Chandon Garden Spritz and Minuty M Rosé, plus Heineken and Tiger draught beers, for $85. The sashimi and seafood platters are $48.
There are specials on other nights of the week, too; the bar hosts “Wicked Hours” from 4pm to 8pm, Sunday to Thursday, and 4pm to 10.30pm on Saturday – ideal for sundowners and a pre-dinner catch-up. Again, there’s a live DJ, and drinks start from $10. You can also mix things up a bit and book a crafted mixology session, where you get to make your own cocktails; the one-hour sessions are held at 7pm and 8pm and cost $25.
I just love the view over the pool at WOOBAR, and seeing guests around and about the place – it makes you feel like you’re on holiday. I didn’t quite feel the same way the next day, but it was fun while it lasted!
Check out woobar.wsingaporesentosacove.com/specials to make a reservation and for more information on what’s new or coming up!
– Rebecca Bisset
W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, 21 Ocean Way, Sentosa
This is a new izakaya opened by a group of friends who happen to be crypto investors – hence its witty name-play incorporating the name of Bitcoin’s elusive founder, Satoshi Nakamoto. Of course, payments in Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies are accepted here, too!
That aside, Saketoshi is a welcoming space – the small interiors are filled with sofas and low wooden tables bathed in soft amber light. On one wall is décor that looks like a full moon, a nod to the catchphrase “to the moon” used within crypto communities to describe their strong faith that a certain cryptocurrency is going to rise significantly in price. For those who prefer to surround themselves with the hustle and bustle of the area, there’s an alfresco dining area too.
One of Saketoshi’s owners is Jeff Ong, a serial restaurateur who ran a chain of izakayas across Singapore, Malaysia and Australia and also co-owned Only Gyu, Chiru and Torii. Saketoshi retains elements from his previous outings and continues his long-standing love of izakaya, from the wide range of sake to an extensive food selection.
Jeff says that Saketoshi only focuses on premium sake, available in 720ml or 1,800ml bottles (traditional Japanese measurement standards). The range is sourced from regions all over Japan including Nagano, Hyogo, Aichi, Fukuoka and Miyagi prefectures.
Jeff’s personal favourite – and a recommendation for newcomers to sake – is Imanshiki Junmai Daiginjo ($188, 720ml). Through its medium sweetness, we could still taste the flavour of the rice. If your preference is for a fruity and floral aroma, opt for the Dassai Junmai Daiginjo ($118, 720ml; $299, 1,800ml). This sake paired especially well with the raw dishes.
We ended the night with Kotsuzumi Rojoh Hanah Ari Tohka Junmai Daiginjo ($158, 720ml), which we learnt is an award-winning sake. It had a citrus fragrance with a sweet and refreshing taste on the palate.
There’s a huge selection of bites including tacos and bar snacks such as chicken karaage ($15) and scallop ikura ($24). From the sashimi menu, we started with a serving of six very milky and fresh raw Japanese oysters ($24). Next was the Saketoshi cocktail ($39); it’s not a drink but rather a combination of uni, tobiko, truffle caviar and a homemade sauce presented in a martini glass. The uni seaweed tempura ($24 for two pieces) was served on wooden spoons sitting on pebbles in a shallow wooden bowl; the smokiness of the seaweed tempura tempered the bold flavours of raw sea urchin, otoro and truffle caviar.
For big eaters or bigger groups, there are sharing platters. Or opt for a donburi – the seafood ($38) and signature beef ($28) are chef recommendations. The latter features premium Australian beef Photos: Krispy C that’s tender to the bite.
– Patricea Chow
#01-14 UE Square Shopping Mall, 81 Clemenceau Avenue
Occupying the former spot of Japanese-themed venue Coffee Bar K, Revival is a new cocktail bar by The Compound Collective. They’re the team behind Barbary Coast in Boat Quay, Skai at Swissotel the Stamford and 1927 at SO Singapore.
In a neighbourhood better known for its restaurants and wine bars, Revival aims to offer a more diverse option by paying homage to different art movements. This is reflected in everything from the interior fittings through to the cocktail menu.
The main room is decorated in deep earth and emerald tones. The highlight here is the bar’s backdrop display – it’s made to hold 800 bottles of spirits, and currently showcases slightly over half of that number.
On the second floor is The Sanctuary, a loft that provides privacy for more intimate gatherings. There’s also an alfresco space on the ground level that welcomes furry friends!
We were also drawn to the retail wall running along the staircase to the second floor. When completed, it will feature over 1,300 bottles of whiskeys and gins. Currently available are a rare JP Wiser’s Last Barrels Canadian Whiskey, a Swedish Intelligens AI:01 Whiskey, and a limited-edition Game of Thrones single malt whisky collection with bottles named after each House of Westeros.
The 16 signature cocktails are named after paintings from different time periods, from Baroque in the 1600s to the modern street art movement that kicked off in the 1970s. We started at the Impressionist era with the “Jardin et poulailler chez Octave Mirbeau” ($25), which takes its name from a 19th-century artwork by French impressionist Camille Pissarro. The colours and freshness of the painting are reflected in the clever touch of chlorophyll in the vodka and champagne.
Next, the Lady of Shalott ($22) introduced us to Romanticism (artist: John William Waterhouse) with a rich aroma of lily in a mix of rum, red berry and oat milk distillate.
We rounded up our tour with the Portrait of Pablo Picasso ($23), representing Cubism. This is Revival’s twist on the classic Negroni – it’s infused with fernet, cassia and neroli, and has a touch of a bitter aftertaste.
Classics such as Tequila Sunrise, Penicillin and Moscow Mule are also available, all updated with Revival’s creative take.
Although limited, the bar’s bites are chosen to complement the cocktails. A cheese and charcuterie board ($60) is perhaps more common in a wine bar, but here the selection of cured meats and cheeses – complete with cheese crackers, sourdough and trimmings – amplifies the flavours and textures of the cocktails, especially playing up the sweetness of Portrait of Pablo Picasso while bringing balance to the Lady of Shalott. If you prefer some light nibbles, small plates include house edamame with togarashi ($10), kueh pie tee with chicken thigh and pickled shiitake ($15), and tomato hummus dip ($15).
– Patricea Chow
With only an unassuming teal door to hint at its presence, you’d be forgiven for walking past this great new bar on Neil Road. Enter and you’ll find that the softly lit space is laid out resembling a living room – complete with a couch and other plush seating. All of which supports its raison d’être: to make drinkers feel right at home! At the centre of the convivial space is the bar, set beneath a glass ceiling that quite literally puts the spotlight on Hirman Asnadi; Hirman leads the drinks programme and co-founded The Store with his partner Joanne Kok, along with Thomas Ng.
To kick things off, I tried the Irish Kyoto Collins ($24). This spin on the classic Collins features floral notes from Glendalough Botanical Dry Gin, along with fresh yuzu juice. But where things go off script is the use of wasabi, along with the playful addition of a sheet of nori peppered with furikake. It’s a formidable cocktail and one that’ll put a spring in your step – and perhaps tears in your eyes if you ask for it extra spicy!
Next, I decided to try the Not A Negroni ($24). This rendition of the IBA classic cocktail eschews sweet vermouth for umeshu. To round off the flavours and add a bit of umami, Hirman adds a dash of earthy mushroom bitters – a most unusual ingredient that works surprisingly well.
Considering Hirman’s affinity for savoury elements in his cocktails, it’s no shock to find his own take on the Bloody Mary on the menu. The Timotini ($22) features Tito’s vodka, cherry tomatoes and white balsamic vinegar. Because the tomatoes are freshly blended, the cocktail has remarkably fresh, vegetal flavours that are brightened by citrus from the lemon. It’s also a little lighter than what you’d expect in a riff on the Bloody Mary.
Holding court in The Store’s kitchen is Chef Ahmad Subhan, who’s put together a menu that highlights fresh seafood from Ah Hua Kelong. If you’re after something light and shareable, go for the white wine mussels ($28). The simple preparation of the dish allows the freshness of the mussels to really shine – and it comes with crusty slabs of garlic bread so you can mop up every last bit of broth! Another seafood highlight is the paper baked seabass ($37) with a black pepper glaze, lemon dill sauce and root vegetables.
If you’ve got a hankering for something more substantial, try larger plates like the tender onglet steak ($37) or lamb rack ($38).
– Dinesh Ajith
For rum lovers in Singapore, Sugarhall was the go-to bar for rare rums and impeccably crafted rum-based cocktails. After shuttering its doors four years ago, Sugarhall has made a triumphant return – just in time to take advantage of looser restrictions!
The bar’s new digs are tucked away in an alley beside Rosemead. Enter through the unmarked door, ascend the stairs and you’ll be greeted by the bar’s charming, softly lit space. Fairy lights dot the ceilings, giving the impression of alfresco dining. The chipped walls and dark wood furniture bring to mind Cuban cantinas. There are also booths for more intimate seating arrangements (or perhaps for planning revolutions?).
Rather than using a single house-pour rum for its cocktails, Sugarhall leans into its rum repository (over 100 labels!) for inspiration. Each cocktail features a rum base chosen to complement its flavours. We started off with the Dark & Stormy ($24), a light and refreshing highball. Taking the cocktail up a notch was the addition of the bar’s own specially brewed ginger beer made with young ginger, old ginger and galangal – delightfully spicy! Next, we moved on to the Daiquiri ($22). Featuring a mix of Bacardi Superior 1909 rum and Veritas rum, this is a crisp classic with just a touch of sugar.
While the earlier drinks might have been (deceptively) light, it’s instantly clear just how spirit-forward the IL-Presidente ($28) is. Here, the usual vermouth is replaced by sherry vermouth, Amaro Montenegro and Marsala. The rum content is provided by an oaky Appleton cask rum that’s been aged 15 years. You’ll need a couple of bar bites at hand by the time this drink is done!
Like most cocktail bars today, the food options at Sugarhall aren’t a mere afterthought. If you’ve got a hankering for something substantial, sink your teeth into the wagyu cheeseburger with bacon ($35). While not the most unique thing on the menu, it’s a brilliant example of a steakhouse-style burger done right – course ground beef served medium rare, with thick-cut bacon and a side of shoestring fries. Another noteworthy item is the chicken liver toast ($8) – thick slices of toasted rustic bread topped with chicken liver paste and caramelised onions. It’s a polarising dish for sure, but one of my favourite bar bites at Sugarhall.
– Dinesh Ajith
19 Cecil Street
9815 0246 | @sugarhallsg
Sophisticated and stylish, Republic at The Ritz Carlton, Millenia Singapore takes design cues from 60s style icons and rock legends. Plonk yourself in the plush leather booths for a little privacy and get acquainted with the bar’s lavish Punch Brunch ($168, Sundays 12pm-3pm). Like the décor, the menu items take inspiration from both classic cocktails and bar bites.
Did you know that punch is widely regarded as the first mixed drink, even predating the cocktail? At Republic, this timeless drink takes centre stage and is served from polished punch bowls. The Straits Gin Cup is a refreshing summer drink with a backbone of Farmer’s Gin while the Paul Jones Punch (named after the American clipper that first brought ice to Singapore) features Michter’s straight rye whiskey. If you’re a fan of spirit-forward cocktails like a Manhattan or Old Fashioned, this is the punch for you.
A unique addition to the bar’s punch line-up is the range of clarified English milk punches, a style that dates back to the 1700s. Using an enigmatic piece of culinary science, the milk is rendered completely clear. This makes for a lighter cocktail that manages to remain surprisingly creamy – an important consideration because you’ll want room for mains! A great example of this style is the English Milk Punch with Remy Martin VSOP, ruby port, English breakfast tea and spices. Another standout drink, and my personal favourite, is the classic Espresso Martini – it pairs perfectly with dessert. The best part? You get all these punch varieties and cocktails as unlimited pours with the brunch deal!
While cocktails are certainly a focus, Republic’s brunch menu is just as extravagant, with its tightly curated line-up of classic dishes. You can pick three starters from a selection of ten. I opted for prosciutto with sun-dried tomatoes, a tossed seafood salad and the classic British Prawn Cocktail with the intriguing addition of tomato-vanilla chutney.
For mains, I decided to move into heartier territory with the steak au poivre – served medium-rare and heavily marbled, this was quite the treat. The beef short rib is another option if you’re after something hearty. The two tender slices of beef come with a potato mousseline and wild mushrooms. You’ll also finish with your choice of desserts. I went for the warm chocolate pistachio tart; served alongside homemade vanilla ice cream, it was the perfect end to the meal.
– Dinesh Ajith
Gone Rogue Brewing
Singapore’s craft beer scene is certainly a vibrant one, with award-winning local microbreweries and taphouses becoming commonplace in hip neighbourhoods. Gone Rogue Brewing, however, makes its home in a quiet corner of Bukit Batok – hardly a place that comes to mind if you’re looking for a craft beer!
Tucked away in Le Quest Mall, the bar’s softly lit space is furnished with an indoor trellis and hardwood tables that bring to mind European taphouses. There’s also a screen that displays trivia about beer – did you know, for example, that cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass?
With a whopping 18 unpasteurised beers on tap – an impressive number for an independent brewhouse – you might find yourself absolutely flummoxed by the options. To get a feel of what Gone Rogue is about, opt for a tasting flight instead. The $18 flight features four beers of your choosing, allowing you to explore the varied options.
Our first flight featured beers from the Canary and Loot selections – unconventional beers with contemporary flavours. The Lychee Lassie is an easy-drinking fruit beer that has a solid hit of lychee without being overwhelmingly sweet; and the Hazelnut Trove offers delightful toffee and hazelnut flavours. My favourite from this flight was the Vanilla Cream. This smooth, medium-bodied beer offers a creamy vanilla flavour that’s more often found in darker porters and stouts. The final beer was the Rauchbier Smoke. Brewed with beechwood-smoked malt, it’s got an intensely smoky flavour that’ll bring to mind barbecues by the beach.
Before any cenosillicaphobia could set in, we ordered from the Tavern Regulars section. Here you’ll find great examples of stalwarts like dunkels, wheat beers, porters and brown ales. The IPA here is a best seller, and while surprisingly light with an ABV of 4.9 percent, it’s full bodied and offers moderate hop flavours. My favourite of this selection was the English Bitter. Light bodied with a medium bitterness, it’s a classic example of the style.
With such a selection of heady brews, you’ll need a couple of bar bites to keep you steady on your feet. Since I love a little something fried and salty with my beer, I sprung for the fried chicken skin ($10), which is served with a chunky, spicy relish.
Another dish that came well-recommended was the fish fingers ($12) – lightly battered morsels of red snapper topped with a creamy miso mayo. There’s also a selection of (very) thin crust pizzas with classic toppings like pepperoni and parma ham. If you’re keen for a pizza, you’ll want to opt for specialties like the Japanese-inspired yakitori variety ($17).
– Dinesh Ajith
Despite being around for barely a year, Firangi Superstar has become one of Singapore’s buzziest new openings, with a waitlist that’s often longer than a month. In addition to being a stellar restaurant, Firangi’s bar programme features an exciting line-up of cocktails with spicy Indian inflections. I was eager to get a taste!
Upon entering the softly lit interior, I was presented with a “field guide” that detailed four thematic spaces. The first is the Officer’s Club. If you’re here for a tipple, you’ll want a seat right at the bar. Or plonk yourself on a plush armchair and take in the historical photographs and collection of mounted pistols and rifles. Here for a meal? Sit in the hunting inspired Jungle Lodge, the opulent Elephant Palace or the Old Railway Room – a semi-private dining space that’ll bring to mind Wes Anderson’s Darjeeling Limited.
To start, I ordered a classic cocktail with a twist – the Curry Leaf Boulevardier. This unique take adds coconut bourbon and a garnish of dried curry leaves to the mix to create a spiritforward sipper that’s subtly sweet and spicy. If you’re bold enough, chewing on the curry leaves adds an intriguing vegetal taste.
I also tried the Chai Masala Milk Punch. The first thing you’ll notice about this milk-based cocktail is that it’s completely clear. Milk solids are extracted via a clarification process, leaving a clear base with a hint of creaminess. On a backbone of vodka and gin, masala chai, lemon, pineapple and coconut water are added, plus a sweet malty biscuit as a garnish.
For my final drink, I decided to go with something quite out of the ordinary, the Fenugreek Manhattan. The drink features cognac that’s been infused with ghee using a sous vide machine. Fenugreek-infused vermouth is also added for a sweet, nutty flavour. The final product is a smooth, potent cocktail with a buttery sweetness that lingers.
Firangi’s cocktails will have you craving a bite, and the dining menu features creations by Chef Thiru Gunasakaran, a third-generation Malaysian who previously worked at Spago by Wolfgang Puck. He draws inspiration from nostalgic dishes created by his grandmother and mother. These are small plates with big tastes!
The Beirut Bhatura is an excellent choice to accompany a cocktail, with its hearty celeriac hummus topped with a richly spiced chickpea masala and some pomegranate for tartness. Fancy something lighter? Order the Tikka Takeaway, which highlights sous-vide octopus finished in a tandoori and served with lime aioli, onion petals and naan crumbs.
Those with bigger appetites should spring for the Indian Saddle. Like the octopus, the lamb saddle in this dish is slow-cooked sous-vide style then finished in a tandoor and served beneath a sweet, sticky garlic confit with curry leaf. While more substantial than a bar bite, this one’s a Firangi specialty and you’ll be kicking yourself if you miss it!
– Dinesh Ajith
20 Craig Road, #01-03
If there was any need for proof that rock and roll will never die, Roxy Bar would be one entry on a very long list. Opening in tumultuous times last year, this New York-inspired dive bar leans fully into its 70s rock music theme. While there’s a divey kind of character to the bar, it comes across as more glitz than grime – furthering the bar’s mission to recreate the backstage rooms that greats like Bowie held afterparties in.
And it looks every bit the part. The entirety of the bar is drenched in red neon, which, paired with its tiny floor plan, adds to the intimacy of the scene. If your date is more Black Sabbath than BTS, this is definitely the spot to take them. Adding to its appeal is its hidden location behind a black velvet curtain at the back of Miss Fitz restaurant.
To start the night, he introduces me to Love Is The Drug, his nuanced take on a Cosmopolitan that’s named after the Roxy Music hit. Like the classic it riffs off, Tash’s rendition uses vodka as a base, but instead of Cointreau, he adds Rinomato vermouth and cherry liqueur, along with fresh lemon and egg white for body. The result is a familiar cocktail with an intriguing new flavour profile.
My go-to has always been the Negroni, so I was eager to try out Tash’s take on the stalwart, You Don’t Have To Put On That Red Light – named after a song whose message was thoroughly ignored by the bar! Tash explains that the cocktail is built on a base of mezcal rather than the usual gin, which gives the drink a more complex, smoky flavour. His promise of smokiness was certainly fulfilled and I was treated to a sublimely smooth tipple.
Of course, what New York bar is complete without a Manhattan? So classic is this cocktail, it retains its original name and most of its ingredients here, apart from the playful addition of Tempus Crème De Cacoa for a bittersweet chocolate finish. A perfect option for the traditionalist.
If you’re a couple of stiff cocktails in and need a bit of a bite, Roxy offers a modest selection of bar snacks. My pick? The New York-style hotdog ($14). Piled high with grated cheese and a hearty bean and ground beef chilli, it’s just the booze soaking send-off you’ll need to get you home in one piece. Dinesh Ajith
Holding court behind the bar is Tash Nayar, who previously ran the drinks programme at Miss Fitz out in the front. Behind the velvet curtains of Roxy, however, his mixology takes cues from classic 70s rock. In fact, the entire cocktail menu reads more like a Spotify playlist than a drinks list.
– Dinesh Ajith
#01-17 The Sail at Marina Bay, 6 Marina Boulevard
Cocktail connoisseurs in Singapore will be familiar with Ricky Paiva, Head Bartender of the award-winning Manhattan Bar. Not one to rest on his laurels, Ricky now heads the drinks programme at the all-new Flow Bar. Set just above Michelin-starred Restaurant JAG, the bar is a cosy space with muted greens and wood tones. Sink into the plush Chesterfield sofas that offer intimate seating for dates or plonk yourself by the bar for front-row seats to Ricky’s marvellous mixology.
Once you’ve made yourself at home, dive into the cocktail menu that’s been thoughtfully sorted into three categories: Living Room, Garden and Playground.
The Chosen One:
To start things off, Ricky prepared his take on a classic, the Burnt Lemon Whisky Sour. His rendition features both fresh and burnt lemons to add complexity without losing the bright flavours. While egg whites are used in most Whisky Sours, Ricky instead uses a frothing agent that makes the drink vegan-friendly. It’s comfortable crowd-pleasers like this that you’ll find on the bar’s Living Room menu
When you need something a little more refreshing, try the Garden menu’s Citrus. This nature-inspired long drink is a zesty cooler made with Bobby’s Gin, lemongrass, kaffir and seltzer – perfect after a day spent in the sun.
We then worked our way down to the Playground portion of the menu – a space where Ricky showcases his more esoteric creations like the Cinnamon Girl. Made with apple bourbon, Pommeau (a French apple liqueur), fresh lemon and caramel, it’s essentially apple pie in a glass. But, like all of the bar’s drinks, even this dessert-inspired pick doesn’t overwhelm with sweetness. Also on the Playground menu is the Jesse James, a spirit-forward cocktail that hits all the right notes. It combines smooth Balvenie 12-year-old scotch and rye whiskies for bite, with sweet vermouth and essence of ester to take the edge off.
To make sure I wasn’t rolling down the stairs on my way home, Ricky prepared another classic, an Espresso Martini. A second offering from the Living Room section, this robust pick-me-up keeps it simple with Nikka vodka and house-brewed espresso. Dulce de leche is then layered atop the drink and torched. Creamy, rich and subtly sweet, this was undoubtedly my favourite.
Bite on This:
Feeling peckish? You’re in luck. In partnership with Restaurant JAG’s Chef Jeremy, Flow Bar offers a menu inspired by Ricky’s home state, California. I enjoyed the vegan-friendly artichoke hummus – a classic grazing dish with intriguing additions like Taggiasca olives, roasted hazelnuts and French sage. My favourite, though, was the blue crab dip. This cold sharing plate offers bold, fresh flavours from laksa leaf and lemon thyme, and comes served with buttered toast.
More substantial items include a signature croque monsieur and a 200-gram Angus striploin.
– Dinesh Ajith
76A Duxton Road, Level 2
The Writers Bar has launched a new menu of cocktails to go with a new book called The Raffles Affair – a crime novel set inside the iconic Raffles Hotel. The new drinks draw influence from themes in the book, adding a bit of mystery and fun with names like Smoking Gun and Poisoned Pen.
Another fairly new addition is Nicholas Edward Alexander, the fab head bartender. He has been in Singapore for the past year, having moved here from the US. If you have any questions, he’ll be able to help you out with all the choices and break down the flavours. When you go, say hi to him from us!
The Chosen One:
There were too many good cocktails to choose from and we had a lot of fun getting to taste them all; Nicholas really spoiled us! Our unanimous winner was Cold Case ($28), which I couldn’t get enough of. It’s made up of Chalong Bay Thai Sweet Basil Rum, peach orgeat, coconut and lime. It’s not something that I thought I’d like but I highly recommend it.
Another must try is the Million Dollar Cocktail ($28), which was simply delicious. It’s much less sweet than the classic Singapore Sling, but was created in the early 19th century by the same bartender: the legendary Ngiam Tong Boon. This is a drink worthy of a few photos, especially with its dollar sign imprinted on the foam. The Million Dollar cocktail uses Raffles 1915 Gin by London distiller Sipsmith; it’s created with jasmine, fresh pomelo, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, nutmeg and cardamom. And here’s an extra little fun fact for you: the co-founder of Sipsmith, Sam Glasworthy, is a descendant of Sir Stamford Raffles himself! How’s that for a historical experience!
Other great drinks to try include Agent Provocateur ($28), Red Herring ($28) and Cloak and Dagger ($28). This bar takes its cocktails to the next level of artistry – they all taste great and have complex flavours. Combined with the beautiful colonial interiors, it makes for an all-around classy experience. The Writers Bar would be a perfect spot for a sophisticated date night, a business meeting or a fancy girls’ night out.
Bite on This:
Fill up with a great array of bar bites to choose from, including some vegetarian options like samosas, cheese spreads and truffle fries. For the carnivores, there’s beef tartare, lobster rolls with curry mayonnaise, and salmon blinis.
– Michaela Bisset
Grand Lobby, Raffles Singapore 1 Beach Road
6412 1816 | rafflessingapore.com/restaurant/writers-bar
Just when we thought we’d seen Singapore from every angle, a new vantage point pops up and gives us reason to fall in love with the city all over again. Discreetly perched atop co-living hotel ST Signature in Tanjong Pagar, the Il Lido Group hits the nail on the head yet again with another buzzy and breezy alfresco oasis. An ode to the Middle East, not only does Levant boast solid Mediterranean-inspired cocktail and mezze menus, but if you time your post-work tipple to the golden hour when the sunset colours catch the iconic Pinnacle at Duxton, then you’ve found a piece of urban paradise. A sleek and sexy bar takes centre stage, whilst there’s plenty of seating options around the 360-degree space, meaning romantic trysts need not get disrupted by the chatter of co-workers or boisterous groups!
The Chosen One:
Traversing the fresh and fruity to the savoury and strong, the cocktail menu is designed to trick your taste buds into a holiday state of mind. For a sweet start to the evening, we recommend the Levantine Shore ($20), a refreshing concoction of pisco, bergamot and fruity fassionola; or try a tangy twist on a classic, with the Il Rhubarb Sour ($18) made with Monkey Shoulder whisky, rhubarb and hints of cinnamon and hibiscus. If gin is your poison, you can’t go wrong with the Blossom Mist ($22), made with Japanese Roku gin and a refreshing touch of chamomile, elderflower and calamansi.
Bite on This:
Forget greasy, bog-standard bar food – Levant’s menu is a refreshing take on bar bites that won’t leave you feeling too guilty. With a range of Mediterranean-inspired mezze plates, you don’t need to worry about making a dinner reservation afterwards, either – the dishes are a decent size with ingredients that are delicious and wholesome. The avocado hummus ($16) and smoky baba ganoush ($16), served with pita bread, are delectable, and the raw tuna kibbeh ($22) with spiced sesame pairs well with a hot evening. The real showstoppers, however, are the smoked duck and truffle samosas with mango amba sauce ($18) and the piping-hot baked cheese, drizzled in pomegranate molasses and sprinkled with pumpkin seed dukkah ($22).
– Leanda Rathmell
Club 5 on the first floor of Parkroyal on Beach Road is an oldie but a goodie. Established in 1986 as a dance club for ballroom dancing enthusiasts, it completed a tasteful revamp in November 2020, transforming it into a cocktail bar exuding glamour and opulence from the 1920s. Under the plush lounges and intimate setting, you can still see remnants of the parquetry floorboards from the original ballroom. It’s a bit of a hidden gem this one, as Club 5 had a soft reopening and its following has grown purely by word of mouth.
The Chosen One:
Head Bartender Jun Han Ong lives and breathes the essence of Club 5, enthusiastically explaining the components to the wickedly delicious concoctions and the inspiration behind each drink. The entire cocktail menu is themed around the culturally rich areas of Beach Road, Arab Street and Bugis Junction. The Nasi Lema’rgarita ($20) from the Arab Street theme – coconut tequila, citrus, aromatic pandan, dry Curaçao, cucumber, ikan bilis and peanut – is not too sweet, and has some subtle notes of pandan. Boogie Street ($22) is a crowd-pleasing gin sour featuring London Dry Gin, mezcal, citrus, apricot brandy, agave and violette. To make sure everyone has fun, the Calm Waters Mocktail ($15) is refreshing, with a touch of tropical spiciness delivered via its pineapple, citrus, galangal and Thai ginger beer.
Bite on This:
The bar nibbles continue the Singapore multicultural theme, with the likes of an eat-in-one-bite Peranakan chicken kueh pie tee with buah keluak dressing, and a nice mouth-sized deep-fried soft shell crab with Singapore chilli crab sauce. For something a bit more familiar, the crispy lamb ribs go down a treat with the chef’s homemade Thai green mint sauce. Nibbles cost around $15 and are quite generously sized. The homemade wagyu satay with hazelnut dip is a signature dish and sells out fast!
Happy Hour at Club 5 is from 4 to 7pm, Mondays to Thursdays.
– Alison Long
Parkroyal on Beach Road 7500 Beach Road
6505 5699 | @parkroyalbeachroad
The entire bar! Last November, Neon Pigeon opened up in its new location on Carpenter Street. I’d been lucky enough to check out the previous location, but this new spot is also super cool. There’s an awesome atmosphere – from the music to the funky art displays – and the staff are friendly and want to ensure you have the best time; plus, the drinks are delicious and the food is divine. I can personally vouch for all of this, as I’ve been there three times in the last month – yes, really! At this point, I’m practically a Neon Pigeon addict.
The Chosen One:
Oddly enough, I hadn’t tried the cocktail menu before my most recent visit. I’d always stuck to the house sake, which is great – and who doesn’t love yelling (or whispering in the current climate) “kampai!”?
This time, my group tried the Boshi-Maker ($20), Ichi-Go Lightly ($22) and Kosupure ($23), all of which were crowd pleasers and showed us a bit of everything. We really enjoyed Ichi-Go Lightly, a creamy, strawberry gin-based drink sprinkled with seaweed – delicious! Our favourite, however, was Kosupure; it comes in an iconic bird glass – a must-have for the ’gram – and is made with Midori (melon liqueur) and Applejack, with carbon dioxide added for bubbles.
Bite On This:
The dishes are available in small or large portions, so you can happily make your way through the entire menu in a group. You have to order the Tokyo Hummus (from $10), made with edamame and served with curry chips. I’ve had it three times now, and I still internally squeal when they put it in front of me. Other appetiser hits (or “Birdfeed”, as it’s described on the menu) are the housemade Chukka Wakame (from $11), which is a watermelon seaweed salad, and the Japanese Cucumber (from $8) tossed in garlic, sesame and yuzu vinegar – yum!
Next up on our list of favourites were the grilled duck breast (from $19) and the New Zealand cod katsu (from $19), which my friends raved about. I’m vegetarian and there were plenty of great options for me on the menu, so your veggie friends will definitely feel welcome here! The charcoal-grilled asparagus (from $15), brussels sprouts (from $14 – you can get them with or without mirin-glazed bacon) and sweet corn rice (from $16) with tempura seaweed and egg yolk were my highlights.
Last but not least, for dessert there are two options to choose from: yuzu brûlée ($12) – Yakult sorbet, miso granola, sesame meringue – and the Bonsai 3.0 ($13), made with honeycomb, matcha and dark chocolate mousse.
– Michaela Bisset
Anouska’s is a cosy bar well hidden in Duxton Reserve, a chic boutique hotel set in a row of restored heritage shophouses in the buzzy Tanjong Pagar locale. The work of famed designer and former Bond Girl Anouska Hempel, the snazzy space features bold themes of yellow, black and gold, offset with oriental detailing. The ambience is open and inviting, yet exclusive at the same time; you can choose to sit by the bar for some up-close cocktail action, or unwind in one of the comfy loungers instead.
The Chosen One:
The bar has a diverse menu that highlights top-shelf spirits, premium wines, a small selection of beers, and signature Chinese-inspired cocktails.
After starting with a refreshing glass of bubbly ($17) – Castellblanch Cava Brut from Spain – my next drink of choice was the Chen Pi Collins ($24). A medley of mandarin-infused gin, citrus and sparkling water, this light-and-easy number was perfect for washing down bowl after bowl of the bar’s complimentary peanuts. Another must-try is the Canton Sour ($24), a well-balanced mix of whisky and amaretto with a dash of bitters, egg white and black sesame seeds. It’s fragrant with a wonderfully creamy body – and one of the most popular items on the menu!
On our next visit, we’re definitely trying the bar’s trademark cocktail Escape to Kaifeng ($24), a floral aperitif featuring house-made chrysanthemum cordial with Tanqueray London dry gin.
Bite on this:
Arrive hungry as the kitchen is headed by modern Chinese restaurant Yellow Pot, so you’re getting much more than just run-of-the-mill bar snacks. We utterly enjoyed the fried lion’s mane mushrooms with avocado puree ($20), which came piping hot. The meaty texture of the mushrooms went well with the delightfully thin and crisp batter, and was the perfect match for the creamy avocado. Then, fill up with the stir-fried mee sua ($20), a substantial portion of fried noodles with tiger prawns and veggies, and plenty of that charry “wok hei” aroma. Our hands-down favourite was the steamed barramundi ($30), which cleverly uses a scallion and ginger pesto to cut through any fishiness.
– Anthia Chng
Junior The Pocket Bar
Previously located along a discreet alley on Tanjong Pagar Road, this concept bar has outgrown its 10-seat capacity and recently found a new home on Ann Siang Hill. Though not as pocketsized as before (the new bar offers 25 seats), the elegant nook retains some of its signature cosy and intimate vibe. It’s darker, sexier and slightly more roomy than before. Plus, there’s a fully-fledged kitchen that comes with the bigger space!
The Chosen One:
The theme for the concept bar changes twice yearly, but the menu also includes mainstays that are available all year round. Inspired by the bars in Shinjuku’s Golden Gai, Washi is the bar’s fifth theme since its launch. A delicious pick from this particular concept is the Rabbit ($25): Aquavit, honey, lemon and Junmai sake, served with a tasty side of miso-roasted carrot.
A new addition to the menu are the Homebrew & Highballs, house-fermented drinks that can be made boozy ($21) or alcohol-free ($13). The Lacto Lime Soda – salt-cured citrus, lime leaf, soda, tequila – was a much-welcome respite from the humid weather. It’s light, tangy and dangerously crushable – perfect for a citrus lover like myself. I like my cocktails with bubbles, so my next drink of choice was Tiny Bubbles ($28) from Eat The Rich, another category in the core menu. A sweet infusion of jasmine, peach and yellow chartreuse, finished with Pol Roger champagne, this bevvy tasted as pretty as it looked. When paired with a piece of chocolate strawberry, the taste profile was elevated and balanced. It’s all in the details!
Bite on this:
One thing that stood out during our visit was the comprehensive food menu. Mainstays include small plates like the charred broccolini ($12) with roasted curry vinaigrette and pork crackling, which we wiped out, and the grilled merguez ($18), a flavour bomb of smoked lamb sausage, spicy tomato sauce and roasted aubergine. I’m not a big fan of lamb, but I found myself enjoying the sausage, fork after fork!
If there’s only one dish you can order, make it the French dip banh mi ($22). A favourite amongst the staff, this massive sandwich features a glorious combination of slow-cooked beef shank with sweet onion jam, fresh herbs to cut through the richness, and spiced beef jus for dipping. Each bite is a messy explosion of flavours, but oh-so worth it. Just give me an order of this sandwich and I’m a happy camper.
– Anthia Chng
28 HongKong Street
As night owls will know, 28 HongKong Street has nabbed the top spot as Singapore’s sexiest speakeasy bar for years. But what was once an unassuming exterior with a 2am waiting list has since reinvented itself to align in a new world. So, what’s changed? There’s outdoor seating for one, and earlier opening hours. (A 5pm Negroni? Don’t mind if we do!) But what we’ve been eyeing up lately is the “Proper Dinner” menu – a collaboration with tops chefs in the US that has us salivating.
The Chosen One:
With master mixologists like Ronan Keilthy and Lukas Kaufmann behind the bar, we always think you’re better off just letting them know your preferred poison and taste profile (gin or whiskey? sweet or savoury?) and letting them work their magic. Having said that, for some guaranteed crowd pleasers, the Escape to Oaxaca ($24) is a tropical concoction of mezcal, plantation pineapple rum and coconut oil, while the Tokyo Giant ($24) – Luxardo Sour Cherry Gin, Sakura Vermouth and absinthe – seriously packs a punch!
If you’re visiting for dinner, keep an eye out for the signature cocktails from the bar’s partner venues, concocted to accompany each dish on the menu!
Bite on This:
Collaborating across the seas with the top bars and restaurants in America, 28 HongKong Street’s Proper Dinner menu kicked off with Southern comfort-food from Sweet Liberty, a restaurant in Miami, Florida famed for its fried chicken and finger-licking Southern-style barbecue ribs. Next, they worked with Leyenda in Brooklyn, a Latin-inspired cocktail bar and restaurant that shared its secret to a perfect enchilada de mole and churrasco skirt steak!
If all that sounds too tasty to ignore, keep an eye out on socials (@28hongkongstreet) for the different menus throughout the yer. But for the regulars out there, don’t worry; the fried mac n’ cheese balls and other nibbles are still on the menu, too.
Heart of Darkness
If you’re into craft beers, you may have heard of this award-winning brewery from Saigon, Vietnam. First opening in Tanjong Pagar last year, the Singapore outpost has now found a bigger and better home in the trendy Keong Saik neighbourhood. The same casual and fun vibes are apparent in this new setup, with dark wood, warm leather and bold murals giving the spacious gastrobar a strong personality. It’s the perfect spot for an informal date night, or a fun catch-up with colleagues.
The Chosen One:
Heart of Darkness has over 25 taps, so you’re spoilt for choice. As a big fan of sour beers, I was stoked to see a number of them on the menu; after browsing through the long list of drink options, I decided on a light brew to whet the appetite. Something Stealthy Citrus Sour ($16) is a citrusy blend of tangerine, satsuma (mandarin), orange and lemon, layered with notes of sour berry and pineapple. This limited release definitely suits its nickname, “The Tangerine Dream”! Another refreshing pick is the Futile Purpose Cucumber Pilsner ($15) – I remember trying and really liking it on my previous visit.
For those into IPA and stouts, there’s a neat selection to peruse. Not sure what to get? Just ask one of the friendly staff, or hit up the bartender for a recommendation. If you’re more of a cocktail creature, you’ll be happy with the beer-infused concoctions here, too.
One big factor that draws crowds here is the wallet-friendly offerings. If you’re not a big drinker, you can go for the small-sized brews, priced at just $10 a pop.
Bite on This:
Although the drinks were stellar, what truly impressed us was the extensive beer-influenced food menu. Make plans to have dinner (or lunch) here, and make sure you arrive hungry. One standout was the baby corn ($10), grilled to smoky perfection and served with a special Heart of Darkness mayo and grated aged Manchego cheese. The Fish & Chips Tacos ($18 for two) – beer-battered fish with minty guac, matchstick potatoes, tartar sauce – were delicious, too. And, even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, we recommend capping things off with a slice of Marlow’s Mellow ($14), an indulgent Basque burnt cheesecake spiked with pomelo IPA. Creamy and indulgent with bits of pomelo to cut through the richness, this was the highlight of our night.
– Anthia Chng
1 Keong Saik Road
6208 7940 | heartofdarknessbrewery.com
A clever multi-level bar concept in Boat Quay that’s been executed with class.
The Chosen One:
In the venue’s upstairs section, Barbary Coast Ballroom, order a Tea with Raspberries and Cream ($21) and you get a twist on a traditional gin-milk punch. The milk really takes the edge off the gin kick, and it’s creamy and velvety without being too heavy. The tea is served with a branded, stamped ice cube and an embossed gold and black stamped bottle – a plus for attention to detail!
Deadfall is the name of the downstairs bar, where you’ll find five cocktails named after colours as well as beers on tap and wine. Our pick is the Slushie 1 ($14), a sublime artisanal banana daiquiri slushie. This tart, almost caramel, frozen wonder is the perfect antidote to a balmy Singapore afternoon. One is nowhere near enough!
Bite on This:
Also downstairs, nosh on stylish finger food and bar bites like pulled pork croquettes ($12) and peanut hummus ($12). The Ballroom, meanwhile, offers sharing platters and cheese boards. We ordered the deceptively named Petite ($50), which was generously heaving with cheeses, antipasti, pickles, charcuterie and a steady offering of bread. Special mention goes to the smoked butter – holy moly! Needless to say, we did not leave hungry.
Last but not least:
Two booths upstairs have an exclusive button that you push for a bottle of champagne. Push the button and a bottle of Billecart Salmon Brut Reserve (from $100) will be brought out to the table!
– Kate Marsden
16 North Canal Road, Level 01 and 02
8869 4798 | barbarycoastsg.com
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