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Sake bars in Singapore: We review Chinatown’s Copper on Stanley

By: Verne Maree

We scour the island’s bar scene to bring you the new and the noteworthy. This time, we check out Copper on Stanley sake bar.

Socialise over sake at Copper on Stanley's  light-filled, contemporary space. 

First impressions: You could miss Copper’s low-key entrance, so remember that it’s number 3 and don’t get distracted by the other bars in this festive little street on the edge of Chinatown. Once inside, pride of place is taken by a dispenser stocked with a judicious variety of ten sakes at any one time; somewhat obscured is a full bar that serves whatever else you might fancy. Good music, good vibe.  

The chosen one: It’s impossible for us amateurs (however enthusiastic) to pinpoint the best of the six or so that we tried from the dispenser and thoroughly enjoyed.

A stunning selection of sake bottles at Copper on Stanley Sake Bar 

The cheapskate: There’s always at least one sake going for around $7 (60ml). “I want to change the way people perceive value,” says owner Felicia – “a cheap sake is not necessarily a bad sake.”

Bite on this: Outstanding small plates by South African chef Damien Pentelow ($7 to $15) are good value and perfect for sharing. Highlights include: an exemplary beef tartar; swoon-worthy khaki fries, tempura-fried oysters; grilled smoked chicken with mustard and coriander seeds; soft smoked eggs; and wonderful strips of Angus steak with beef jus and asparagus. Wash down the go-straight-to-hell Oreo cheesecake or the marginally less sinful goma ice cream with nori and sesame ($5) with a dessert sake called Time Machine, and ask for its backstory. (Note: During the day, before 6pm, Damien whips up breakfasts and sandwiches for the sake bar’s daytime alter ego, Crack & Press.)

Last but not least: Felicia knows about sake and is delighted to share her passion for the stuff. Get down here with a few good friends, and you cannot but have a good time.

3 Stanley Street
6221 3639 | copperonstanley.com

This article first appeared in the March 2016 issue of Expat Living. Subscribe

Keen for more Japanese inspired dining? Why not try out some dishes other than sushi, with our Japanese restaurant review