Hey, mama! Need a quick shot of inspiration for a night out on the town (no kids that is!)? Here’s our pick of Singapore’s latest restaurants and newest bars, condensed and served up in tasty bite-sized pieces just for you. This month it’s all about new bars, pop up bars, and rebranded bars!
If you could condense the flavours of Singapore into a tipple – what would the result be? Why a Chilli Crab cocktail ($22) of course! Part say-what-you-crazy-thang, part molecular gastronomy, these flavours are brought to you by a tiny counter pop up bar in the Duxton Hotel lobby – Mars Bar (open 4pm-1am daily till late Oct 2014 when the hotel undergoes a big refurb). The team behind these weird and wonderful infusions are Louis Tan and Roger Yip – both used to work at Bar Stories so they are also dab hands at mixing up bespoke cocktails ($18-23)… just in case you don’t see something you like on the cocktail list. But in the words of Dr Seuss, “try them, try them and you may” (like them) — we sure did!
Mars Bar, 83 Duxton Road, Singapore 089540. Tel: (+65) 9651 6741.
Fancy yourself a bit of a journo? Well bring your business cards and head on to Scoop. Co-owned by television news presenter Patrick Fok, this aims to be the go-to drinking den for all journalists, writers and PR people, with Wednesdays being the big media draw for drink specials (it’s called Hacks & Flacks night – one-for-ones on all drinks 5pm-8pm). Décor wise it’s all newsprint and news screens. On the menu are cocktails ($18-$23), Prosecco from $10 and if you’re peckish there’s chili con carne, burgers and pizzas, like the Smoked Duck Pizza with Hoisin Sauce ($20) – made by sister joint Bartini.
Scoop, 19 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069699. Tel: (+65) 6423 1213.
By day, Glow Deli is a rustic raw food deli serving wheat-free, sugar-free, dairy-free dishes and fresh juices. Expect unusual salads like the Drag Pom ($15) with dragonfruit, pomegranate, avo and lettuce, raw zucchini noodles and deconstructed sushi bowls, and for dessert, chocolate goodies made from raw cacao powder. By night, the space turns into Afterglow for wine, and soon-to-come, alcoholic tipples (because you can only be so good for so long, ya know?) with raw food snacks, like Raw Macadamia Hummus with a side of Homemade Flax Seed Crackers ($15) on the side.
Glow Deli, 24 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089131. Tel: (+65) 6224 8921.
Won the lottery? Love your bubbly? Step this way please… L’Aiglon – a bar owned by the affable Frenchman, Pierre-Emmanuel Plassart (film director and photographer) is where you can sip on some of the priciest champagne around… like their Krug Brut Blanc de Noirs Clos D’Ambonnay 1995 ($6000). For the rest of us mere mortals, catch up with the mixologist Louis Tan (who is in the running for 2014 Diageo bartender of the year). His concoctions include the deliciously refreshing Screaming Tomatoes ($22) – a fun take on the classic Bloody Mary, which includes blowtorching a skewer of cherry tomatoes (sit at the counter to hear them scream) and the equally drinkable Indian Cooler ($20) of gin, grapefruit juice, lime juice, lemongrass syrup, and fresh ginger ($20). Bar snacks are top notch with a tasty Asian twist – like the gent’s Chicken Samosa ($12), the Obsiblue Prawn Tartare ($18), lip-smackingly good PEP Mini Chicken Burgers ($14) and Crab Cakes ($14). L’Aiglon, 69 Neil Road, Singapore 088899. Tel: (+65) 6220 0369.
Tippling Club, Asia’s 12th Best Restaurant (awarded by Miele Guide) has moved! No longer hidden at Dempsey, but on trendy Tanjong Pagar Road instead. Chef-owner, Ryan Clift can still be seen conjuring up his magic in the open kitchen (bag a counter seat so you can ‘feel the heat’). They now do lunch ($42/$57 for 2/3 courses) and an affordable pre-theatre menu too from 6pm to 8:30pm ($70 for 3 courses and a glass of wine). From the most amusing of Amuse Bouche (charred sweet peppers in black carbon batter) to a delicious Bresse Chicken served with (about six and craving more) Black Truffle Macaroni ($15 supplement), to the dessert of Strawberries and Cream, which looks like a candy shop. Portions are dainty, and carbs and veg are minimal, so the lads will probably have to go for the full 7 or 12 course tasting menu ($160/$265 without drinks). The cocktail bar that greets you as you walk in is a sight to behold too (we mean the liquors dangling precariously from above, not just bartender Zachary de Git, *wink*).
Tippling Club, 38 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088461. Tel: (+65) 6475 2217.
Longtail Asian Brasserie & Bar is the newest addition to Customs House (right beside Sabai Fine Thai owned by the family). A smart spot for afterwork drinks with their happy hour (4pm-8pm) flaunting 50% off very good mojitos ($8) of fresh kumquat, passionfruit, ginger or lemongrass, Kirin and Erdinger draft beer ($9) and Sauv Blanc at $10. The food is Asian inspired bar bites based on street snacks from Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, like Betel Leaf Wrapped Beef ($15 for 6), the cheekily named Bangkok Balls, mini skewers of chicken and pork meatballs ($12), and deep-fried Pepper Garlic Calamari ($8). Don’t leave without trying the Veg Bao – comfortingly soft fluffy bao buns stuffed with a heady vegetable green curry sauce ($7 for 2 pieces). The table next to us fought over their last bao – the winner looked pretty smug and deservedly so. Another not to miss dish: the Massaman Lamb Shank ($21.5), the best of its kind we’ve tried in Singapore (and when it comes to Thai food, we get around!). Longtail Asian Brasserie & Bar, 70 Collyer Quay, #01-03 Customs House, Singapore 049323. Tel: (+65) 6532 1319.
When one door closes (on Martins Road) another door, well two actually, open! Gone is the lovely Thai spot Kha and Bomba Paella Bar but coming soon, two new branches from PS Café. Rumour has it that come June they will be opening their second branch of Chopsuey Café (that Anglo-Asian dim sum spot you may know at Dempsey) as well as PS Café Petit (pizza, paninis, pasta, salad and a wine retail shop) which unlike the Tiong Bahru branch, will also have ample seating inside. Watch this space, mama! Website.