No. 5 Emerald Hill Cocktail Bar
May 11, 2018
To its committed regulars, of whom they are many, it’s simply No. 5. To others it’s No. 5 Emerald Hill, but whatever one calls it, there is no denying its place in the pantheon, for first and foremost it is probably Singapore’s oldest cocktail bar. This traditional, unpretentious speakeasy (yes, yet another one, but do bear with us) is housed in a handsome 1910 Peranakan shop house with two splendiferous floors. Points of interest abound, chief among them being the scroll work and a charming café-style terrace. The bar in the main room displays spirits, beers and liqueurs beneath a wooden platform and although there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, it was with the cosy bar at the back that we at WBB were particularly taken with, for it is here that patrons sit on soft cushions or recline on Persian carpets as if transported to a scene from “A Thousand and One Arabian Nights”. Slightly incongruous in the Far East, we admit, but nevertheless not unwelcome. Much as it pains us to say it, the live music ( Jazz, for the most part) on the second floor is apt to detract form the overall intimacy somewhat but quite frankly who cares when you’re holding court with your Scheherazade on a flying carpet. While the food is pretty mediocre, the cocktail list isn’t. Most of its offerings more than passes muster. On it one finds all the usual suspects, plus one or two surprises. The gin martini come much recommended.