May 11, 2018
Not far from the iconic Raffles Hotel, Tess Bar is a popular spot with acclaimed bartender Steve Leong, formerly of Bitters & Love, on cocktail duty. As expected the drinks are on the money. Leong has put together a cracking list of liquid things. Check out the Shrub Blanc, a smooth blend of tequila blanco and Kronenbourg 1664 sharpened with berry shrub, fresh lemon and candied ginger. The Achar Mango is an intriguing sounding mix of gin-infused with pickled mango, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, fresh lemon and egg white with Cajun spices, while the Melange du Tess is a blend of honey, lime juice, grapefruit juice, gin, Aperol, sparkling wine, and fruit tea designed for sharing. The space is hip and minimalist, low-lit, but not over-serious – they play a cool soundtrack of ’90s dance music to bring the fun. There’s a decent happy hour with 30 percent off wines and beers before 7pm. There are good things happening in the kitchen too, superior bar snacks – like crispy pork belly, always a good bet, fried chicken, pan-seared scallops and triple truffle fries (which sound double yum) – as well as more ambitious dishes care of head chef Martin Wong, formerly of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon – so it’s no surprise the food is a cut above.