Molecular cuisine, coffee cocktails, and the best barbecue of your life - here are 5 must-try experiences in Singapore
Here are our selected picks to discover Singapore from a different angle, from dinner to tea time to late night cocktails.
On the lower level, dive bar-styled cocktail bar Deadfall is a celebration of Boat Quay and the building’s history. Stripped back to showcase its original brick walls, tiles, wooden beams and panels, and concrete floors, it is decorated with a number of found tools and collected objects that were once part of the area’s port life.
The drinks menu features five creative cocktails, each named after a color. Skillfully executed with high-quality spirits, they were designed to be accessible and inclusive from flavor to price. Perfect to cool down on a hot day, Yellow is made with burnt-pineapple infused rum with pineapple husk syrup.
Venture upstairs and you will find the lavish Barbary Coast Ballroom, which just opened this January. Inspired by the gold rush era’s dance halls and jazz clubs, it features opulent fixtures and furnishings, with nine types of wallpaper spread across the different rooms, elegant chandeliers, luxurious carpets, and vintage velvet furniture.
With such attention and care put into every single detail, we didn’t expect the Barbary Coast Ballroom’s cocktails to be any less compelling. Try Potter’s Market, with hibiscus Monkey 47, watermelon Altos tequila, dry curaçao, fresh lime, and agave nectar, to get a sense of the well-balanced and carefully assembled drinks on offer.
Burnt Ends is not just an ordinary barbecue place. The restaurant, founded by renowned Australian-born chef Dave Pynt, was Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants No. 10, and received its first Michelin star last year.
The secret is in the enormous four-tonne, custom-built, two-oven brick kiln powered by fragrant apple and almond wood. It is precisely calibrated to cook at scorching hot temperatures on one side, and slow-roast on the other, and almost everything on the menu touches it. Prepared to perfection, the dishes that come out elevate barbecue to impossibly new heights.
They are best enjoyed alongside a perfectly executed cocktail from the bar, now helmed by Kelvin Chow, previously of Operation Dagger. Ask and he’ll gladly recommend and craft a tipple or two for you based on your palate and what you’ve ordered. Try Something Like a Cider to start, a mix of Green Apple, Longan Honey, Brioche and Lillet Blanc, a refreshing, mead-like drink to prepare you for the meal ahead. Another must-try is the surprising Spanish G&T, with jamón and dill-washed Monkey 47 gin, rockmelon and sherry vinegar, regular Monkey 47 gin, and East Imperial Old World Tonic. You could also order a bottle from the impressive wine list, that puts forward remarkable labels from mostly family-owned wineries around the world. Food pairings are available with the help of a sommelier.
Under charcoal-colored overhead lamps, the long rain tree wood counter sits 18. This is not the place for group gatherings, unless you secure the chef’s table for 6 at the far end of the room. So make sure you book a long time in advance, as 2019’s accolades now make it even harder to snag a spot near the action.
The Tippling Club is a must-visit for anyone who loves to experiment. This Singapore restaurant-bar is a place for hipsters, visitors and knowledgeable locals who want to sample one of the city’s most celebrated cocktail-food combinations. Spanning three shophouse units, Tippling Club is divided into a bar, a dining room and an upstairs private dining area. Step into the bar and you’re surrounded a sleek yet quirky atmosphere, with lime-green touches and hanging colorful bottles. With Andy Loudon heading the bar, you’re in for a treat with their current menu inspired by the legendary French chef, Auguste Escoffier. Try the Melba Toast, a delicious blend of Sourdough milk, Barley, Amaro and Rum, which is based off the signature created by Escoffier for Australian opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, and tastes like breakfast in a glass. It comes served with an actual piece of Melba Toast topped with caviar.
At Tippling Club, dinner steals the show. Pairing award-winning cuisine with world class cocktails, the tasting menu pushes the boundaries of ingredients and textures to create a dinner experience that’s ever-evolving. An absolute foodie must-try.
World-renowned cocktail bar 28 Hongkong Street is certainly not undiscovered, but may take a little finding. Without any fuss or fanfare, the unremarkable exterior of an old shophouse hides one of the coolest bars in the world. Once inside, this discreet speakeasy bar is shiny and sleek, with mellow lighting and invitingly secluded booths. There’s a relaxed American, urban chic ambience with cocktails whose focus is on high quality, independent craft spirits.
Now eight years old, this pioneering cocktail institution shows no visible signs of slowing down. One could find high energy jubilation on any given night. In this refreshingly unpretentious room the music is expertly curated and creates a tasteful, avant garde, b-side hip hop vibe. The mouthwatering food menu offers up yummy, nostalgic American bar fare; think Kansas City BBQ rib sliders, or Nashville hot chicken with smoked jalapeño cornbread.
Titillating concoctions are served up by award-winning bartenders Ronan Keilthy & Lukas Kaufmann. Try the Lovers On The Sun, a delicate blend of strawberry infused reposado tequila, fino sherry & black pepper tincture. This cocktail is sophisticated, simple and highly likely to make a lover out of you; as do most things in this wonderful venue. This bar is not one to skip and reservations are recommended.
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore’s lobby bar Chihuly Lounge is the place to come for a chilled after work drink that will slowly take you into the evening, when you can enjoy live music performances on most days. The hotel lounge bar is bathed in natural light, with a monumental mother-of-pearl ceiling and stunning blown-glass sculptures, by famous American artist Dale Chihuly, that glisten in the sun and light up come nightfall. Comfortable armchairs, plush sofas and warm earthy tones complete the calm, relaxed atmosphere.
The stars of the show are the award-winning coffee cocktails. Coffee beans from Ethiopia, Myanmar, Colombia and Tanzania are used to craft cocktails with a caffeinated kick that will leave you energized and happily buzzed – the Espresso Martiki, Cold Brew Highball and Coffee Spritz are classic must-haves. We also love the creative inventions on the signature cocktails menu. Our favorite is End Of The Day, made with Monkey 47 gin, green Chartreuse, homemade pineapple and lemongrass syrup, and fresh lime juice.
Chihuly Lounge is also where you’ll find one of Singapore’s most famous Afternoon Teas. We highly recommend that you come earlier in the day to check out their lavish spreads of seamlessly fused Asian and Western delicacies and tea time classics.
Junior The Pocket Bar just moved from a 10 seat location to a larger 25-seater located in the hip Ann Siang Hill area, to the delight of every cocktail lover in town. Hidden behind Maxi Coffee Bar and accessible through a side door, this aptly named pocket-sized bar is best enjoyed on a date. The great music, awesome team and cozy atmosphere all come together to create a unique and intimate vibe that favors long conversations. To keep guests on their toes, the concept and menu change every 6 months. So far, patrons have been able to enjoy New Orleans flair, a tiki and a mezcal-oriented bar, a 70s après-ski chalet theme, and now Washi, a Japanese-inspired concept reminiscent of the 1980s Bubble Era Tokyo.
Surprising and unique, the expertly crafted, origami-inspired cocktail menu will make you want to sample a bit of everything. Trust your friendly bartenders’ advice and opt for the signature Dragonfly, an delicate mix of Lillet Blanc, orange yuzu, brown butter, and Junmai sake, or the Grasshopper, a Monkey 47 Gin, matcha, green apple, Fino sherry, and lemon flavor-packed cocktail. Looking for something a little sweeter? Enjoy the Unicorn, a fun and delicious mix of Monkey 47 Gin, cognac, clarified Hokkaido milk, strawberry, and Earl Grey. Thanks to its new and bigger location, the food menu has expanded as well, featuring swoon-worthy bites such as a yummy roast pumpkin hummus and their famous French dip Banh Mi.