There may be an existing ranking of Asia’s best bars out there, but with the year coming to an end in just four months, we have no problem coming up with a list of our own, thanks to the consistent new bars cropping up every month. This August, new watering holes that have entered the scene include the Japanese-inspired Koma bar, and a soon-to-be favourite for wine enthusiasts.
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Clarke Quay’s oldest building has a new name, and it’s called The Riverhouse. Once home to Indochine and VLV, it’s home to Yin and Yang. The former is an alfresco bar and lounge, with views of the Singapore river. This is the perfect spot to wile hours away with a drink served neat, over a live band performance, or a screening of a sports match, with modern Chinese grub such as mala potstickers, Mongolian-style lamb skewers, and crispy Sichuan beef slices on the side.
Yang is its nightlife sister, and is touted as a major night club with big bangers and mash-ups for nights of revelry.
Yin, The Riverhouse, 3A River Valley Road, #01-02, Clarke Quay, Merchant’s Court, Singapore 179020
Sniff, swirl, and sip away at Grand Cru, Singapore’s first pick-and-drink destination at a five-star hotel. Located at The Fullerton Hotel, it offers a Wine Concierge service where trained sommeliers are able to help you pick the wine you like. The service also helps you source for one outside of the menu, which has the widest range of 100-pointer wines and critically-acclaimed wines. Expect big-name labels like Burgundian legend ‘Ramonet’, Beaujolais royalty ‘Jean-Louis Dutraive’ and revered Spanish brands ‘Vega Sicilia’ and ‘Bodegas Muga’.
At the extended, glass-ceilinged space called Grand Cru at South Courtyard (which is also a bar), you can also enjoy the same wines with a service fee, alongside signature dishes from The Fullerton Singapore’s culinary team.
Grand Cru, The Fullerton Singapore, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore 1 Fullerton Square #01-07 Singapore 049178
For when you need a respite from buzzy Marquee and Avenue, Koma’s here to the rescue. This is the fouth launch by Tao Group, and it’s a Japanese restaurant that is the final piece of the puzzle to the massive entertainment complex in Marina Bay Sands.
Walking through the 20m long entrance reminiscent of the torii gates of the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, you’ll find yourself greeted by the striking sight of a 2.5m-high Japanese bell with 20 different faces.
While the restaurant features sushi, robata and izakaya style dining, the bar and lounge is a quieter spot to enjoy an extensive selection of over 30 types of sake sourced from across Japan. Tipples here are inspired by Japan, with names like ‘Lake of Kyoto’, which combines plantation dark rum, Kodakara La France, pear puree and lemon, as well as ‘Bellini Kai’ that uses Yatagarasu peach.
Koma, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, #B1-67, Galleria Level
Like the original institution, the refreshed Writer’s Bar is an homage to the numerous famous authors that took residence in this colonial building over the years. Located at The Lobby of Raffles Hotel Singapore, the bar features a chandelier hanging handsomely from the ceiling, a solid brass bar counter, textured walls, and a menu of drinks that include premium champagne, wine, spirits and bespoke cocktails.
Writer’s Bar, Raffles Hotel Singapore, 1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673