Weeks later, we’re still riding high from Singapore’s big wins at the recent Asia’s 50 Best Bars. While Singapore may have been dethroned from first place this year, and claimed only the second spot, there’s still no denying that our Little Red Dot is a thriving cocktail capital of the region. This month’s selection features three new bars and two exciting new launches for the bars that made it to the list.
For jazz aficionados, Maduro is an absolute must-visit. The listening lounge and bar in Dempsey was founded by the mysteriously named Mr P, a popular classically-trained pianist in the 1980s, who went on to become one of London’s top real estate brokers.
The listening lounge and bar’s raison dêtre of preserving the virtuosity of the classics hinges on two pillars of music and libations. On the drinks menu, you’ll find a range of fine Scottish malts, and rare bottlings, vintage wines from some of the world’s oldest winemakers and historic cocktails featuring amari and aperitivi.
Once you’ve your drink sorted, settle in for a finger-snapping, feet-tapping time. The bar hosts two regular live music nights, with the first of its Tiara Friday Club sessions — an homage to Shangri-La’s iconic bar in the ’80s — and 1819 Tuesdays, which spotlights the next generation of musicians.
Le Noir opens its second location, this time at the prime spot of Marina Bay Sands’ river-facing promenade. To complement its all-day menu of crowd favourites such as steak tartare, pizza, and Italian classics, the drinks selection features an array of premiums wines, champagnes, continental lagers, classic tipples and Le Noir specials. For the adventurous, sip on the Tom Yum martini, which is available in three levels of tastebud-tingling spiciness.
At long last, Avenue is finally open. An alternative to crowded lounges and busy club, the speakeasy located on the ground floor of mammoth nightlife complex Marquee features an immersive ambience for its high-profile clientele.
Modelled after upscale residences around the room, Avenue feels like a luxuriously kitted out penthouse of the well-heeled. Plush custom banquets amid wood panelling with gold metal mesh accents and glass pendants lend the space a distinctly elegant atmosphere. The lounge features three sections: A private area with two mini bowling alley lanes (the first for a local speakeasy), a main space with assorted seating for both small and large group gatherings, and a gaming room with a pool table and vintage arcade pinball and skee ball machines that lead into a private bar.
Drinks wise, the bar’s menu features a mix of American cocktails with an Asian spin such as gula melaka in the bar’s take on the Singapore Sling.
Singapore’s best bar was the first of its kind to offer a cocktail brunch. Now, five years into its initiative, it’s shaking things up by featuring more Asian elements and more live stations.
Its popular DIY Bloody Mary station is now joined by a DIY Gin & Tonic station, which features spirits sourced from Asia. Select your garnishes from the whisky room; the variety ranges from the normal (dried citrus) to the bizarre (bak kwa).
Leave some room in your stomach for a stopover at the DIY boozy milkshakes station that lets you choose from a whisky or rum base, before you select your own flavourings and toppings.
Smoke & Mirrors’ new mixology chief, Jorge Conde has plenty of magic up his sleeve, and it takes form in his new cocktail programme called Illusion of Flavours. Combining art, chemistry and artistry, the menu features tipples with a sensorial surprise in each. The herbaceous Dali’s Self Portrait features bacon fat, and artichoke with a blend of malts, and herbal wine. The bar also has a savoury and umami section. A notable cocktail is The Farm is Burnt, which is a smoky reinvention on the Bloody Mary with radish brine, celery, spices, and chipotle.