We’re well into the first quarter of the year, and, with so much going on in the world, chances are you need a stiff drink and a great meal to go along with it. Thankfully, this month’s new arrivals in the drink scene offer the best of both, with cocktail bars and watering holes putting out stellar menus and tipples.
21Moonstone has dropped the number in its name — it’s now solely known as Moonstone. Once a hipster hangout atop the industrial Poh Leng Building, it has moved to Amoy Street but retains it tongue-in-cheek attitude. Its new reincarnation continues its tipple tradition of Asian influences — like the sweet vermouth and American lager infused Liang Teh — alongside curiously named cocktails such as A Singer in a Smokey Room and Queen’s Park Swizzle. The food is on par with the drinks here, with crowd favourites like the Jakarta-style Bakmi & Nasi Tim Ayam, and Moonstone’s take on Indomie with a secret seasoning and onsen tamago.
Be gently lulled by the soft breeze and swaying palm trees of the alfresco Raffles Courtyard, which serves refreshing cocktails suited for Singapore’s year-round summer weather. Swing by on a weekday evening for Happy Hour, where wines, house pours and more are available from 6pm to 9m daily. Cocktails here include the ubiquitous Rafflesian Singapore Sling, and the Raffles 1915 Gin Sling concocted with Cherry Sangue Morlacco and Bénédictine. Bar bites are kept locally-inspired, and ranges from chicken laksa spring rolls to Singapore chilli crab cake.
The pioneers of the mixology scene in Singapore have an all-new concept. Sling by Maison Ikkoku takes its name from the Singapore Sling as part of its mission to refine the classic tipple. Despite the thriving cocktail scene, founder Ethan Leslie Leong finds renditions of the drink largely stagnant. To counter this, he’s created five interpretations of it for today’s modern palate. As a complement to the Singapore signature, Leong has created Peranakan-style dishes. Think kuih pie tee, DIY popiah, kambing bakar (a charcoal grilled lamb) and kueh dadar served with young coconut foam. Located on the first floor of Maison Ikkoku, the bar’s walls are dotted with paintings much like an art gallery.
When it comes to Mediterranean food, the name Miss Fritz may just roll off your tongue. The contemporary, coastal-style space serves up classic plates of chorizo in red wine, grilled octopus and linguine with gintonicas and refreshing spritzes. But unknown to many, it’s also home to a secret speakeasy in its back room. Called Roxy, the bar is a trove of rum and agave spirits and is only accessible via a request to the staff.