New bars that opened in Singapore in April 2019
The bars that opened this month is a curious mix of watering holes. Those with an adventurous streak will love the hidden secret society-style speakeasy that serves bizarre bar bites, while true cocktail connoisseurs will find themselves right at home in a bar that combines science and molecular gastronomy in the serving of its drink. Whatever your fancy, there’s a tipple for everyone.
Norman Hartono, creative director of Ebb and Flow Group, as well as the brainchild behind The Dragon Chamber describes the bar as a place for “people who are looking for an adventure around every corner.” And the adventure starts even before you step foot into the premise — entering the bar requires a walk through a fridge in a kopitiam.
There’s more. As you make your way through dimly lit space, you’re reminded of an underground Chinese gambling den or a secret society hangout. The seats by the walls are covered in Chinese artwork, both traditional and contemporary. On the menu you’ll find what the bar-slash-restaurant deem “global Chinese cuisine.”
Presented communal-style, dishes are a mix of the weird and wonderful. Think whole lobsters fried in cloves of garlic, sliced chilli and Sichuan peppercorn, as well as fried chicken and maple fritters served with a side of crispy youtiao. But what steals the show here are the dishes that feature crocodile meat, including the Dragon Claw, a braised Singapore-farmed crocodile soused in braised herbal sauce and perched on a bed of kale here, as well as the controversial D*** Soup, that’s essentially crocodile penis in a chicken-and pork-based double-boiled soup.
Naturally, dishes so unusual need to be washed down with tasty tipples. Cocktails here spotlight local flavours, traditional ingredients and syrups as well as liqueurs made in-house. Sip on Crazy for Coconuts, which is a clever concoction that combines rich Irish whisky, coconut cold brew coffee made with a coffee sock, pandan tincture and dark sugar. Otherwise, have a taste of the Mojito Twist — the twist being the inclusion of a Chinese five spice syrup.
b Bar’s Resident bar manager Anton Gornev treats drink-making as a science, and employs gastronomical techniques in his concoctions. Drinks are served with a side of theatrics here — Gornev uses techniques such as fat-washing, sous vide infusion, milk clarification, and equipment such as a bee smoker for these special creations.
The menu ascends in Alcohol By Volume (ABV). Start the evening with light and refreshing tipples — these include an almost-savoury cocktail that combines bitter IPA beer cordial, with the distinct flavour of sweet aroma of fat-washed with truffle oil. Moving up the scale are the medium ABV drinks. With Milky Whey, milk proteins are separated, creating curds that clarify the bourbon, cola cordial and fresh lime juice concoction.
To end the night on the punchiest note are the high ABV drinks. Rhubino gives the classic Negroni a twist with notes of rhubarb, while Bienvenido puts a tropical spin on the Old Fashioned with its pineapple cordial that’s infused with rye whiskey, aged rum and coffee liquer.
Contrary to what you might think, Heart of Darkness has nothing to do with Joseph Conrad’s novel. Catered to serious beer drinkers, CEO John Pemberton first discovered the magic of good ale when he was studying in Edinburgh. The years presented a long journey of ups and downs, career switches and moves across countries. Through it all, one thing remained the same: Pemberton’s obsession with brewing beer. One thing led to another, and before he knew it, Heart of Darkness — a craft brewery — was born in Saigon.
Its Singapore arm is as communal-style and casual as you’d expect. There are 20 taps on-site with 10 flagships, and 10 rotator taps. These also feature hops, malt, yeast and water profiles.
By the next month, the ground level of hot new party complex Marquee will be occupied by speakeasy lounge Avenue. Think of it as an intimate respite from the thumping electronic music-fuelled atmosphere of Marquee, with a distinct hip hop as well as rock ‘N’ roll music that’s backed by world class Funktion One speakers.
Avenue will also feature a robust craft cocktail menu, a mini bowling alley and an arcade with vintage pinball machines.
Shangri-La Group’s first foray outside the hotel market is set to launch at Jewel Changi Airport. Its trio of standalone food and beverage outlets feature three three distinctive Chinese cuisines: Cantonese, Huaiyang, and Sichuan.
Kick off your night with a sumptuous dinner at the restaurant that serves up a menu of authentic Chinese dishes. While you can book a private room for your friends and family, The Chef’s Table brings you close to all the action happening in the main kitchen.
Once you’re well-satiated, take a seat at Shang Social Bar. Within the 18-seater space, you’ll find unique cocktails fusing Eastern and Western flavours, and served with modern Chinese tapas.