Singapore even made it to the top of the list with the best bar in Asia, alongside other places that serve wine, cocktails, beer and Champagne
It’s official: Singapore is home to the best bar in Asia!
Just last month, we happily took pride in the fact that Singapore’s a breeding ground of top fine dining establishments – as revealed in The Diner Club Asia’s ’50 Best Restaurants In Asia’. And shortly after, our very own Bar Awards 2016 showed love to local bars. And now, aside from gourmet nibbles, Singapore is now basking in the spotlight of Drink International’s debut round-up of ‘Asia’s 50 Best Bars’, as selected by a panel of the region’s top bar experts. Competition was tough given the quality of contestants from countries like Taipei and Bangkok, but Singapore didn’t do too shabby; in fact, we have a whoppin’ nine placements on the list, including the coveted top spot. So the next time you wanna get tipsy with a bespoke cocktail or glass of wine in Singapore, here are the waterholes you should strike off your boozy checklist.
No. 1 – 28 HongKong Street (congrats!)
The talented folks behind this award-winning speakeasy certainly know how to craft fine cocktails. Original signatures include Whore’s Bath (a heady concoction with Manuka honey vodka, umeshu plum wine, and pear liquor), and an excellent Negroni. Save some room for their stellar bar bites; the truffle mac and cheese balls are worth all the calories.
28 HongKong Street, 28 HongKong Street, p. (65) 6533 2001
No. 5 – Manhattan Bar
Regent Hotel’s swanky 89-seater bespoke cocktail spot offers up a slice of 19th-century New York. American mixologist Ricky Paiva helms the bar, as well as the world’s first in-hotel rickhouse – a workshop featuring over 100 American oak barrels for experimentation. Manhattan also has a collection of unusual ingredients like wildcherry bark and shisandra berries.
Manhattan Bar, Level 2 Regent Hotel, 2nd floor, 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249715, p. (65) 6725 3377
No. 7 – Operation Dagger
Situated in the basement of an unassuming shophouse (look out for the glass door stamped with a curious rectangle and upside-down crown motif to enter), this cubbyhole of a speakeasy offers a tightly curated menu of interesting concoctions, like The Egg, made with salted egg yolk liqueur, and the omakase, which comes with six different cocktails and some bar snacks.
Operation Dagger, #B1-01, 7 Ann Siang Hill, p. (65) 9296 4704
No. 8 – Jigger & Pony
Let’s not kid ourselves, afterwork cocktails are a must. The bartenders at Jigger & Pony pride themselves on their skills, the service is attentive, and the menu isn’t our of the ordinary, but it is pretty extensive. If you know your classic cocktails and appreciate a good old-fashioned, head here. Not to mention, from 6pm to 8pm, Jigger and Pony offers six of their lip-smacking concoctions for their Happy Hour – Elderflower Spritz, Flamingo, Savoy Cooler, Felix Potion, Uncle Pepe, and the Old Fashioned – for only $14.
Jigger & Pony, 101 Amoy Street, Singapore 069921. p. 6223 9101.
No. 12 – Tippling Club
If you’re craving a dose of NYC, the ambience in the restaurant will cater superbly – the interior is chic, crisp and totally Tribeca, downtown Manhattan.The bar is helmed by head bartender Joe Schofield, so kick off the night with some of his world-class cocktails. Btw, our very own Bar Awards even crowned this joint the ‘Best Restaurant Bar’.
Tippling Club, 38 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088641, p. 6475 2217.
No. 13 – D.Bespoke
Have your drink exactly the way you like it at this bespoke cocktail bar, opened by owner-head bartender Daiki Kanetaka. He has bagged the Esquire Magazine (China) award for best bartender of the year three years in a row, so you can keep your hopes (and expectations) high. Prices start at $27 for a mix of your choice, and you can pair your drinks with items like a cold cut platter of iberico and salami or a cheese platter. Selection changes daily.
D.Bespoke, 2 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089816, p. 8141 5741.
No. 22 – Gibson
While the gold-accented interior may insinuate upmarket, Gibson is far from a formal, stuffy bar experience. Gibson also prides itself on its wide selection of potent tipples in its drinks menu, pleasing even the most discerning drinker. Cocktails aside, you’ll also have to enjoy its modest selection of raw seafood dishes like the scallop crudo! Read our review on Gibson to find out more.
Gibson Bar, Level 2, 20 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089832, p. 9114 8385. Open Mon-Sat, 5pm – 12am, closed on Sun.
No. 43 – Anti:Dote
As with all Anti:dote’s recipes, the cocktails are handcrafted with premium spirits and market-fresh ingredients, including housemade bitters, liqueurs, and flavoured sodas, as well as herbs and flowers from the bar’s very own garden. There’s a story behind every drink, which is inspired by the people that bartender Tom Hogan has met. The mad scientist-bartender’s something of a riot behind the counter; just get him to spill the beans!
Anti:dote, Level 1 Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189560, p. 6431 5315.
No. 48 – Sugarhall
Boasting close to 110 types of cane spirits, this is the place to go for your rum fix on the island. Opened by the good folks from Jigger & Pony (which is just next door), the bar has cleverly categorised the rum-based cocktails into three sections – tropical cocktails, clear spirits and dark spirits.
Sugarhall, 102 Amoy Street, Singapore 069922, p. (65) 6222 9102
For the full list of winners in Asia, visit this website.