The Elephant Room brings the flavour of Little India to Keong Saik Road.
One of our favourite hip neighbourhoods has to be Keong Saik. Afterall, it’s home to the whimsical Potato Head, New York-chic Pasta Bar, Ernest Hemingway-inspired Old Man and many more. There is always something new or cool to check out in this ‘hood and this month, we walked into The Elephant Room.
Tucked away on the second floor, right atop one Michelin-starred Burnt Ends, The Elephant Room joins the long list of bars in the vicinity. The brainchild of owner-bartender Yugnes Susela of Smoke and Mirrors fame, this bar pays homage to the culturally-rich country of India.
Picking up subtle nuances of the Indian culture what with its vermillion-coloured walls, lattice or jaali-patterned surfaces, traditional sarong or lungi-embroidered coasters and almost-psychedelic tunes by Indian diasporas playing in the ground. We asked and it turns out, The Elephant Room’s muse is a little close to home – Little India.
Culture in a cocktail glass
Little India’s influence can also be noticed in its seven-drink menu like the refreshing Buffalo Road, an Indian take on the classic G&T, featuring housemade pink guava gin and vetiver. Then there’s Tekka, spiked with rum and topped with a deep-fried banana skin with blobs of lime cream and specks of chicken65 powder. If you find yourself reaching for unique cocktails, chances are Beeda Man will hit the spot. It’s a mix of sour mango rum and caraway, and it comes with a sweet sugar glass garnish made to resemble paan (an Indian after-dinner mouth refresher).
Oh and there’s Jothi’s Flower Shop, named after an establishment that needs no introduction to those who frequent Little India.Yugnes manages to capture the essence of this iconic flower shop in a glass. The namesake cocktail is a sweet concoction of jasmine gin, lime, honey and davanam.
All the cocktails are priced at $22+.
Desi bar bites that are not limited to chaat
Their bar snacks are equally stellar. We started with Desker Road, a plate of pani puri (crispy Indian street snack) filled with avial (a South Indian vegetable dish) and coconut moringa crumble. We’d suggest you to just pop the entire crunchy piece in your mouth to experience an explosion of flavours.
Oh, the Tamarind Curry Prawns was a table favourite. The grilled tiger prawns (sourced from Tekka Market, of course) were juicy and, for lack of a better word, delish. Flatbread will be served with this dish, so don’t forget to mop up the luscious sauce.
Butcher’s Lamb Broth is an ode to the popular mutton soup in Tekka Market. Instead of the questionable goat parts, you’ll get a bowl of artfully plated spiced lamb shoulder reminiscent of flat iron steak, atop a pool of almost kambing soup-like sauce.
The Elephant Room, 20A Teck Lim Road, Singapore 088391