Delivering delicious grubs and tipples, these Indian-inspired bars are bringing the heat.
Singapore’s drinking scene is always changing, in a good way, of course. Look around and you’ll see something for everyone: local breweries for beer enthusiasts, themed bars for the quirky lot, rooftop bars for high-flyers. If you’ve been paying attention, you too might have sniffed out a lowkey trend. We’re talking about modern Indian-inspired pubs and bars that are borrowing Indian elements and embracing it in a unique away. From Indian-inflected cocktails to contemporary desi bar bites, this is going to be an interesting one!
Adding some spice to Keong Saik, Theva offers contemporary Indian food using a mix of Indian spices and cooking techniques. The creativity also extends to the bar, with concoctions featuring Asian spices such as chilli and ginger, typically used in Indian cooking. A perfect tipple would be the aromatic Ginger Desire.
Thevar, 9 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089117
The Elephant Room
Tucked away on the second floor (right above Burnt Ends), The Elephant Room (read our review) joins the long list of bars in Keong Saik. The bar picks up subtle nuances of the Indian culture – think vermillion-coloured walls, lattice or jaali-patterned surfaces and traditional sarong or lungi-embroidered coasters for decor. Interestingly, you’ll also hear almost-psychedelic tunes almost solely by Indian diasporas playing in the ground.
We were there for a first look and found out that the seven-drink menu takes inspiration from our very own Little India. Sip on innovative cocktails like the refreshing Buffalo Road, an Indian take on the classic G&T, featuring housemade pink guava gin and vetiver. 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). The bar snacks are equally stellar.
The Elephant Room, 20A Teck Lim Road, Singapore 088391
There really aren’t many serious Indian restaurants in Singapore with focused bar programmes. That’s where Flying Monkey distinguishes itself. The bar menu features Indian-inflected cocktails like an Old Fashioned with King’s Ginger, and jaggery syrup. For something more exotic, try The West Indian. This spicy, refreshing cocktail features a base of coconut water and Plantation 3 Stars White Rum, yellow chartreuse, fresh lemon juice, and ground cardamom.
Flying Monkey, 67 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199480
Hidden upstairs the English pub Penny Black on Boat Quay, BeGin will you will be transported to an industrial-esque space from Britain’s Industrial Revolution and the gin craze in the 1700s. The drinks menu is replete with British-Indian-inspired tipples, theatrical cocktails and over 50 gins from around the globe. House creations like the spice-heavy Jagmohan to the fragrant Lavender will take you on a multi-sensory ride. If you’re feeling peckish, Samboo-sa pasties (tandoori chicken masala curry puffs) and the Nacho Del Goa (prawns and papadum bites) pack a punch.
BeGin, 27A Boat Quay, The Penny Black Upstairs, Singapore 049817