Local icon The NCO Club is back, and it’s one spectacular space
The NCO Club first opened its doors back in 1952, and has been on a little hiatus until its rebirth in April this year. On our first visit, the gent who dropped us off shared his surprise – and with more than a hint of nostalgia – told us he was glad to be bringing people here again. Now part of Singapore’s arts and culture district in the slick South Beach precinct, The NCO Club is certainly back: and it’s beautiful. We’ll give you a gorgeous glimpse until you can swing by yourself. Until then, we’re going to walk you through a perfect night of craft cocktails, a polished Cantonese dinner and smooth live music at two of The NCO Club’s evocative spaces: Madame Fan restaurant and Cool Cats cocktail bar and live music venue. You’re going to be in for a treat…
We love a place with a story
No lie: we swoon over heritage spaces, and it’s no wonder people are getting a little emotional about this place reopening. First known as the prestigious NAAFI Britannia Club, the building itself, with its post-war Modernist architecture, is a standout on Beach Road and has been conserved as a national treasure. (Psst: look out for the mosaic and terracotta tiling, which are original features!) The NCO Club is now home to four unique concepts: Champagne and oyster bar Fish Pool, wine bar Stags’ Room, Madame Fan and Cool Cats. With the unadulterated old-school glamour of Madame Fan and moody vibes of Cool Cats, The NCO Club is really pressing all of our buttons.
Start by paying a visit to Madame Fan
Imagine you’ve been invited to the private bar and dining room of a woman of means and impeccable taste, and here you are at Madame Fan. From the striking black-and-white tiles, lush velvet chairs, glossy black lacquer and the inviting curves of all those lounges, this is one spectacular, art-deco influenced space. You can imagine the mythical Madame Fan herself offering you an aperitif before settling in at the dining room for a feast.
Renowned restaurateur Alan Yau (who brought elevated Cantonese cuisine to the world’s attention with London’s Hakkasan) and Chef Mike Tan are behind the menu here. Madame Fan’s offering is authentic Cantonese with a twist: there’s delicate dim sum, and standout signature dishes include the handcut Taiwan noodle with wind-dried pork and la la clams (a play on tagliatelle vongole), the drunken crab rice noodle with 20-year-old Gu Yue Long Shan rice wine, and the incredibly comforting double-boiled four treasure soup, served in a young coconut. And the night has just begun…
A little live entertainment and cocktails at Cool Cats
After dessert, slide over to Cool Cats. An intimate space that’s strong on craft cocktails, this is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. It’s also one of the smoothest live music venues in Singapore: the likes of Sulene Fleming, lead singer of The Brand New Heavies, and Aussie jazz legend James Morrison have already hit the Cool Cats stage, along with a long lineup of talents. French-Caribbean singer Tricia Evy will be performing from 10 to 13 October – save the date.
So kick back and listen to live jazz, vocalists and instrumentalists over a round or two of tipples. Negroni lover? We feel you, and the Mezcal Negroni here is a knockout. Gin your thing? We fell for the White Lady, with Citadelle Original Gin, lemon juice, Crawleys Orgeat and egg white. What a way to enjoy a night cap.
This post is sponsored by The NCO Club