There are no shortage of drinking spots in Singapore, but where do you go if you want something a little special?
Sometimes, the best part of going to work is the after-work drinks, amiright? Tell me I’m wrong. And whether you get your kicks at low-key dive bars or you prefer having a gourmet meal with your drinks, there is likely a bar (or two) that fits the bill. Go Away recently checked out several new nightspots, which we think you’ll love!
If you geek out on all things cocktails, check out … The Other Room
Tucked away in a corner of Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza, The Other Room is a discreet space that holds many enchantments. Why do I say that? For one, the amount of research and hard work that Master Bartender Dario Knox puts into each of his concoction is mind-blowing. Get this: all the spirits used here are rums and whiskies cask-finished by the man himself; you won’t find any commercial bottles at this bar. In preparation for this unique concept, Knox started cask finishing the spirits two years ago.
Some of the finishing methods Knox employs include barrel aging, which allows you to enjoy the smooth, sublime flavours of a single-blended rum or whisky; as well as double- or triple-wood aging; where the spirit absorbs different flavours from each barrel. Some of the rums have also been spice finished, lending your drink a richer, more complex flavour profile.
Each of the bespoke spirits at The Other Room is available as a shot between 40ml to 60ml (more generous than your usual shot glass), but for a truly otherworldly drinking experience, Knox recommends ordering a flight of the same spirit. From there, you get to fully savour the various finishings for a particular spirit and experience the nuanced differences in flavour. I tried two different finishings for the Tanqueray 10 gin — one with lime and mandarins, and the other with chamomile, green cardomom, and lemon — and was surprised to actually be able to pick out the distinct notes of each finishing. I particularly liked the one with chamomile. Another concoction I enjoyed was the Improved Whiskey Sour, which comes with a bourbon finished with black pepper, giving the drink a subtle but spicy kick.
If you’re a cocktail geek, you’ll be fascinated just listening to the enigmatic Knox talk about his methods and work processes, but as the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding (or cocktails, in this case). And at The Other Room, the cocktails more than deliver.
The Other Room is located at Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, 320 Orchard Road, and is open from 6pm till 3am.
If you’re all about the gin, check out … Cin Cin
Pronounced “chin chin”, Cin Cin is the sound of two glasses clinking. Aha, today you learn! Also located within a hotel, Cin Cin gives off a laid-back vibe with its high ceilings and aquamarine walls. Head bartender Fadly Sujebto is also super friendly and always ready for a chat; his affable demeanour will automatically put you at ease.
While there are many different types of spirits available at Cin Cin, they specialise in gin, with over 75 labels on the shelf (and more to be added soon). Here, you can opt for familiar favourites such as Hendrick’s and Bombay Sapphire as well as boutique gin like the Corsair Steampunk Gin and the Sipsmith VJOP, both of which I tried during a recent media tasting.
Before I sipped the Corsair Steampunk, Fadly warned me this isn’t a gin for everybody. He’s right. This pot-distilled American gin is made by distilling a mixture of traditional gin botanicals, smoked grain, and hops. On its own, it is an intense hit of smoky flavours, which may not suit some palates, but it’s definitely worth a shot (pun unintended). The other gin I tried, the Sipsmith VJOP (Very Junipery Over Proof) was a lot more palatable. It goes down smooth, and has a light, slightly floral fragrance. Perfect for lingering over good conversation, methinks.
Apart from a wide selection of signature cocktails (do try Operation Siam – pictured above, which is a tom yam-inspired concoction and very delicious), Cin Cin also has a decent food menu. The tomato soup is deceptively simple but packs a lot of punch. For something heartier, try the Char-Broiled Sliced Short Ribs, a delicious dish of sous-vide beef short ribs, or the Pulled Pork Sliders, which is Cuban braised pork served between fluffy brioche buns.
Happy Hour at Cin Cin takes place daily from 5pm to 8pm, where you’ll get to enjoy 1-for-1 offers on the Cin Cin martini, house-pour beers, and wines. On Fridays, a guest DJ will spin tunes from 9pm to 12am.
Cin Cin is located #01-02 Oasia Hotel Downtown, 100 Peck Seah Street, and is open from 5pm to 12 midnight from Sundays to Thursdays, and 5pm to 1am on Fridays, Saturdays, and eve of public holidays.
If you wanna P-A-R-T-Y, check out … VLV
Some nights, a quiet martini by the bar is just not gonna cut it. Some nights, you just want to cut loose and party like you’re 18 all over again. On those nights, check yourselves into the sprawling VLV. Spread out across two storeys at a historic building in Clarke Quay, this brand new nightspot includes a modern Chinese restaurant, a riverfront dining bar, a swanky club lounge, and an al fresco courtyard bar.
Spread out across 20, 000 square feet, there will be none of that jostling and shoving you get in other clubs (so maybe it’s not quite like when we were 18 – haha!) With unfettered access to a sprawling dance floor, talented DJs spinning the decks, and a world-class sound system, VLV is the place to jive the night away.
VLV is located at 3A Merchant’s Court, River Valley Road, #01-02. The Club Lounge is open from 6pm to 3am daily.