4 brand new bars opening in Singapore that offer great food


By: A. Kritaya

Madame Fan Bar

This plush 40-seat bar adjacent to fine dining Cantonese restaurant Madame Fan offers an innovative craft cocktail experience. Only fresh produce and house-made ingredients are used for the concoctions, as well as hand-crafted edible garnishes and creative infusions. Award-winning head mixologist Davide Boncimono explains, “We don’t search for a sherbet, we find the best strawberries and cherry tomatoes and then make them into a sherbet from scratch. We make our own liqueurs which add flavour, depth and complexity in specific flavours or infusions.”

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Madame Fan (Not) Classic PBJ. (PHOTO: Madame Fan)

The bar menu features 13 cocktails with an Asian twist – and all are considered “good enough to eat”. For a taste of the tropics, go for the Velveteen, composed of Plantation Pineapple Rum with salted coconut infusion, paired with house-made gula melaka ice cream and coconut wafer. (Not) Classic PBJ is reminiscent of the ‘peanut butter jelly’ snack – with a quirky combo of savoury flavours from peanut butter fat-washed Glenfiddich whisky and sweetness from caramelised kumquat liqueur. The drink is playfully garnished with smoked chocolate-coated macadamia nuts and chilli puree. If hunger pangs strike, head over to the restaurant for refined Chinese food.

Opens: 12pm to 11pm, daily

The NCO Club, 32 Beach Road, Singapore 189764

Tel: +65 6818 1921

For more info, log on to their website.

Idlewild

This newly revamped space at InterContinental Singapore is inspired by the glory days of air travel. Idlewild, named after the original John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, offers craft cocktails and live music in a a sophisticated retro-luxe setting. Check out the intimate booths for a little more privacy. You can expect an eclectic mix of music from the late 1940s to 1960s  – from funk and soul to big band swing sounds and blues.

Berbere Smash drink inspired by Casablanca (PHOTO: Idlewild)

The cocktails are inspired by 10 cities along the popular Transatlantic Route – Dublin, Rome, Lima, Lisbon, New York, Casablanca, London, Paris, Mexico City and Havana. Priced from S$20, the 20 signature cocktails are crafted using a variety of artisanal spirits sourced from small batch distilleries in each location, plus rare vintages. Take for instance, Passage to Havana, comprises a unique mixture of house Cuban rum, Amontillado, Pedro Ximénez sherries and herbaceous Foro Amaro, spiked with a touch of tobacco tincture. If you prefer a rich concoction, go for the Dublin-inspired Caife. Cold drip coffee is fused with Irish Whisky, Guinness reduction and cider concentrate and served hot with a dollop of ‘Irish’ cream. Each “location” is also represented with a tapas-style bar snack (from S$15) including duck rillette and avocado fries. The bar carries 250 craft spirits and liqueurs – and over 50 rare and exotic bottles from all over the world.

Opens: Tuesday to Thursday, Sunday 5pm to 1am; Friday, Saturday 5pm to 2am. (Catch live music on Wednesday and Thursday 8.30pm to 11.30pm, Friday and Saturday 9.30pm to 12.45am)

80 Middle Road, Lobby Level, InterContinental Singapore, Singapore 188966

Tel: +65 6825 1045

For more info, log on to their website.

Bar Intermezzo

Orchard Hotel’s revamped Bar Intermezzo is decked out in a fresh new décor that depicts Orchard Road’s tropical, botanical and agricultural provenance. Grab a table and order signature craft cocktails such as Coconut (S$24), made with honey and coconut, and a touch of aromatic bitters, melded with coconut fat washed Plantation Original Dark Rum and Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac. If you prefer a gin-based concoction, try Pepper (S$24) featuring the botanical-based Californian gin St. George Botanivore layered with Green Chartreuse, and livened up with pink peppercorn syrup, fresh capsicum, cucumber and lemon. For a local touch, there’s the Pandan (S$24), where pandan-infused Tried & True Vodka is fused with citrus cordial and East Imperial Mombasa Ginger Beer.

Bar snacks with drinks. (PHOTO: Bar Intermezzo)

Complementing the cocktails are bar snacks spiked with punchy local flavours. Bite into the chicken drumlets with mala dip (S$12), and satay (S$16) – marinated chicken, beef or mutton skewers char-grilled over an open flame and served with spicy peanut sauce. Or munch on deep-fried samosas with mint yoghurt (S$16), and grilled stingray fins with black pepper sauce (S$18) .

Opens: 10am to 1am (The resident live band plays from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 7pm)

Orchard Hotel, 442 Orchard Road Singapore, 238879 Singapore

Tel: +65 6739 6668

For more info, log on to their website.

BeGin

Hankering for post-work drinks in the CBD? Seek out beGIN, a new bar nestled just above The Penny Black, Singapore’s oldest traditional English Pub. Grab a high stool and browse the collection of over 50 gins from different countries. As you wait for your drinks, munch on crispy papadam with cool onion raita.

If you like, take a walk through history and discover the roots of gin, with the Gin Flight – a tasting of four types of gin (priced at S$28). Beyond gin-based drinks, go for something with a little theatrical touch such as Koko (S$23) – a cocoa-infused rum garnished with a dehydrated orange cup that sparks a little fire when it catches on the absinthe.

Crab bomb-a. (PHOTO: beGin)

If you’re feeling peckish, order a bunch of contemporary British-Indian small plates to pair with your craft cocktails. Sink your teeth into the crab bomb-a (S$13) – a unique take on the Indian street food pani puri. Here, light round hollow crisps are stuffed with Indian crab curry flavoured with in-house spice mix. Or spice up your palate with the samboo-sa pasties (S$11) comprising chicken marinated in a tandoori masala spice mix, and encased in a fluffy crisp choux pastry that’s fried till golden. Those who like the rich flavour of Northern Indian butter chicken should go for the nacho del goa (S$15). Sitting on a nacho-shaped papadum is lightly grilled prawn coated with buttery sauce, and perked up with a salad of red onions, tomatoes and onion yoghurt.

Opens: Mondays to Thursday 5pm – 1am, Friday and Saturday 5pm – 2am

27a Boat Quay, The Penny Black Upstairs, Singapore 049817

Tel: +65 6538 0584

www.begin.com.sg



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