We’re no connoisseurs when it comes to cocktails and champagne, but we can appreciate an interesting bar with good drinks. Here are some cool places to check out if you want to impress a date, have a girls’ night out, or just catch up with friends over a drink or two.
Address: 101 Amoy Street, Singapore 069921 | Tel: 6223 9101/9621 1074 | Opening Hours: 6pm – 1am (Mon to Thu), 6pm – 3am (Fri, Sat & Eve of PH)
If you’re wondering what a jigger or pony is, welcome to the club. After some Googling, we found that the terms basically refer to measurements of alcoholic drinks. Jigger and Pony is a classy bar that is as cool as its name sounds. While the menu is a tad difficult to navigate (the descriptions read more like ad copy than drink descriptions), the staff are more than happy to make recommendations based on your tastes and preferences. They also give you (free!) snacks – spicy kettle chips that are tasty but dangerously addictive.
Ambiance: The bar is elegant and has an old school feel to it. There are booths, bar seats and a big communal table available for seating. One of the bathrooms was out of order when we were there though, so there were puddles of water on the floor near the sink. Leaky bathrooms aside, the bar is a nice place to bring a date – the music isn’t too loud and the strong drinks will make you chatty enough to deflect any potential awkward silences.
Service: The staff were helpful and especially efficient in refilling our snack bowl. Thumbs up for that.
Price: Cocktails are about $20 – $25, but considering how strong they are, you’re probably getting your money’s worth. If you’re with a group of friends, consider ordering a punch bowl which serves about 5 – 6 people.
Address: 118 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 059292 | Tel: 6438 1836 | Opening Hours: 6pm – 12am (Mon to Thu), 6pm – 2am (Fri to Sat)
When we first got seated at a table and was told that there was no menu (“Just tell us what you like or don’t like, and the bartender will make you something,” the waitress said.) we felt a bit apprehensive about this place. Was this going to be one of those chi-chi places with fancy bespoke cocktails and snooty staff who sneer at our lack of knowledge about drinks? (What is beefeater anyway, and why does it have such a funny name?) The cocktails were indeed bespoke but thankfully, the staff weren’t pretentious at all. On the contrary, they were most welcoming and the owner even came by to chat for awhile.
Ambiance: Laid back and fairly casual. A good place for after work drinks or a casual night out with friends. The place is a bit hard to find though – the sign at the door reads ‘Shoebox Canteen’, which is the name of their restaurant that operates for lunch and dinner. We were also pleased to find that the bathrooms were relatively clean, spacious and dry. Because who likes stepping in a puddle of mystery water?
Service: Top notch service, if you ask us. The staff were friendly, accommodating and not at all pretentious.
Price: Drinks range from about $17 – $25, which seems fair enough considering you get a cocktail catered to your tastes. If we dare say, our raspberry cocktail was one of the best we’ve tried – sweet, light and a little tangy.
3. The Library
Address: 47 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089153 | Tel: 6221 8338 | Opening Hours: 6pm – 1.30am (Mon to Sat)
When we first heard that we needed a password to get into this bar, we felt a bit uncool. How does one get this mystery password, we wondered. Do only the cool kids get it? Thankfully though, the password is readily available to you if you dine at the bar’s sister restaurant Keong Saik Snacks next door. We asked the waiter for the password and he furtively wrote it on the corner of our bill. If you’re not keen on having dinner before drinks, you can check their Facebook or Twitter pages for the weekly password which changes every Monday. As the name suggests, the entrance of the bar is modeled to look like a library. We felt a little silly when we entered the library and the lady at the counter kind of pretended to be…well, a librarian. After a moment of awkward silence and staring, we told her the password and she led us through mirrored doors into the actual bar. If you’re in the mood for a giggle or two, try pranking your friends by giving them the wrong password (which we did, and got a “Good one guys!” from the librarian).
Ambiance: The bar itself is fairly small, but they opened up the Keong Saik Snacks dining area for bar patrons after the restaurant had closed for dinner. It seems that there was only one bathroom there, so be prepared to hold your pee or dash to one of the hotels across the street.
Service: The waitress was prompt in showing us to a table once one opened up, so we were thankful that we didn’t have to stand at the bar all night. We also loved how the waiters and waitresses were cleverly dressed like librarians.
Drinks: About $25 – $30 for a drink. The cocktails weren’t exceptionally spectacular for us, but they were very well presented. We squealed at the Shrub-a-Dub-Dub punch bowl that was served in a cute bathtub, complete with tiny rubber ducky floating atop. The bar snacks are pretty good too, especially the gourmet popcorn.
Address: Forum The Shopping Mall (Access through Uma Uma Ramen), 583 Orchard Road, Singapore 238884 | Tel: 6235 1088 | Opening Hours: 6pm – 12am (Mon to Thu), 6pm – 1am (Fri & Sat)
A bar which serves ramen and tasty drinks? Calories? What calories? Although Horse’s Mouth is located at the basement of Forum Shopping Mall, you enter the bar through Uma Uma Ramen on the first level. Be sure to make a reservation before heading down though, because the bar itself is quite small, with just a few round tables and limited bar seating. Besides the regular cocktail menu (which is refreshingly simple to read – just simple descriptions so you know what’s going in your drink), you can also request for the bartender to make a cocktail for you.
Ambiance: Although the bar is small, we liked that it was cozy and quiet enough to have a conversation without shouting. The entrance is a bit difficult to find though, especially if you’re heading down after 10pm when Uma Uma Ramen has closed. Don’t be deterred by the ‘Closed’ sign hanging on the door though, and make your way through the stairway that leads to the bar downstairs.
Service: The staff were friendly and accommodating, and even asked if we’d like the bartender to make us a drink when we couldn’t decide what to get from the menu.
Drinks: We had a fruity cocktail which was a bit icy, but still refreshing as it had bits of strawberry and kiwi mixed in. Cocktails are around $20 – $25. They also serve food from Uma Uma Ramen upstairs, so feel free to order a bowl if you’re drinking on an empty stomach.