4 cocktail bars with unique food offerings for your next night out
Relaxing with a cocktail or two sounds like the perfect way to wind down after a long, arduous day. However, this difficult decision remains: dinner with drinks or dinner and drinks after? Furthermore, there is also the 10.30 pm cut-off time to worry about.
Amidst the influx of new bar openings, a greater emphasis on food has emerged. Nowadays, bars and lounges are offering not just bar bites, but substantial full-course meals. Gone are the days of simple cheese platters and truffle fries. In its place are conceptualised menus and collaborations with established players in the local food scene. Bars are practically evolving into restaurants, which proves that the food is just as important as the drinks.
Here are some bars with exciting food and drink menus you may want to consider for your wining and dining pleasure.
Rails Bar & Lounge
Got an eye for the vintage aesthetic? Steampunk-themed Rails Bar & Lounge, inspired by the iconic Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and Jinrikisha Station, is the place to be.
This eccentric Tanjong Pagar enclave boasts an array of adventurous cocktails, like the Jinrikisha Spritzer ($18), a gin spritzer jazzed up with house-made honey fermented lemon, preserved lime peel, and coconut water. Those with a more acquired taste should attempt the Murder On The Orient Express ($25), an intriguing concoction of absinthe, coffee liqueur, pear, pineapple juice, and fresh orange juice shaken with activated charcoal.
Cut through all that alcohol with indulgent eats from Chix Hot Chicken. Think ‘Dirty Taters’ ($10.90), Fried Chicken Bacon ($8.90), and Nashville hot chicken sandwiches, alongside plenty of meat-free Quorn-based options.
Located in Telok Ayer, restaurant and bar concept Laut celebrates the rich diversity of Southeast Asian culture and produce. The menu showcases simple ingredients that are often overlooked, with an emphasis on fermentation and sustainability.
You may have seen their bottled cocktails circulating on social media during last year’s circuit breaker. The Soursop ($21) comprises gin, pandan, chocolate mint, soursop, cacao husk vinegar, and goji berries, while the Kumquat ($21) features a citrus element balanced out by the sweetness of Malaysian molasses, root tincture, and aged Vietnamese sweet potato.
Given that ‘laut’ is derived from the Malay word for ‘sea’, the menu is unsurprisingly seafood-centric. Choose from a range of elevated Southeast Asian comfort food, such as the Oyster Eggs ($11) which features steamed egg custard, and sea grapes on poached Ubin oysters, or the Otah ($37) which comes with a base of barramundi, mackerel, and squid.
Although there are plenty of Mediterranean restaurants in Singapore, liquor-loving pleasure seekers can now embark on a different kind of voyage with Levant, a Mediterranean-inspired rooftop bar overlooking Tanjong Pagar.
The meticulously curated cocktail menu is categorised into different destinations along the Mediterranean, highlighting lesser-known ingredients from the region. Sip on the spice-forward Sangaree Rose ($18), a blend of Cocchi Americano Rosa, cherry, Mirto, Szechuan pepper, cinnamon, and juniper. Alternatively, toast to Tel Aviv with the Crimson Bite ($18), a concoction of Greek sour cherry-infused vodka, orange liquor, Amalfi lemon, and cardamom bitters.
As for the food, take your pick from a fun selection of mezze plates ideal for sharing. Go for the crowd-pleasing Baked Cheese, Pomegranate Molasses, Pumpkin Seed Dukkah, Pita Bread ($22), or something more unconventional, like the Smoked Duck & Truffle Samosas, Mango Amba Sauce ($18)
Set of Six
Image: Set of Six
Inspired by author Joseph Conrad’s novel of the same name is Set of Six, a cocktail lounge that oozes colonial elegance and an 1870s tropical vibe.
Images: Set of Six
The cocktail menu takes the literary theme even further; each category features one of six short stories set in different countries. Immerse yourself in these tales of adventure and mystery with tipples like the Chica Morada ($25), a mix of pisco, cachaca, oloroso sherry, purple corn, citrus, egg white, and fizz, or The Mutiny ($25), a sour cocktail consisting of apricot, absinthe pineapple, citrus, aromatic bitters, and dark rum from Trinidad and Venezuela.
Images: Set of Six
Food-wise, you can expect to be taken on another trip around the world. The Risotto ($32) with asparagus, wild mushrooms, and semi-dried tomatoes is a nod to Italy while the Sea-bass Ceviche, sweet potato and popcorn with tiger’s milk ($32) takes influence from Peruvian cuisine.
Feature image by Levant