Cover Photo: Live Twice/Facebook

Often described by friends as “cocktail curious”, the food and wine lover (and Tatler Dining Guide reviewer) recommends four watering holes serving dangerously delicious tipples

It is no secret that Singapore is a food-obsessed nation. Where else in the world would you encounter gourmands having a passionate debate about the best nasi lemak, chicken rice and roti prata in Singapore; which restaurants deserve to be included in the local edition of The Michelin Guide: and which bars serve the meanest Negroni and Old Fashioned?

They sure know their foods and drinks well, and being foodies ourselves, we encourage them to share what tickles their palates in our latest series, Foodie Finds. In the first instalment, we ask self-confessed food and drinks lover Nicola Lee to share her favourite cocktail bars on the island. 

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Live Twice

Opened at the end of 2019, this zen hideaway at Bukit Pasoh (next to Humpback) is a mid-century modern Japanese bar that I head to when I want quiet time. It’s a great spot for me to unwind and work on my emails until the crowds arrive.  Helmed by the team behind Jigger & Pony, the bar team serves up mean brandy-based cocktails for me.  They source their own Cognacs, which are not easily found in Singapore, and always have a ready smile for their guests. Bar snacks include a great selection of sandos and the ever addictive stingray fin with citrus kosho. My favourite seat is the little discreet booth seat to the left of the entrance. Perfect for a tête-à-tête. Book here.

Live Twice, 18-20 Bukit Pasoh Road, S(089834), +65 9011 8304

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Junior the Pocket Bar

From its snug 10-seater off Tras Street to its current bigger digs at Ann Siang Hill, I remain a huge fan of Junior’s ever-changing concepts and menus that rotate every six months. Past themes have included a Tiki bar and Swiss Chalet. Right now, it’s 70s French Disco—think shimmery disco balls and all things silver! 
The bar pays as much attention to their drinks as their rotating themes. Junior the Pocket Bar’s fifth volume is titled ‘Washi’ and takes its cues from the bars of Golden Gai—a series of narrow alleyways and tiny drinking holes in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighbourhood is one of my favourite experiences. The Fox cocktail which consists of rye whiskey, umeshu, cherry brandy and Absinthe is super. This Disco season I enjoyed the Chrystantheme—a hedonistic mix of Cognac, dry Vermouth, herbal liqueur and Absinthe. There’s never a dull moment at this bar. Book here

Junior The Pocket Bar, 6 Ann Siang Hill, S(069787), +65 8121 1462

Corduroy Palace

Perhaps one of the newest on this list, Corduroy Palace lists itself as a wine hall and dining room. Perfect for a pre-dinner drink before hitting the restaurants in the Amoy Street area, this bar serves classic American cocktails and offers the delicious Clase Azul Ultra (the Repasado is available, too) Tequila by the shots. 
Walk through a mini pizza bar (run by the same owner) and be transported to a glamourous midtown Manhattan dining room. Naturally, Corduroy is the signature fabric used for the interiors. The bar is open from 12pm so if you need a drink early you know where to come. Sandwiches are served until 5pm and are highly recommended. For the non-cocktail drinkers, the wine list is also very attractive and is presented not in the form of a list but by a display. Book here

Corduroy Palace, 110 Amoy Street, Gemmill Lane, S(069930), + 65 9754 3897

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The Bar Kakure

Housed in a black and white house along Scotts Road, Kakure is my go-to for classic cocktails served with Japanese hospitality. The elegant Japanese cocktails are prepared by Kazuhiro Chii (of Waku Ghin fame). Enjoy flawless and elegant concoctions at dusk while watching the flow of traffic and the colours and ambience on Scotts Road transition into the night. As I can’t yet get to the Imperial Bar in Tokyo just yet, this is a great alternative. Chii-san makes an excellent Martini. If Martini’s are not for you, have his fruit cocktails that use only the finest ingredients. A good Japanese bar menu is available (it shares the same kitchen as Ki-Sho which is located on the ground floor). I recommend the charcoal chicken and their chiraishi don.

Tatler Tip

Ask for the key code to get back into the bar after your trip to the washroom. Book here

The Bar Kakure, 29 Scotts Rd, S(228224), +65 9061 6109

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