Above image: Some of Jigger & Pony’s new cocktail offerings
We tend to look on the bright side of things at Spill. Even as the going gets tougher once more with dining-out restrictions tightened to maximum group size of two (since Sep 27), we see it as the perfect opportunity to just head out with that one person whose company you enjoy most.
At these following familiar places, new drink and dining menus have gotten our attention. But it’s how comfortable they make you feel when visiting – whether we were down as a pair or going solo – that makes us keep coming back.
The cocktail offerings at this famed chain from London has become a lot more crafty with its latest iteration. Showing us they are not just about burgers and lobsters, find progressive drinks like the LGB-Tini (S$20), a savoury vodka Martini made using a fat-wash of their lemon garlic butter sauce. Or go local with the Little Red Dot (S$18), a rosy tipple of Hendrick’s Gin, Singapore Distillery’s Stolen Roses Gin, and raspberry coconut syrup, that is sure to make you blush.
If you’re there on the weekends (including Fridays) from 11am-3pm, give their new brunch grub a try too. The Mala Corn is a definite crowd pleaser, while their B&L Lobster Benedict is your quintessential brunch staple turned up a notch with generous chunks of lobster and perfectly done sous vide egg. Want more? Their Bloody Mary Lobster Roll is one cocktail-inspired dish we think is super on-point, and best had with an actual glass of their signature smoky Bloody Mary.
One of Singapore’s top cocktail joints, Gibson’s new menu is at once in line with its enduring ethos of showcasing Asian ingredients in unique ways, while at the same time setting a different tone from its previous offerings with daring drinks that defy convention (a great parting gift by its former bar manager Gento Torigata, we think). Take the blue-hued, earthy and fizzy Jodhpur Cola. Here, the cocktail’s namesake elements are distilled into a drink, with the bar team actually making their own cola using a recipe they formulated.
Meanwhile, the Fresh Cacao Martini amazes with its use of the cacao fruit (long before it’s turned into chocolate), letting tipplers have a rare taste of its mangosteen-like pulp. Our favourite has got to be the Dai-Gingo. It’s a name borrowed from the sake world, but there’s no actual sake used in the cocktail. Rather, sake lees from Manzairaku Brewery is air-flown here, then used to infuse with Daiyame Shochu to form the spirit base. The result is an elegant drink boasting alluring lychee and rice fragrances. Delicious. All drinks are S$25.
Ironically, the bad boys (and girls) that run this craft beer bar and restaurant are about some of the best company you’ll find around. There’s an earnest passion in the way they talk about what they do – be it when sharing about their favourite brew on tap or their latest natural wine obsession – that makes you feel welcome and simply want to obsess about small, independent alcohol producers together with them.
Find a good mix of both local and international labels stocked here. At any one time, there will be seven craft beers and a mead available on tap, while a much broader range are available in cans and bottles. Adventurous palates will appreciate the natural wine selection they carry too. Whether going wines or beers (or both, we don’t judge), trust us and pair them with food. Items like the Deep Fried Renkon Chips served alongside a highly addictive homemade chilli dip, Chicken Liver Paté, as well as the Aburi Wagyu Rump Cap, will have you rethink how good food served at a craft beer joint can be.
The reigning Singapore champion on Asia’s 50 Best Bars continues to show us why they are the top dog with their humbly-named A Decent Menu. Now with principal bartender Giovanni Graziadei at the helm, the new spread, conceptualised in the midst of the pandemic, is a celebration of people, place and pace. Revisiting and mastering the classics was the starting point, resulting in drinks like the Supermojito. This next-gen classic gets the craft treatment here, with components like lime juice getting clarified by going through the rotovap, and crushed ice giving way to a crystal clear spear block.
But it’s not all about getting fancy. The Korean Boilermaker for instance, is inspired by fun party-style drinks like somaek (aka soju bomb) and its whisky equivalent, the boilermaker. Lee Gang Ju Soju (nope, no chamisul here) is infused with hops and passionfruit to mimic flavours of American IPAs, then mixed with Scotch and carbonated before being served with a block of ice on a spoon where you’re encouraged to ‘bomb’ your drink before drinking. It’s all about people having a good time in a spacious yet intimate space at Jigger & Pony, and we can’t have enough of it. All drinks are S$25.
Drinking at Moonstone is like drinking at your cool friend’s house – except that it’s packing a shit ton of booze, darn good comfort food and laidback eclectic interiors that’s a mishmash of everything from actual skateboards and graffiti murals to postmodernist artwork and exposed industrial light bulbs. It’s a lot to take in, and once you do, you’ll be hooked. And we’re not even talking about the staff yet, who draw you in with their chill AF attitude while being uber serious about their drinks.
Folks may come for the cocktails, but they stay because of Pascal, the man behind the bar, and the one who concocted drinks like the M&M (aka Mexican Manhattan; S$26). It’s a heady mix of mezcal, cynar and chocolate bitters then stirred down with coffee beans, creating a drink so wrong yet so right at the same time. Or if you’re more in the mood for craft beers and natural wines (as it is these days), Moonstone got you covered too. Pair ‘em with an order of their famed M.F.C. (Moonstone Fried Chicken), and you’re all set for a good night.
[Read more: New and revamped rooftop bars to check out in Singapore]
About the Author
Dannon Har is the Managing Editor of Spill. Discovering his innate gift for drinking only at a ripe age, he spares no time trying to find more delicious drops to imbibe during his time on Earth. When he’s not minding every detail at Spill, he spends his time concocting luscious libations and sharing them with folks that visit his home bar.