Best new bars in Singapore
We all love a good kitschy joint to drown our sorrows at. Introducing CHIKIN (a colloquial play on "chicken" in Japanese), the latest hip drinking hole that specialises in cocktail infusions as well as a Szechuan-Japanese food menu. Set in a three-storey conservation shophouse, CHIKIN's allure lies in its ostentatious Japanese pop art murals, neon lights, and an eclectic mix of iconic Japanese cartoon collectibles displayed by the bar. In other words, a haven for the cool kids. Echoing the Asian persuasion spirit is its food menu, which includes salmon cartilage in spicy sauce as well as a seriously addictive unagi garlic fried rice topped with dollops of fish roe. Created to complement the intense spices and flavours from the grub, be spoilt for choice with their bevy of 20 different cocktails — to name a few, there's Sake Sangria, a classic lemon and orange mix spiked with a generous dose of sake, and Sumoki Raisin, which mixes whiskey, sherry, raisins and smoked wood chips into a brilliant concoction. Our preferred drink of the night? The Dozo Mango, an infusion of light sake and gin with tropical flavours of mango and pineapple. One thing's for sure; it definitely pays to be OTT at CHIKIN.
6 Bukit Pasoh Rd, Tel: 6910 2742
Opening hours: 5pm-12am
Fans of Crackerjack will be pleased to know that the sophisticated drinking hole has recently opened its doors to a pocket bar, located right behind the restaurant along Tanjong Pagar Road. Enter Junior, an exclusive hideout which only boasts 10 seats and operates on a twice a year concept rotation. Its first and current notion is termed Norma (short for Norma Oficial Mexicana), which puts the spotlight on Mexican spirits like tequila, mezcal and raicilla. The menu? Pleasantly exhaustive. Kick off the night with The Maine, an ingenious take on the classic Manhattan, featuring Purasangre Extra Anejo tequila and blended with cacao and agave notes. Munch on Mexican treats like chips, homemade salsa and street-style tacos alongside your poison of choice. For experienced imbibers, be sure to order Norma's Aged Tequila — a tasting flight which displays three of Jasilico's finest blends that are best savoured neat. Don't like what you see? The bartenders can easily create a bespoke flight for you. With limited seats available, we suggest heading down to Norma before its next concept shift.
43 Tanjong Pagar Road, Tel: 8121 1462
Opening hours: 7pm-12am
Court Martial Bar
The entrance to Court Martial Bar at JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach is relatively discreet, but wander through the door and be whisked away to a different era altogether — where the building's past as a military garage is immediately highlighted. Look beyond the court-like thick red drapes and steel chairs to find clear Perspex floors that showcase underground machinery, and spare engine parts that double up as utensil holders. The specialty cocktail bar offers quality drinks, including a selection crafted to suit the historical theme, such as The Heritage Sling, a recreation of the classic Singapore Sling, and Mr. Platoon, a refreshed version of a Mai Tai. Our personal favourite? The South Beach Sour, the bar's rendition of a whisky sour with a local twist of flavours such as lime juice and homemade barley syrup. Pair that with an order of golden-fried, coconut-crusted prawns and squid rings coated in salted egg, and you're in for a decadent night to remember.
30 Beach Road, Tel: 6818 1916
Opening hours: 5am-12am
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