New bars in town: Nineteen80, Room For More, Mona Lounge
Pick your poison
The latest playground to hit the neighbourhood, Nineteen80, adds a pop of colour to the heart of Tanjong Pagar with its retro spin on nightlife. Unlike other drinking haunts, this arcade bar is a nostalgic throwback that will take you through a night of the 80s — think sipping on a Blue Lagoon as you hammer your way through a game of Space Invaders or Street Fighter, with popular beats from the 80s and 90s rounding up your blast from the past journey. Later in the night, Nineteen80 transforms into club mode with its lineup of hip hop, R&B, disco, funk, soul and house. Perfect for those who like a little in between of everything, if you ask us.
Vibe: Light-hearted and fun. Be it the ribbed pink vortex or the disco lights that shine in good moderation, one foot in and you know you are in for a good time.
Who to bring: Your best buds. It will be like the good ol' days playing hooky from school.
Poison of choice: Try the strawberry-based Donna Summer with a sprinkle of exotic sumac powder if you like yours on the sweet side, or the rum and Malibu-based Club Tropicana if you like things sour. The Club Tropicana is a mix of fresh pineapple, coconut and lime juices married together with a dose of sour plum powder.
#01-05, 21 Tanjong Pagar Road, Tel: 9183 6073
Opening hours: (Tues and Thurs) 5.30pm to 1am, (Wed, Fri, Sat) 5.30pm to 3am
Forget what you knew about whisky lounges; Room For More (by the ilLido Group) looks more like a luxurious atelier. Except they align to a simple ethos here: it's all about making whisky more accessible to accommodate new expressions of whiskies and spirits. That means stripping old, stifling methods of the age-old spirit and cultivating a new generation of whisky lovers. Their library includes whiskies from Japan, India, and France, as well as moonshines from unconventional provenances, like Slyrs Bavarian Sinle Malt from Germany and Hammer Head 23 Years Old 1989 from Czechoslovakia.
Vibe: Sleek, haute and instagrammable — think stylish nuances of millennial-hued chairs and golden curtains.
Who to bring: Your next work meeting. Whether it be clients or your boss-man, they'll definitely be charmed over copious amounts of whisky.
Poison of choice: A prized bottle from now-defunct distilleries — such as Port Allen Special Release 35-Year-Old or Brora 24-Year-Old. If you're game, their cigar lounge also offers some of the finest and rarest Cuban smokes to go along with your tipple.
40C Harding Rd, Level 3, Tel: 6877 6977
Opening hours: 3pm-12am
You need a lock code to access this back-room lounge of Sum Yi Tai — now known as its new wing, Mona Lounge. Keeping to Sum Yi Tai's hedonistic theme of Hong Kong in the 1980s, this intimate bar occupies the entire second floor of the shophouse, where a fictional matriarch named Mona hosts a cavern for dangerous cocktails and jazzy Chinese tunes. Complete with chinoiserie and a couple of mahjong tables, here's where inhibitions are free to flow, unencumbered from the watchful eyes of onlookers.
Vibe: Glamorous and sexy all at the same time. Cosy leather seats and sketchy lighting means it's time to let your hair, and your guard down.
Who to bring: Your hot date. We'll leave you to decide what to do next.
Poison of choice: Mona's Tea, which is probably one of the most naughty teas we've seen so far. This cognac-based cocktail is spiked with a good dose of oolong PX sherry and Fernet Branca and served in an innocent teacup.
25B Boon Tat Street (Level 2), Tel: 6221 3665
Opening hours: (Mon-Sat) 6pm-1am