Think that you’ve known all there is to be known and visited all there is to be visited in Singapore? Well, think again! We bet you didn’t know that these ten incognito watering holes existed. It’s time to be a tourist in your home country, Singapore, again. And at the same time, go on a booze hunt about these hidden bars with each of their own specialty drinks! Not a bad deal if you ask us.
1.28 Hong Kong Street
(Image Credits: Chloe Park)
28 Hong Kong Street is notorious for snubbing the system in the most radical way when it first opened its doors. The talented folks behind this award-winning speakeasy certainly know how to craft fine cocktails. Original signatures include Five Foot Assassin (the bar’s playful twist on the frozen daiquiri and homage to Phife Dawg of a Tribe Called Quest) and an excellent negroni. Save some room for their stellar bar bites – the truffle mac and cheese balls are worth all the calories.
Address: 28 Hongkong St, Singapore 059667
Contact: +65 8318 0328
Opening Hours: Mon – Wed: 5.30PM – 1AM | Thurs: 5.30PM – 2AM | Fri & Sat: 11AM – 3AM (Closed on Sun)
(Image Credits: Seth Lui)
Camouflaged as a 70-year-old mee pok stall – which opens for business during daytime, is this grungy open-concept yakitori restaurant-bar run by chef Asai Masashi, who whips up some stellar grilled bites featuring chicken. Bincho is an all-in-one unique dining concept by where Singapore’s past and present fuse together as one. Expect the nostalgia of evergreen marble tables and beloved rickety wooden chairs a lá old-school kopitiam style.
(Image Credits: Taste Of Japan)
If you’re here after the mee pok stall has closed, get into the bar via its unassuming entrance. Simply look out for its obscure gold lettering sign at the open-air carpark. Otherwise, you can make your way from the front; just venture in.
Drink-wise, expect playfully-concocted Japeritifs, playful Japanese-inspired cocktails as well as an extensive Japanese whisky, sake and shochu list.
Address: 78 Moh Guan Terrace, #01-19, Singapore 162078
Contact: +65 6438 4567
Opening Hours: Tues-Sun: 12PM-3PM, 6PM till late (Closed on Mon)
3.The Secret Mermaid
(Image Credits: Time Out)
Hidden in plain sight, The Secret Mermaid is the alter ego of Shinkansen, a design-your-own salad bar in the CBD. A bar and liquor store by night, The Secret Mermaid boasts of over 45 spirits in its booze library. Most of them come from small-batch distillery with names almost unheard of because it’s all about the thrill of discovery here, so go for the tasting flights and boost your booze knowledge.
(Image Credits: The Secret Mermaid)
The shared space, outfitted with black grills and brass piping, morphs into a hole-in-the-wall cocktail bar after five in the evening. Bottles of gin, rum, tequila, vodka and whisky occupy every nook and cranny in this miniscule hideout and the bar also has one of the largest collections of American craft spirits.
Address: #B1-08 Ocean Financial Centre, 10 Collyer Quay Singapore 049315
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 5PM-11PM (Closed on Sat and Sun)
4.Bitters & Love
(Image Credits: Bitters & Love)
The interior of this hidden little bar is retro and mildly hoarder-like, yet another telling sign of an Indie bar. The floor tile patterns are reminiscent of old school shophouses, which is what this bar was converted from but now sees modern furnishing and those few hints of retrospect.
(Image Credits: Seth Lui)
You can look forward to novelty cocktails inspired by local fare such as the well-known Kaya Toast Cocktail and Passionfruit Cocktail that they so good-humorously serve in a kopi takeaway plastic bag.
Address: 118 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068587
Contact: +65 6438 1836
Opening Hours: Tues-Thurs: 6PM – 1AM | Fri: 6PM – 2AM | Sat: 7PM – 2AM (Closed on Mon and Sun)
5.Don’t Tell Mama
(Image Credits: Robb Report)
Don’t Tell Mama is a bistro that finds its home in Tanjong Pagar, offering Korean-Mexican fusion cuisine. The drinks and food menu is inspired by the diverse Korean flavours and are made with love in a playful and industrial looking environment.
The KoMex fusion is even strongly reflected in its drink menu. The Beerita — a fruity margarita made with tequila and Hite — a Korean lager, packs quite a punch. And so does the Sojurita, a variation of the famed Mexican margarita made with Korean soju instead of tequila.
Address: 52 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088473
Contact: +65 6221 2007
Opening Hours: Mon – Thur: 5:30PM – 2AM | Fri & Sat: 3PM – 3PM (Closed on Sun)
6.Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall
(Image Credits: Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall)
This is not your regular kopitiam drink stall. It’s a cosy bespoke cocktail bar opened by former Jigger & Pony bartender, Sam Wong. The lack of a menu gives you free reign to order anything you want. And yes, before you ask, Sam incorporates local flavours from the likes of soya bean milk, Milo, and chin chow into his cocktails soon. Psst: Sam was our favourite bartender at Jigger & Pony, so this one, located on the second floor above a shophouse, is worth checking out.
Address: 60A Boat Quay, Singapore 049848
Contact: + 65 6535 0838
Opening Hours: Mon-Thurs: 6PM – 12AM | Fri – Sat: 6PM – 2AM (Closed On Sun)
(Image Credits: Augustman)
Most people pass by Operation Dagger without even realising it, which is such a shame given how gorgeous the interior of this speakeasy bar is. Navigating your way there might pose as a bit of a challenge but well worth the hassle. The bar is filled with 6,000 hanging light bulbs and poses as a stunning backdrop for your cocktails.
(Image Credits: Operation Dagger)
To enter the underground lair, you have to venture through a dingy, dark stairwell that’s marked by a scrawl of a curious rectangle and upside-down crown. Locating one of the World’s Best Bars isn’t an easy task, but it’s all worth it once you’re within its artistic interior – think clean, minimal furniture and an art installation-esque cloud structure arranged from thousands of overhanging bulbs. This cubbyhole of a speakeasy offers a tightly curated menu of interesting concoctions, like The Egg, made with salted egg yolk liqueur, as well as an omakase, which comes with six different cocktails and some bar snacks.
Address: 7 Ann Siang Hill Singapore 069791
Contact: +65 6438 4057
Opening Hours: Tues-Sat: 6PM – 12AM (Closed on Mon and Sun)
(Image Credits: Park Hotel Group)
Who would have expected such a contemporary open-concept bar to set up shop in the heart of Alexandra? Aqua Luna is perched atop seventh storey of Park Hotel Alexandra and features an alternative view of the Queenstown precinct. The beautiful alfresco bar also has a tantalising menu to offer. What’s even cooler? It’s situated right beside a 25-metre infinity pool.
Address: Level 7 Park Hotel Alexandra 323 Alexandra Road, Singapore 159972
Contact: +65 6828 8885
Opening Hours: Sun to Thur: 12PM – 11PM | Fri & Sat: 12PM – 1AM (Closed on Mon)
9.The Spiffy Dapper
(Image Credits: The Smart Local)
Tucked away in the heart of Amoy Street, The Spiffy Dapper presents itself only to those who are worthy of hunting it down, what with it being situated on the second floor of an undisclosed shophouse on Amoy Street. True to its 1920s theme, everything from the dim lighting and roaring 20s music to the mountain of gin bottles perched precariously on the back bar gives the place a moody vibe and a distinct air of mystery.
Address: 73 Amoy Street Second Floor, Singapore 069892
Contact: +65 8742 8908
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 5PM till late | Sat & Sun: 6PM till late
10.The Horse’s Mouth
(Image Credits: We Are Spaces)
Beside the cashier of Uma Uma Ramen is a curtained door. Through that door is a flight of stairs, and at the end of it, you’ll find The Horse’s Mouth. This small izakaya bar has got their technique down pat – watch wide-eyed as the pros mix some classic drinks – and it’s not the least bit intimidating.
Address: #B1-3, Forum The Shopping Mall, 583 Orchard Road, Singapore 238884
Contact: +65 8188 0900
Opening Hours: Mon – Thurs: 6PM – 12PM | Fri & Sat: 6PM – 1AM (Closed on Sun)
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Danica Chia @danicayingna