FT readers: where to go for cocktails in Singapore
Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter.
The article is part of a guide to Singapore from FT Globetrotter
Cé La Vi
If you have to have a Singapore Sling, then try one Cé La Vi, the bar at the top of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, rather than at Raffles. Much better view — and in my opinion, a much better drink. I also liked the Native Garden, with gin, cassis, tonic, hibiscus tea and rosemary — a real tropical mixture.
The cocktails here are around SG$25 (about £13), which is cheaper than the observation deck on the same level and offers the same stunning views over Singapore.
— Keith Legg, teacher, Beijing, China
Hardly a hidden gem, but Atlas is a must if you like fantastic cocktails and food. Then get past the main menu to their “collections” — more than 1,000 gins, hundreds of whiskies, and the rest. All in an incredible art-deco setting.
— Giles Raymond, banking, Singapore
The best bar in Singapore and, indeed, right up there with the best in the world. Manhattan can be found at the Regent Hotel. Not only will you find a skilled mixologist behind the bar, but also what can only be described as the most extensive array of spirits on display in the city. My favourites — simply sublime but classic — have to be an Old-Fashioned and, of course, a Manhattan. They also do an amazing cocktail brunch on Sundays.
— Anthony Arrigo, marketing, Perth, Australia
The Other Room
The No. 1 tip I give to everyone who visits Singapore is to check out The Other Room, a bar hidden away in the Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel on Orchard Road. The only way to access the bar is by ringing a doorbell on a completely inconspicuous wall (I had to ask the reception for directions the first time I went), after which you will be greeted by a half-visible face asking you what you're looking for. While I know that some people will roll their eyes at the thought of playing along with the speakeasy theme of the bar, the cocktails found inside are some of the best I have ever had — and the tapas are fantastic.
— Alex Miskov, quantitative developer, Switzerland
The renowned cocktail bar Native is truly a must-visit with its regional approach to cocktails. Expect an intriguing list with unexpected flavours (think mushrooms, goat milk, papaya) ranging from sweet to savoury, all with, of course, locally and regionally sourced ingredients. Smart service and beautiful drink presentation make the experience even more special.
— Sean Christiansen, government, Washington DC, US
The Auld Alliance
The Auld Alliance is nestled in a hotel that’s seen better days, flanked by karaoke bars and hotpot restaurants. But once you’re through the doors, your surroundings completely change. The service is fantastic and friendly. They have whiskies and rums that go back into the 19th century, and obscure Japanese whiskies that have not been made for over two decades. It’s not pretentious yet it is elegant, and definitely a favourite since moving to Singapore. I couldn't recommend it more highly.
— Greer Bevel, university adviser and teacher, Singapore
28 HongKong Street
Cocktails in 28 HongKong Street — a proper speakeasy. Absolutely love it. There is no sign and the doorway is very nondescript, so you have to know it’s there, but the address is all you need: it’s opposite a 7-Eleven on the other side of Hongkong Street. The decor inside is dark and classic and it’s very seductively lit. I highly recommend the Old-Fashioneds. Quite a few outstanding evenings in there, I must say. I miss it!
— Thomas Jenden, consulting, Switzerland
Singapore with the FT
FT Globetrotter launched a new guide to Singapore last week in partnership with Singapore Tourism Board. All content written and produced by the FT is editorially independent, and STB was not given any editorial oversight of the content.
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