With establishments that whip up bespoke cocktails with ease, ‘secret’ bars, as well as watering holes that have all kinds of craft beers imaginable, Singapore is unquestionably one of the hottest drinking capitals of Asia. However, there are more than a few gems that lie outside Singapore’s buzzing city centre that are rather neglected, and there are bars worth travelling out of the city for!
Bincho @ Hua Bee
If you’re looking for something offbeat, you might just want to check out Bincho @ Hua Bee. Located within an old-school coffee shop at Tiong Bahru, Bincho is an edgy and underground Japanese space that comfortably puts all hipster-wannabe establishments to shame. Diners have a superb selection of Japanese small batch whiskies and craft beers to choose from at this semi fine-dining yakitori restaurant and bar. Just be warned; it’s not going to be cheap.
Bincho @ Hua Bee is located at #01-19, 78 Moh Guan Terrace, Singapore 162078. Tel: +65 6438 4567
Every crown needs a jewel, and Park Hotel Alexandra’s one comes in the form of Aqua Luna – a swanky poolside bar that overlooks the lush greenery and towering buildings of the Alexandra district. Sitting on the edge of the property’s infinity pool, visitors can indulge in cocktails assembled by Aqua Luna’s expert bar team. Hungry? Check out meat specialty buffet restaurant The Carvery located just right next door.
Aqua Luna is located at 323 Alexandra Road, 7th Floor, Park Alexandra Hotel, Singapore 159972.
In addition to being one of the best hotels in Singapore, W Singapore’s WOOBAR is one of the glitziest spots away from the city to live it up like a star. Elegant, sophisticated and classy, the space of this contemporary bar is filled with a range of custom-made sofas and chairs, while a luxurious pool on its doorstep vastly improves the view. As for the drinks, alcohol enthusiasts can expect bespoke cocktails, premium spirits and exquisite wines from all across the globe.
WOOBAR is located at 21 Ocean Way Sentosa, Singapore 098374. Tel: +65 6808 7258
Co-working space for entrepreneurs and badass bar at the same time, The Refinery has got to be one of the coolest drinking spots in Singapore. Founded by The General Co and Architology, this gritty establishment is camouflaged amidst rugged engineering and repair workshops in the charming heartland district of Lavender. If you aren’t here for the beautifully designed offices located upstairs, check out the stylish ground level, which is home to an astounding range of Japanese whiskies, single malt Scotch whiskies, and sake.
The Refinery is located at 115 King George’s Avenue #01-02, Singapore 208561. Tel: +65 6293 1204
The spiffy new Hotel Vagabond’s in-house bar is probably the most unique on this list. Positioned on the fringes of the vibrant and colourful Syed Alwi Road, the lavishness – think loads of red velvet and plush seats – of the property extends to the bar. With a menu conceptualised by Proof & Company and resident bartender Shahrul Ariffin, tipplers can expect an inventive list of cocktails as well as craft beers and wines.
Vagabond Bar is located at 39 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore 207630. Tel: +65 6291 6677
The 1925 Microbrewery & Restaurant
Yet another hidden find in Jalan Besar, The 1925 Microbrewery & Restaurant is a trendy establishment that prides itself on being a bona fide producer of quality beer. These lads have their own microbrewery located on site, making 1925 a place where you can look forward to home-made servings of top-notch brews. Do look out for their reasonably-priced happy hour promotions that change on a day-to-day basis.
The 1925 Microbrewery & Restaurant is located at 369 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208997. Tel: +65 6294 9215
Emblazoned with funky graffiti murals, Nickeldime Drafthouse is a bar in the Thomson-Novena area where all self-professed craft beer geeks can indulge in an impressive seasonal selection of 15 craft beers. Customers can take the time to explore, as the smallest portion available here is one-third of a pint.
Nickeldime Drafthouse is located at 273 Thomson Rd, #01-06 Novena Gardens, Singapore 307644. Tel: +65 6256 0261
Taking over the former space of sister restaurant The Naked Finn at art enclave Gillman Barracks, Nekkid is a decent chill out spot, post gallery hopping. Frozen cocktails might sound like a tacky gimmick to most people, but we appreciate Nekkid’s dexterity in ensuring it is anything but. The temperature of drinks at this establishment start at -12ºC, while the kitchen team dishes out a variety of seafood-based bar bites that are heavily influenced by familiar Singaporean flavours.
Nekkid is located at 41 Malan Road, Singapore 109454. Tel: +65 6694 0940
If we had one complaint about Singapore’s west side, it might be that food & beverage owners have been slow to enter the region. So, hat’s off to the folks behind DSTLLRY, which has filled the void by setting up shop at Media Circle before the offices moved in, churning out an uncompromising brand of classic cocktails that come with a twist. Bespoke concoctions are available upon request, while reservations are strictly required for enjoying a lengthy omakase dinner set ($95) of 11 courses.
DSTLLRY is located at 21 Media Circle, #01-01, Infinite Studios, Singapore 138562. Tel: +65 6334 4816
Sandwiched between an old-school engineering shop and the cutesy café Tiramisu Hero, Druggists belongs to a wave of trendy establishments that have swept the Jalan Besar neighbourhood in recent years. From bitter IPAs to light lagers, the whopping 23 taps of craft beer onsite is a certainty for satisfying any self-professed beer geek. As for the bar grub, customers can look forward to a range of locally-flavoured bites such as ikan bilis (anchovies) and coffee pork ribs.
Druggists is located at 119 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore 207547. Tel: +65 6341 5967
Top Image: Red Chuang working his magic at DSTLLRY