It’s been two and the half years since Jigger & Pony‘s opening on Amoy Street, and boy, has this bar come a long way under head bartender (his proper title is Bar Programme Director but it just sounds too pompous for the man we know), Aki Eguchi. Apart from the opening of rum-meets-grill Sugarhall next door, the menu has gone through some changes recently. But no worries, we’re happy to report that Jigger & Pony is still one of the most consistent bars in Singapore.
Housed in a former art gallery on Amoy Street, the space is warm and welcoming. Think rustic wood, deep reds and yellows, vintage liquor posters and different seating areas suited to different occasions ranging from cozy booths to the big communal table, and of course, the stools at the bar counter. We have to say; those hooks under the counter meant for our arm candy are a thoughtful touch.
Regulars would know by now that this isn’t another mixology bar specializing in fruit cocktails. In fact, Jigger & Pony was one of the pioneers that turned the spotlight back to the classics – and one where all ingredients are handcrafted, including the ice, which is hand carved daily to a specific cube size!
Priced equally at $22++, the cocktail menu comes in the form of an easy to read and perfectly charted into Classic, Vintage, and Signature, so you can literally see how the classics have inspired various spin-offs, including original recipes by Aki. For example, a Negroni (super smooth and boldly flavoured here, nothing short of excellent) fan could try drinks with similar profiles like the King Cole and Donkey Kong. Their delicious, and lethal, Martini and New York Sour proves that Jigger & Pony is still king of classic cocktails in Singapore.
But if you prefer to start with something more refreshing, go with the Ramos Gin Fizz, a New Orleans classic from the 1880s. With Tanqueray Gin, lemon, lime, cream, orange blossom water, and soda, this crisp, citrusy drink with the aroma of fresh cream will whet your appetite for Jigger & Pony’s tasty new dishes (more about that later). For more bite, we highly recommend the Country Cousin, a smoky yet invigorating combination of Los Danzantes Mezcal, lemon, rosemary honey, and soda. Honestly, this is one of the best Mezcal cocktails we’ve tried.
Can’t decide between having dessert or another drink? Made with Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whiskey, Ketel One Vodka, Kahlua, and popcorn milk foam, the Popping Corn cocktail will solve your problem – and it won’t give you diabetes either!
Chef Polo Seah has definitely improved the variety and quality of their food offerings despite retaining the comfort-food angle. So instead of cold cut platters and tartines of the past, expect more substantial nourishment like the Steak Tartare ($22), which they served with boiled egg, sourdough, and the thing that made a huge difference, homemade-spiced strawberry ketchup. Another big plate that got a thumbs-up from us was the Dirty Oxtail Burger ($24) – think super-tender oxtail with gouda cheese, house-cured bacon, pickled cucumber, egg, and homemade smoky BBQ sauce sandwiched between pillowy buns. I’m practically salivating as we recall our first taste of the burger. Basically, a must-try for you meat lovers out there.
Another worthy mention is the Corn & Polenta ($14). Though I was a fan of neither corn nor polenta, the addition of the Roquefort sauce and parmesan crisp had my fork automatically going back for more. A classic example of the sum being more than its parts, I suppose.
Here’s some exciting news: if you’re the sort who can actually leave the office in time for Happy Hour (or will be happy to return to work after a tipple or two), you’ll be glad to know that Jigger & Pony’s Happy Hour is back! Ease into the evening with slightly less spirit-driven cocktails at just $14++, like the Elderflower Spritz and the Old Fashioned. There’s also a separate bar bites menu for Happy Hour – the Mustard Fried Chicken ($10) is one of the best non-fancy fried chicken we’ve had.
I never used to be a fan of classic cocktails, but the close to perfect execution of Jigger & Pony’s cocktails have got me eating my words. From the interior and atmosphere, to the cocktails and staff, and a concept that has been executed so perfectly, there’s no two ways around it – go forth to Jigger & Pony! You won’t regret it.
As for me, I’m just waiting for an occasion to splurge on one of their delicious-sounding (and very alcoholic) punch bowls ($220 for 15-20 servings).