Taking over the spot of Hacienda is Singapore’s latest and greatest garden bar, The Green Door, which has simultaneously the best and worst location in Dempsey. If you’re getting a taxi here, prepare for your driver to loop round and round in circles while getting increasingly passive-aggressive in the futile search for the elusive 13A of Dempsey Road.
However, once you’ve paid your irate taxi uncle and shuffled your way into The Green Door, you’ll quickly realise it’s totally worth it. Attention to detail is everywhere, beginning with the cute Alice-in-Wonderland style green door perched at the entrance, which welcomes you to walk down a candle-lined path towards the bar.
The great thing about this bar is the use of space – the epicentre of the action is a wonderful roofed square bar, lined with the usual liquor suspects and surrounded by high tables. If you fancy your atmosphere a little cooler or darker you can settle down here and watch the barstaff do their funky stuff.
Then there’s the alfresco seating, framed by trees tangled in fairylights. Romantics can take advantages of the smaller tables out on the terrace, while old friends can pile around the larger sofas down the cosy length of the bar. As dusk draws in you’ll notice the great little designer touches such as the lightbulbs housed in vintage glass jars, the rustic old trunks for perching your drinks, and our particular favourite pièce de résistance of old gramophone trumpets doubling up as contemporary lampshades.
However, if you want to stretch your legs and get away from the crowd, there’s also a little patio tucked away down some steps behind the bar, where you can revisit your childhood by relaxing on the swings. Surrounded by greenery, there also happens to be a little herb garden, a nice little original touch as it’s where the bar grows its own plants that garnish both the drinks and the food.
As for the drinks, there’s nothing we hate more than style over substance, so it’s a big sigh of relief that The Green Door is not just a pretty face – it’s also bang on the nail with its signature cocktails. The menu is an entertaining affair, as there’s often an interesting story behind some of the uniquely weird titles, while friendly staff are omnipresent to recommend tipples if you’re stuck. Plus, a bar who lists champagnes under the header of ‘Fo Shizzle Ma Fizzle’ is unarguably awesome.
Seriously tasty and fresh alcoholic goodness seems to be consistent in the menu, as we sampled ‘Life’s a Peach’ (rum, peach schnapps, peaches, lemongrass, lemon juice and kaffir lime leaves), ‘Marilyn Chambers’ Tipple’ (gin, triple sec, fresh grapefruit, apple juice and parsley) and in particular ‘Terrible Tyler’s Threesome’ with its combination of vodka, lychee liqueur, fresh passion fruit, apple juice and lemon juice. Plus each cocktail comes with its own signature presentation, meaning they’re almost as good to look at as they are to drink.
There’s no heavyweight food here, but the barsnacks are of good sharing-snacking quality and adequate to tide you over. While some dishes are a little on the greasy side, we liked the pan-seared pork belly mini burger trio, with Asian slaw, bacon and sesame aoioli, as well as the buttermilk-fried chicken drumsticks.
All in all, with the thoughtfully unique design quirks and the killer cocktails, The Green Door is a great new addition to Singapore’s alfresco bars. Whether you’re in the mood for a sundown wind-down, a romantic tete-a-tete or a post-dinner nightcap, this place has the charm and the mixological oomph to make sure it’s a worthy evening.
Written by The Synaesthete