DRINK 🍸 | THE LIBRARY (Singapore)

Update Nov 2017: this bar is now closed

The Library Singapore

Inspired by the Speakeasy bars during the Prohibition Era, The Library is a bit of a secret.  You even need a password to get in.  When you peer through the glass door at 47 Keong Saik Road (Singapore) all you see is a bookshelf adorned with books on pop art and architecture.  Behind that bookshelf, is a secret chamber flanked by mirrors tinged in red.  

The door swings open and you feel like you have stepped into a steampunk version of the roaring 20s.  Drowned in music, the copper bolted bar takes the spotlight and thirst overcomes you as you take in the visual feast.  

Former film student, Stefan Ravalli, is the brains behind this hidden bar adding his own style of assault of the dramatic to the Singapore scene.  We were lucky to have Stefan behind the bar that night and tried to order everything on the menu.

'We're not bartender poets.  We can't juggle.  
 We're not mixologists.
But we do love making drinks. 

 
We want to put the fun back into cocktails.  
All our drinks are made with the finest Singapore has to offer; hand-squeezed juices, fresh fruit and herbs, quality liquor we know
and love, and homemade ingredients;
all served up with fancy garnishes and unusual presentations. 
 
We take our drinks seriously so you don't have to.'

Ice Queen  - an aromatic collision of apple brandy, Yellow Chartreuese and Amaro Montenegro. Made zesty with equal parts lime and a dash of aromatic bitters.  You can have all the turkish delight you want. 
 

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Silver Screen
A Hollywood old fashioned from back when drinks were drinks - popcorn-infused Elijah Craig 12 year bourbon stirred slowly with sweet toffee apple syrup and a dash of 3D bitters.  All done in one take, like a real pro. 

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We Speak No Americano
We took the Negroni back to it's Yankee roots; Belvedere Cytrus vodka, shaken with Lillet blanc and Aperol, a lick of our Electric butters and an injection of fizz.

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Top Secret
White calvados and Aperol, sneaking around with a touch of lemon, house-made raspberry grenadine, egg white and yoghurt powder.  Served straight up with a shocking relevation. 

Piscotheque!
Barsol pisco and fresh passionfruit, teamed with aromatic chamomile tea and our spiced pineapple shrub.  Served long with a smoking passionfruit 'egg', pineapple leaves, mint sprigs, and all manner of tiki overkill. 

Wonky Donkey
Manuka honey, vodka, fresh cucumber and lime, spiked with orange bitters, roseate, and a slug of our house ginger beer.  Served in a copper mug with mint sprigs and cucumber.

Permanent Surprise
 Botanically-modified Junmai sake is given a lift with watermelon shrub, Strega and chili.  Pressurised with CO2 in our favourite high-tech shaker and paired with a side of kimchi.  You'd hardly recognise it.  

EAT | DIN TAI FUNG (Singapore)

The original restaurant opened in the 80s and now boasts a Michelin star.  Its success has seen Bingyi Yang and his wife open branches of their authentic Taiwanese restaurant all over the world. Din Tai Fung's signature dish xiao long baos are made in the trademark open concept kitchen.  You can watch hungrily as the chefs keep busy with the mountains of dumplings ordered each day.  

Din Tai Fung
26 Sentosa Gateway 
#01-217 Singapore 

EAT | WAKU GIN (Singapore)

'Waku Ghin' is derived from two Japanese words  ‘Waku’ meaning to arise (like water pouring forth from a hot spring) and 'Ghin' meaning 'silver'.  This striking metal is Chef Tetsuya Wakuda's favourite colour and it is highlighted throughout his distinguished restaurant at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. 

The main dining room which enjoys the exclusive view of the Singapore skyline holds a mere 25 seats.  The exquisite 10-course degustation menu is considered amongst the best of the world. Tetsuya's famed degustation will set you back around $S936 ($728) for two people with exotic dishes such as sea urchin and abalone.

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Our last night in Singapore called for a slightly less indulgent evening so we treated my sister and her boyfriend to pre-dinner oysters and cocktails in The Bar at Waku Ghin. The Bar offers the same impeccable service with an astounding selection of 85 handcrafted cocktails.

The oysters were dressed with a simple mix of rice vinegar, olive oil and ginger and were served on ice.  Their seemingly gigantic size did not compromise the delicate flavour, each bursting with a briny taste of the ocean.  At $S72 per half dozen ...  thank god they were stunning!  

After a weekend of drinking countless bespoke cocktails we each selected a classic. Ryan ordered his signature man-swig Negroni, Kane opted for a Whiskey Old Fashioned, Vanessa went totally left field and ordered bloody mary and I chose a espresso martini just for kicks.  

As for Waku Ghin ... I will see you next time.

EAT | CRYSTAL JADE PALACE (Singapore)

Exquisite Chinese fine dining with reasonably priced dim yum.

Crystal Jade Palace Restaurant
91 Orchard Road #04-19
gee Ann City, Singapore

el: +65 6735 2388

EAT | SUR (Singapore)

Update Nov 2017: this restaurant is now closed

Singapore as been struck down with Latin American fever. Joining the ranks of fellow South American eateries, Lucha Locha and La Barra, Sur swung its doors open in November 2012.  Sur embraces the open kitchen/bar concept making the brightly lit space both warm and inviting.  Shelves line the walls brimming with South American ingredients and the bright mosaic tables welcome you to take a seat.  Peruvian-Venezuelan owner, Alejandro Luna, focuses on Nuevo Latino cuisine, his creations are traditional South American recipes reminiscent of his childhood.     

At Sur you will find fiercely fresh and flavoursome cuisine making it the perfect spot for a light lunch or intimate dinner with friends.

anchito - Fresh Orange, Mint, Ginger Beer
Papelón con Limón - Lime Juice with Raw Cane Sugar Pulp
Arepas - queso, shredded beef stew, pulled pork
eviche de Salmón - Salmon, Orange Leche de Tigra, Poached Taro Root, Red Onions, Jalapeños, Cilantro
lfajores -  oft, delicate traditional cookies

 

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Sur
13 North Canal Road
Singapore 
Tel: 6222 2897

EAT | TIAN TIAN HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE (Singapore)

Finding the best chicken rice in Singapore was pretty high on the agenda.   Just before I left for Singapore I asked the twitterverse where to eat.  My good friend Abstract Matt just said "Everywhere! and Tian Tian for chicken rice".   To avoid the "whaaaat you didn't go there you idiot" that would have ensued upon my return, it was the first hawker stop on the chicken rice hunt. 

We ordered a whole chicken and four serves of soup and rice. The chicken was succulent and white with a deliciously thick layer of gelatinous skin.  Served with tasty rice and an addictive lime chilli sauce.  Hands down best chicken rice ever.  I wish we had eaten here more than once!

Tian Tian Haianese Chicken Rice 
Maxwell Road Food Centre
1 Kadayanallur St, #01-10 S06918

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EAT | HWA KEE HOUGANG (Singapore)

Old Airport Road Food Centre kept popping up in “oh you must eat here” conversations.   My trusty hawker guide ieatishootipost led me here for it's famous Wan Ton Mee.

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Hwa Kee Hougang Famous Wanton Mee
ld Airport Road Food Centre
1 Old Airport Stall #01-02 S390019

Wanton mee $

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