The buzz: The latest bespoke cocktail bar on the scene’s located along North Canal Road, a short walk from 28 HongKong Street.
The décor: Here’s a tip to finding the place first: the entrance is tucked behind new eatery Shoebox Canteen—it’s currently only open for lunch but will be opening for dinner come mid-February—with discreet signage on the mailbox. Opt for one of eight prime seats at the marble-topped bar counter so you can watch the bartenders in action or park yourself at a more private table at this slick yet comfy spot, with stripped bare walls and old-school floor tiling for an anti-establishment aesthetic in the vein of The Vault and Broadcast HQ.
The drinks: Menu, what menu? Instead, owner-barkeeper Din Hassan wants to encourage interaction with a personal touch, so explain to the bartenders what flavor profiles (fruity, sour, sweet or bitter) and spirits (there’s even hard-to-find booze like Monkey 47 gin and NZ Broken Shed vodka—made from whey) you’re into and they’ll whip something up for you; most drinks cost between $17-23 nett. Aside from concoctions such as an unusual Kaya Toast ($19), with dark Mount Gay rum, Earl Grey tea, fresh lemon juice, honey and kaya, and a spicy yet refreshing mix of St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, Skyy 90 vodka, cucumber, lemon juice and Tabasco ($19), they also do a mean version of the classic Penicillin ($22).
The food: Pad your stomach with very decent bar food like the B&L sandwich with jamón, homemade tomato jam and melted mozz ($8), Egg-ruption, crusted lava egg with truffle oil, paprika and Maldon sea salt ($6) and Rangers Valley 300-day grain-fed Wagyu beef cubes ($22); all great complements to the drinks.
The music: Upbeat jazz tunes and ‘90s hits.
The crowd: Mainly professionals who work in the area and trendy folk looking for the latest place to check out.
Why you’ll be back: It’s the ideal spot to be more adventurous with your tipple, you never know what you’re going to get. Plus, it’s a pretty relaxed place, despite its chic factor.