Almost out of nowhere, staid, sleepy Singapore has grown the best cocktail scene in Asia. And, with all the money that’s washing around them there shores, that’s no surprise. Here’s six of the best bars to visit in Singapore, from speakeasy to dive bar to hotel bar.
28 Hong Kong Street
This quasi-speakeasy affair has serious chops. 28 Hong Kong Street won Best International Cocktail Bar at the booze industry’s Oscars, Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards, in 2014, and scooped Best Bar in Asia on the inaugural Asia’s 50 Best Bars list in 2016. Elegant and unfussy, with classic and classically styled cocktails, it’s a must-visit for any cocktail head.
28 Hong Kong Street, Singapore
+65 8318 0328
Mon-Wed 6pm-2am, Thu-Sat 6pm-3am
A hotel bar on steroids, Manhattan is an absolute jewel – a tribute to the glories of Gilded Age New York. It’s also bartending porn, with rack after rack of cocktails ageing gently in their barrels, including mixes concocted by startenders and industry icons. The space is timeless and glamorous – a real occasion spot.
Regent Hotel Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore
Sun-Thu 5pm-1am, Fri-Sat 5pm-2am (plus Sunday brunch)
+65 6733 8888
A genuine speakeasy, and a haven of crazily inventive bartending, Operation Dagger is tucked away just off Ann Siang Hill. And, from the rugged interior to the theatrical drinks – which use ingredients from hay to sea buckthorn and techniques from percolation to brewing – it’s a bar that’s full of surprises, even if not all of them come off.
7 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore
+65 9389 9301
A dive bar created by bartenders for bartenders who are sick of fancy venues, Skinny’s gets going in the small hours of the morning when the hospitality crowd finishes work. A funky interior, brilliantly made simple drinks with bags of flavour, and ultra-minimalist menu make for a fab end to a night.
82 Boat Quay, Singapore
Mon-Fri 5pm-3am, Sat 7pm-4am
The Bar & Billiard Room at Raffles
A Singapore Sling at the Long Bar is a Singapore rite of passage, because Ngiam Tong Boon‘s fruity drink is the national drink. But why not go off-piste and try the Bar & Billiard Room, which is actually in its original place and has one of Singapore’s better selections of whisky? Though until the Long Bar refurb finishes and the tourists leave, you might want to opt for high tea in the Tiffin Room instead.
Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road, Singapore
Sun-Thu 11am-12:30am, Fri-Sat 11am-1:30am