Room For More
While more well-known for their portfolio of Italian F&B concepts, the ilLido group is moving in the realm of bottles and drams. Their latest venture, Room For More, poises itself as an approachable whisky bar, with the aim of cultivating more whisky lovers. To do this, they’re offering labels (from $10 for 30ml shots) from all over the world, from predictable areas like Scotland and Japan, to lesser-known provenances like India, France, Switzerland; and even places like Sweden and Czechoslovakia. For those seeking a more rarefied experience, they’ve got a curated selection of very old vintages, and even bottles from lost distilleries. Befuddled by all the choices? Every whisky on the menu comes with a description, and is categorised by flavour profile-perfect for the whisky neophyte. Beyond the drams, they’ve also got cigars (which can be smoked in their cigar lounge); and light bites prepared by the neighbouring Atout.
Level 3, 40C Harding Road, Singapore 249548. Tel: +65 6877 6977. Website here
Nothing’s a better pairing to nostalgia than a healthy serving of booze. If you’re an 80’s kid, Nineteen80 will be the neon-hued, arcade cabinet-filled teenage wonderland you wish you had. Step in through their instagram-bait walkway to find old school arcade cabinets sporting everything from Mortal Kombat to Golden Axe and Space Invaders, and an eclectic mix of 80’s synthpop, 90’s hip-hop, and eurotechno pumping through the speakers. Drinks are 80’s-inspired–meaning a technicolor selection of brightly-hued cocktails like a yuzu-spiked Blue Lagoon ($18), to the original strawberry-and-sumar Donna Summer ($20), and good ol’ vodka Ribenas ($18).
#01-05, 21 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088444. Website here
While the modern vegan concept has been open for awhile now, HRVST finally has its bar up-and-running, with all-vegan cocktails ($20 each). How does one make a cocktail vegan? For one, all the egg white–which is usually used in shaken drinks to give it a silky mouthfeel, and a layer of foam–has been replaced with aquafaba, the chickpea liquid that has been hailed as a miracle substitution for egg white. Drinks are garden-themed, and make use of the flora from the garden (set up by urban farming specialists Citizen Farm) situated at HRVST’s doorstep. Bartender Caeden Wong–who has been through places like Monti and Don Ho–shakes up tipples like the Birds & The Bees, a easy-drinking mix of gin, lavender syrup, lemon juice, grapefruit bitters, and aquafaba; and the Blanca HRVST, made with butterfly pea infused berry tea, sauvignon blanc, fresh fruits, edible flowers. For something a little more spirit-forward, try the Lumberjack, a heady mix of whisky and house-made stout reduction syrup, misted with overproof angostura bitters.
Kilter Avenue, #05-01, OUE Downtown Gallery, 6A Shenton Way, Singapore 068815. Tel: +65 6920 7500. Website here
Hidden in a back room of the Chinoiserie-inspired Sum Yi Tai is Mona Lounge, which “pays tribute to the hedonistic era of 1980s Hong Kong”. The speakeasy-style cocktail bar offers Chinese-inspired drinks which make use of traditional remedies and herbs. Soothe your throat with the Songstress ($22), an Old Fashion-styled drink with Bulleit rye, pi pa gao (a minty traditional Chinese cough remedy), and angostura bitters; or the Lady’s Elixir ($22), a Remy Martin VSOP-based tipple with house-made monk’s fruit (also known locally as luo han guo) soda and sea salt drops. Love living life on the edge? Partake in the Dangerous Romance ($22), a bloody mary-margarita mashup with a base of Epsolon Blanco tequila, triple sec, tomato shrub, and a slice of savoury bakwa.
25B Boon Tat Street (Level 2), Singapore 069622. Tel: +65 6221 3665. Website here