Things have changed a lot since I last wrote about a cocktail bar. I have changed as well. Through new friends made and new places frequented, I have learnt many new things that changed my perspective on cocktails totally.
It all started on 31 December 2014, I was ushering in the new year with a staycation at marina bay sands. While looking for dinner options, we were very lucky to have gotten seats at Cut for the night. If you follow me on Instagram (@stephsiau), you would already know of my Cut obsession.
I fell in love in an instant. Before I knew it, I was back at Cut the next day. Then I was going once to twice a week. And then I guess you can say the rest is history.
My experiences at Cut have taught me a lot about food service and standards. And this rings true for their bar as well.
The things I look for are no longer limited to a strong kick or gimmicky ingredients. I find joy in picking out all the ingredients in the drink (is it laphroaig whiskey?) and understanding the balance in a drink (that jalapeño goes really well with the tequila!) and the reason for each ingredient (egg white adds a texture that allows flavours to shine). Of course all this is impossible without a good bartender to help.
I have come to learn that a good cocktail and bar experience is heavily dependent on a good bartender. Good bartenders offer a wealth of knowledge and experience. The way they carve that ice block (Manhattan @ Regent Hotel even stamps each individual ice cube with their logo), stir your glasses with ice till they are chilled, and even the way their hands are gripping their tools, or where they place their measurements. Everything counts towards being a good bartender. Under a good bartender, nothing goes unnoticed.
Bartenders, when you engage them, can teach you a lot. I have tasted so many whiskeys and learnt my favourite gins thanks to bartenders who like to share their knowledge. I’m deeply grateful for the lessons!
Nowadays, I value being a regular at my favourite bar over checking out hip new bars. I’m never disappointed and I enjoy having my favourite bartenders as a part of my night. I find that many new bars are heavy on concept but fail to deliver on quality. It’s disappointing and a waste of time and money. But I’m always happy to find a good surprise. My next destination is Operation Dagger on bukit pasoh; I have heard that their drinks are simple but their techniques and knowledge are remarkable.
A few notes on Cut:
Cut Singapore has among the longest cocktail lists in all Cut restaurants worldwide. The head bartender is invited to Bahrain, Dubai, to train the new bartenders in the new Cut establishments. Trust me you are in good hands. They would bend over backwards for all their patrons, and they only put out their best.
They only open for dinner, but everyone’s clocked in as early as 10am to get the ball rolling. I have not met a more cohesive and dedicated team. Everyone I have spoken to absolutely love their jobs at Cut. This says a lot.
It also says a lot when the restaurant/bar is filled with regulars. Everyone pretty much knows each other. It’s love all around!
I am very happy that another Wolfgang puck restaurant, Spago, is opening at marina bay sands hotel this year!