Shin Gi Tai @ Waterloo Street

You won’t find much about Shin Gi Tai online. This four month old bar has a relatively low profile, because they realized that over-marketing draws in the wrong kind of crowd. In its early days, its marketing efforts attracted guys looking for happy hour beers. Shin Gi Tai is a classic cocktail bar. So lesson learnt – Shin Gi Tai now depends on word of mouth for footfall.

Shin Gi Tai is basically a one man show. This is also one reason why Anthony (owner/bartender) has had to turn away large groups before. Besides part time help from time to time, Anthony has to run all operations single-handedly. This includes bartending, cooking, cleaning, entertaining and even book keeping I guess. So if you order 10 drinks and 10 bar bites at the same time, you might have to wait.

I must say, he pulls off this one man show with aplomb. Being the only Singaporean bartender ever trained in Japan (hence the name Shin Gi Tai), you can see Anthony is quite the talent. One of my favourite drinks on the menu is the Truffle Whiskey Sour. The smokiness of the whiskey closed off with subtle truffle. Definitely magic on my tastebuds.

If you are feeling adventurous, do also ask Anthony for something omakase. He has a daily fruit basket, from which he can whip up some creative fresh fruit cocktails for you. I chose a cognac base with apple and cinammon – it was thick and frothy, and felt like an apple pie.

I think Shin Gi Tai is a no frills, simple bar with serious cocktails. Patrons are mostly friends of the bar, and there is a casual air about the place, as if you are at a friend’s home. Great for a lazy night out.

PS. If you were/are a patron of Jigger & Pony you might recognize Anthony.