Infinite Bar List 4

The Green Door

We stumbled upon this new bar at Dempsey that took over the old Hacienda. It is backed by the Prive group, and I guess that’s where the money for their beautiful décor came from. They have the whole ‘secret garden’ concept going on, which is stunning especially with all the lights at night, but it can get quite warm in our climate to be sitting outdoors. As such, I wouldn’t dress up specially for The Green Door. I would only go again if I were having dinner two doors down. They acknowledge that too, as they call themselves the place to go to for “pre- or post-dinner dinner drinks”.20130521-085535.jpg

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Great thing about this place is that there is no service charge or GST! Unheard of for a bar. Also, they use fresh fruit instead of puree for their drinks. My friend’s passion fruit drink had all the pulp in it, which was cool for a while but the passion fruit seeds got annoying soon after, and the three of us agreed that we were just drinking fruit juice and very little alcohol. We understand that they use a measured shot for all their drinks, but even when we requested, they were unwilling to add more alcohol to suit our preferences. Quite inflexible yes?

Therefore this place did not meet our standards.

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The Green Door
13A Dempsey Road, Singapore, Singapore 249674
6476 2922

The Horse’s Mouth
[No photos were taken during this visit]

Walk down a secret flight of stairs from Uma Uma Ramen at Forum and you will find this high end Japanese bar. There are only 4 tables and a bar counter and it is spacious, quiet and private. Spotted a few people opening vintage Japanese whiskies, a good choice because even though they have a two page cocktail menu, those were disappointing. We ordered three very different drinks, yet they all came in the same tall glass with zero effort for presentation. They also used a lot of ice, which watered down the drinks very quickly. I made a special request for a whisky sour with a twist and the bartender was a bit dumbstruck for a while. This is unlike many other bartenders I’ve met at other places, who enthusiastically dish out ideas to spice things up. I would come here again to try the bar snacks, which I’ve heard are great, and include ramen!! But otherwise this isn’t really my scene, yet.

The Horse’s Mouth
583 Orchard Road, Singapore, Singapore 238884
6235 1088

Check back our previously reviewed bars:
Infinite Bar List 3
Infinite Bar List 2
Infinite Bar List 1

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Steph & Ging’s Infinite Bar List 3

Today my friend asked me why I’m posting so many pictures of myself up here. Am I mistaking this for Instagram? I realized I should stick to what this blog was made for. So I’m going to do one of those classic infinite bar lists right now.

The Library
47 Keong Saik Road

You must have heard of The Library by now, it is the bar that requires a password for entry. Some people complain that it is gimmicky and exclusive. But it’s just a very simple marketing strategy at the end of the day. Their password is always posted as a status on their Facebook page. So essentially they just want you to check back constantly for updates. There was one week when the password was about the newest dish on the menu at Keong Saik Snacks. Now we all know about that don’t we? Their scheme worked.

I’m also not dissing on their password gimmick because I’m head over heels in love with this place. I’ve learnt that the best seat at a bar is always at the bar counter where you watch the bartenders in action. These bartenders are serious about their drinks and really know what they are doing. Organized, orderly and in the zone. They are generous with the alcohol, use high quality ingredients and are really detailed about the presentation. It was impressive.

There was one drink I ordered that came with a banana note (currency used in WW2 in Singapore) laminated and used as a coaster. Of course, their most distinctive and signature drink is the rubber ducky drink that comes in a mini bath tub with a floating rubber ducky inside, meant to be shared among four. It’s gin based, and I usually don’t drink anything besides whisky so this was a change. But wow it was so good. If you can’t take ginger though, you might want to tell the bartender to tone the spice down by a notch.

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The decor at this place was private, dim and classy. But the funny thing is they manage all of that WHILE being young and quirky too. That’s one reason why I’m taking more to this place than 28 HKS, another top choice.

I need and want to go back again. And given that there are so many bars in Singapore, a repeat visit to any one shows how good it is!

Cufflink Club
6 Jiak Chuan Road

This is just a few steps away from The Library, but worlds apart in terms of standards. I suspect that the rejects from The Library usually end up at Cufflink Club out of convenience and resignation. The bar is pretty open, you can just walk in and plop down on a seat and no waiter would notice you. When I ordered, it tasted diluted and watered down. I paid waaaay too much for what I got.

The Walking Dead
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View the Infinite Bar List 1 here, and part 2 here.

Steph & Ging’s Infinite Bar List 2

And we are back with more bar reviews! After the resounding success of the original infinite bar list, we’ve decided to make this a mainstay on the blog. Hence the infinite bar list series is born! Where should your next date/ night out be? We’ve tested the waters (alcohols) and here is what we think:

Maison Ikkoku
20 Kandahar Street

Well isn’t this place ambitious. Not only is it an indie menswear retailer, but they are also a cafe (good for cakes n coffee). thats not even good enough for them, they have to be a bar too. there is a list of over 15 cocktails on their menu. Unfortunately the bartender/ mixologist only goes to work in the evening, so don’t expect any booze if you’re heading there before sunset. On one hand I find this a shame, but it also shows that they are serious about their cocktails. So what if you can read a recipe? You’re still not allowed to touch it.

My whiskey sour ish drink was served in a teacup. I thought that was cool. The drink was pink! That’s because they added some berries to update this age old classic. I think it is safe to say that they are pretty stingy with their alcohol. Or were they looking down on this group of giggly girls? Hey I’m not just a pretty face ok. So that kind of ruled out maison for me.

Another thing I didn’t like is that you have to order and make payment at the counter, like I’m at Starbucks or something. I don’t want to do this at a bar when I’m dressed up and shit. It’s not even cheap. $25 for cocktails at this place. I’m really not cool with this.

It’s good for coffee and catch up for girly groups. But not for drinks.

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28 Hong Kong street

Went to 28 right after maison. Boy what an upgrade. Well I’m sure everyone knows by now that 28 is a ‘secret bar’ that’s hidden behind closed shutters of a shophouse. It doesn’t even have a name. And no photography is allowed. I know this sounds gimmicky, but once you step in, you are whisked back in time. The interior is all dark wood and mahogany, and marble table tops. How should I put it, vintage glam? Don Draper would definitely hang out here.

There is a super extensive list of serious cocktails. There’s none of the quirky indie hipster charm here. Just old world glam. I’m in love.

The drinks pack a mean punch too!! I felt slightly woozy after just one. That’s the mark of a good cocktail. They kill you, silently…

If you have not read the previous installment of the infinite bar list, check it out here.

Steph & Ging’s Infinite Bar List

Bar stories
55-57 Haji Lane

S: There is no menu at this place, the waiters take your orders by asking for your drink preference. I asked for sour and they recommended me something with gin, lime, sugar and burnt rosemary. Apparently, it is a top favorite at the bar. At one point, the bar owner (or so I think) approached me to rave about my drink and the complicated process of how it’s made. To be honest, it was meh. The rosemary taste was very subtle, totally overwhelmed by the lime. Definitely not a top favorite in my books.

My friends who joined me were luckier though. One whiskey sour ish drink topped off with egg white and cinnamon for a smoother finish. Another grape, yuzu and gin – sweet and refreshing. Finally a triple berry cocktail with vodka.

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A very cosy, unpretentious place, try to get a seat at the bar or “front row seats”.

G: novelty concept, looks more like a coffee joint rather than bar. great for one time fun, but won’t be going back anytime soon. May the odds be in your favor.

Damage: $22 each before tax

Drink Culture
51 Kreta Ayer Road

S: At first the establishment seemed intimidating, with velvet ropes and a red carpet at the entrance. There is even a valet service and plenty of super cars lined the street. Two pretty ladies at the door asked us to sign their guest book before inviting us in. Upon stepping in she turned to us and said in a dramatic voice “welcome, to drink culture”. Ok cue clubbing soundtrack. How dramatic can this place get.

We were seated at the bar and served by two ah beng bartenders. G guessed that they were working part time while in the army. It quickly became clear that this place was only trying to be chichi, but is really cheapcheap. The decor was tacky and the staff mainly speak in Chinese. Caught a glimpse of the bar owner and he had shoulder length blonde hair with oversized black plastic frame glasses.

One thing I enjoy most about going to bars is sitting at the bar. I’m not a talker or even remotely sociable, but it’s good to know more about your drink from the bartender himself, and to watch it be made from scratch! Here, the bartender actually admitted to stealing bar stories’ concept, which amused us. It made sense too, because I distinctly remember seeing a drink culture cocktail menu online before they changed to their current no menu concept.

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So anyway yes, no menus here, let the bartenders surprise you. I enjoy whiskey, and requested for a sweet one. I got a “gooseberry, butter scotch, freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar, balanced with whiskey.” Smooth.
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The bartender then asked G for something more challenging. Pick any liquer and he’ll make something good out of it. G chose grand marnier (cognac with orange peels) and the bartender delivered. The sour taste was just what G wanted.

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G: wannabe looking place, good for two, for more go to bar stories. “Grand marnier with egg white and rosemary.”

Damage: 22 each before tax

Club street social
5 Gemmill Lane

S: With a name like that, I somehow expected more. But club street social is a very simple and small cafe/bar tucked in one end of Ann Siang. Even though it isn’t exactly a bar, it has a decent selection of interesting cocktails worthy of a visit.

20121112-141502.jpg me at club street social.

No fancy cocktail names here like “slippery nipple”. They’re simply named #1 to #7. I had a number 3: “yamazaki, Madeira, apricot, lime”.
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G had #7, “cognac, bacon, date, walnut”.

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I LOVE the concoctions here. I loved everything about the cocktails we ordered, and I wouldn’t even mind trying a tequila cocktail if club street social was making it.

G: 1-7, easy to order. Drinks are alright, S stole mine.

18 each before tax

Final round up
S:
I’m definitely sticking to conventional bars where I choose and decide my own drinks from a menu. There’s way too much fuss at those no-menu bars and it’s always a hit-and-miss with every visit.