Infinite Bar List: Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall

Everytime I bring up Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall with friends, their reaction is most probably “uh we’re at newton, can’t we just drink at muthu’s cold drink stall” *points at stall number 48 at newton food centre*. The name throws people off a bit, sounds like somewhere tiger aunties would roam, or maybe wher you’d order a milo dinosaur. So it’s a pretty cool idea for a bar name. Creative, tongue in cheek, kind of fun.

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I think they have a very interesting concept going, and if they had invested a bit more in their appearance, ah sam could go a really long way, especially with hipsters. Currently the tables and stools are kind of restaurant style seating, very basic tables and chairs. But if they can maybe install those small tables with attached benches that you get in hawker centres, it would really highlight their whole local coffee shop drink stall concept. Maybe put those little table numbers on the tables too. This way the bar would be serious eye candy and instagram candy too.

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Drinks are all classic cocktails. Which is cool because it’s an old world selection of drinks in a hip/hipster bar. They’ll come over and ask you what you want without even giving you a menu. When you ask for a menu they will say something so hipster and pretentious that I just LOLed. “We don’t have menus, but we have references.” Ok big boy. So they call their menus: references.

I pretty much know what I want, got my all time favourite cocktail Side Car. And a whisky sour. And switched things up a bit with a Paper Plane. They were all faultless but most remarkably their Sidecar is one of the best I’ve tasted in Singapore so it really is a must order, and a repeat order for me.

Will I go back…? I would if I’m craving a sidecar, god knows they make a mean one. They really got their drinks going for them. Ah Sam is one of those bars that have real substance. They keep you hooked not because of their gimmicks, but simply because the drinks are that good.

There is potential to grow if they make some tweaks to their design, which would attract hipsters and a bigger crowd of curious cats. And then rope them in further with their kick ass drinks.

Paper Plane (Redemption Bourbon, Aperol Amaro, Lemon Juice)
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Whisky Sour
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Side Car (Remy Martin VSOP, Cointreau, Lemon Juice)
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Infinite Bar List: The Spiffy Dapper

Take a walk down boat quay and you’ll find plenty of seafood restaurants (along with their touters) lined up in a row, waiting for tourists to fall into their trap. But those in the know will know that some hipster joints have set up shop here… if you look carefully.

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One of them is The Spiffy Dapper, a hole in the wall bar located on the second floor of a shophouse, above an Indian restaurant. With a name like that, it’s clearly catered to some dapper dudes, one would think. Sure enough, when we entered, there was a party of five guys enjoying their tipple. I think it’s a great idea to build a bar focused on the men. Give them a less girly space to hang out with their bros over some less girly drinks.

The place is small and dim. Dark wood furniture is basic and dare I say kinda old? Even the stairway leading up looked quite rundown. From a lady’s point of view this is a thumbs down for the bar. I’m not a fan of what they did with the space. Especially when I’m used to fancy decor in cocktail bars. But I’m quite sure spiffy dappers wouldn’t mind this.
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I went for a “hard boiled torpedo”, which is basically a changed up old fashioned. Bourbon blended with The Spiffy Dapper whisky sour mash. If brown is your liquor colour of choice this is great. I ordered a second round of this.

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My friend wasn’t a fan of it though. She got a bespoke vodka cocktail from the bartender, which was good. Can’t remember what was in it exactly but I think it’s flowery. So yeah if nothing on the menu suits your tastes then ask for something special!

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She also got a Bellini type cocktail (on the menu). I can’t remember what it’s called exactly but it clearly says on the menu it is Bellini like, so shouldn’t be hard to spot. If youre looking for something easy to drink, this is it.

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All the drinks on the menu are priced at $20 nett which is great because its easy to keep track. And a nice round number to pay at the end. Very friendly and personalized service because its such a small space. Everyone seems to know each other.

I see this as a great alternative watering hole to your usual neighborhood Harry’s. Serving better quality drinks at a reasonable price. I say this because its very unfussy and no frills.

OR if you’re a group of friends looking to do a theme night then yeah this will add character to your night.

I will go back if I’m in the area for dinner.

Level 2, 61 boat quay.

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Ramen Bar Suzuki @ Circular Road

It’s funny because when we reached Ramen Bar Suzuki at 5.30, it wasn’t open for dinner yet. We decided to take a walk around Boat Quay to while away the half hour. During which we talked about what enthusiastic customers we were, being the first to arrive, even before the shutters went up.

You would imagine our shock when we returned from our stroll at 6.05pm, and found the restaurant FULL. Is it a coincidence that everybody decided on an early dinner at Ramen Bar Suzuki on that day. Or is it just damn good food here. We’ll see.

I later realized the crowd was due to the fact that there is a special dinner menu everyday. There are four dishes on it limited to 10 bowls per day. I believe that most people went early to snap up these specials. I didn’t know about it before, so I’m really lucky we went for an early dinner.

There are five different ramen on the main menu, the pure white (normal), jet black (mild), cardinal red (spicy), emerald green (basil and cheese) and sakura pink (prawn flav).
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However since we were such early birds, we went for the specials instead. I got a spicy dipping ramen and GT got a Tonkatsu ramen with fish powder.

You are free to customize your order and ingredients. From the texture, to the taste, to the oiliness and toppings. You can choose how you like your ramen. I went for normal everything – because I wasn’t sure of their standard yet and didn’t want to make a bad choice.
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So on every table there is free flow hard boiled eggs provided. It’s a good starter for when you’re waiting for the ramen.20130527-181524.jpg

The condiments that come along, including free flow hojicha.20130527-181540.jpg

Boyfriend peeling eggs for you, not included.20130527-181553.jpg

Cabbage with dressing, also free flow. They put it at the counter so you have to get this yourself. Rice is also free flow and at the counter for self service.20130527-181609.jpg

GT’s tonkatsu ramen with fish powder which he liked, but commented that it was fishy. It is fish powder after all..20130527-181622.jpg

I was very pleased with my dipping ramen! Firstly because I loved the noodle, it isn’t the typical yellow noodle but a thick white noodle. I prefer this ramen type 100 times more. The dip was spicy and salty, very shiok to eat. There’s pork, and other toppings inside the dip too, so it was definitely filling. You can ask the staff to “weaken” the dip if you wish to drink it as soup.20130527-181631.jpg

Business is clearly booming for Ramen Bar Suzuki, they will be opening a second outlet next month! This is definitely one of the better ramen places in Singapore, and you should definitely check it out at least once. Loving all the freebies as well.

(We spent $20 per person)

While on our stroll, I fell in love with the up-and-coming boat quay/ north canal/ circular rd area. It is still a charpalang of dingy pubs, seafood restaurants and fast food for the CBD folks. But we spotted many new cafes and bars there that I am definitely going back to check out.

1) The Spiffy Dapper – bar.
2) The Communal – a bistro specializing in food for sharing.
3) Homebodies – coffee shop by Smitten.

Ramen Bar Suzuki
61 Circular Road
#01-01