Remember the cool kid at school who was indifferent to instruction but kept scoring top marks? That’s 28 HongKong Street. Calling the ground floor of an old shophouse home, it opened without any fanfare in 2011. The bar keeps a shroud of secrecy: it doesn’t market itself, not even on social media platforms. Still, it has since become one of the forerunners of the local cocktail scene and recently put Singapore on the map when it was named Best Bar at Drinks International’s Asia’s 50 Best Bars Awards this year.
If the world has taken notice, it’s because Joe Alessandroni has found a winning formula. The creative director of 28HKS has managed to create a seamless blend of urban swag and American-styled libations: expect only hip hop classics to cascade from those speakers and cocktails named after rappers. Likewise, bar nosh here is American – filling, tasty and slightly salty – but rest assured that chef Kathleen Wong makes everything from scratch.
|Venue name:||28 HongKong Street|
28 Hongkong St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Thu 6pm-2am; Fri & Sat 6pm-3am|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
1.3 / 5
- 5 star:0
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:3
This was supposed to be one of the best bars in the world/Singapore, but turned out to be severe disappointment. It would be acceptable if they would charge half the price. The current setting raises expectations that it fails to deliver.
We like to indulge ourselves a bit and love to discover hip places around town thus decided to give 28HKS a go. Reservation went smooth and the place is easy to find. Once inside you were confronted with a hip environment and a drink menu to has great potential but fails to deliver. When seated it’s just a regular bar, nothing special. We took some time to study the menu ~ when you pay 25$ for a drink you want to make the right choice ~ and got interrupted 5 times with the question if we were ready to order in less then 10 mins. When we asked about their signature drinks we were told there were none and just had to pick something. We did, together with 4 side dishes (it’s not really a dinner place). The drinks are okay but not extraordinary. The food was very underwhelming. Much of the stuff is fried and fails to deliver any positive emotion. In the end we didn’t even finish our food. Together with very unfriendly and pushy staff that doesn’t spare a second to talk to you, we felt very unpleasant. The whole vibe didn’t strike us as nice. Furthermore, since the music is very loud your neighbours will talk very loud which becomes obnoxious fast.
For me this is a no-go in the future. I regret every dollar I spent here (121$ for two persons). It would be acceptable if they charged half of what they do now. Nothing special here. Please move on to many of the nicer places in this area.
P.S. Later I heard from a local bar manager that they changed the bar manager 6 months ago and that it went downhill from there.
We walked into this well-known Singapore bar for the first time last week. It was a relatively standard bar on the face of it, so we were curious to find out what made it popular. They had many fancy cocktails but only one red wine. And they had many “house rules”. They did not sell bottles. They did not allow a girl to bring in a small birthday cake for their celebration. And when a 9th guest joined our table, a fancy-looking manager came by:
“Could we just have a small chair please, there is enough space and the back tables are not fun."
“SORRY! We are not any bar, we are a top bar, and these are house rules."
The phrase “top bar” made me think: What makes a place “top” among peers?
I thought of a bar in Melbourne that looked very similar, had a similar concept but one distinguishing feature. They had a manager, a guy called Kevin Peters, who came by every table, met the people and wanted to know what they expect from the night out and asked what he can do. After all, this was the main advantage of a small bar: the luxury of meeting every guest if one wished to. Clients had to wait to be seated but when that happened, Kevin made sure they got what they came for.
Flashback to the fancy-looking manager of bar “28 Hong Kong Street”: Could she arrange for a chair for us with a smile? Sure. Did she care? No. This is the eternal story of the service industry and 28 Hong Kong street is just your average "I dont care" place.
Food was very average. Drinks were average. Staff was stuck up and did not care about guests at all. I would not go back again and do not recommend you this place either.
I first Visited 28hk about 6 years ago when they were one of the first NYC inspired 'hidden bars' in town-Prior to the commercial accolades they have received.
Back In 2011, the group I was with were certainly blown away and transported to a different place by the novel experience: smooth reservation process, warm welcome by a hostess who was an engaging presenter of the concept of the punch bowl, which was an excellent talking point as nothing similar existed then in SG (now there're newer concepts like Jiggers and Pony with a similar punch bowl). Based on that experience, what 28hk had was simply par excellence, truly deserving of its awards.
However, post awards -the service and customer experience has lost its DNA, notably regressed to an unacceptable level during my most recent visit in Feb 2016. Almost akin to a completely different and substandard management.
No punch bowl available (we were told apologetically that it is a pre-order only item which we were not informed at point of reservation). When we asked for still water we were told they only serve tap or sparkling. When we requested for cutlery for the side dishes, we were told they don't provide cutlery as we have ordered 'finger food'. In all, it was an Infuriating and unforgivable experience.
Best to avoid at all costs. Lots of swankier options around the area.
If youre thinking of coming here you probably dont mind spending for drinks - spend it elsewhere. Your negotiating power here as a customer is low because the demand for a spot in their bar is high (probably because of all the hype). Seriously, this is not 2015, there are a number of newer and better bars with better service. You dont have to endure this bar with the money you can spend.