While you’re still sober, you’ll have no problems descending the steps to this snazzy New York-style establishment. Sashay down the golden runway that leads straight to the bar and order a craft cocktail from head mixologist, Liam Baer. His specialities include The Honey Badger ($22), a refreshing concoction of house-infused rosemary bourbon, yellow Chartreuse, lemon, ginger and honey. He also experiments with a culinary approach to cocktails, shaking up drinks like Salad Days ($24), a mix of gin that’s been sous vide with tomatoes for two hours, Gentian liquor and Bianco Vermouth, finished with a smattering of pink peppercorn and smoked olive oil.
Now that you’re a few cocktails in, head next door and climb the stairs to Nutmeg & Clove – only if you think you can handle it without tripping. You’ll be rewarded with drinks inspired by the history of Singapore, tracing its development from colonial trading post to present-day metropolis. Classics like the Singapore Sling are reinvented by barrel-ageing a mix of hibiscus-infused gin, Cointreau and Benedictine in a charred oak barrel for two weeks. Now that’s a cocktail we’re proud to have repping the nation.
Blink and you’ll miss it – Employees Only is a nondescript bar hidden behind a small booth marked by a flickering neon sign that reads ‘psychic’. The local off-shoot of the original cocktail institution in New York is a favourite among bankers, lawyers and F&B folks alike for its fancy cocktails like the EO Gimlet ($28) and Mata Hari ($26). The food’s another reason to pop in for a visit. The Modern American kitchen has one of the best hand-chopped steak tartares ($27) around.
As the night goes on, it’s best to switch out the elegant (and expensive) cocktails for more affordable alternatives, unless you don’t mind a gaping hole in your wallet by the morning. Club Street Social has Pilsner Urquell and Peroni on tap at $10, and does a mean Aperol spritz and white negroni for $16. But if you need a kick to shake off the drunken stupor that’s starting to settle in, splash out for the espresso martini ($22) that comes with a shot of freshly pulled espresso. We don’t want you passing out before the last stop.
It’s a bit of a trek, but follow the Singapore River towards Skinny’s Lounge at Boat Quay. Spend the rest of the night at this dive bar crooning to the tunes of Queen or Queen Bey in its KTV room, challenging your equally inebriated companions to a round of pool, or just settle in and have the bartender ply you with your last round of drinks. Cocktails on the Fast and Cheap list are priced at $15, while the Make It Nice option allows more discerning drinkers to upgrade their tipple with artisanal spirits for a mere $3 top-up. But let’s face it, after a night of guzzling, you’re not going to be able to tell the difference anyway.
Three late-night supper haunts in the CBD
Few things beat Korean fried chicken when it comes to satisfying nighttime hunger pangs. This chimaek joint’s range of flavours include garlic soya sauce ($20), sweet and spicy ($20) and original ($18). Other must-try dishes are kimchi stew ($25) and seafood spring onion pancake ($28).
Sober up with a bubbling bowl of ramen that’s unlike anything else on the island. The Lobster King outlet of Ramen Keisuke pan-fries, crushes, then simmers the shells of rock lobsters to create its clear ($13.90) and creamy ($14.90) broths that you’ll be slurping clean.
This coffeeshop is home to Yan Kee Noodle House, whose fiery bak chor mee ($4) makes for great ‘drunk food’. Dig your chopsticks into a bowl of mee sua, fishballs, meatballs and minced pork – everything is doused in chilli and vinegar, and guaranteed to perk you up for the ride back home.