A minimalist bar serving up classic cocktails with a floral twist
First thing first, there’s nothing fancy about Fancy. The bright, white and bare space with its concrete floors and exposed pipes is nothing like the cosy bars filled with plush settees washed in a dim glow barflies are used to. It’s almost like it’s saying “we have nothing to hide and neither should you” – the floor-to-ceiling glass window encourages stares from onlookers passing by the quiet stretch of North Canal Road and the harsh fluorescent glow from the letter board exposes facial flaws not even Meitu can hide.
But that doesn’t mean Fancy isn’t intimate. Pull up a seat at the counter and bartenders Sin Kim Shin and Jayden Ong are quick to make us feel at home. Trained at Jigger and Pony and Sugarhall, the duo also came in first and second at last year’s Diageo Reserve World Class. The drinks menu named Pollen only features 12 cocktails either named after a flower that’s been infused in its base spirit or because of its flavour profile. Start with the Rose ($22), a simple blend of peach and floral gin spiked with ginger to tingle the tongue. Fans of beer can opt for the golden stuff – there’s Innis and Gunn ($18) and Sigls ($18) – or try the Hops ($22), a take on a pisco sour shaken with hops-infused mezcal, dill, lemon and egg white ’til silky smooth. Beautifully balanced, the tartness of the lemon mellows out but doesn’t hide the mezcal’s smokiness. For something spirit forward, there’s the Jasmine ($22), a rum-based dirty martini with curious notes of grape bubble gum splashed with olive brine for a touch of savouriness and tang. The strongest drink of the lot is the Osmanthus ($22), a mix of bourbon and chocolate that has depth in its bitterness and complexity.
The food menu is as sparse as the bar, with only five dishes available. Instead of complementing the theme of the drink menu, the food feels like an eclectic collection of the chef’s greatest hits. There are French steak frites ($34) plated with incredible triple-cooked chips, Italian pan-fried risotto ($22) paired with king oyster mushrooms and balsamic currants, and mod-Sin pulled pork buns ($20), deep-fried man tous stuffed with pulled pork and pickles – all tasty in their own right but we can’t help feeling that there’s potential for so much more.
But just like every new bar out there, they can’t worry ’bout no haters, they’ve gotta stay on the grind. And we have a feeling that these kids are going to be all right.
35 North Canal Rd
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