Getting kicked out of Amoy Street and being forced to relocate at short notice might be the best thing to happen to Jigger & Pony. The craft cocktail bar once held the eighth spot on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list but has since fallen out of favour, ranking at 41 in 2018. It’s hard to keep up with fickle consumers, but the complete refresh is exactly what the bar needed to return to its former glory.
Pass through the two Chinese stone lions that guard the dated Amara Hotel and rock up the stairs to the swanky drinking den that looks nothing like its former digs. The space is split into two sections: the high-energy lower floor with is long bar, half-circle booths and a statement high table fashioned from the same piece that used to greet guests at the front of the old joint and the loungey upper deck with its plush velvet sofas, cosy corners and a private bar that can be utilised for private events. Despite the overhaul, some things still feel familiar, from the friendly bar team led by bar manager Jerrold Khoo to the signature J&P drinks that never left the menu.
On that note – if there ever was a prize for the coolest cocktail menu, Jigger & Pony would easily clinch it. Modelled after Monocle, it reads like a lifestyle magazine complete with styled shoots, illustrations, guest articles and recipe pages. Its most captivating spread highlights classics with Asian twists. There’s the Singapore Sling ($23) made with the usual Beefeater gin, pineapple and Heering Cherry Liqueur but given a smoky, tangy edge with lapsang souchong tea and rhubarb. Don’t expect a sickly sweet cordial, this refreshing tipple is one we’d proudly call our national cocktail.
Across the causeway, there’s the Jungle Bird ($23), Kuala Lumpur’s calling card of Phraya rum, lemongrass, clarified granny smith apple juice, Campari and lime. Its profile is more complex than what we’ve come to expect from the Malaysian standard, with a lingering finish of attap chee.
It’s not just Asian cocktails on the menu, there’s a whole page dedicated to the martini ($23) plus retro favourites reimagined such as the Naked and Famous ($23), a stiff drink of Aperol, mezcal and yellow chartreuse given a bubbly spin with a dash of prosecco and a sprinkle of gold dust. It’s sparkly and bright while retaining the bitter, herbaceous notes of
the original. Hidden out of sight and out of mind, the new Jigger & Pony might struggle to find its footing away from the bustle of Amoy Street. But given that the bar single-handedly
transformed the sleepy stretch to the bar and restaurant hotspot itis today – we’re sure
it has the secret sauce to pull off yet another successful venture.
|Venue name:||Jigger and Pony|
165 Tanjong Pagar Rd
|Opening hours:||Mon-Thu 6pm-1am; Fri & Sat 6pm-3am|
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