Named for the gin-and-vermouth cocktail garnished with a pickled onion, this cocktail bar is a cosy 36-seater built around shelves of vintage glasses. Backlit coloured glass panels behind the bar lend a retro feel to the interior. You'll want to invite the group’s bar programme director, Aki Eguchi, and his team out of the bar to chat with you – they're dressed cheekily like gag newscasters, with bowties and suited tops but pared down with coloured bermudas and sneakers for contrast.
The concept of the bar isn't limited by any particular era or type of cocktail. The 30 cocktails on the menu are divided into three categories, each devoted to a particular palette: Finding Comfort covers the classics, Forging Friendship is aimed at the adventurous, and Sharing Happiness, for those looking for fun, celebratory cocktails.
The Gibson is made with Hendrick's Gin, Dolin vermouth, a dash of Monkey 47 for its botanicals, and a plate of smoked radish, pickled onion and quail egg to mix things up. The Angel's Share features ume-infused Sailor Jerry rum infused over a year, absinthe and Peychaud's bitters, while the Laid-Backer is served in a coconut shell with Sparkle Donkey Reposado tequila, cold-brewed coconut, salted vanilla syrup and pandan bitters. Plans for a cocktail lab are in the works, as Eguchi and his team are set to get experimental with their tipples.
Unlike most other cocktail bars, the drinks here are designed to be paired with the food. A seafood platter of seasonal oysters, cubed bluefin tuna, cocktail prawns and Maine lobster plays well with the savoury Gibson, while the Angel's Share works with the tartare of grade nine Wagyu, served with shredded crab, oyster aioli, beetroot and pickles. That same imaginative flavour translates well in the Wagyu carpaccio, which is topped with sea urchin and sturgeon caviar.
Gibson will open this Friday (October 2) at Level 2, 18/20 Bukit Pasoh Rd.