An exquisite Russian palace – resplendent in its gold-gilded glory – sits at the far corner of The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, hidden from the public except for a privileged few on its selective member list. A new addition to our flourishing party landscape, the by invite-only Dom Lounge may be situated close to nightspots like Spider Room, Avalon, Pangaea and Ku Dé Ta, but don’t expect it to blend in with the rest; in fact, it’s a decadent experience that’s glitzier than anything you’ve ever come across here – and it’s open both night and day.
Overlooking the picturesque Singapore river, the $3 million two-storey lounge features an extravagant interior décor made up of velvety red drapes, glittering chandeliers, plush armchairs and paintings on the ceilings – all influenced by early 19th century Russian Renaissance. It’s quite the opposite of its name – which means ‘home’ in Russian – unless you live like royalty.
Singaporean owners Lee Jia Jun, 25 – who used to run Arena, supperclub (now closed) and Soul (now called Club Embassy) after starting out as a club promoter – and Andrew Carver, 29 – whose past work includes heading up talent and artist management agencies, as well as organising corporate events and fashion shows – are no strangers to the entertainment and nightlife scene.
They’re already drawing in crowds easily to fill up the 17-table, 200-capacity space simply by word-of-mouth, with their contacts and friends on the members list. To them, Dom Lounge resembles a small, intimate living room with a cosy, communal feel ideal for close interaction, much like a ‘second home, but a very luxurious one’.
‘We wanted something a bit different from everything else in Singapore, so the idea originally came from pre-communist Russia, where everything was quite ostentatious,’ Carver explained. ‘The word “dom” also has a lot of connotations with things like Dom Pérignon and a lot of high society words, so we thought “dom” really made it feel like home.’
With Russian culture still relatively unfamiliar to Singaporeans, there’s a definite draw to this place. Fashioned by both Lee and Carver, who hired an interior designer to breathe life into their ideas, the start-up process took more than a year, from sketching out designs to scouring locations to hiring staff.
Not yet open to the public – other than a private preview party in December of last year – the lounge is aiming for an official launch sometime after Chinese New Year, after which the public can grab spots on the coveted member list (up to the owners’ discretion), with a minimum spend of $50.
Putting an emphasis on high-quality service and premium liquor choices – a bottle averages $300 (for Dom Pérignon and Grey Goose) and cocktails start from $20 – the club hopes to attracts an older, more international crowd, mixed with the cool and hip who’ve got plenty of dough to spend and enjoy chilling out to music without being jostled around on the dance floor.
During normal nightlife hours on the weekend, from 10pm to about 1am, the vibe leans toward a sexy, deep house, funky feeling, and as the night seeps in, the music turns into a more commercial set.
Dom Lounge’s residents-on-deck, DJ Amy – who’s spun at Avalon, supperclub and Arena, and DJ Joshua Goh, whose track record includes Helipad and BluJaz – are on hand to deliver wicked beats every Friday and Saturday. No international DJs have caught their attention yet, but keep an eye out for a variety of local flavours and their mish-mash of tunes, as well as various concepts for different hours of the day and possible themed nights on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Besides the raving parties at night, the place also morphs into Singapore’s very first Russian Tea Room during the day, offering Russian-inspired cuisine and delightfully aromatic teas from Eastern Europe for those who aren’t creatures of the night or who are simply curious about the exotic menu. However, they’re quick to set the record straight – don’t expect authentic Russian food, because it’s a tad too bland for most Singaporeans’ taste buds to appreciate. Their menu offers an array of dishes inspired by traditional Russian plates and spiced-up fusion blends.
‘There’s no place in Singapore – and I’ve seen this in a lot of places around the world – where they actually utilise the club in the day for something else,’ Carver said. ‘That’s what I wanted Dom to be – in the daytime it’s more of a lounge, at sunset like an afterwork champagne culture, and then later on, it progresses into an ultralounge at night.’
Certainly, that’s also where its regal décor and elegant atmosphere helps around the clock. As Lee says, ‘most clubs, when they turn on the lights, the whole thing looks a mess. But the way we’ve furnished ours, it looks nice in the daytime as well as at night.’
|Venue name:||Dom Lounge|
#01-88 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands,
2 Bayfront Ave
|Opening hours:||Daily 10am-10pm (Tea Room), Fri & Sat 10pm-4am (Ultra Lounge)|
|Do you own this business?|