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Smoke & Mirrors
Photograph: Natasha Hong

Smoke & Mirrors comes in second among the best rooftop bars in the world

The bar is perched on the National Gallery with a view of the padang and CBD

Written by
Adira Chow

In case you haven’t heard the news, one of Singapore’s bars made it on Time Out’s annual ranking of the 22 best rooftop bars in the world, and it’s none other than Smoke & Mirrors. The bar clinched the second spot on the list, coming in before cities like Paris, London, Cape Town, Barcelona, and Los Angeles. The annual list is put together based on insights from our global network of food and drink editors and writers in different cities.

You might be wondering how a bar in our tiny city made it on the ranking. Singapore is known to be a concrete jungle after all, flanked by serious skyscrapers and office buildings. But here’s why we think Smoke & Mirrors is well deserving of a spot in the list.

The bar is perched atop the National Gallery – the largest art gallery in Singapore with over 8,000 artworks from Singapore’s National Collection. Once known as the City Hall, this nearly 200-year-old building was the stage for some of the most significant moments in Singapore’s history.

Now, Smoke & Mirrors is a buzzing hotspot for locals and tourists alike, known for its stunning panoramic vistas of Singapore’s skyline. Roll in during sunset or after dusk to enjoy the glimmering nighttime view of skyscrapers, the padang, the historic Victoria Concert Hall, and of course, the iconic Marina Bay Sands and the bay area in the distance. Pro tip: request for seats along the balcony for an undeniably romantic night out.

The bar’s signature menu is called ‘The Real Art of Drinking’, presenting a roster of cocktails each representing a unique art form, a tribute to the building, or even a painting within the Gallery. Drinks like Dawn of Romance ($32) draw inspiration from San Minn’s Age of Full Bloom painting to create a spirit-forward negroni with butter and sunflower seeds; while Bridge of Glory ($32) pays homage to the iconic City Hall Wing of the Gallery in a unique gin and plum sake concoction.

Want to find out how we fared against the other 21 best rooftop bars in the world? The winning spot goes to Sky Bar by Seen in Lisbon, Portugal, thanks to its unique location between the city centre and the River Tagus. And just after Smoke & Mirrors is Le Perchoir, Paris, known for its views of the dreamy Parisian skyline and the distant peak of Montmartre, topped by the Sacré-Cœur Church.


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