4 Gastro Bars You Need to Book Once Dine-in Restrictions Are Lifted
After a month of heightened restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19, we're pretty sure that most of us are excited to dine out with a small group of friends over delicious bar bites and cocktails from June 21. In this regard, we are lucky that Singapore is home to a plethora of gastro bars serving craft cocktails and top-notch food—from Jekyll & Hyde's elevated bar bites, Drunken Farmer's sourdough-focused menu to The Bar at Waku Ghin's exquisite Japanese fare. One thing is for sure: you will never go hungry after Phase 2 (Heightened Alert).
1/4 Kinki Restaurant + Bar
After a short hiatus early this year, Kinki Restaurant + Bar returns with a sleek and bold new look that perfectly complements its Japanese-inspired tipples and delectable bar bites. While these are still rooted in the essence of Japanese cuisine, the culinary team presents them with a modern twist with creative flavour combinations and presentations. Take, for instance, the signature AC/DC Dynamite, which are essentially maki rolls coated in tempura flour and deep-fried until crispy. These are topped with finely diced seasonal fish and avocado tossed in sriracha mayonnaise and drizzled with a soy reduction of sake, mirin, sugar and eel sauce. Karaage chicken bao is another hot favourite, thanks to the special way it is prepared. The thighs are first marinated in gochujang, mirin, sake, salt, sugar and pepper for half a day before they are coated with plain flour and potato starch then deep-fried to a crisp finish. These are stacked with pickled cucumber and momotaro tomatoes, drizzled with soy sauce reduction for extra umami and stuffed between fluffy steamed buns.
2/4 Jekyll & Hyde
A nail parlour by day and a speakeasy by night when it first opened in 2013, Jekyll & Hyde has been reimagined as a cocktail bar and kitchen when it recently moved to a bigger and better premises on Neil Road. Owner Chua Ee Chien shares that version 2.0 is a “grown-up version of its previous self”, pairing craft cocktails with elevated comfort food created by chef Alvin Tan, formerly of Shanghai Dolly and Straits Clan. Inspired by Southeast Asian flavours and hawker classics, Tan has come up with sumptuous dishes such as chilli crab nachos and Mr Hyde’s Satay. The former is a luxe version of your usual nachos, and comes with a sweet and tangy chilli crab dip concocted with fermented soybeans, crabmeat and ikura. The latter is updated with the use of Iberico pork chunks marinated overnight in a mix of lemongrass, curry powder, coriander, fennel and chilli powder, pan-fried and served with a nutty sauce balanced with Hawaiian honey pineapple jam.
Jekyll & Hyde | 74 Neil Road, S(088839) | 8940 2450 | firstname.lastname@example.org
3/4 The Bar at Waku Ghin
Michelin-starred Waku Ghin has returned to the F&B scene after almost two years of extensive renovations, bringing with it an enhanced dining experience at the redesigned bar. “I’ve taken the time to dig deeper into my Japanese roots to present a fresh new interpretation of Waku Ghin,” explains chef-owner Tetsuya Wakuda, who has expanded the bar menu to include classic pastas, donburis and varieties of sushi made with the best produce sourced from various regions in his home country of Japan. Pristine ingredients shine in dishes such as the wild-caught chutoro tuna carpaccio topped with new season onion, and lightly poached octopus tentacles whose sweet and pristine flesh is elevated with the slightly peppery mizuna (Japanese mustard greens) and zesty Japanese citrus soya sauce.
Related: A Taste of Home: Chef Tetsuya Wakuda on His Favourite Eats in Japan and Australia
4/4 Drunken Farmer
Travelling natural wine bar Drunken Farmer by lifestyle brand Spa Esprit Group has set up shop on Stanley Street, as it takes over Common Man Stan cafe’s CBD outpost come evenings. Founder and CEO Cynthia Chua shares that its new home is “where we continue to spread the gospel of gut-pleasing grapes and grains through a top-notch menu that’s full of personality and unadulterated flavours”. Chef de cuisine Paul Albert takes care of that with a sourdough-focused menu, comprising delicious dishes made from scratch and using ingredients sourced close to home where possible. It is evident in the sourdough karaage, starring crispy chicken thighs that have been slow-marinated in a tangy batter concocted with sourdough discard, deep-fried to golden perfection and served with house-fermented kimchi mayonnaise. There’s also a selection of pizzas such as margherita, and ricotta and dried tomatoes on rotation, characterised by its chewy and airy crust thanks to a stiffer sourdough base that is proofed for 30 hours to achieve the desired texture.
Drunken Farmer | 11 Stanley Street, S(068730) | 8312 5427
Related: Singapore Wine Bar Drunken Farmer Finds a Permanent Home in Stanley Street