What to imbibe: Red Light District, Pineapple Arrack
One of the newer kids on the scene, Native has a true-blue Singaporean (and Southeast Asian) heart through and through. It was established in December 2016 by 27-year-old Vijay Mudaliar, who channelled his decade’s worth of experience behind the bar into this maiden endeavour. And where the spirits are concerned, this bar clearly has a point of view, championing regional products lining the shelves such as the Ceylon Arrack from Sri Lanka, rum from Chalong Bay, and Amurut whisky from India. Mudaliar is fiercely proud of his roots, and hopes to open people’s minds to the world of artisanal spirits and ingredients that are available in this neck of the woods or even just outside our doors. He prefers working with ingredients that he grew up with instead of chasing the hottest new global trends, and forages within a three-metre radius of the bar for fruits, herbs and spices such as cinnamon, betel leaves, turmeric leaves, curry leaves, fresh star fruit and their flowers. He is also known to throw in interesting curveballs into the mix like Tongkat Ali, a root native to the Malaysian rainforest and a natural stimulant promoting healthy libido, and ikura.
"Familiar flavours and spices used in inventive ways." — Singapore Tatler Editors