What: Black Nut
Where: 2 Emerald Hill Rd
Opening Hours: Sun to Thurs, 5pm to 2am; Fri and Sat, 5pm-3am
Peranakan Place includes Emerald Hill stalwarts Alley Bar, Acid Bar and Odd One Out, but its latest outlet Black Nut is the only one that actually draws on the heritage of the street in a much more evident way than its neighbours across the street.
Expect impishly named concoctions like Chut Pattern (Effen vodka, Galliano liqueur, fresh cucumber, lime juice), garnished with cucumber ribbons and maraschino cherries and the spicy Sio Ah!, which combines Sauza tequila with lime leaves, chilli padi and lemon grass.
The decor could be viewed as eclectic or lazy depending on how many locally themed bars you’ve been to (they’re everywhere), but the seats are especially well-designed and comfortable to lounge in, not altogether surprising since it was Yung Ong, executive director of Proof Living, who opened the joint.
But head upstairs and the atmosphere shifts to that of a hidden gentleman’s club minus the cloud of cigar smoke. No kitschy ornaments here, only luxuriously sombre seating, soul music and the pervading smell of wood. As most of the tipplers prefer the buzz of the street below, the second floor is becoming a popular space for private events and meetings.
Black Nut is not the first establishment to wear its patriotic heart on its sleeve – and probably won’t be the last – but its signature drinks are adept at incorporating Asian ingredients. If you have a friend or business partner from out of town, head in, then head up.
In Three Words: Predictable but playful.